Thousands of commercial property licensees of the city may be a relieved lot once the municipal corporations comes up with a scheme to covert the licensed properties to lease-hold and lease-hold properties to free-hold.
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has taken the lead and ordered a report on the number of properties that need conversion. The report ordered by Commissioner Manish Gupta is expected to be filed by July, following which the conversion of properties will begin. Based on the feedback, the scheme will be implemented in the rest of the city.
The issue, raised by SDMC Leader of Opposition Farhad Suri, is an effort to improve revenues as well as settle the issue of licence-holders whose licences are not being reissued by the corporations. At present, traders whose licences or lease have expired live under a constant threat of sealing.
Suri said that licences or lease of many of these properties have lapsed but neither the period of licences or lease are being renewed, nor are the licences are being converted into lease-hold. “By bringing in a new policy, the SDMC can earn hundreds of crores,” Suri added.
If the scheme is implemented, licensees of 79 markets transferred to MCD by Land and Development Office will be among the most relieved. The markets located all over the city were transferred in 2006 but so far they have been neglected by the corporation. The unified MCD was supposed to redevelop them.
Ram Lal, president of Gaffar Market Traders Association said their lease had expired nearly four years ago but the civic agency had not been renewing or converting them. “If the properties are converted to free-hold, outside interference will be nil as we will own the properties,” Lal said.
There are 1,000-odd properties, including those in the transferred markets, in south Delhi that are presently estimated to be affected.