Delhi HC directs NGO to vacate occupied public land
The Delhi High Court has directed an NGO to vacate a Basti Vikas Kendra that was constructed on public land in east Delhi.
New Delhi, May 13,2023: The Delhi High Court has directed an NGO to vacate a Basti Vikas Kendra that was constructed on public land in east Delhi.
The Kendra is required by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for the construction of the elevated Delhi-Dehradun Expressway.
In an order, Justice Prathiba M. Singh instructed NGO Asha Community Health Development Society to vacate the Kendra and remove all of its belongings by May 14.
“After this, the NHAI will be free to carry out its demolition or construction activity in the area from May 15,” the court noted.
According to the NGO’s petition, bulldozers had arrived at the BVK premises in the Gandhi Nagar area on April 27 for demolition without any prior notice.
The petitioner claims that the premises were allotted to them by Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) to run the BVK, and therefore, the demolition cannot be carried out without notice.
The petition also requested either a stay on the demolition or an alternate site for the NGO.
The court in its order, also said that considering the circumstances, the court is not inclined to grant a stay on the construction of the elevated corridor and demolition of the BVK.
Counsel for the DUSIB argued that the NHAI is responsible for the demolition due to the construction of the Delhi-Dehradun Expressway, which is a national infrastructure project.
“The BVK is located on government land, and the petitioner cannot claim any rights over it,” counsel said.
Counsel also mentioned that the area already has two other mohalla clinics and one Delhi government dispensary to serve local residents, so the demolition would not affect medical facilities.
The NHAI’s lawyer pointed out that the conditions of the BVK’s allotment make it clear that the petitioner organisation has no claim on the land and is not entitled to compensation.
“The area was taken over by NHAI by paying over Rs 3 crore to the DDA, and it is being used for the construction of the elevated corridor as part of the Bharat Mala Project,” said the lawyer.
The lawyer also stated that once the construction is complete, the NHAI plans to reconstruct the BVK according to existing specifications, and the petitioner can run it if they have a proper agreement with DUSIB.
A meeting is set to take place between the DUSIB, NHAI, and Delhi Development Authority/Railways officials to establish a schedule for the reconstruction of the BVK once the work on the elevated corridor is complete.