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DDA turns down DMRC’s request for more land
Hindustan Times  |  January 16, 2019

Soumya Pillai New Delhi

The 1.37-km Metro link between Trilokpuri and Mayur Vihar Pocket-I has hit a roadblock with the Delhi land authority telling the Metro agency during a high-level meeting that they will not sanction extra land for the project.


As part of the project, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was to resettle residents of 108 plots affected by the construction work to land close to the Trilokpuri Metro station. However, with the DMRC requiring more land to accommodate all residents, it would eat into road running below the yet-to-be-constructed link.


The road, as per the Master Plan, is currently 30 meters wide. The DMRC’s request would reduce it by 0.5 meters.


“We have told DMRC that the right of way (ROW) cannot be reduced, especially for a resettlement project, which can be done anywhere else. The road already has a very high traffic volume and it is likely to increase in the future. While Metro is important for providing better transportation, a good road network is equally essential,” said Tarun Kapoor, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) vice-chairperson, on Monday.


If the current ROW is maintained, only 66 residential units can be built on the land. This will leave out some families, the total which is not yet known. “...The DMRC has written to DDA and the Public Works Department (PWD) mentioning that if the ROW is reduced to 25.5 metres, it would be possible to construct the remaining units as well,” the read a DMRC statement.


Sources from Metro said that the agency will not be in a position to go-ahead with construction work on the link unless the DDA grants permission to use a section of the road.


A study by the CRRI—to assess if the proposed road length will be enough to accommodate the traffic volume on the stretch—had given a thumbs up to the proposal. “DMRC also appointed Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) to conduct a study, which also found that it was possible to convert the road to six lanes with the reduced ROW (25.5 metres),” read the DMRC statement.


However, the study was not enough to convince the DDA.


DDA officials said that in the meeting between the two agencies, the DDA had put the onus on DMRC to sort out the issue with the dislocated residents. Senior functionaries, on the condition of anonymity, said that suggestions of providing higher compensations to the remaining residents to fund their own resettlements were also floated in meetings with the Metro.


The section, which has been stuck in a land acquisition and rehabilitation tussle between the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and the DDA, is an important connection of Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar corridor. At present, the section is running in two parts—from Majlis Park to Mayur Vihar pocket-I, and Trilokpuri to Shiv Vihar—because of a break in continuity.


The DMRC had to resettle the residents of 108 plots of Block-15 in Trilokpuri, who have been affected by the new Metro section. The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) had allotted three land pockets (A1, A2 and A3) in front of Block-15 in 2014, but the resettlement was stuck in multiple legal battles with the residents, which have all been settled now.