Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor / DDA Chairman
Sub: Unauthorised structures on the riverbed: request for hearing, etc
Ref: Authorities’ advice to school in Pushta, evacuations for flood-safety, my letter of 31/05/05 wrt WP 6500/2005, etc, and MPD2021 Public Notice response of MPISG Convener (Riverbed)
I have been told that yesterday authorities (understood to be DDA staff) have advised authorities in school in Pushta to advise parents to enrol their children elsewhere since demolitions in the Rajghat-Shantivan stretch are planned shortly. And today PTI has issued a release about start of evacuations for flood-safety presumably from other parts of Pushta since this stretch is normally not affected.
As a planner I have consistently urged for several years lawful relocation from Pushta on priority on account of flood and fire hazards and, with apologies for cynicism, I apprehend that, instead, the present evacuations may well become ‘irreversible’ in name of court order of 03/05/05. (Already the enthusiasm with which the Chief Minister and others had participated in ‘Chatt’ celebrations on the ‘ghaat’ at Gautampuri II, from where Pushta clearance in (abuse of) name of court had begun in 2004, had seemed to me paradoxical and the possibility that I now apprehend seems even more so). However, citizens will no longer attract the portion of the Order of 03/05/05 that pertains to encroachment on water not land after they are evacuated from Pushta, ie, no court order will prevent their lawful re-settlement and, firstly, I request directions for priority action for that.
Apropos portions of Pushta normally safe from the wrath of the river and currently under threat of demolitions to save DDA Vice Chairman from the wrath of the court I reiterate the contents of my letter of 31/05/05 (enclosed) and, if clearance does occur in name of order of 03/05/05, secondly, I request directions to DDA for eviction notices according to law, ie inclusive of reasonable opportunity for hearing, and to Police to ensure that clearance is not unlawfully effected.
It is clear now that there was no specific court order for clearance of slums from Pushta in 2004 and a portion of Pushta was cleared in contempt of Orders for school buses for children, facility of payment for plots in instalments, etc, in name of Order of 03/03/03, in contempt of which commercial IT Park was simultaneously built across it, a school in it was later upgraded and given to multi-national NGO to run ‘night-shelter’, etc. IT Park and NGO Night-Shelter on the riverbed are both flood-safe sites and so, thirdly, I request they be utilized as flood-relief-camps / transit housing – which would be in the fitness of things, including unforgivable deaths of children evicted to Bawana, and might help ameliorate the burden of guilt that has been forced upon us all by what happened on the riverbed in 2004 as well as the humiliation that publicized visits to flood-relief camps will otherwise bring in coming days.
I do request again hearing as well as reply, as per Order of 13/04/05 reiterated on 23/05/05, in my WP 6500/2005 in the matter of constructions at Shastri Park on the riverbed. I also enclose a copy (without enclosures) of the response filed by MPISG convener (riverbed) to Public Notice for Master Plan 2021, which refers to and in fact encloses the said petition.
Gita Dewan Verma, Planner
- letter of 31/05/05 (1p)
- response, as above (3p)
cc: for information
- Commissioner Police (wrt to complaints/letters re MCD uses on Pushta, etc)
- Deputy Secretary, Lok Sabha Standing Committee (wrt hearing on 30/05/05)
- Commissioner (Planning), DDA (wrt Public Notice response)