About the Neighbourhoods
- LNJP colony
LNJP is a dense, informal settlement that grew in a space that was part cemetry, part dumping ground in the late '60s, and has now grown into a settlement of over 60,000 people from the East and the North. It is located at the border of the Old City and beside a city hospital, from which it gets its name. Previously, it was known as the T-Wood Market, a name it got from the small shops selling wood for furniture that were set up by the residents, and which line the settlement along its north and west façade. Its inhabitants live under a constant threat of eviction from their settlement, which is believed to have survived the recurrent waves of demolition of informal settlements in the city, and which accelarated in 2006 and 2007 in view of the approaching Commonwealth Games, only because the dispute over the ownership of land between the hospital, the religious Wakf Board and the city administration has remained unresolved over the years. The shops of the Wood Market were sealed by the Municipality during a drive to shut down “commercial establishments” in residential areas, in 2007.
The Cybermohalla Lab was set up in LNJP colony in 2001. It is located inside a two-storied building, known in the neighbourhood as “The Building”, since it is the only concrete structure of its kind set up by the Municipal Corporation. It is both the site for government related work – from issuing of forms for application for Election I-cards to medical camps held by doctors from the neighbouring hospital – and the space for congregation for the residents of LNJP at the time of deaths and marriages in the neighbourhood. The three rooms on the first floor of The Building have been taken on rent by Ankur, and one these hosts the CM Lab.
Between 1975 and 1979, during the state of emergency, Delhi saw the violent clearing away of irregular settlements. The dislocated inhabitants were to be moved to the undeveloped plots on the fringes of the city earmarked for resettlement colonies. Dakshinpuri is one such resettlement colony in South Delhi that came up at the time, now bustling with life and not so weak infrastructurally, and with over 400,000 inhabitants from different informal settlements in Delhi. It is presently under deep transformation due to enforcement of the urban plan and high end real estate developments in the neighbouring areas.
In Dakshinpuri, the Cybermohalla lab was set up in 2002. It is a rented room on the second floor of an apartment in J-K-L block.
Nangla Maanchi was one of the large settlements on the bank of the river Yamuna, transformed from a fly ash deposit into a lively settlement by its inhabitants in the late '70s. The Cybermohalla Lab was set up in Nangla in 2004. Nangla was demolished in 2006 to make way for the new Riverfront, and some of the settlers have been relocated to Ghevra on the far North of the city. See blogs by the practitioners, http://nangla-maanchi.freeflux.net in Hindi and http://nangla.freeflux.net (translations into English).