Kejriwal writes to Jung over demolition drive

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written a letter to Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung, terming as “unconstitutional” his order to demolish shanties in the capital.

Kejrwal said the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) demolished 40 shanties in south Delhi’s Mehrauli area on August 26 on the order of Jung, who is the chairman of the land-owning agency.

“Through this letter, I want to tell you that on one hand, these jhuggis were demolished in violation of the Constitution, and on the other, to make the poor of this country homeless is against humanity,” Kejriwal wrote.

In the three-page letter in Hindi dated August 29, the chief minister invoked a law to drive his point home.

“In 2014, parliament enacted a law. Its name was Delhi Special Provision Act 2014. According to this law, a structure which came up before January 1, 2006 cannot be demolished,” the letter said.

“There is also a provision in this law that demolition can be carried out in case there is encroachment upon roads or the government urgently needs land for its projects,” it added.

“Under the law, demolition can only be carried out if the concerned agency has made arrangements of rehabilitation. On August 26, the DDA demolished shanties of people without arrangements of their rehabilitation,” Kejriwal said.

The chief minster said he was in the know that more demolitions were to take place.