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Sarojini Nagar Redevelopment: Delhi High Court Asks Delhi Government For Relocation Plan, If Any, on Jhuggi Owners' Plea

Shreya Agarwal
22 March 2021 12:05 PM GMT
Sarojini Nagar Redevelopment: Delhi High Court Asks Delhi Government For Relocation Plan, If Any, on Jhuggi Owners Plea
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Hearing a plea by a civil welfare group on relocation of slum-dwellers of Sarojini Nagar Government Housing Complex upon the area's planned redevelopment project, the Delhi High Court today directed the Land and Development Office under the Delhi Government to treat the petition as a representation and inform the petitioner's counsel of the relocation plan for the slum-dwellers, if...

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Hearing a plea by a civil welfare group on relocation of slum-dwellers of Sarojini Nagar Government Housing Complex upon the area's planned redevelopment project, the Delhi High Court today directed the Land and Development Office under the Delhi Government to treat the petition as a representation and inform the petitioner's counsel of the relocation plan for the slum-dwellers, if any.

The single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba Singh, that had earlier refused to entertain the petition, ultimately issued a notice on the case to the Delhi government, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), the Ministry of Urban Housing and Poverty Alleviation, and the National Building Corporation Ltd amongst others, even as it refused grant any stay on the redevelopment project.

The Delhi Government opposed the petition stating that the dwellers are illegal encroachers and with government apartments also getting demolished there was no reason why the project had to be pushed back due to the slum dwellers, upon which the counsel for the Sarojini Nagar Jhuggi Jhopri Vikas Samiti, Adv. Kamlesh Mishra informed the Court that according to the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) itself under which the redevelopment project was being carried out, it was assigned to be the Land and Development Office's responsibility to ensure relocation and rehabilitation of jhuggi-jhopri clusters, if any were existing, to alternative accommodations.

"Clause 2.6 of the MOU entered into between the Ministry of Urban Development, GOI and NBCC India Ltd. states that the L & D Office shall work out detailed rehabilitation and relocation plan, which may affect the progress work in advance," Mishra said.

The petition states that there has been large scale demolition of buildings and the jhuggis are "lying in between the debris" but no such detailed relocation or rehabilitation plan has been made or atleast implemented yet.

The petition also makes reference to the Delhi Slum and JJ Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy, 2015, which has been laid down by the DUSIB and claims benefits of non-demolition without alternate housing being provided under the said policy. The policy provides that, "JJ Bastis which have come up before 01.01.2006 shall not be removed (as per NCT of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011) without providing them alternate housing. Jhuggis which have come up in such JJ Bastis before 01-01-2015 shall not be demolished without providing alternate housing."

The petitioner was represented by Adv. Kamlesh Kumar Mishra.

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