As per 2011 census district of North-East Delhi has highest population density of 37,346 persons per sq km – a whopping 37% increase since 2001 census. The gravity of situation becomes more alarming when considered with some other areas:
North-East District of Delhi 37346 per sq km
(Most populous state after Delhi)
It is obvious that such a huge population in this district is mainly because of availability of cheap accommodation for migrant population, who are regularly coming to Delhi in search of jobs. No planning or little governance in the small alleys of the district have resulted even in small plots of 12 or 20 sq yards (meters) being converted into 3 and sometimes even 5 stories buildings. Each floor having 1 or 2 rooms. Sometimes even landlords are the poor migrants themselves who have constructed extra floors to enhance their income.
Is this a massive Lalita Park tragedy in making? Some of the members of the SRRF Dialogue may remember that a 5-storey building in Lalita Park in East Delhi collapsed killing 67 in November last year. Last year after heavy rains, large parts of East Delhi (which is on the down-side of the Yamuna river) particularly lower lying areas had problems as water level was rising impacting foundations of several buildings in these areas. Are large parts of East Delhi and North East Delhi moving into the directions of Lalita Park tragedy? Hope not. But we will have some answers when an Enquiry Commission, which is surveying the both the Districts ( a gigantic task by itself) comes out with its findings.
Apart from the safety issue such congestion makes even the ‘basic amenities’ as ‘scarce commodities’. Resulting in squalor, lack of hygiene, frequent outbreaks of infectious diseases, lack of sensitivity to others among the residents, and what not. Very frankly it is an economic issue and of course lack of governance. Solutions possibly not in our life-time.
Chart of populations of Delhi districts based on provisional figures of 2011 census is given below.
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