Plan to Demolish Houses in North Delhi Stayed but Uncertainty Remains

The Delhi government’s plan of evicting thousands of people without any rehabilitation measures after a court order was eventually stayed by the High Court giving a temporary relief to the residents. Preparations were underway and notices were served to demolish thousands of houses in Jharoda located in North Delhi on 20th November. 

A team of AICCTU and CPI(ML) talked to the local residents regarding this. AICCTU Delhi Secretary Comrade Surya Prakash, Comrade Munna Yadav, Comrade Shweta Raj from CPI(ML), Comrade Dilip, Rajeev Pandit from Building Workers Union and Advocate Rohit from lawyer organisation AILAJ were part of this team.

A large number of people, mostly working population, settled in Khasra number 28 and 29 of Jharoda. Out of which some people are construction workers, work as gardeners, many people work as helpers in shops, some are drivers and sell vegetables and tea. Many women are supporting their families by working as domestic workers. These people have been living here for the last 40 years. All the residents here have Pucca houses, having put their entire life's savings invested in them.

Jharoda resident Bhuneshwar Thakur said that he has been living here for the last 35 years and built a house here by adding every penny. Now suddenly he has been given a notice to demolish the same house on 20th November. Electricity and water connections will also be disconnected on 19th November. 

After talking to Aarti, a local resident here, it came to light that till now no MLA or MP has even come to talk to them regarding this matter. The police were not allowing the residents to even gather and discuss in the locality. People are being threatened continuously.

Elderly woman Shanti Devi raged saying, we have been living here since there was nothing here. I collected every single rupee by washing utensils and built this house. Now the government is suddenly demolishing our house. Tell me where we should go in such a situation? These people form the government with our votes and now they are bringing us on the streets.

Construction worker Premchand said that if the government is stopping construction work in Delhi in the name of pollution, then how justified is it to demolish houses at such a time? In this city, we build homes for everyone. But the roof over the heads of our children is being snatched away. The local residents there also shared their documents for electricity, ration, and house.

The order to demolish about 5000 houses in Jharoda was issued by the Land and Building Department, Delhi Government. The MLAs and MPs here are silent on this issue. When local residents of Jharoda protested against this order on Burari Highway, they were repressed and threatened by the police. 

The local residents successfully appealed in the High Court demanding a stay on this order. Earlier, the houses of the common people of Delhi were demolished by bulldozers and they were made homeless in South Delhi, in several areas including Mehrauli, Tughlabad, Kharak village, Bela State.