The Delhi High Court has directed an NGO named Asha Community Health and Development Society to vacate a Basti Vikas Kendra (BVK) on or before May 14, 2023, for the purpose of construction of the Delhi-Dehradun Expressway.

A Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh held, “… the terms on which the allotment of the land by DUSIB, to the Petitioner is itself unclear as the land is stated to be belonging to DDA/ Railways. … the Court is not inclined to grant stay on the construction of the elevated corridor and demolition of the BVK. … The Petitioner shall vacate the Kendra after taking all its belongings on or before 14th May, 2023.”

The Bench further said that the NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) is free to carry out its demolition or construction activity in the slum area.

Advocate Shivani Khandekar appeared on behalf of the petitioner while Advocates Anuj Chaturvedi and Akshay Kumar Tiwari appeared on behalf of the respondents.

In this case, a petition was filed by the petitioner i.e., the NGO running various Basti Vikas Kendras (BVK) across Delhi in slum areas and Juggi Jhopadi Bastis. The petitioner claimed to have approximately 91 centres across West, East, Central, and South Delhi and it submitted that suddenly on April 27, 2023, bulldozers arrived at the premises of its BVK at Chaderpuri Railway Line at Kailas Nagar for the demolition of the same.

It was the case of the petitioner that no notice was issued prior to the said demolition and that the petitioner was allotted the premises by DUSIB (Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board) for running the BVK. The petitioner also prayed for staying the demolition or in the alternative for allotment of an alternate site or premises in the said slum area.

The High Court after hearing the arguments of the counsel observed, “A meeting shall be held on 10th May, 2023 between the officials of DUSIB, NHAI, DDA/Railway so as to identify the terms and conditions of allotment to the Petitioner and also agree upon the schedule for reconstruction of the BVK, post the completion of the construction of the elevated corridor.”

The Court further noted that the parties shall draw up minutes of the meeting and adhere to the same. Accordingly, the Court disposed of the plea.

Cause Title- Asha Community Health and Development Society v. Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board of NCT of Delhi & Anr. (Neutral Citation: 2023:DHC:3153)

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