Since the start of work for Delhi Metro’s Phase 3 in 2011, the DMRC has run into various issues involving land acquisition along its new corridors (extensions & new lines). While majority of the issues have been resolved in a timely manner, there are still three contentious places along the new 58.59 km Pink line where the Delhi Metro is yet to acquire land due to the Delhi government’s delay in drafting and approving a new rehabilitation policy for the affected people. These three issues have been discussed by Mangu Singh in his interview with the Indian Express which can be read here: My Take on DMRC MD Mangu Singh’s Interview with Indian Express.
Issue #1 and #2
At both Punjabi Bagh and Mayapuri, roughly 80 meters of the route is covered by slums/jhuggis. As per the government’s rehabilitation policy, the cut-off date determines who can get rehabilitated into a permanent home and who cannot. However, the Delhi government has been exploring a new policy through which even the ones who moved after the cut off date will now be eligible to get rehabilitated. The DMRC is patiently waiting on the policy to get approved and after rehabilitating the affected people, as per Mangu Singh, it would only require 4-5 months to build these two 80 meter stretches.
Punjabi Bagh – The DMRC needs land occupied by slums north of the Najafgarh drain:
Mayapuri – The Delhi Metro needs land along the Ring Road just north of the railway tracks:
The third is issue is at Trilokpuri which involves the rehabilitation of 400 families (primarily Muslim) who are living legally in 3-4 storey structures of Block 15. As per the rehabilitation procedure, first the families have to be rehabilitated into permanent structures and then the demolition would will have to take place. The DMRC had initiated the construction of a new building to rehabilitate 108 families close to blocks 16, 17 and 18, but the local Hindu residents have opposed the move citing that it is the “only green belt” in the neighbourhood.
Mangu Singh has written countless letters to DM Spolia, the Chief Secretary and Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi to get these issues sorted out quickly, but so far no breakthrough has been made.
What’s good is that constructing the metro’s viaduct will not take more than 4-5 months, so if the land is made available right now as I type this, then the Pink line will not face any delays. However, if the new rehabilitation policy does not get approved within the coming months, then the line is definitely heading for a delay. With the number of news article on these issues going up by the day, hopefully the local stakeholders will make a policy decision soon. Fingers crossed.
For more updates on Delhi’s metro, check out the Delhi section of The Metro Rail Guy!