Friday, March 19, 2010

Ramjas Refused to Surrender Land for road widening

The beautification of roads for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games is likely to hit a hurdle on Delhi University campus as Ramjas College has refused to surrender its land for widening of the pavement on Sudhir Bose Marg. The college principal has now written to the lieutenant-governor informing him that the governing body was withdrawing its consent conveyed to the university on November 4 last year.

According to the college governing body, it had earlier agreed to surrender around 565 square meters of its land along Sudhir Bose Marg and another 300 square meters for road widening as there was pressure from the university authorities. The land required was later restricted to just 745 square meters along Sudhir Bose Marg but was again increased to 791.66 square meters in January this year.

The college authorities allege that the land, which belongs to the Ramjas Foundation, is being acquired by the University for the Beautification Project of the MCD without following procedure. The college principal, Rajendra Prasad, said land from no other college located on that road was being taken over. ‘‘UTTIPEC (a nodal agency headed by the LG for clearing all projects related to road and transport) had decided that footpaths were to be widened by reducing the carriageway and not by taking over the college land,’’ said Prasad. He added, ‘‘We were given only a week to give our consent without even letting us know of this decision of UTTIPEC.’’

College staff says that taking away of land outside the building may disturb the students as classrooms will come near the road. Manoj Verma, president, Ramjas Staff Council, said, ‘‘Due to OBC reservations, we are already falling short of space. We are not in a position to give away even an inch of land from our college campus. And since there are plans to make the traffic one-way outside the college, the traffic volume is set to increase.’’ He further said, ‘‘All our old trees along the college wall will also have to be axed.’’

Prasad insisted that Ramjas has been an enthusiastic supporter of Commonwealth Games but now surrendering its land was out of question. ‘‘We have already given our sports ground for construction of the stadium and our girls and boys hostel too. We are also giving our college as a venue for interviews of the volunteers. But acquiring our college land is not required,’’ he said.