For DMP housing solution for 20 ridge area "slums" and for stopping evictions pending action on court orders and responses to public notices based on efforts sincee 2000 in view of NCMP promises and Pushta-like "voluntary eviction" in Lalkhet following verbal "notice" for demolition
OPEN LETTER TO SUPPORTERS OF UPA NATIONAL COMMON MINIMUM PROGRAMME AND DELHI MASTER PLAN
4th July 2004
Demand for immediate solution of the slum problem in the Capital through implementation of Parliament approved Delhi Master Plan’s low-income housing solution (in view of forcible eviction contrary to National Common Minimum Programme and constitution of a Committee)
On 27 May Central Government announced the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) with promise of low income housing and no forcible evictions and pledge of transparent and accoutable government and responsive and responsible administration. On 24 June Prime Minister elaborated on its concerns about law, equity and planned development in his address to the nation. Implementation of the statutory solution of 4 lakh cheap plots on about 3000 hectares of integrated space, sought by citizens’ groups since 2000 and by default solely responsible for the persistence of the capital’s slum problem, was sought – as imperative now also of NCMP in context of priority for Delhi Master Plan (DMP) announced by Union Urban Development Minister.
However, on 27 June, Central Government has appointed a committee of 7 officers to prepare in two weeks a “slum-free master plan” for Delhi – in the ambit of not DMP but slum policy (that offered not housing for all according to plan but sub-standard resettlement for a few and was quashed by High Court in November 2002) and with ideas for resettlement, flats, etc, that are in clear violation of the Master Plan and recommended by the willful so-called Master Plan “guidelines” about which Supreme Court has remarked in 2004 that under their garb action against illegalities has come to a standstill.
Such inferior alternatives are being aggresively advocated since 1999 in a clear bid to downsize the Master Plan provisions in order to cover up the misuse of space meant for mandatory low income housing under the Master Plan. That the latest committee has also been constituted with the same “objective” became obvious when DDA and Police officials arrived on 28 June, ie, the day after the constitution of the committee, to give verbal “notice” for demolition on 02 July to create a Pushta-like atmosphere of terror for desperate and forced “voluntary relocation” – in Lal Khet area near the site for Vasant Kunj Malls, where old communities have been making, for the whole month since adoption of NCMP, sustained requests for discussion on relocation options consistent with DMP and NCMP.
It is noteworthy that the Lalkhet area now falls in a “Ridge Biodiversity Park” that is helping the shopping malls sell-well and is not contemplated in DMP. The planned use of the site includes 35 Ha for residential use, which is enough for 5000 EWS plots according to Plan. Four years ago, on 5 July 2000, bulldozers had arrived without notice to demolish a 50-year old settlement in Rangpuri Pahari in the ridge green belt near this site – to make way for a 56 Ha mega-housing scheme that is not only unplanned but also perilous for the precarious ground water regime in the seismically sensitive area. The High Court had held this scheme to be wholly illegal and ordered it stopped and inquired into by DDA Chairman, an inquiry not done. Since then local citizens’ groups have been demanding the statutory solution to the area’s slum problem (through 5000 EWS plots and 4000 small houses to be mandatorily developed in the Vasant Kunj scheme for 100,000 people) and opposing inferior alternatives – in 2001 through a report prepared by a qualified planner, a note to the committee appointed by High Court for Delhi slums, presentation at the meeting of experts for Planning Commission report on Delhi slums, two-month long demonstartion outside the Master Plan office, etc, in 2002 through 1700 responses to the Public Notice precipitated by the PIL against the 56 Ha scheme, letters to object to ideas for sub-standard free flats, court case against sub-standard resettlement and misuse of planned low income housing stock and sites (inclusive of the instance of misuse of site meant for 952 janta flats by Sahara Restaurant-Bar of the DDA scam fame, after exposure of which the petitioners’ settlement, Arjun Camp, and proximous Rajiv Gandhi Camp were summarily demolished, with compliance of order for clarification of entitlements pending), etc, and in 2003 through representations in response to public notice of Parliamentary Standing Committee examining functioning of DDA pursuant to the DDA scam, etc.
Trusting the new government’s NCMP pledge about the poor and about accountability, requests for discussion were made from Rangpuri Pahari (for options for low income communities with reference to a tender for more flats in the area and in view of indications of restarting of the 56 Ha scheme) and Rajiv Gandhi Camp and Arjun Camp (for interim options till settlement of their matter pending in court). And, trusting the NCMP promise of no forcible evictions, requests for discussion on options consistent with NCMP and DMP were made by residents of Lal Khet (starting with start of illegal resettlement procedures by DDA on 31 May) and of Nangal Dairy (starting with pasting of notice for eviction without resettlement by Airport Authority on 4 June).
Betraying the NCMP pledge of responsive and responsible administration, both willful schemes and indifference to demand for lawful development continue inertially. In the month since the adoption of NCMP no clear directions against forcible evictions have been issued and how the constitution of a committee to, in effect, maintain status-quo has emboldened the authorities is starkly evident from these pictures of homes being abandoned in terror in Lal Khet. What was effected prior to elections in Pushta with unprecedented deployment of police force and massive propaganda is underway under a new government effortlessly in the Capital far removed from pledges and promises of its NCMP.
DMP and NCMP require that housing for local low income communities be developed forthwith – either in 35 Ha residential land being usurped by the ridge park by shifted the park to the 56 Ha scheme site in the ridge green belt or, in adjustment, in the 56 Ha scheme site. Till then not onle demolitions but all development, which is all unplanned, should be stopped. With hearing of representations made to Parliamentary Committee in 2000 and inquiry into illegal scheme and clarification of entitlements as per court orders of 2002 pending, we also demand that before investing any resources on recommendations of some officers’ committee the Parliamentary Committee take stock of the situation here and our proposal so that public resources are invested only on statutory or better solutions.
sd/ on behalf of residents of:
- RANGPURI PAHARI MALAKPUR KOHI: | Samay Singh | Harpal Singh
- RANGPURI PAHARI NALA: | Gulab Devi | Kashmira Singh
- ARJUN CAMP VASANT KUNJ: | Bansraj | Israil
- RAJIV GANDHI CAMP VASANT KUNJ: | Tulsi Devi | Vinod
- ARJUN CAMP MAHIPALPUR: | Bhagwan Singh | Hiralal Chauhan
- TENANTS IN VILLAGES: | Ashok Kumar Jha | Badri Prasad
- LALKHET: | Nathu Ram | Chittar Mal
- MEENA CAMP: | Shambhu Dayal | Dinesh
- CHOTTI CAMP: | Chotti Devi | Subhash Chandra
- MASTER CAMP: | Naresh | Kusumlata
- MARWARI CAMP: | Pappu Ram | Shivraj Jamadar
- BHAGWAN SINGH CAMP: | Gopal | Pandit Sharma
- TATA NAGAR: | Saompal Singh | Indrajeet Singh
- TATA NAGAR VISTAAR-I: | Vijay Pal | Deep Ram
- TATA NAGAR VISTAAR-II: | Inder Pal | Salim Khan
- RAJASTHAN CAMP: | Devi Lal | Moti Ram
- NAI BASTI: | Banarsi Lal | Guddu
- DHARAM KANTA: | Peter Hori | Ranjit Singh
- TYRE COMPANY: | Ramesh Singh | Kalicharan
- NANGAL DAIRY BAZAAR: | Rampal Singh | Anand Kumar
To support planned development. To oppose unplanned development. To protect our future.
- Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India: The forcible eviction by bulldozers that was proposed in Lalkhet on 02 July was postponed after the phone and fax to your office. However, these pictures of Pushta-like “voluntary eviction” forced by an atmosphere of terror clearly show that the indifference of the administration towards NCMP, besides law. We seek your support and opportunity for discussion on the enclosed demand which we are sending to supporters of NCMP and planned development. Thanking you...
- Members of Parliamentary Committee examining DDA (in context of responses of 2003, through Mr K Chakraborty, Deputy Secretary, Loksabha Secretariat (for placing before : Even as representations for solution of the slum problem according to the statutory Master Plan are pending before the Parliamentary Committee, the Ministry has constituted a committee of officers for this, in name of some other “master plan”, while Pushta-like forced “voluntary eviction” has commenced in Lalkhet, these pictures of which clearly show the indifference of the administration towards NCMP. We seek hearing on the enclosed demand and, if possible, a visit to take stock of the ground reality. Thanking you...
- Mr B L Joshi, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and DDA Chairman: With reference to these pictures of Pushta-like forced “voluntary eviction” in Lalkhet in contravention of Delhi Master Plan and National Common Minimum Programme and to non-compliance of Delhi High Court’s order of 16 September 2002 in terms of inquiry of the illegal Sultangarhi scheme and continuing work on inclusive of illegal boring on projects in ridge area green belt, we request your support and opportunity for urgent discussion on the enclosed demand. Thanking you...
- Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, National Advisory Council for NCMP: On 28 May 2003 you had given a sensitive hearing on the matter of indifference of state and central government towards development according to Plan. These pictures of “voluntary eviction” in Lalkhet show that indifference, contrary now to imperatives of NCMP besides DMP, continues as before. We seek your support and opportunity for discussion on the enclosed demand which we are sending to supporters of NCMP and planned development. Thanking you...
- Mr G N Azad, Union Urban Development Minister: The forcible eviction by bulldozers that was proposed in Lalkhet on 02 July was postponed after information by phone and fax to the office of hon’ble Prime Minister. However, these pictures of Pushta-like “voluntary eviction” forced by an atmosphere of terror clearly show that the indifference of the administration towards NCMP, besides law. We seek your support and opportunity for discussion on the enclosed demand which we are sending to supporters of NCMP and planned development. Thanking you...
- Mr VP Singh, Former Prime Minister of India | Mr A B Bardhan, General Secretary CPI | Mr H S Surjeet, General Secretary CPI-M | : The forcible eviction by bulldozers that was proposed in Lalkhet on 02 July was postponed. However, these pictures of Pushta-like “voluntary eviction” forced by an atmosphere of terror clearly show that the indifference of the administration towards NCMP, besides law. We seek your support and opportunity for discussion on the enclosed demand which we are sending to supporters of NCMP and planned development. Thanking you...
- Secretary, Delhi State Committee, CPI-M: The forcible eviction by bulldozers that was proposed in Lalkhet on 02 July was postponed. However, these pictures of Pushta-like “voluntary eviction” forced by an atmosphere of terror clearly show that the indifference of the administration towards NCMP, besides law. Citizens here already enjoy support and cooperation of your party on the issue of planned development. We seek your advice and support and opportunity for urgent discussion on the enclosed demand. Thanking you...
Enclosed / referred to in following further communications:
- 07/07/2004: request for representation made to CPI and CPI-M (enclosed)
- 12/07/2004: letter to Secretary MoUD about start of Pushta-like camp in Lalkhet and illegal boring for Malls (with pictures, copies to CGWA, Police, CVC, referring also to policy-committee and other instances of willful evictions / preparations thereof for willful projects in ridge and riverbed and the letter of 07/07/2004 about deaths among Pushta evictees in Bawana and proposed eviction from Lalkhet to Bawana and letter of 08/07/2004 about demolition in Masudpur Harijan Basti)
- 20/07/2004: letter to Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee, following news reports about some NGO petition to it for declare the illegal biodiversity-park area forest, to draw attention to available statutory protections under Delhi Master Plan and CGWA notification and the fact of the matter being sub-judice in High Court in MPISG PIL filed in December 2003 (enclosed)
- 21/07/2004: detailed letter to Lieutenant Governor in context of CEC intervention, to request inquiry as per High Court order of 2002 into Sultangarhi scheme and further identical illegalities that the inquiry was intended to deter
- response to s.11A Public Notice of 18/09/2004 for commercial IT Park on riverbed, referred to in repsponse to s.11A Public Notice of 07/11/2004 for commercial use in Mahipalpur Hauz ridge area