DDA demolishes hundreds of hutments on Yamuna floodplain
Hundreds of hutments were demolished by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in the Chilla Khadar village near Mayur Vihar Phase 1 metro station on Thursday. Activists who had gathered at the spot claimed over 500 families were left without homes and the land-owning agency had carried out the drive without any intimation.
DDA officials said the demolition has been carried out in accordance with the National Green Tribunal orders and between 200-300 slums were demolished. “Recently, NGT passed an order on management of floodplains. They have said that the entire floodplain area has to be cleared and they have given a time-bound schedule for plantation and developing wetlands,” a senior DDA official said.
Dev Pal, member of Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN), who has also lived in the village, said, “Around 15 bulldozers came to the spot at around noon and razed the settlements. This went on for over four hours.”
“We are planning to file a petition in the Delhi High Court. The authorities said they have been asked to clear the place by December. They even threatened that they would return on Friday and clear out our belongings,” he said.
Subedar Singh Yadav, who has been living in the village for five decades, said, “The officials just came and told us that they would demolish our houses. They did not let us take out our belongings,” said Yadav, who lives with his family of six in the village. DDA said the villagers knew about the cases since it has been going on for years.
For 16-year-old Rahul Kumar, these things make little sense. “I was in my coaching when I got a call from my mother that our house was being razed,” he said. The class 12 student, who will be appearing for his boards this year through National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), said he would be missing out on his studies. “I can’t even find my books which were provided to me by an NGO. They are all under the debris. There is nothing left in our house,” he said.