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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Delhi govt gives nod for regularising illegal colonies

Delhi government also suggested that unauthorised colonies should be made eligible for “mixed land use”.

delhi Updated: Jul 25, 2019 04:25 IST
Abhishek Dey & Sweta Goswami
Abhishek Dey & Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Ownership rights in unauthorised colonies have been a poll promise of all political parties in the last Lok Sabha elections and the issue has gained momentum as Delhi heads towards electing a new state government early next year.
Ownership rights in unauthorised colonies have been a poll promise of all political parties in the last Lok Sabha elections and the issue has gained momentum as Delhi heads towards electing a new state government early next year. (Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
         

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday urged the Centre to change the cut-off date for giving ownership rights to residents of city’s 1,797 unauthorised colonies from January 1, 2015 to March 31, 2019.

Addressing a press conference, the chief minister said the Delhi government has sent the Centre a list of 12 suggestions with regard to the latter’s draft Cabinet note on providing ownership rights to those living in unauthorised colonies.

As per government figures, around 5.5 million people reside in Delhi’s unauthorised colonies. Ownership rights in unauthorised colonies have been a poll promise of all political parties in the last Lok Sabha elections and the issue has gained momentum as Delhi heads towards electing a new state government early next year.

“These are suggestions. The Centre will take a final call. We have accepted all their conditions. We want to ensure that people in unauthorised colonies get ownership rights at the earliest and for that we are ready to work in partnership with the Centre,” Kejriwal said.

TWO PHASES

Elaborating on the broad roadmap of the initiative, Kejriwal said, “The Centre’s proposal suggests that the regularisation exercise will be carried out in two phases. The first phase will include 1,797 unauthorised colonies. For the second phase, the Delhi government has to see if more unauthorised colonies have emerged in time that have not been added to the list. It has to do a fair assessment of that.”

For the second phase, the Delhi government has requested to change the cut-off date from January 1, 2015 to July 1, 2019.

Delhi government also suggested that unauthorised colonies should be made eligible for “mixed land use”.

RESIDENTS TO PAY FOR OWNERSHIP

The Centre has proposed that unauthorised colonies, which have come up on government land, will have to pay the land cost and a penalty.

For the exercise, Kejriwal said, the Centre has classified land into three categories – government land, farmland (under Delhi government) and private land.

Under categories of government land and farmland, residents seeking ownership rights would have to pay land cost and penalty on a square metre basis. For private land, residents seeking ownership rights will have to pay only penalty and no land cost, the Delhi government said.

They further added that for government land, land cost per square metre is 1% of circle rate and, for farmland, land cost per square metre is 0.1% of circle rate, for plots less than 200 square metre. The rate gets doubled for plots that are 200 square metre or more.

The land cost on a per square metre basis will depend on the circle rate of “neighbourhood” areas.

“While the Centre suggests that most upmarket colony in the neighbourhood should be the benchmark, we have requested them to take the benchmark as one category below that of the poorest neighbourhood locality instead,” said Delhi urban development minister Satyendar Jain.

Rate of penalty per square metre have been fixed on the basis of category of colony (A-H). The rates for each category of colony is the same for each category of land type (government/agricultural/private).

For instance, if an unauthorised colony falls near the A category colony having circle rate of Rs7,74,000 per square metre, an owner, who has a plot of up to 200 sq metre plot, will have to pay Rs7,740 per sq metre (one per cent of circle rate) as the land cost, besides Rs3,870 per sq metre penalty, taking the total amount to R11,610 per square metres.

This was one of the major concerns of the residents living in these colonies in the past when regularisation attempts were initiated.

DOCUMENTATION

The Delhi government has recommended that those residents who have got general power of attorney (GPA) till June 30, 2019 should also be given ownership rights.

“There is a problem with that. These documents are legally void under a 2011 Supreme Court order. We have requested the Centre to consider them valid for one time for the purpose of registry,” Kejriwal said.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Among the 12 suggestions, the Delhi government has also urged the Centre to “fix accountability” by drafting a set of rules to punish errant officials including sub-divisional magistrates, municipal corporation officials and the police in case new unauthorised colonies emerge after July 1, 2019.

“If any unauthorised colonies come up [after July 1, 2019], the service of the area’s sub-divisional magistrate, station house officer and municipal officer should be terminated,” Kejriwal said.

POSH COLONIES

While the Centre in its recent report on unauthorised colonies has suggested that three of them – Sainik Farm, Mahendru Enclave and Anant Ram Dairy — be kept out of the regularisation process, Delhi government suggested that it should not be so.

“We feel that there are no grounds on which the Centre has termed these areas as affluent colonies. They should be regularised too,” Kejriwal said.

SURVEY

The Delhi government also urged the Centre to initiate the regularisation exercise at the earliest without waiting for the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to conduct a mapping exercise.

“The Central government should allow registry of properties in these colonies at the earliest, relying on the satellite images which are available with the Delhi government or RWA’s maps to fix boundaries in unauthorised colonies,” he said.

The Delhi government has so far failed to conduct mapping of unauthorised colonies despite attempting four different survey methodologies in the last three years. The Centre has now entrusted the DDA with the mapping exercise in three months.

OPPOSITION

Hitting out at the AAP-led Delhi government for taking credit for the Centre’s decision to give ownership right to residents of unauthorised colonies, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said, “We demand from the Delhi government that women in unauthorised colonies are not charged for registering their properties….It is the Central government which is going to give ownership rights to residents of unauthorised colonies, but Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is trying to take credit for it.”

On March 8 this year, the Union cabinet formed a 10-member committee under Delhi’s lieutenant governor (L-G) Anil Baijal to comment on the process of granting ownership and transfer rights. The Union ministry official quoted above said that the cabinet note was prepared on the basis of the report by the committee.

The committee had submitted its report to the Centre on June 10.

The Cabinet note, union ministry officials said, was largely based on the findings of the committee.

First Published: Jul 24, 2019 22:52 IST

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