The Fall of Kathputli colony at the hands of DDA

Demolition of the Kathputli Colony. Source: The Hindu

DELHI: Home to puppeteers, magicians, acrobats, folk singers and dancers, Kathputli colony has been producing numerous world class artists, who have been nationally and internationally known for their talent. The colony housing close to 3,500 families is a mine where one can discover the rustic charm of traditional art forms.

On October 30, the walls of the 70 year old colony came crumbling down. Police personnel in heavy gear; water cannon and tear gas at the ready, lathi-charged the occupants out of their homes.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Monday carried out a demolition drive at the Kathputli Colony situated in west Delhi, resulting in clashes among the authorities, activists and the locals. Nine police officers and two locals were injured, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (central) Mandeep Randhawa. However, no casualties were reported.

The DDA on October 25 had issued notices to the residents asking them to vacate the colony. The DDA said that the demolition started before noon. The authorities had also made appropriate arrangements which would ensure that no resident was left homeless, it said.

J.P. Aggarwal, principal commissioner (housing) of the DDA said, “Around 1,400 out of 2,800 families have already moved to the transit camp. The last drive took place between December and May this year. The latest drive seeks to send the remaining 1,400 to the camp and another 492 families to Narela.”

The DDA further said that over 400 families had volunteered to shift out of colony.

Further, Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs has asked the DDA to expedite verification of the claims of 771 applicants, who were earlier rejected for a house under the re-development of the colony.

Source: The Hindu