Weeks after the Delhi High Court issued directions to the North Municipal Corporation to remove extension and encroachments by five religious structures on the Chandni Chowk Road, the North corporation has filed an affidavit stating that it does not have the authority to take action regarding the road.
“Vide order dated 10.01.2012 issued by the principal secretary (UD) GNCTD, the roads having Right of Way (ROW) of 60 feet and above stand vested in the Government of NCT of Delhi,” says the affidavit filed through counsel Madhu Tewatia.
“In view of the said orders of the GNCTD, directions ought to be issued to the GNCTD and the PWD for removal of the encroachments,” it says.
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Surprisingly, the affidavit has been submitted in a PIL filed by NGO Manushi in 2007, which relates to the redevelopment plan for the Chandni Chowk area. The court had issued various directions to the civic agencies in 2012 to decongest the area and remove encroachments. Several hearing dates have also passed since then.
On April 30, the court had given the NMCD one month to remove all encroachments from the area and asked the government to set up non motor vehicles lanes.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the NGO’s counsel Indira Unninayar said that the MCD “regularly demolishes jhuggis and stalls put up on the main roads”.
“We will bring this issue up before the court that the MCDs have never taken this stand in cases where the jhuggis and stalls of the poor have to be demolished,” said Unninayar.