The resident welfare associations (RWA) of the 895 colonies regularised by the Delhi government in August last year are in a tough spot.
While the residents look up to them for finalisation of their colony’s layout plans and get the government’s approval to be able to build new houses or make additions, some people may end up losing their land if the RWAs finalise the plans.
The RWAs have to earmark vacant plots of land for the construction of common facilities such as nursery school, dispensary, community centre, parks and garbage bins to finalise the layout plan.
Since the vacant plots belong to one individual or the other, the RWAs are in a dilemma.
“How can we earmark the piece of land that belongs to someone to build a public facility there? We are supposed to work for the welfare of residents and can’t do anything that harms their interests,” said an office bearer of the RWA of a recently-regularised colony in east Delhi.
According to Delhi government officials, the urban development department had finalised the boundary of each colony and had asked the respective RWAs to take help of external agencies like Jamia Milia Islamia, IP University and School of Planning and Architecture to finalise the layout plans and submit the same to the municipal corporation.
While the RWAs of at least 30 colonies — 10 under each municipal corporation of East, North and South Delhi — have been working on the layout plans, none of them have finalised it.
“Unless the RWAs sign the layout plan and submit it, we cannot take it forward. Each plan will have to be approved by the standing committee of the MCD and submitted to the state government,” MCD, East, commissioner SS Yadav said.
The municipal corporations will also be able to collect property tax from houses and commercial establishments in such colonies only after building bye-laws become applicable there.
Delhi urban development minister Arvinder Singh said if the corporations are facing such problem they should have approached the government.
“We can consider withdrawing the clause of earmarking land for public facilities if that is the issue,” Singh said.
“It is ultimately the corporations which are losing out on revenue they could have collected through property tax had they become pro-active and finalised the layout plans,” Singh added.