Sahib Singh launches `Dilli Bachao Yatra'

Staff Reporter

`Delhi Government's anti-people policies have led to demolitions, price-rise, corruption, water and electricity problems'

Yatra to be flagged off from Avantika in Rohini It would cover Keshavpuram, Bawana areas in the first phase `Delhi Govt. did nothing to save the livelihood of 28-lakh residents who have shops in their homes'

NEW DELHI: Bharatiya Janata Party vice-president and former Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma on Thursday announced the launch of a weeklong "Dilli Bachao Jansangharsh Yatra" across Outer Delhi to protest against the Delhi Government's "anti-people" policies which have led to demolitions, price-rise, corruption and water and electricity problems in the Capital.

Stating that the yatra would be flagged off from Avantika in Rohini and cover the Keshavpuram and Bawana areas in the first phase, Mr. Verma said it would seek to highlight the incompetence of the Congress regime in dealing with various issues.

Claiming that 70 per cent of Delhi was being threatened by demolitions, he said the Delhi Government was to be blamed for the present crisis: it did nothing to save the livelihood of 28-lakh residents who have shops in their homes.

Also, the Sheila Dikshit Government did nothing to regularise 1,600 unauthorised colonies despite the National Democratic Alliance Government deciding in favour of their regularisation in February 2004.

With bulldozers also threatening to enter 364 villages, he said there was an urgent need to implement the Master Plan for Delhi-2021which has made some concessions and relaxations for the residents.

"Also the Malhotra Committee Report needs to be adopted by the Government," Mr Verma said, adding that while hopes of solution to the problem of demolition had been raised with the appointment of the Member of Parliament from New Delhi, Ajay Maken, as Union Minister of State for Urban Development, even he had made statements which call for action as per law.

`Delaying tactics'

Mr. Verma also wondered aloud why a three-month time-frame had been given to the Tejinder Khanna Committee to give its report.

"There are Union Cabinet decisions, draft Master Plan and court orders before us. We just need to legislate the matter now when Parliament is in session. But instead the Government is adopting delaying tactics while providing no relief to the residents. If all the unauthorised constructions are regularised, then where will be the problem of courts?"

The BJP leader said his agitation would also focus on the increase in prices of essential commodities, the Rs. 12,500-crore scam in power privatisation, the grant of private contracts by Delhi Jal Board despite Ms. Dikshit claiming that it was not being privatised, the failure of the Rs. 840-crore Sonia Vihar water treatment plant to operate even 30 months after its construction, and the issues of corruption in the smart cards and power reforms as highlighted by the Public Accounts Committee of Delhi Assembly chaired by senior Congress MLA S. C. Vats.