Scheme to give ownership rights to houses in illegal colonies moving at snail’s pace
Many residents of unauthorised colonies said that there is need to set up more facilitation centres and provision for assisting people with paperwork.Updated: Oct 27, 2020, 05:08 IST
The Centre’s ambitious Pradhan Mantri - Unauthorised Colony in Delhi Awas Adhikar Yojna (PM-UDAY) scheme to give ownership rights to residents of 1,731 unauthorised colonies in Delhi is moving at a snail’s pace. In just over an year, of the over one million properties only 1,946 have been issued final documents (conveyance deeds and authorisation slips) by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) till October 23.
DDA, however, said it has taken a number of steps to expedite the implementation of the scheme.
Many residents of unauthorised colonies said that there is need to set up more facilitation centres and provision for assisting people with paperwork. DDA officials said that the process got delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic as field surveys couldn’t be done during the nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the viral infection.
According to senior DDA officials, 345,000 people have registered under PM-UDAY of which 39,334 applications with all the required paperwork has been received till October 23. As per the data available with the DDA, 1,946 authorisation slips and conveyance deeds have been issued to property owners till October 23. According to DDA officials, 27,522 applications are pending and 2,859 applications have been rejected as they didn’t fulfil the criteria mentioned in the scheme.
The Centre had notified PM-UDAY on October 29 last year and the DDA started the registration process in mid-December. Soon after 20-odd properties in Raja Vihar and Suraj Park in north Delhi where formalities were completed, the process was stalled due to Delhi assembly elections and then because of the lockdown imposed due to the pandemic. The work resumed pace only after June.
DDA vice-chairman Anurag Jain said, “Due to Covid-19, the process got severely impacted for four-five months. We are now running awareness campaigns, increasing the number of processing centres, deploying additional manpower to expedite the process. Since June, the scheme has picked up pace as more people are now applying. We have increased the number of processing centres. Today, we have eight processing centres and we will add two more by the end of this month. For this, we have deployed additional staff.”
DDA officials also blamed the deficiencies in the documents submitted by applicants after registration for the slow pace of work. “We have issued 7,007 deficiency slips to residents. We have put out all the details needed along with the applications. We have set up 28 help desks to assist people,” said a senior DDA official.
Residents of the unauthorised colonies say that they are facing problems in getting the paperwork in order and want the DDA to assist them. Kuldeep Chiilar, president of Raja Vihar RWA, said, “A large number of people living in our colony are not educated and work as daily wage labourers. They don’t know from where to get the papers and affidavits made. The DDA should make arrangements for getting the affidavits made at the help desk centres. This will reduce the running around one has to do just to get the papers ready.”
Raja Vihar was one of the two unauthorised colonies in Delhi where the first set of 20 authorisation slip and conveyance deeds were issued in January this year.
Officials said DDA is in the process of hiring more agencies to conduct the Geographical Information System (GIS) survey and expedite the process.
Urban planning experts Sabyasachi Das, former planning commissioner with the DDA, said, “There is a need to set up more centres to assist people, as a large number of people in these colonies are not aware of the process and don’t know how to upload documents. The DDA should set up camps in these colonies to help people.”
Currently, the properties in these colonies are not registered with the Delhi government’s revenue records. Due to this, residents here can’t apply for bank loan against the property or reconstruct their properties.