Government told to give alternate land to Dwarka village poor

December 8th, 2008 - 9:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday directed the government to give alternate plots within eight weeks to villagers whose lands in the Dwarka subcity in the capital were acquired for a housing project.The people of Village Kochanpur in Dwarka, who were mainly Dalits and very poor, had got the land in 1975 under the 20-Point Programme. However, they stood to lose the lands after the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) decided to acquire these as part of developing Dwarka into a mega subcity.

More than 30 Dalit petitioners from Kochanpur village approached the court.

A division bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Manmohan Singh directed the government not to uproot the villagers till they were given alternate land.

The court said that since the DDA’s move to acquire all the land in Dwarka was part of a development plan for larger and more comprehensive schemes, larger tracts of land were required and to leave out small tracts in between as undeveloped would prove counterproductive.

In 2000, the DDA framed a housing project and much of the land was placed at its disposal by the government. In December that year, the government issued a notification and began acquiring land in Kochanpur village.

The petitioners challenged the government decision to acquire their lands and said when the Dalits were rehabilitated there by the government it defied common sense that they should be uprooted again for development of residential plots for others.

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