Delhi Games force Pakistan diplomats to move home

NEW DELHI: New Delhi’s preparations for the Commonwealth Games have forced a group of Pakistani diplomats to search for new homes after their residential enclave was earmarked for a new road project.

The state-owned Delhi Development Authority (DDA) said the houses of the four Pakistani envoys stood on an 11.2 acre (4.5 hectare) site occupied illegally by a private builder in the Indian capital’s upscale Vasant Vihar diplomatic enclave.

Diplomats from Australia and the Ivory Coast also have to leave their homes after the DDA won control of the plot in August last year following a marathon legal tussle.

“There is a sense of loss,” said Shah Zaman Khan, public affairs minister at the Pakistani embassy.

The leafy bungalows listed for demolition had been home to successive Pakistani diplomats posted in India since 1991.

“It was almost a Pakistan compound in India and now the four of us will be scattered across the city… Our families will miss this place terribly,” Khan told AFP.

The road that will be built through the site is part of a massive infrastructure project aimed at preparing New Delhi for the Commonwealth Games in October.

Rights group say 100,000 homeless people in New Delhi have been kicked out of night shelters because of the city-wide facelift.

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