DDA allots land in South Delhi’s city forest for rebuilding Ravidas temple

A proposal to change the land use and allot 400 square metres (sqm) of land in the city forest for the construction of a temple was approved by a DDA meeting, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Friday.

10 Oct 2020 |  70

A year after the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) demolished the Guru Ravidas temple in the Jahapanah city forest in South Delhi’s Tughlaqabad, in pursuance of a Supreme Court order, the land-owning agency has initiated the process to hand over the site to devotees. A proposal to change the land use and allot 400 square metres (sqm) of land in the city forest for the construction of a temple was approved by a DDA meeting, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Friday. The L-G later tweeted, “Chaired Delhi Development Authority meeting. The Authority approved key proposals for allotment of land for construction of Guru Ravidas temple at Jahapanah city forest & reduction in Minimum Reserve Price for auction of land for Educational & Health facilities (sic).” While DDA has approved the land-use change, a nod from the forest department and other necessary permissions from other departments concerned are awaited. Last month, the DDA’s technical committee had approved a proposal to change the land use of a 400sqm plot, the site where the temple had stood, from “recreational” to “public/semi-public”. “The proposal to change the land use and allot it to the committee has been approved. Further processes such as obtaining approval from the forest department and the formation of the devotees’ committee, etc., will follow. We have written to the forest department. We will send the proposal to the Union housing and urban affairs ministry for a final notification,” a senior DDA official said, on condition of anonymity. A second DDA official said, “As an exception in this particular case, the authority has dispensed with ”auction” as the only mode of land allotment.” Forest department officials did not comment on the issue. Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and MLA Somnath Bharti, who is a member of the DDA, said, “In the last meeting, I had observed that the DDA should consider giving the land back to the Guru Ravidas Samiti without any further delay. Today the DDA has passed the matter. We are happy that this historic work has taken place. The AAP raised the issue and the court also had a hearing on the issue. But today I am happy that due to the persuasion of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, the DDA has passed these two decisions (land allotment and land-use change). Now there will be no problem in rebuilding the Ravidas temple.”

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