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As demolition looms, slum dwellers near Sunder Nursery knock on high court’s door - Times of India
New Delhi: Slum dwellers residing next to Sunder Nursery on Monday moved the Delhi high court challenging a proposed demolition by authorities.
The residents urged the high court to intervene, saying that they were covered under the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board Act, 2010, and eligible for alternative housing before demolition.
Justice Jasmeet Singh, during the hearing, underlined that the court will not allow any encroachment on public land.
Filed through advocate Vrinda Bhandari, the plea said that the residents live in and around Sunder Nursery, near Delhi Public School, Mathura Road.
“Critically, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, primarily responsible for improving the quality of the life of slums and JJ Dwellers in Delhi, has already notified the land as a jhuggi jhopri basti. Thus, the applicants and other residents similarly situated are covered under the DUSIB Act and entitled to all protection conferred therein. Consequently, their jhuggi jhopris cannot be demolished, without providing them alternative housing,” the counsel for the residents said.
The affected people also highlighted the demolition threats by the authorities “in light of the upcoming severe winter months”. They said the demolition, “with relentless onslaught of hazardous air quality in the NCT of Delhi, will result in a serious humanitarian crisis.” The plea said the residents would be forced to live in the open, facing adverse weather conditions and perilous air quality in peak winter.
Such a demolition without providing in situ upgradation/rehabilitation endangers the lives of children and senior citizens, who are the most vulnerable. Demolishing slum settlements amid such hazardous conditions would leave the applicants and other displaced persons of the DPS Mathura Road JJ Basti, homeless, they contended.
The high court has posted the matter for hearing on Tuesday when it will hear the authorities and the petitioners.
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