In a landmark ruling against the plea of a resident welfare association (RWA) seeking restraint over Delhi Development Authority (DDA) demolition drive, the Delhi High Court held that “unauthorized colonies are borne out of greed”, and therefore are not entitled to protection.
“This court would like to emphasise the distinction between an unauthorised and jhuggi jhopri cluster. While jhuggi jhopri clusters are normally born out of need and necessity for housing of the poor and under privileged, unauthorised colonies are normally born out of greed with intent to secure unmerited benefits,” Justice Manmohan observed.
The court also held that “who have cut these unauthorised colonies have neither paid full development charges to the civic authorities nor provided proper civic facilities like roads, sewerage, drainage, water and electricity and as a consequence, diseases like malaria, diarrhea and tuberculosis are common in Delhi. Legalising of such colonies in the past has not only emboldened the purchasers of acquired land and rank encroachers but has created manifold problems of environmental degradation, traffic bottlenecks etc.”
The ruling was in direct agreement with the DDA’s argument claiming that since the petitioner’s colony was on the government acquired land, the authority could make use of the space for construction of any public project.