DTTDC sets ball rolling for cultural centre at Vikaspuri depsite residents’ objection

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accorded approval for the construction of the complex following the demand raised by SKP.

NEW DELHI: Almost a year after its announcement, the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) has invited bids to appoint consultant architectural and engineering planning and design of a cultural complex for Sahitya Kala Parishad (SKP) at Budhela in Vikaspuri.

On Thursday, the department will hold a pre-bid meeting with prospective bidders. Once the tender is finalised, it will take about 20 months to complete the project.

The plot of land where the new cultural
centre is to be constructed

Apart from an auditorium, the authority plans to create facilities such as a museum, art gallery, library or audiovisual centre. The complex will also comprise a cafeteria, rehearsal/training/multipurpose hall, guest rooms and also underground parking.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accorded approval for the construction of the complex following the demand raised by SKP.

However, the project has been opposed by residents since the beginning. They have been claiming that the proposed cultural centre is being built on a land which was reclaimed after filling up a johad (percolation pond).

According to them, the water body was filled up with sand in 2002 and it was handed over to the Culture Department of the Delhi government.

Paras Tyagi of Centre for Youth, Culture, Law, and Environment, a policy advocacy organisation, said project planned at water body is ironical as in 2000, Delhi chief secretary issued a notification to save ponds in Delhi villages.

“I have filed an RTI to know on what ground the land had been given to the government by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which had acquired the land for ‘Planned Public Purpose’ when Vikaspuri was developed on farmlands. No proper RTI replies have been given,” Tyagi, who is also the resident of Vikaspuri, said.

However, Sanjay Goel, Managing Director and chief executive officer of DTTDC said the corporation has nothing to do with the land and it is only executing the project on behalf of the parishad.

“It is the DDA and SKP who need  to sort out the issue. The DDA is the competent authority to decide whether it was a water body as per the Delhi Master Plan. We are just executing agency,” Goel said.

Deepak Tyagi, president of resident welfare association (RWA) said that any construction at the site would only increase congestion in Budhela that is already congested.

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2020/sep/02/dttdc-sets-ball-rolling-for-cultural-centre-at-vikaspuri-depsite-residents-objection-2191400.html