Sub: Unauthorised structures on the riverbed: request for hearing Ref: WP 6500/2005, etc, and letters of 26/05/05, 05/05/05 and 04/05/05 (enclos
Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor / DDA Chairman
Sub: Unauthorised structures on the riverbed: request for hearing
Ref: WP 6500/2005, etc, and letters of 26/05/05, 05/05/05 and 04/05/05 (enclosed)
I am told water supply was disconnected yesterday in the stretch of Pushta where clearance without relocation is proposed by Order of 03/05/05 in WP 689/2004 (suo-motto matter in continuation of Order of 03/03/03 against unauthorised structures on riverbed and banks).
I have seen the Order of 03/05/05 and am unable to imagine the submissions leading to it / its proposed use. The reference in it to “policy of DDA” seems to disregard High Court Order of 29/11/02 and Supreme Court Order of 03/03/03 (about slum policy) in the same matter and Orders in WP 5007&09/2002 (in which slum citizens have sought relocation according to Plan from a park to nearby EWS housing site, still occupied by Sahara Restaurant-Bar of DDA-scam fame) and justifications like obstruction in procuring potable water from the river and maintaining it as water-body, encroachment on water not land, relocation costs, etc, are untenable for structures on the embankment. It also seems authorities did not inform Hon’ble Court either of implications of Public Notice published on 08/04/05 for Master Plan 2021 or of responses from/about Pushta to previous Public Notices u/s.11A, representations including u/s.41 about illegalities in clearance / resettlement in 2004, references from CVC, Hon’ble President and NAC Chairperson about consequent deaths of children, etc.
To me Order of 03/05/05 seems eminently applicable to construction at Shastri Park metro depot, apropos which the Division Bench appears not to have been informed of notice to reply in two weeks, not complied with, issued on 13/04/05 in WP 6500/2005 (Gita Dewan Verma v/s DMRC & Ors) against the said construction. Gazette notification of 25/04/05 for change of land use for IT Park conclusively establishes that its construction since November 2003 was unauthorised and in contempt of Orders of 03/03/03 against all unauthorised structures on the riverbed. On 23/05/05 the Hon’ble Court was not persuaded by the respondents’ curious contention that this notification, produced in court at the last minute, rendered the petition infructuous and has again ordered replies, also rejecting the respondents’ contention, among others, that the riverbed is not water body but dry land.
Since the Order of 03/03/03 I have repeatedly contended that in absence of duly notified Zonal Plan for the riverbed and of legal slum policy (called for by Order of 29/11/02) compliance must begin at Shastri Park metro depot if it is not to be gross violation of Art.14 and abuse of judicial process –bizarre case of state punishing victims of its failure (to develop mandatory EWS housing), continuing in contempt of prior court order in same matter, for advantage of illegal development in contempt of the very order being complied with. The enthusiasm with which Order of 03/03/03 was misused under the garb of helpless compliance in 2004 was humiliating for being so thinly veiled. In 2005 the humiliation is compounded manifold by the craftiness lately deployed in court to obfuscate land and water, to spring a month-old notification that should have been filed as timely reply, etc. The ignominy that is poised to repeat on the riverbed must, surely, rank among the most ignominious cases of abuse of the judicial process for furtherance of illegalities and injustice. It is sad that such should happen under a new regime installed by clear mandate for change, mandate that Hon’ble President had interpreted in his address to Parliament as one for restoration of rule of law.
It would be naive to invoke CMP promise of no forcible evictions since that was already broken two months after being made (with Pushta-like eviction of old communities in Lalkhet for illegal Malls-and-Park sub-judice in WP 8523/2003, with WP 5007&09/2002 also pending). I invoke, instead, CMP solemn pledge “to provide a government that is corruption-free, transparent and accountable at all times, to provide an administration that is responsible and responsive at all times” – to make two requests as citizen, as planner, as petitioner in WP 6500/2005 (which is about my responses to Public Notices pertaining to constructions at Shastri Park in which contentions such as above are central):
- I request appropriate steps to ensure court is not blamed for authorities’ riverbed shenanigans
- I request urgent hearing now that war on Pushta has been declared by disconnecting water
Gita Dewan Verma, Planner
- Commissioner, Delhi Police (wrt letter of 04/05/05)
- DDA Vice Chairman (wrt WP 689/2004)
- GNCTD Chief Secretary and MoUD Delhi Division (wrt WP 689/2004 and WP 6500/2005)