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Kejriwal says ‘pained’ by Kathputli Colony demolition, assures evictees basic amenities

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was accompanied by transport minister Kailash Gahlot said, he was pained by use of force to evict people.

delhi Updated: Nov 03, 2017 16:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Arvind Kejriwal,Delhi government
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal visited Kathputli Colony on Thursday.(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday met the residents of Kathputli Colony where houses were demolished by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on October 30. Kejriwal assured them to provide basic facilities such as food, water and temporary shelter.

Criticising the demolition Kejriwal said that it was “unfortunate” that force was used on the public. “People’s homes have been brutally demolished and young girls are on the roads now, one kid has died and household items have been broken. I am very pained with whatever happened,” he said.

Kathputli Colony was home to street performers like puppeteers, magicians, singers and musicians. The DDA demolished it to redevelop the area with the help of a private developer. It is the city’s first in-situ redevelopment where people living in the neighbourhood will be housed back into the new flats that will come up in the place of the slum.

Kejriwal, who was accompanied by transport minister Kailash Gahlot said that the Delhi government had earlier rehabilitated many slum dwellers but without using force.

Wading through the crowd, Kejriwal stood on the rubble of houses and interacted with the locals and enquired about their problems. Residents alleged that despite the stay order from the high court (HC), the DDA and the police were troubling them. They further alleged that the authorities entered the colony again on Thursday to clear the area.

The HC on Tuesday had stayed the demolition for 10 days so that persons eligible for relocation can move out voluntarily and those who are ineligible get time to appeal against the action.

“This government is dedicated to the poor. It was elected by the poor and not by the rich so, we are here to work for you. We will make arrangements for your temporary shelter, food and water,” Kejriwal added.

Kejriwal later in the day met lieutenant governor (L-G) Anil Baijal and requested him to allow the government to carry out relief work till the court hearing to which the L-G agreed, said a government official.

A statement issued by the DDA said that it has been complying with the HC’s orders and strictly implementing these for shifting the residents of Kathputli Colony to Transit Camp, Anand Parbat and pocket G-7, G-8, Narela.

DDA claimed that the chief minister met the L-G and “appreciated the work being carried out by the DDA as per the orders of High Court”

“Arrangements have been made by the DDA to provide transportation to transit camps, ambulance for medical care and ample supply of food and drinking water at all the three sites... Tents, water, food, toilets etc. would be provided to the residents of the colony by the Delhi Government as soon as possible and orders have been passed to the concerned officers for the same,” said the statement.

First Published: Nov 03, 2017 16:27 IST