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A story of greed, over-commercialisation and civic apathy

On April 15, Lajpat Nagar won’t vote for sadak, paani and sanitation issues.

delhi Updated: Mar 26, 2012 01:49 IST
Rajat Arora
Rajat Arora
Hindustan Times

On April 15, Lajpat Nagar won’t vote for sadak, paani and sanitation issues.

In five years, the area — that had always been a commercial centre — is now fast turning into a hub of PG accommodations for college students. Over-commercialisation has hardly left any space for its people to breathe in.

It may have brought them big bucks, but it has also spelled parking woes. “The overcrowded Amar Colony market used to be a quiet lane. As the number of college students rose, so did that of food outlets,” said Anita Sharma, a resident of D-block, Amar Colony.

Illegal PG accommodations have been mushrooming. "People have converted their homes into hostels but they don't pay taxes. And MCD has failed to act," said Niraj Gupta, a Lajpat Nagar III resident for over 50 years.

The area was predominantly home to Punjabi immigrants post Partition. Now it also shelters Afghans, who come to Delhi for treatment. “There are problems such as lack of streetlights and contaminated water. But illegal construction — aided by MCD — cannot be overlooked,” said Sriram Vohra, a resident of Krishna Market, Lajpat Nagar 1.

Migration has also made resources scarce. “If five years ago, we were providing water for eight people in a house, now we have to provide for 32 people as three more floors have been added to the house,” rued an MCD officer.

Jangpura, parts of which fall in Lajpat Nagar and Kasturba Nagar wards, is no different. "Residents here are fighting against problems they created themselves. The peace of the area has disappeared, and so has the infrastructure," said Rajender Narang, a resident.

First Published: Mar 26, 2012 00:30 IST