On July 18, 2011 the DDA (Delhi Development Authority) demolished shanties and a school in Chilla. World Faith New Delhi managed to install a Porta Cabin at Chilla. A Porta Cabin is usually meant for night shelter, however, the chapter is using it in the day time to informally school 150 children. Although World Faith New Delhi has successfully rebuild the school their struggle against the DDA authorities continues. A report from Chapter Director Shakeel Basha.

On April 25, 2012, at around 11.30 am, DDA officials , along with a huge deployment of policeman, and three bulldozers started the process of demolition in Chilla Khadar, Mayur Vihar Phase 1 Metro Station. Earlier in 2011, some parts of this area, including a school, were already demolished. As per DDA norms, officials are obliged to provide prior notice to the residents before demolition. Needless to say that the Chilla residents were not informed in advance. As a result, the they were taken completely off-guard, most of them working on the nearby fields.

When the helpless residents tried to save their belongings, they were repelled by the police. More than 100 families have suffered a huge loss of property. Even their source of water, a hand pump, was destroyed by the authorities. The Chilla residents are now deprived of basic amenities like shelter, drinking water, sanitary facilities, etc.

Most of the residents living in Chilla are migrants who moved from villages and tribal belts of UP, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh to Delhi in search of livelihood. Most males work in the nearby fields as agricultural labourers, growing vegetables. Women migrants work as maid-servants in the nearby middle class households of Mayur Vihar. Earning a meagre income this people can’t afford renting houses in established slums or JJ cluster.

When the people of Chilla came to know that a demolition is likely to happen they approached World Faith India. We filed a PIL in Delhi High Court on April 11, 2012. After a hearing in court the judge granted a one week delay on the demolition and instructed the DDA to file a status report. In the next hearing the judge ordered the DDA (though orally) to maintain status quo till they file a status report.

But before the status report was filed, the DDA came with bulldozers to demolish the Chilla shanties. DDA officials refused to listen to us when we told them to contact the DDA lawyer of Delhi High. World Faith New Delhi brought the case before the judge. The judge called the DDA and granted to restrain orders on demolition. The injunction finally made the DDA stop the demolition – too late for all the families who lost their shanties.

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