Illegal constructions have put severe pressure on the limited infrastructure and resources of Delhi, including water, the Delhi High Court said today. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Pratibha M Singh said "it is time to formulate a policy" to enable the people of the city to "live in peace". "Delhi is bound by boundaries, but the impact of illegal construction, growth in population and other developments on the limited land have given rise to disease and problems like dengue and chikungunya in the city," the bench observed. "Because of this a huge pressure is now on the existing infrastructure and resources, like water," it said. The bench said there was a policy in place with regard to the development of the national capital region. It said that the National Capital Region Planning Board Act provides for evolving harmonised policies for the control of land-uss and development of infrastructure in the national capital, so as to avoid any haphazard development of that region. The bench asked the Centre work in consultation with the state government "before things go out of control". The court's observation came during hearing of a plea by an NGO which, through its counsel Kamlesh Kumar Mishra, has moved court against removal of a night shelter situated in Amir Khusro Park bordered by Lala Lajpat Rai Marg and Lodhi Road. The NGO said the shelter housed 50-60 children and around 60 women, who were left homeless after the demolition carried out by the authorities in pursuance to a high court order. The court, however, refused to stay the demolition and said, "we can not direct rebuilding of the night shelter without hearing the opposite parties". It said, "Delhi has now less land left.
Therefore, it is high time now to formulate a policy. We need to work out something permanently". It issued notice to the Centre, Delhi government, DDA and Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board and sought their replies by August 3, the next date of hearing. It, however, directed the authorities to ensure that all the homeless are accommodated in another shelter home situated in the vicinity.
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