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Delhi HC denies relief to Kathputli colony residents

The Delhi High Court Thursday declined to stay a redevelopment project at the Kathputli Colony inhabited by puppeteers, singers, magicians and other artisans who have been protesting against their eviction and shifting to a transit camp.

Denying relief to the residents of the slum colony, Justice Hima Kohli asked them to make all efforts to persuade the residents to shift to the transit camp in Anand Parbat.

The Bhule Bisre Kalakar Co-operative Industrial Production Society Limited, the petitioner in the case, was also told by the court that those residents of the slum colony whose names do not feature in the list of people prepared by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for relocation and shifting to transit camps should approach the land authority with their representation.

The DDA also informed the court that the names of households entitled to a flat under the 'In-Situ Slum Rehabilitation Scheme' has been made public and 2,641 residents have been identified who will be rehabilitated to new flats to be built over the colony.

Advocate Rajiv Bansal, appearing for the DDA, told the court that under the proposed plan, eight towers will be built with a capacity of housing 2,800 economically weaker section (EWS) families.

The DDA still has a margin of about 160 flats and would welcome genuine households who have been left out in the survey to get flat allotments, the lawyer said.

Justice Kohli also directed a team of five representatives from the colony to survey the camp March 22, while taking note of the anxiety expressed by the residents over the facilities and basic amenities there.

The court also ordered the team to give suggestions for improvement to the DDA and Raheja Builders - the real estate firm roped in for in-situ development at the colony.

The court was hearing a plea filed by the society seeking stay on any construction activity in the area. The plea said the authorities wrongly assessed the residents at the colony at around 2,600, but the actual number was more than 3,200.