It is a sweltering June afternoon and Ranjeet Singh, a resident of Nagla Ganeshi, a Village in Jewar, is sitting surrounded by the rubble of what was his ancestral house till two months back. A few household items — a dressing table, a desert cooler, a few chairs, a charpoy and old wooden doors — are strewn around him.
“These doors are from our baithak (drawing room), which used to be here,” says Singh, his face pensive and perspiring, pointing to a heap of broken bricks. “Everything in the village, the streets, the shops, the houses, chaupal, are now just one massive mound of rubble”.
Indeed Singh’s village today looks like a bombed-out war zone, with all its 125-odd houses having been razed to make way for an upcoming airport — in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Budh Nagar district, roughly 80 kilometres away from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Families, including Singh’s, have for now shifted to rented houses in neighbouring villages, but his new rented home was not big enough to accommodate all his belongings and cattle.
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