New Delhi, Aam Aadmi Party leader Raghav Chadha on Friday said that the Delhi government has written to the Centre to urge it not to raze shanties in slums along the railway tracks in the national capital without first rehabilitating the residents.
At a press conference, Chadha said that the Delhi government had written a letter on September 10 to the Indian Railways that removing people from a place without rehabilitation is “illegal and unconstitutional and we will not let it happen”.
The party spokesperson added: “We told them that if they cannot give houses to the slum dwellers, the Delhi government will do that. The city government has 45,857 houses to keep them. The BJP cannot take away the roof over their heads.”
“In the letter, we have also declared that the notices pasted on the slum houses for razing them are illegal,” the AAP leader said.
Chadha quoted an affidavit submitted by the Railways in the Supreme Court on August 18 in which it claimed that the “railway tracks are unhygienic due to the people living in slums along the rail routes and that they have been trying to raze them but due to the Delhi government, are not able to do so.”
“This is the same BJP which had sought votes from these inhabitants during the elections. After a few months of elections, on August 18, they submitted the affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that they want to raze them, and AAP is not letting us do it,” said the AAP leader.
“It clearly shows the BJP’s mindset. Till the time Arvind Kejriwal is alive, we will not let any jhuggi-jhopri be razed. I want to tell the BJP that pasting of the demolition notices without rehabilitating the affected and threatening them with demolition is illegal and inhumane. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will not let this happen,” added Chadha.
The Supreme Court has ordered the removal of 48,000 shanties built along the 140-km-long railway tracks around Delhi within three months. A three-judge bench led by Justice Arun Mishra (since retired) had pointed out that they were encroachments within the safety zones of railways.