The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Tejendra Khanna has directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to immediately fence the land freed of encroachments so that it is not trespassed again.
At present, nearly 1400 acres of DDA’s land – an area big enough to accommodate 14 Jawaharlal Nehru Stadiums – is encroached upon. DDA is the largest land owning and developing agency of the capital.
Though DDA regularly carries out demolition drives to remove encroachments, the authority takes months to put boundary walls or fencing around the land and encroachers come back within days.
“After an area is freed of encroachments, we issue tenders for fencing work and that takes some time,” said a senior DDA official who didn’t wish to be named. By the time DDA starts fencing, the encroachments come back.
To cut the red tape, the L-G has directed that a running rate contract be awarded so DDA wouldn’t have to re-tender the civil work. The contract is given for a year to a contractor who put up boundary walls or barb wires around all vacant land belonging to DDA.
The L-G has also asked DDA to appoint a nodal officer of the rank of executive engineer for each of the six zones who will be responsible for protection of land freed from encroachments.
After the direction from L-G, which was given recently, DDA has already freed around 140 acres of encroached land and installed 9 kms of boundary walls and 3 kms of barbed wire.
Last year, the L-G had set up a separate office for land protection, which is headed by former Air Force officers.
DDA has a land management department, which has the job of removing encroachments from DDA land by demolishing all illegal structures.
However, DDA’s record in claiming its own land has been very poor and the authority was pulled up by the Delhi High Court recently for its inability in removing.