Encroachments on roads
Photo: Samrat Roy
SC stays construction in Delhi’s illegal colonies

Posted: Apr 24, 2018     By Praveen Dwivedi

The Supreme Court today directed immediate stay on all construction activities in unauthorised colonies in the national capital. The apex court has also ordered a Central government-appointed special task force to remove encroachment from public roads and pavements within a deadline of two weeks.

It also refused to vacate its stay on proposed amendments to the city’s Master Plan 2021. The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had appealed the court to allow amendments in the master plan for 2021 to allow commercial land use in residential areas.

The court had, on April 2, reprimanded the Central government and other authorities over their inability to stop unauthorised construction in the national capital, and had asked the authorities to furnish justification on laws protecting such construction.

It said:  “On the one hand, you have authorised colonies that follow rules and bylaws, and on the other, you have unauthorised colonies that do not follow rules and bylaws. Unauthorised colonies can’t be placed in a better position than authorised colonies ... we direct that construction should stop in unauthorised colonies till they follow bylaws.”

Today’s judgment certainly revives the hope of residents to see their city — and pavements — freed of encroachments.

The RWAs in Delhi have expressed their happiness at the judgment.

Ashutosh Dikshit, general secretary of United Residents Joint Action, popularly known as URJA, while talking to City Spidey said, “We welcome the order. The SC has had to step in to cut through the utter mess created by Delhi's politicians and officialdom. Now that the SC has clearly read out the law to the government, we hope that the hands of the officers are strengthened enough to act without delay and excuses. We look forward to the immediate creation of the task force as ordered to remove encroachment from roads and footpaths.”

Pawan Vasundev, president of federation of co-operative group housing societies in East Delhi’s Mayur Vihar Extension, said, “Over the last 10 years we have been complaining about illegal encroachment on pavements outside our societies. We approached everybody — the local police, civic authorities, the DDA and political representatives, including MLAs and MPs of the area — but our grievances were not heard. I believe things will move now.”

TAGS: Supreme Court / Master Plan 2021 / Delhi Development Authority / DDA / Encroachment / Unauthorised Colonies / URJA / United Residents Joint Action / RWAs