Uncharitable Hospital Trust - Letter of February 24, 2002

Letters of February 2002 following harassment of tea vendor by a charitable trust management owning a freshly constructed unutilized building on site meant for hospital in Vasant Kunj and news report of 19.08.04.

| Letter of 24.02.2002 | Letter of 26.02.2002 (excerpt) | news report of 19.08.2004 enclosed with letter of 22.08.2004 to Secretary MoUD1

Mr B. Sikka, Manager, Flt Lt Rajan Dhall Charitable Trust Hospital, B-I Vasant Kunj, New Delhi – 110070

Sub: Information regarding rights, etc of hawkers in Vasant Kunj

Ref: Allegations by Mr Mandal of harassment by your staff

Dear Mr Sikka,

I am writing to you in the above matter in my capacity of planning consultant to hawkers in Vasant Kunj.

Firstly, I would like to draw your attention to the following legal/policy provisions regarding hawkers: (a) The Supreme Court (in 1987) has ruled that the fundamental right of livelihood under Art. 19(1)(g) of the Constitution cannot be denied to hawkers, subject to reasonable restrictions; (b) The statutory Master Plan for Delhi (1990) contains comprehensive provisions for hawkers (to be ensured at the time of sanction of plans), including 3-4 hawkers per 100 hospital beds and hawkers at ‘transport nodes’, such as the registered auto stand outside your hospital site; (c) The Prime Minister’s policy (August 2001) also emphatically calls for (para-14 (ii), (iii) and (iv)) “absolute prohibition” on impounding, destruction or seizure of hawkers’ goods and equipment; (d) Under the law, removal / confiscation action against hawkers operating on roadsides can be taken only by public authorities (MCD, Police, etc), not by private citizens or Trusts.

Secondly, I would like to bring to your attention the fact that bonafide hawkers in Vasant Kunj have been engaging with DDA for implementation of Master Plan provisions for hawkers here. In this they have the support of the Federation of RWAs (through a formal bhagidari vide the Federation’s letter dated October 9, 2001). I also have a written communication from DDA (No.Commr.(Plg)/ 2001/89, dated 19.10.2001) indicating that sites for hawkers are being identified here.

It is in the context of the above that I am writing in the matter of Mr Mandal, who owns a tea stall outside your hospital. The said tea stall has been functioning at the same location (on service road on Mehrauli-Mahipalpur Road side of hospital) for about 10 years (ie, several years before construction of your hospital started). All these years, it has not attracted any objection from either the RWA of B-I or even MCD or any other public authority. There is a registered auto-rickshaw stand at the site and I am told tea stalls are also permitted for such registered stands. Mr Mandal alleges the following:

  • On January 30 an MCD bulldozer destroyed his stall on your ‘request’
  • On February 19 MCD functionaries confiscated, without receipt, his tarpaulin, etc, on your ‘request’
  • Also on February 19 you instructed your staff to confiscate his equipment and put it in your store
  • Thereafter he shifted his stall to the Aruna Asaf Ali Road side of your hospital. This morning, when he came to work he found your staff had flooded the site of his stall. He called a PCR at 7:30AM and, in consultation with police and auto rickshaw operators, has set up his stall closer to the road.

When I visited the site at about 8:00AM I found a puddle of water, as alleged by Mr Mandal. I also saw that you have ‘encroached’ on the public road outside for ‘greening’, including enclosing with stone blocks a large area inclusive of two trees that Mr Mandal had planted at his erstwhile location. The auto-rickshaw operators present said that your ‘encroachment’ also ate into their space and that some residents of B-I had also expressed concern about the right-of-way of the road being reduced, etc.

Lastly, I would like to mention that while preparing our report containing detailed proposals in support of Master Plan implementation we had tried to speak with all stakeholders. In the case of your hospital your security staff denied me permission to enter / meet with the management and since (very oddly) there was no board outside throughout the construction period, we could not write to you. Even now there is no board outside your hospital and the address above has been given to me by one of your staff members.

Especially considering that yours is a ‘charitable trust’ and that, under provisions of the Master Plan, the site you occupy is meant for a facility for Vasant Kunj, I would like to suggest that you desist from activities that infringe on spatial rights of other (older) citizens of Vasant Kunj. Should you require any clarification, etc in regard to any of the above, please feel free to call.

Best Regards,

Gita Dewan Verma

cc: VK Master Plan Imp. Support Group; Federation of RWAs (for information for future action if/when needed)

Excerpt from letter of 26 February 2002

Mr Vijai Kapur, Lt Governor and DDA Chairman, 6 Rajniwas Marg, Delhi – 110054

Sub: Hawkers in Delhi – ‘policy dialogue’ of 2001 and coincident efforts of Vasant Kunj’s hawkers

Ref: My letter of 12th February and report in today’s HT titled ‘Fraud in allotment of tehbazari rights’

Dear Mr Kapur, ... 3. On the other hand, there is currently peculiar case of hawkers’ harassment here at the instance of a so called ‘charitable hospital’ that has lately come up (‘so-called’ because there has been no board outside it through construction or even now and because it looks rather up-market). It is noteworthy that Master Plan norms require space for 3-4 hawkers per 100 hospital beds to be ensured at the time of sanction of plans. This has obviously not been done in the case of this hospital. Now the hospital (not yet functional) has ‘encroached’ on the right-of-way to usurp space for greening. It seems to enjoy the whole-hearted support of local MCD and Police functionaries to evict the tea-vendor who has been here much before hospital construction started. On the other hand, local Police seems to have failed to notice that this hospital was constructed without the mandatory board outside during construction and MCD seems to have failed to notice the encroachment of hundreds of square metres of public right-of-way by the hospital.


cc: (re #4 above): Offices of ... Hon’ble PM, Former PM VP Singh, Hon’ble Min (MoUA&E), Hon’ble Min of State, Hon’ble CM (Bhagidari Cell), Municipal Commissioner, Police Commissioner, CVC, Vice Chairman,DDA, Chairman,DUAC, CMD,HUDCO, Advisor(HUD) Plg Comm (re also #2,3 above): MCD Deputy Commissioner (Nazafgarh Zone), DCP (SW) For information w.r.t news report under reference: Aruna P.Sharma, HT

  • News report in Hindustan Times, 19.08.20042
  • 1. Health and education facilities – land policy initiatives
    10 questions about land "policy" initiatives for health and education facilities, notably the decision to accept escorts' offer of 50 crores to "get rid of" lease conditions for free beds.

  • 2. Vasant Kunj ‘charitable’ hospital for sale
    Aruna P. Sharma

    New Delhi, August 19

    A charitable hospital for which DDA had allotted land for a mere couple of lakhs in Vasant Kunj is up for sale for Rs 45 crore.

    The builder who has taken over the trust to which the land had been allotted, is demanding Rs 45 crore in outright purchase or Rs 45 lakh minimum guarantee for rental per month, alleged doctors and hospital administrators who have been negotiating with the builder.

    The hospital, located near the B-1 residential sector in Vasant Kunj was completed in three years. The plot on which the hospital was built was allotted in the name of a trust for a sum of Rs 1.97 lakh, DDA sources said. But the hospital is not functional as yet.

    M K Tiwari, a resident of B-1 Vasant Kunj said the hospital was meant to be a charitable hospital. Until a few days back a board saying 200-bedded charitable hospital was on display outside the building. He complained that if the hospital is run on commercial lines then the very purpose of allotting land for providing low cost services, is defeated.

    Vice-chairman of Vasant Kunj federation of RWAs, Dr Avtar Krishan said the nearest hospital for Vasant Kunj residents is the Spinal Injuries Centre and the Holy Angels hospital which is in Vasant Vihar. Dr Krishan said when the trustees had fallen apart, a builder, Sarin, was roped in.

    DDA Lands Disposal Commissioner R.K. Singh said the agency had issued showcause notice to the hospital last Friday for transfer of trustees, constructing basement in excess of the permissible limit and constructions in the setbacks. He said the DDA will take action as per the lease terms.