Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said Kathputli Colony residents that they hold important position in India’s culture and history and assured them they would have proper houses by the beginning of next year.
Puri, along with Delhi Development Authority (DDA) chairman Anil Baijal and MP from New Delhi Constituency Meenakshi lekhi, laid the foundation stone of in-situ redevelopment project at Kathputli Colony.
The Union Minister said the redevelopment model has to keep pace with the movement of people from rural to urban areas. “By 2030, 600 million (60 crore) Indians would be living in urban spaces. The redevelopment of cities has to be done keeping in mind this fact,” Puri said.
Spread over an area of around 14 acres, Kathputli Colony, which is currently being redeveloped, was home to a large number of puppeteers, magicians, singers and musicians.
It was in the news recently after the DDA began its demolition drive there, triggering clashes among its residents, activists and police.
“Sealing committee and many others, who work in air-conditioned offices and do not know the ground realities, don’t understand that people from rural areas are coming to urban spaces for better opportunities,” Puri said.
The Minister added that this redevelopment project, which was conceived in 2009, would provide clean, well-planned and habitable units, along with adequate social infrastructure to the people
“The residents of this colony will be provided newly constructed houses in the same place they were staying. I will request our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) to inaugurate the houses next year,” he said.
The redeveloped colony would also have a heritage/exhibition museum, ‘Kaushal Kala Vikas Kendra’, multipurpose hall and other facilities, so that the residents can pursue their art, the DDA said.
It is the first slum in the city to be taken up by the DDA for in-situ (in the same spot) redevelopment with the help of a private developer, who in turn will get a substantial part of land for commercial use.