Dhobi Ghat demolition: HC gives three weeks to outfit seeking relief

Court asks it to approach right forum

The Delhi High Court has given three weeks to an organisation to approach an appropriate forum for relief against demolition of the Batla House ‘Dhobi Ghat’, which is used by washermen here to earn a living.

Court to DDA

The court, in the meanwhile, has ordered the Delhi Development Authority not to take any precipitate measure in connection with the ‘Dhobi Ghat’.

The court’s direction came while hearing a petition by Muslim Kassar Vikas Sangathan, seeking direction to DDA not to demolish the Batla House Dhobi Ghat at Okhla here.

The organisation sought to restrain DDA from demolishing the existing ‘Dhobi Ghat’ till land is allotted for a new one in the vicinity and it is constructed.

The DDA informed the High Court that demolition work has already been carried out at the ‘Dhobi Ghat’ on December 24 last. It said the action was taken in pursuance to a National Green Tribunal (NGT) judgment, which ordered that encroachments at the Yamuna banks must be removed.

The organisation, however, submitted that the NGT’s order in the Manoj Misra case deals with restoration of the river Yamuna and the floodplains, whereas the existing Dhobi Ghat is located 2.5 kilometres from the waters of the river. The DDA disputed this claim.

The organisation had also urged status quo be maintained as the site is still being used by washermen to earn a living, who otherwise face economic difficulties on account of the prolonged coronavirus pandemic.

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