Residents of Mithapur in south-east Delhi are demanding that their area be removed from the restricted Yamuna floodplain zone.(HT File Photo)
Residents of Mithapur in south-east Delhi are demanding that their area be removed from the restricted Yamuna floodplain zone.(HT File Photo)

DDA ropes in pvt agencies to help residents of unauthorised colonies

As a pilot project, DDA has roped in a private firm that will carrying out registration and application filling process in 250 unauthorised colonies in Delhi.
By Risha Chitlangia, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 23, 2021 03:42 AM IST

To expedite the process to give ownership rights to residents of 1,731 unauthorised colonies in Delhi under PM-UDAY scheme, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has decided to rope in private agencies that will go door-to-door and help beneficiaries register on the agency’s portal, a senior DDA official said.

As a pilot project, DDA has roped in a private firm that will carrying out registration and application filling process in 250 unauthorised colonies in Delhi. “We are in the process of finalising the list of 250 unauthorised colonies where the the firm is likely to start work from July 1. The private agency will go door-to-door and assist people in registering on our portal. It will also create awareness and clear people’s doubts. We have also empanelled seven firms to assist people in uploading all the relevant documents online to expedite the process,” the official said.

“This is in addition to the ongoing process of people registering directly on our portal. If this pilot project is successful, then we plan to do it in all 1,700-odd unauthorised colonies,” said a senior DDA official.

Ahead of the Delhi assembly elections in 2020, the BJP-led central government announced the Pradhan Mantri Unauthorised Colonies in Delhi Awas Adhikar Yojana (PM-UDAY) which is aimed at benefiting four million people living in 1,731 unauthorised colonies in the Capital. For this, the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Act, 2019, was passed in the Parliament in November 2019, to allow residents of these colonies get ownership rights to their property.

The implementation of the scheme, for which registration process started in December 2019, has been marred due to the coronavirus pandemic and procedural and land-related issues. Almost one-and-a-half-years later, only 6,372 property owners could get final documents of property ownership (authorization slip or conveyance deed) from DDA.

According to a senior official, 4.15 lakh property owners have registered on DDA’s portal for ownership rights. Of these, a GIS survey of 3.06 lakh property has been done. “So far, we have received 73,180 complete application forms along with all the necessary property documents,” said the official.

Explaining the reason for the slow pace of work, a senior DDA official said, “Immediately after the scheme was launched, there were assembly elections in Delhi. By the time work picked up pace, lockdown was announced due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While people were registering on our portal, work on the ground couldn’t be done due to the lockdown. This year, again, the work got affected due to the lockdown. Now, we are planning to expedite the work and clear all the pending applications by July 10,” said the official.

The change in DDA’s strategy is aimed at increasing the number of complete application forms. “In a lot of cases, we have to reject the application forms as the documents are not in order. This is why we have empanelled agencies to help people upload all relevant documents. We have also simplified the process,” said the official.

In some cases, property owners got the GIS survey done and uploaded the documents only to find out that their properties were falling on Master Plan roads, parks or spaces earmarked for various utilities in the zonal plan. “To avoid such problems, we have developed a mobile application using which people can find out whether their property is falling in zones where ownership can’t be given,” said the official.

Of the 1,731 unauthorised colonies, ownership process in 76 colonies has been put on hold as these fall in the O-zone (Yamuna floodplains). The DDA is preparing a proposal to demarcate the boundaries of Zone O -- the land planning zone which encompasses the Yamuna floodplains -- to provide ownership rights to 76 unauthorised colonies that have come up along the river. The proposal will be submitted to the principal committee of the National Green Tribunal.

But a large number of people living in unauthorised colonies in Jaitpur, Badarpur, Okhla, Karawal Nagar, etc had applied for ownership rights. But due to the O-zone issue, their applications couldn’t be processed.

The draft Master Plan of Delhi-2041, which was recently put in public domain for feedback and suggestions, has proposed that the floodplain will be delineated. The O zone will be split in two—the floodplain and the riverfront.

Anil Sharma, a resident of Meethapur in south east Delhi, has formed an association to push the demand for removal of the colony’s name from the restricted zone. He said the colony was situated more than 1.5km away from the floodplain. “Effort has been made to resolve the issue. But we are not sure whether it will address our issue or not. It’s going to be almost a year since the issue came to light.,” said Sharma.

Brij Mohan Somani, a resident of Badli, said, “There are so many people who have paid for the GIS survey and applied for ownership. DDA is taking a lot of time to process the files.”

Sabyasachi Das, former planning commissioner with the DDA, said, “This is a tricky issue as there are multiple problems in implementation of the scheme. What happens to properties which are falling on master plan roads or areas earmarked in the zonal plans? In a lot of unauthorized colonies, people have purchased properties floor-wise. The DDA needs to clarify whether it will give floor-wise ownership or not. One of the biggest concerns of people in these colonies is regarding getting their building plans sanctioned. Property ownership documents don’t help in getting building plans sanctioned. The DDA has to clarify these things to people.”

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