Campaigning for rights
Noida Sector 14 is a small and affluent neighbourhood with about 350 plush houses. This sector is home to two former Chief Justices of India, justices RC Lahoti andAS Anand, former law minister Shanti Bhushan, bureaucrats, politicians, doctors and CEOs and MDs of wellknown companies.
On the attractions of this sector, Anil Tyagi, president, Residents’ Welfare Association, says, “This is the only posh residential area you see when you enter Noida from Delhi. Due to its location and easy accessibility from central locations such as the Supreme Court, Connaught Place, Parliament House etc, many lawyers, judges, politicians and businessmen give first preference to this sector.”
He continues,“The Noida Authority lists this sector in the A category. At present, there are only four sectors in Noida – 14, 17, 15A and 44 – which fall in this category. The circle rate in all these sectors is the highest.”
Tyagi, who has been living here since 1992, says when it comes to incomes, all families here are from the middle or upper classes.“MIG and HIG dwelling units measure 112 sq m and 180 sq m, respectively. Other plots are bigger, such as 200 sq m to 450 sq m,” he informs.
Sushil Aggarwal, who was allotted a flat in the first housing draw way back in 1980, says that 32 years after this sector came up, only 40% of the original allottees have sold their properties. “Those who went away had workrelated problems such as transfers to other states; business expansion to other metro cities etc. There is hardly anyone who has moved out complaining of civic apathy etc,” he says.
The residents are also very active when it comes to fighting for their rights. Some of them have recently moved the Supreme Court to object to the construction of an open dustbin near the main gate of the sector.
“When the authorities failed to pay heed to our demand, we filed a case in the Supreme Court. We have raised the issue of air pollution and diseases like malaria and cholera. The court has issued a notice to the authorities concerned and I hope we will get relief,” says Anis Suhrawardy, a Supreme Court advocate.
Sushil Aggarwal has been fighting a case in the Supreme Court for a solution to the Shahdara drain problem. “We have been fighting this case since 1992. The drain flowing close by releases harmful toxic gases. The court gave various directions but none of these have been implemented properly.”
Parking is a big issue too.“Some people have encroached on the green belt, cut down trees and converted the whole space into a permanent parking lot. Even educated and high profile people take civic laws for granted,” complains a resident. Many residents say the RWA is not maintaining roads, parks and the community centre. “There are rooms for a library, table tennis and other activities but these are neglected at the centre,” says a resident. “There is a small market in the sector which does not have enough items of daily needs. We don’t have a Mother Dairy booth. The RWA should play a more proactive role. People don’t bother about these things as they have servants to do their bidding. Tenants who are on their own face a lot of hardships, however.”
The RWA denied the allegations.