Delhi college refuses to part with land for Metro

April 14th, 2008 - 8:16 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) The Dayal Singh College of Delhi University is up in arms against Delhi Metro that is trying to “take away” a portion of its land meant for a girl’s hostel and a sports ground. “The Delhi Metro has resorted to high handedness. They are hell-bent on taking our land meant for developing college infrastructure. But we will not allow them to do so, as our protest is for a larger cause,” said Sachin N., president of the Dayal Singh College Teachers Association.

“After the Supreme Court verdict (last week) on reservation for other backward classes (OBCs), we are going to construct a girls’ hostel, additional classrooms and laboratories. If Metro takes our land, it will be impossible to provide even minimum infrastructure to our students,” Sachin told IANS Monday.

He said the Delhi Metro is trying to “grab nearly 10,000 square metres of our college land for construction of a Metro station”.

Sachin, who teaches English literature, said the college, which was originally established in Lahore and shifted out to New Delhi after the Partition, had played a role in India’s freedom movement.

“We are in Lodi Road for nearly 50 years and Delhi Metro cannot take away the land of an academic institution that imparts education to over 5,000 students,” Sachin said.

“We are not against Metro, but we cannot give our land,” he asserted.

“In May 2007, Metro wrote a letter to us about the land but we informed them about our concerns. We have even given a memorandum to Delhi Metro but nothing has yielded result,” he added.

The professor said Delhi Metro recently sent top police officials to the college to pursuade authorities to give up the land.

In spite of repeated attempts, Delhi Metro officials could not be reached for their comment on the issue. The recent Delhi Metro construction at Lodi Road is part of its Phase-II work, which aims to complete a 120-km long network before 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The college authorities asked why was Delhi Metro adamant on this land when it could build the station on an alternative site.

“Delhi Metro is undemocratic and unreasonable with the Dayal Singh College as it never consulted the college before drawing up the plans. The college and Delhi University feel that our democratic rights are trampled upon with impunity by an aggressive and callous development paradigm,” said a college functionary.

“We are ready to move the court against Delhi Metro,” said the functionary.

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