Sub: Pushta clearance: Violations of law and policy
and disregard of Court and EC directions

Dear Sir,
With demolition of Indira Colony on 01.04.04, Pushta
clearance has dispossessed about 7000 families, with
less than 2000 offered resettlement. All demolitions /
resettlement have violated Notice procedure of DD Act
1957, mandatory Delhi Master Plan provisions for
minimum housing, draft national slum policy
provisions, Planning Commission recommendations,
Supreme Court directions in SLP on slum policy, High
Court order of 31.01.04 and (in demolitions up to
19.03.04) EC directives. Driven by dubious arithmetic
of 75000 families and 19000 resettlement plots (all
illegal), the unlawful process has also spawned other
rackets. At slum wing regular visitors include those
resettled without plot numbers, on 12.5 sqm instead of
18 sqm, etc, those unable to avail resettlement offer
for not having 7000/- and those not offered
resettlement despite being eligible under the given
criteria. At resettlement colonies people have no
allotment letters and peculiar instructions, including
not to build, to remain present or face cancellation,
etc. The majority not offered resettlement has
disappeared into other housing rackets, notably in
unauthorised colonies where these are thriving in wake
of regularisation promises. Land earmarked for housing
the poor (10000 plots in Civil Lines zone, 12000 in
New Delhi, etc) stands spared for up-market use (which
will create water, traffic, etc, problems). And on the
riverbed investor confidence in illegal schemes
(jeopardizing Delhi's ecological survival) has grown.
While Delhi's land scam is a continuing drama, as
mentioned in previous letters, its Pushta episode is
unacceptable for undermining public confidence in
Courts, EC and Police.

It is from this perspective that I am grateful to
Delhi Police (besides for deputing an Inspector to
attend the presentation at IIC on 31.03.04) for not
deploying force in Indira Colony prior to demolition,
just as I am grateful to EC for, in effect,
withdrawing its endorsement by freezing voter lists.
I am writing now to raise five matters in continuation
of my complaint of 17.03.04 (enclosed for ready
reference):

1.        
Questions raised since first demolition of 13.02.04
about violations of law and policy and disregard of
court orders and EC directive are pending. Even if
corrections are made for future, citizens in large
numbers have already been affected by these lapses.
Accordingly, I request:
(a)        copy of report of investigation into my complaint
of 17.03.04
(b)        investigation into lists drawn up by MCD, basis on
which MCD charged Rs.7000/ for 12.5 sqm plots
(especially since DDA is receiving drafts of 5000/-
for the same in Shantivan-Vijayghat stretch) and its
failure to offer court-ordered option of 500/-
down-payment, subsequent MCD dealings with those
evicted / resettled, and role/status of
‘jhuggi-dadas’, etc, in all this.

2.        
In Bagichi (Shantivan-Vijayghat) DDA is following a
different unlawful process. Hand-written list of
eligible was briefly put up. Informal pradhans, for
some reason, have copies of full survey list
(handwritten). Handwritten blank paper instructions
about drafts being received are still pasted. People
have been verbally informed (by Police personnel) of
imminent demolition and several were packing /
dismantling over the weekend, even as there is no
formal Notice. DDA's wholly arbitrary demolitions
procedures (bearing no relation either to slum policy
that MCD implements or to the Act from which DDA
derives mandate) and its failure to ensure development
of EWS plots according to Delhi Master Plan, check
misuse of sites meant for EWS and resettlement schemes
in contravention of Plan, etc, are sub-judice before
Delhi High Court, besides being central to a series of
scams. While all that may not be of interest to Delhi
Police, I request:
(a)        In view of Article 14, parity with procedures
followed in Indira Colony be ensured by Police in
Bagichi, etc, especially since DDA is operating from
what is locally called Police Chowki
(b)        No force for demolition be provided to DDA till
Police has assured itself or obtained from DDA a
sufficiently specific undertaking about lawfulness and
compliance with court orders, in view also of my
complaints against lapses in procedures required by
law, policy and court orders.

3.        
Unlawful development relates also to the insidious and
wholly unconstitutional mechanism of foreign-funded
NGOs engaged in propaganda against our law, courts and
institutions. A section of these has been active in
the instant matter since 2000 – in 2000-2001 against
court ordered shifting of industries and policy for
unauthorised colonies, in 2002 against the court order
that sought a legal alternative to illegal slum
policy, in 2003 through a funded book against our law,
etc, in 2004 through an 'event' on a global platform
to disparage our law, courts and professions (apropos
which, the enclosed statement, as part of a more
comprehensive communication, was lately forwarded by
President's secretariat to Secretary MoUD for action).
In the current drive, these NGOs are obfuscating the
matter in courts, media and public discourse. In
January, they 'took credit' for another NGO's
initiative to raise illegalities on the peg of school
education to scuttle the issue of illegalities in
media. In February they were doing street theatre and
anti-law propaganda to scuttle Pushta citizens'
demand, set out in a representation pursuant to
Supreme Court proceedings of 03.02.04, for lawful
clearance. In February and March they were instigating
Pushta citizens to tear up survey lists, etc, rather
than assist them in seeking and cooperating in lawful
clearance. After the Kanchanpuri incident of 24.03.04
they were trying to paint it in uncalled for communal
tones (also at IIC on 31.03.04) to divert attention
from its context of demands for hearing about
violations. After the IIC presentation (at which was
outlined chronology to show the drive is traceable to
an administrative decision of 03.01.04 that used the
order of 03.03.03 in disregard of order of 29.10.03,
etc) they called a meeting with a widely circulated
eml invite insisting 'behest of court'. Their other
propaganda material mentions they are also converting
their book to booklets to sell in slums and presenting
their view at unrelated NGO seminars, such as on
transportation, etc. I am not sure whose jurisdiction
it is to investigate NGOs, but I request:
(a)        investigation into NGO propaganda to instigate,
with communal overtones, people against law and
institutions, which may well make for law and order
problems in further Pushta clearance.
(b)        investigation into foreign funding / other
antecedents of NGOs in Pushta, since their activities
seem to have eroded rather than built communities and
confidence in law and institutions

4.        Site of Gautampuri-2 is being leveled by JCB since
29.03.04. The site is not part of any legal Plan duly
notified under DD Act and also not part of the scheme
preferred in court in justification of Pushta
clearance. As such development on it is outside the
ambit of law and, since the riverbed is duly notified
by CGWA for drinking water potential, jeopardizes
public interest environmental imperatives. Already
rooms have been added there to a religious structure
(such as surviving at all sites although the court
order of 03.03.03 to which Pushta clearance is being
traced was for all encroachments and specifically
mentioned religious structures). It may also be
recalled that Pushta was cleared in mid '70s, only to
be encroached again. I request investigation into:
(a)        purpose of JCB deployment on site of erstwhile
Gautampuri-2
(b)        lawfulness thereof in terms of DD Act and CGWA
notification under EP Act
(c)        conformity thereof with model code of conduct in
force for Lok Sabha elections

5.        
Lastly, this is to report a lost property – Voter ID
card no. DL\01\003\192271 in name of Akbari Begam
w/d/o Saddik Hasan that I found in debris of
Gautampuri2 on 30.03.04. The same is in my possession.
I am aware that, pursuant to pasting of ERO notice
amidst debris on broken dustbin on 03.03.04 (picture
of which I showed at IIC) and failure of ERO to
respond to objections in response thereto, several of
Gautampuri2 were speaking in despair about the worth
of their Voter IDs. I would be grateful for advice as
to how to restore Ms Begam's Voter ID to her.

With apologies for a long letter and also for my
intemperate remarks to Police personnel on duty in
Pushta on 17.03.04 and 19.03.04,

Yours sincerely

Gita Dewan Verma / Planner
B.Arch (SPA, gold medalist); M.Planning (SPA, gold
medalist); PG Dip-Research (IHS-Rotterdam, top rank);
Dip-Training (DoPT)
Formerly: Senior Fellow (HUDCO-HSMI), Visiting Faculty
(SPA, TVB SHS), Consultant (DfID, IHSP, Nuffic,
UNICEF, etc)
Currently: Independent researcher / writer and
consultant to citizens' groups synergising on Master
Plan Implementation Support Group

cc:
[in continuation of previous correspondence, etc, for
information and apropos 4(c) and 5 above]
* Secretary (AK), Election Commission of India

[for information in continuation of representations by
/ on behalf of Pushta citizens about violations of
law, policy, court orders and EC directive in Pushta
clearance, with request for response thereto]
* Secretary, MoUD
* VC, DDA
* Chief Secretary, GNCTD
* Commissioner, MCD

[for information, in continuation of representations
apropos DDA scam / SPA scam / funded NGOs]
* Chairperson, NHRC (w.r.t letters re case No.1067 and
1108/30/2000-01, last of 20.12.03)
* CVC (w.r.t letters re hawker policy initiatives
jeopardizing statutory solutions, last on 19.02.04)
* Under Secretary (P), President’s Secretariat (w.r.t.
your No.P1/B-221312 of 11.02.04)
* Dy Secy, LS Secretariat / Parliamentary Standing
Committee on Urban Development
* JD-AC-HQ, CBI

 


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