September 09, 2015

Delhi Development Authority vs Temple association etc in Laxmi Nagar


The Times of India

Laxmi Nagar erupts over temple issue
Mayank Manohar | Sep 8, 2015, 11.35 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Nine DTC buses were damaged and markets shut near Laxmi Nagar Metro station after residents, and several religious and political groups held a massive demonstration on Tuesday morning. They were protesting against a DDA operation to demolish a temple and a community centre on its premises at Priyadarshini Vihar near Laxmi Nagar in east Delhi. The protest, which started from Vikas Marg, led to a major traffic snarl in the area.

The dispute started after DDA directed its officials to demolish the religious structure. The agency said the land is under its jurisdiction and the temple was built illegally. However, the residents and members of the temple association claimed that the land has been with the society for a long time. A part of the temple complex was demolished on September 3 by DA officials.

"The temple has existed for the past 29 years. So, why is DDA suddenly trying to claim its right over the land. We have only one temple in our area and several functions are organized on its premises," said N C Sharma, vice-president of the temple association. Sandeep Ahuja of Akhand Bhartiya Morcha said the religious group will not let the temple get demolished.

The local MLA, Nitin Tyagi, and the councillor, B B Tyagi, too, reached the spot to support the people. "A temple should never be demolished and I will be part of the protest until DDA revokes its decision," said Nitin Tyagi.

The members of the Laxmi Nagar market association said shops will remain closed till DDA takes back its decision. "We all will support the protest," said Pradyuman Kumar Jain, president of the association.

However, DDA officials said the land usage was not changed by the temple association in the past 29 years. "The land was given to the society to build a primary school but instead a temple was constructed. So we have full authority to remove it," said a senior DDA official.

"The owner of this land is DDA, but if the residents need a temple instead of a school then what is the harm in that. It can't come out of the blue and give demolition orders," said Sanjay Kapoor, a resident and a member of the temple association.

The protestors held a peaceful march from the Metro station till the temple after police intervened.