The residents of Mayur Vihar in New Delhi are protesting the Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) proposal to demolish 108 of its staff quarters and erect multi-storeyed buildings as they fear this will put a huge strain on the existing infrastructure of the locality.
The DDA has launched a Redevelopment of Group Housing Areas scheme as per the Delhi Master Plan 2021, for which it has chosen Pocket III of Mayur Vihar Phase I for the pilot project. Currently, the area has 504 apartments in three-storey buildings in categories such as HIG, MIG and LIG, accommodating around 2,200 residents. Of these 504, 108 will be demolished. The other areas where this scheme will be launched are Rajendra Nagar and Safdarjang Development Area.
According to the plan, the two lower floors of the buildings will be converted into commercial shops or offices, while the upper floors will be used as residential flats. However, residents complain that the proposed construction will lead to severe ecological imbalance. They have given a representation to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, requesting an appointment with him to communicate their objection. A massive signature campaign has also been launched to mobilise public opinion against the move.
“The flats were built in the 1980s as a part of the Trilokpuri Residential Scheme. While some houses were retained by the DDA as staff quarters, the others were sold. Now the DDA wants to demolish 108 units, which will also result in the cutting down of 330 trees. A nearby shopping centre, the Central Park and two small parks in the colony will also be covered by the DDA’s fresh scheme,” said O.M. Agarwal, secretary of Mayur Vihar (Phase I) Pocket III Apartment Owners’ Association. According to residents, the DDA should build the new flats in a new area and should not demolish the existing structure, as this will have severe implications. The front green belt has already been taken over by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for the construction of a metro station of the new Shiv Vihar-Mukundpur line, for which work is going on in full swing. The Central Park is the heart and lung of the colony, which the residents say “can neither be taken over nor divided for the sake of redevelopment”. A resident, P.D. Kumar said that after the construction of multi-storeyed buildings, there will be heavy pressure on the civic services of the colony.