Rumour mills stall DDA in Kathputli Colony

The anti-rehabilitation campaign at Kathputli Colony is mired with misinformation and inflammatory rhetoric. Even though there are no public protests, the Delhi Development Authority is finding it increasingly difficult to convince people to shifting into the transit camp.

Puppeteer’s Kathputli Colony is the first in-situ rehabilitation project of the DDA. “People are slowly turning up. Forty-four 44 families have signed up here,” said an official who was at a registration desk. “Some motivated groups are preventing people from shifting,” he added.

There are four such registration desks set up by the agency. More than 100 families had signed the tri-party agreement with the DDA and a private developer by Saturday.

After spending two years in the transit camp, these families will return to the slum that will give way to multi-storey buildings. “We have arranged tempos to ferry families to the transition camp at Anand Parbat. Already 30 to 35 families have shifted,” said the official.

“Panic was triggered when people saw four bulldozers in the vicinity and a heavy police presence in the morning,” said NGO worker Bhagwati who works with performers and artists of the slum. It could not be independently confirmed if there were bulldozers about.

There is also a story babout CCTV cameras doing the rounds. Billu Bhatt, 45, said the cameras are installed in the temporary shelters at Anand Parbat. He fears that the DDA wants to monitor all their activities. Others said there are signboards that say: “Rs 50 fine for littering”.

“We are providing them counselling. There are some apprehensions,” said DDA spokeswoman Neemo Dhar, claiming that rumours are rife at Kathpuli Colony.

Bhatt also said 2,800 families are enlisted with the DDA for relocation. “Many have extended families which are counted as one family. How can they live in a two-room flat? Their website show even less – only 2,641 families,” Bhatt said.

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