The premises of non-government organisation Prayas (People Representation for Advancement of Youth And Society) were on Monday again targeted by the Delhi Development Authority for demolition at the Vardhman Crown Mall in Dwarka Sector 19.

While the exercise was ostensibly aimed at removing unauthorised constructions, the NGO alleged that the demolition squad only demolished a shed under which it has planted some plants and which is used for teaching underprivileged children working in the mall and nearby stalls.

“The NGO has put up a shed to provide shade to plants on the terrace and also to the children working in the mall and nearby stalls who are persuaded by the NGO to come there for learning. The main area of work for the NGO has been electoral reforms for which it has already held two meetings with the Election Commission along with social reformer Anna Hazare  and has held seminars on the issue,” said its founder Yashwant Prakash.

A retired Commander, Mr. Prakash alleged that the DDA had already carried out demolition of a major part of the shed on August 23 and on Monday it again started cutting the few pipes holding the remaining part of the shed.

“Surprisingly the officials were not able to see the iron bridge over the corridor above and adjacent to the shed put up by the builder to give access to the roof tops, nor were they able to see the other terraces that were fully covered, complete with multiple ACs and rented for hefty sums,” he said.

Mr. Prakash said the biggest terrace in the building – measuring 3,600 square feet – has been converted into a plush office and rented out to a multinational company. But since it belongs to an influential property dealer, it is not touched, he claimed. The NGO claimed that no notice was given to it by the DDA. As per the DDA, it said, since the terrace cannot be sold, so they do not recognise any owner and therefore a notice was served to the builder. However, in his case, Mr. Prakash said the terrace has been sold by the builder through a written agreement and the builder has also been charging ground rent through a draft made in the name of DDA for the terrace.

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