New Delhi, January 19: The Delhi High Court on 18th January reprimanded Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and Raheja Developers Limited for the irresponsible way in which the Kathputli Colony demolition was carried out.
It was during the hearing of a PIL filed against the demolition that the court noted that an irreparable loss had been caused to the students of class X and XII, who were forced to move to transit camps along with their families following the demolition.
The bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar warned the authorities of stringent action if in the future they were to conduct demolition drives at a crucial time when students’ exams are approaching. It further directed the AAP government and its transport department to ensure availability of facilities, including transportation to these children and asked it to take immediate steps on the matter.
The Delhi government’s standing counsel Satyakam assured the bench that these problems would be addressed immediately. Responding to the concern raised by the court observers regarding the provision of an adequate and efficient public transportation facility enabling those resettled in Narela to reach their work place on time, it said that a bus facility will be started to take them to Shadipur Depot. It also added that those displaced could access the Public Distribution System by changing their address through online facility.
Home to a large number of puppeteers, magicians, singers and musicians, the Kathputli Colony in West Delhi, spreads over an area of around 14 acres. Despite all resistance against the redevelopment project announced in 2009, DDA evicted the residents of the colony and flattened 400 houses during October – November in 2017.