The Delhi High Court on Monday asked social workers from three NGOs to identify the jhuggis, or slum dwellings, of Kathputli Colony residents who are not eligible to be relocated once their homes are demolished, The Indian Express reported.
The court’s direction comes after the counsel for the residents told the bench that the Delhi Development Authority was planning to demolish jhuggis of people who were declared ineligible, despite a court order on November 1 that granted protection.
The court stayed the demolition a day after the Delhi Development Authority razed 500 structures in Kathputli Colony. The order passed by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar aimed at allowing people eligible to move into designated relocation sites to do so, while giving time to those found ineligible to file appeals. The order said such people will not be “physically removed from the demolished premises for two weeks”.
On Monday, after the residents filed their plea in court, the Delhi Development Authority’s senior standing counsel Ajay Varma said the agency was “abiding faithfully” by the court’s directions, according to the The Indian Express.
The bench then said, “Given the rival contention of parties, we deem it appropriate that the position on the ground needs to be evaluated.”
It asked the three social workers helping the residents file appeals – Aravind Unni of Indo-Global Social Service Society, Himshi Singh of National Alliance of People’s Movements and Sunanya Wadhawan, a volunteer with Sanchal Foundation – to visit the colony and point out jhuggis of the ineligible residents. It listed the matter for hearing on November 16.
The residents’ advocate Ali Zia Kabir Choudhary told News18 that they were not against the demolition. “We are against the haphazard process followed by DDA,” Choudhary said. “Residents are not aware if they are being relocated or not.”