House-to-house surveys before CWG

"It's a routine exercise. We keep on doing surveys from time to time and this drive is a part of it. The verification drive is to see whether any new people have settled in any locality," Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat told IANS.

"Of course, the exercise is of utmost importance now as the Commonwealth Games are approaching," he added.

There are 11 competition venues in Delhi, including the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Thyagraj Sports Complex, RK Khanna Sports Complex, Siri Fort Complex, Yamuna Sports Complex, Dr SPM Aquatics Centre and Talkatora Indoor Stadium. Gurgaon and Noida have one venue each for shooting and racing events respectively.

Gurgaon Police last month arrested 13 landlords for failing to get proper tenant verification done. The screening drive is part of Gurgaon Police's security preparations for the Games.

The Games shooting event will be held in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) campus in Gurgaon.

The drive is also being carried out in Noida.

According to Bhagat, the surveys will be carried out even during the Games.
Besides the Games venues, the exercise is also being carried out in localities where Games officials and athletes would stay and busy markets and sites that tourists are expected to visit.

"Police visited our area a month back and verified about the tenants and servants living in the houses," Greater Kailash-I Resident Welfare Association member Rajiv Kakaria said.

"It's an important exercise as it helps not only the police but even the residents to know about the occupants living in the area," he added.

As part of the stepped-up security for the Oct 3-14 Games, police have directed people to report about their tenants and domestic servants to the nearest police station.

Residents have also been asked to report if they come to know about any stranger or  suspicious activities in their area.

"The verification drive initiated by Delhi Police for the Commonwealth Games is a good thing but such drives should be carried out regularly in order to provide foolproof security to residents," NGO People's Action general secretary Smriti Aggarwal said.

"Many landlords have problems in cooperating with the drive as they feel it would unnecessarily harass their tenants and domestic helps who might end up leaving," she added.

Aggarwal said it is the duty of Residents Welfare Associations across the capital to cooperate with the police in carrying out such drives. The verification drive is also being carried out in Noida and Gurgaon.

However, there have been cases where people complained of harassment by police after failing to show proper documents.

"Many domestic helps and tenants left their homes in our area after they were continuously questioned by the police. The residents are now facing a shortage of domestic helps," Safdarjung Enclave resident Anita Sood said.

Atul Goel of NGO United Residents Joint Action said: "We have no problem with the drive. We are in fact informing residents to help the police. The Commonwealth Games is a big event for our country and to ensure that it goes off peacefully, such drives are necessary."

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