Petty crimes on the rise in this posh lo­cal­ity

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Jee­van Prakash Sharma

Ris­ing cases of car theft and other petty crimes are giv­ing s l e e pl e s s nights to res­i­dents of East of Kailash. De­spite CCTVs in­stalled at all cru­cial points in the colony, the res­i­dents feel they in­se­cure. The res­i­dents’ wel­fare as­so­ci­a­tions of all the blocks have in­creased the num­ber of guards both at en­try and exit points and even de­puted some on night pa­trol duty. But all mea­sures have come to noth­ing and failed to curb anti-so­cial el­e­ments.

“We have been fac­ing this men­ace for the past sev­eral years. Ear­lier, when we used to com­plain to the po­lice, they used to ad­vise us to get CCTVs in­stalled in the colony. Last year, we col­lected funds from res­i­dents and in­tro­duced the sys­tem of CCTV sur­veil­lance in many blocks in the lo­cal­ity but petty crimes con­tin­ued,” says Viren­dra Saluja, pres­i­dent of F block, which is among the worst- af­fected blocks of East of Kailash.

Res­i­dents blame the lo­cal po­lice for be­ing lax, un­car­ing and ig­nor­ing res­i­dents’ com­plaints. This at­ti­tude has em­bold­ened the anti-so­cial el­e­ments, who move about with­out any re­stric­tions in the area.

“Ev­ery month we have six to seven cases of thefts - cars, car ac­ces­sories, ex­pen­sive home items etc. Cases of chain snatch­ing are also com­mon. We have also handed over CCTV footage to the po­lice which clearly shows uniden­ti­fied peo­ple steal­ing an ex­pen­sive car from the colony. But the po­lice have been un­able to crack the case and we have been ad­vised us to use gear lock sys­tems in cars and take other pre­caut i ons,” says Praveen Dhal, pres­i­dent of D block.

Res­i­dents say that the in­diff er­ent at­ti­tude of the l ocal po­lice and civic au­thor­i­ties is un­ex­pected in a colony like East of Kailash which is one of the many posh colonies in south Delhi.

The en­tire area of East of Kailash com­prises eight blocks such as A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H and some other set­tle­ments in the form of sub- colonies such as Kailash Hills, Mount Kailash and Kailash Tow­ers.

It boasts of af­flu­ent resid e n t s , e n j oy s a s t r at e g i c l oca­tion, and is f amous for i conic s t r uc­tures s uch as Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi Mandir, pop­u­larly known as the ISKCON Delhi tem­ple and pro­tected his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ment like the Ashokan Rock Edict, one of the se­ries of edicts that de­pict Bud­dha’s teach­ings.

Ex­cept for a few ru­ral and un­planned set­tle­ments such as Zam­rud­pur vil­lage and Garhi Vil­lage, East of Kailash is sur­rounded by equally posh ar­eas such as Kailash Colony, Amar Colony, Greater Kailash and Nehru Place. It found its way in the Metro map in Oc­to­ber 2010 with the com­mis­sion­ing of the Vi­o­let Line that starts from Cen­tral Sec­re­tar­iat and ends at Sarita Vi­har. This line has now been ex­tended from ITO to Es­corts Mu­je­sar in Farid­abad.

East of Kailash is a plot­ted colony which was de­vel­oped by Delhi De­vel­op­ment Author­ity from 1972 on­wards. Res­i­dents claim that the colony is much bet­ter planned t han other neigh­bour­ing ar­eas such as Greater Kailash or Kailash Colony.

“DDA bought l and f rom far mers of vil­lages such as Zam­rud­pur and Garhi and then planned the en­tire area by di­vid­ing it into res­i­den­tial plots, com­mer­cial com­plexes, schools, hos­pi­tals etc. It then auc­tioned plots to home­buy­ers who con­structed houses on them. Ini­tially th­ese plots were lease­hold but when DDA in­tro­duced the lease­hold- tofree­hold con­ver­sion pol­icy, a ma­jor­ity of home­own­ers opted for free­hold sta­tus. To­day, more than 95% plots are free­hold and one or two- storey in­di­vid­ual houses have been con­verted into four-storey builders’ apart­ment,” says HC Goel, pres­i­dent of Kailash Hills Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tions.

“Be­sides petty crimes, an­other ma­jor prob­lem that we face is unau­tho­rised en­croach­ment of pave­ments by ven­dors and rick­shaw pullers near pub­lic places such as shop­ping cen­tres, schools, hos­pi­tals and the Metro sta­tion,” adds Goel.

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