Letter of 13.04.04 to CEC
Sub:
Yamuna Pushta / slum clearance – request for
reconsideration
Ref:        
Previous correspondence, especially letter of 20.03.04
and copies of Police complaints of 17.03.04 and
04.04.04 and requests of 06.04.04 to Secretary MoUD,
and yesterday’s incident of fire in Vijayghat stretch
of Pushta

Sir,
There is a prima-facie scam in slum clearance and
resettlement underway in Delhi, with implications for
Lok Sabha polls. The central issue is that there are
only 19000 available resettlement plots (as per UoI
affidavit of 09.02.04) and on account of an SLP
sub-judice in Supreme Court development of more is not
open to government. Resettlement of not only 75000
Pushta families but also others is, therefore, an
impossibility that has spawned illegal processes for
evicting most without regard to their housing rights
under law as well as for stretching the supply with
illegal cancellations of earlier allotments.
Consequent massive shifts of electors have
implications for polls as follows:

(1)        For those resettled there is no clarity, since EC
decision to freeze voter lists, as to where they will
vote, not even in case of those who responded to ERO
Notice pasted in debris of Gautampuri 2 or those
issued form-6 in Gautampuri-1, Koyla Plot, Kanchan
Puri and Power House..

(2)        For others, including those evicted without
resettlement and those whose resettlement allotments
were cancelled, no information was provided about
where they will vote.

(3)        Hasty demolitions have led to loss of documents,
such as the Voter ID that I reported in
above-mentioned complaint of 04.04.04, and several
voters will be unable to vote on this account.

(4)        Incidents of fire in Kanchanpuri on 24.03.04 and
in Vijayghat Pushta on 12.04.04 in the course of
unlawful evictions, irrespective of what precipitated
them, have similarly led to loss of documents.

(5)        The unlawful processes of eviction, resettlement
and cancellation have led to shifts of electors over
large distances, which will impair voting even by
those otherwise able and inclined to vote.

(6)        The unlawful processes have done nothing to
eliminate ‘jhuggi dadas’ in resettlement and those not
resettled have disappeared into similar rackets in
slums and unauthorised colonies, making for fresh
phenomena of ‘bonded voters’ open to petty favours of
free transport, etc.

(7)        All round indifference to the situation and to
requests for hearing (merely about violations of law
and policy and disregard of directions of Court and
Commission), has had an extremely demoralising effect.
That Union Tourism Minister’s observation to EC that
phenomenon of slums is not conducive to free and fair
polls has attracted no criticism is especially
disheartening

As a planner, I emphatically reiterate that the
phenomenon of slums is entirely the result of failure
to develop mandatory EWS housing as per law to solve
Delhi’s slum problem and that the evictions underway,
far from serving any urgent lawful purpose, are driven
by unlawful schemes jeopardizing the future of the
city to benefit realtors, very likely contributing to
election funds, etc. The damage caused by Gujrat
earthquake of 2000, it may be recalled, was attributed
to unlawful development similarly promoted by
successive governments. This is undoubtedly not
conducive, besides to wellbeing of cities, to free and
fair polls and the Pushta case is also undermining
public confidence in democracy. In view of the above,
I request EC to reconsider Yamuna Pushta.

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:
* Commissioner, Delhi Police (with request for reports
on above-mentioned complaints and also of assessment
of causal relation between items 2, 3 in one of
04.04.04 and incident of 12.04.04)
* Secretary, MoUD (with request for response to
representations since 07.03.03 seeking lawful
clearance of all riverbed encroachments pursuant to
order of 03.03.03 and requests of 06.04.04).
* For information, in continuation of copy of
above-mentioned complaint of 04.04.04:
- Chairperson, NHRC
- CVC
- Under Secretary (P), President’s Secretariat
- Dy Secy, LS Secretariat
- JD-AC-HQ, CBI


----------------
Letters referred

Letter of 20.03.04 to CEC
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mpisgmedia/message/53

Police Complaint of 17.03.04
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mpisgmedia/message/46

Police Complaint of 04.04.04
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mpisgmedia/message/67

Letter of 06.04.04 to Secretary MoUD
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mpisgmedia/message/68

 

 

 

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