Residents seek encroachment-free Vasant Kunj

For nearly a decade, residents of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) flats in Vasant Kunj’s Sector A (pockets B and C) have been struggling to get a well-maintained, encroachment-free road to their neighbourhood.

The entry to the main road leading to their housing complex from Abdul Gaffar Khan Marg is clogged due to encroachments, mainly by commercial establishments. The local residents’ welfare association has written to the DDA to clear the passage for unhindered movement of
vehicles.

According to residents, this road is the only viable access to the housing complex with 200-odd flats. The 50-100-metre stretch has shops, mostly related to car repair, that take up road space, say residents, reducing the 60-foot road by half.

Sushil Aggarwal, general secretary, All Residents’ Welfare Association, said, “The road is encroached by commercial buildings blocking the planned public access to our colony. These shops have cars parked in front and mechanics repair vehicles on the road. This leaves little space for vehicles to enter the colony. It often results in traffic jams.”

Aggarwal said DDA recently acknowledged that maintenance of the road was its responsibility and began to construct storm water drains, pavements and install streetlights. But it is unable to do any work on this stretch.

Mehrauli MLA Naresh Yadav said he had raised the matter with DDA and in the Delhi Assembly. “The encroachments are a big problem. I have taken up the matter with DDA. It is a 60-foot road and its maintenance should be with Delhi government’s public works department. We are trying to get the road transferred so that we can take up its repair and maintenance,” said Yadav.

Kamini Gupta, a resident, said, “It is difficult to even pick up children from the bus stop on the main road as there is a perpetual jam at the entrance to the colony because of encroachments by mechanics and motor market vendors. A 60-foot road has been reduced to barely 15-foot at this point. Construction of the road has been abandoned midway because of the commercial encroachments.”

Authority officials admitted they have been unable to complete work because of the shops. They said while they are responsible for the road leading to the society, there is no clarity on the ownership of the land on where the shops have been constructed.

“We tried to take action against the shops last year but they got a stay order from court. We have written to our revenue department to find out if the khasra number cited by them belongs to them or is with DDA. Once we get clarity on the ownership of the land, we will take action,” said a senior DDA official in charge of the area.

Residents say these shops are also adding to pollution. “Some of these shops were sealed by the Special Task Force but these mechanics have set up counters in front of the sealed shops. Authorities don’t act despite complaints,” Aggarwal said.

First Published:
May 24, 2019 01:28 IST

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