12,000 properties in Delhi’s key refugee colonies may face sealing
There are 45 residential colonies in Delhi that were developed on land provided by the erstwhile Union ministry of rehabilitation on leasehold in 1947delhi Updated: Mar 21, 2018 07:30 IST
At least 12,000 residential properties in 45 refugee colonies across Delhi are likely to face sealing this month over alleged violations of land use. The monitoring committee appointed by the Supreme Court has identified these properties in colonies such as Kalkaji, Jangpura, Lajpat Nagar, Old Rajendra Nagar, Mukherjee Nagar, Subhash Nagar and Tilak Nagar where alleged commercial activities are underway, according to a municipal officer privy to the matter.
There are 45 residential colonies in Delhi that were developed on land provided by the erstwhile Union ministry of rehabilitation on leasehold in 1947. These colonies were originally meant for refugees who migrated from Pakistan during Partition and the localities were then transferred to Central government’s Land and Development Office (L&DO) in 1950.
A member of the SC-appointed committee said they were waiting for official documents from the L&DO, after which sealing action would start anytime in March. “We collected the information about violations after we carried the sealing drive in old double-storey area in Lajpat Nagar IV on March 8. After the drive, we received complaints from people about similar violations in other refugee colonies. This led us to conduct random visits and gather details from L&DO office,” a member of the committee said on condition of anonymity.
“The information gathered so far included at least 24 blocks in Lajpat Nagar IV, which is better known as Amar Colony, where widespread misuse or encroachment on public land has happened,” the member said.
“As per original lease deed issued by L&DO, each of these blocks has 64 flats (32 on ground floor and the remaining 32 on first floor) purely meant for residential purposes. Their standard size was 203.5 square feet. But a majority of people have opened shop in these flats illegally and encroached 15-20 ft public land in the backyard as well as the front side,” said a monitoring committee member on the condition of anonymity.
“In addition, space provided for common facilities such as public washrooms, parks and recreation centre have also been misused for running commercial activities,” said the member.
The blocks such as G, N, H and I in Lajpat Nagar IV are part of this list, said a South Delhi Municipal Corporation official familiar with the development. “The other refugee colonies are also likely to face similar sealing action for violations,” the member of the SC-appointed monitoring committee said. The civic agency is currently responsible for providing maintenance services here.
The sealing drive started in Delhi on the orders of the Supreme Court on December 15, and so far at least 3,500 properties have been sealed over the alleged misuse, encroachment and running establishments on non-notified areas by three civic agencies.
On December 22, the South Corporation had sealed 51 units for misusing the residential complexes for commercial use in upscale Defence Colony market. This was followed by sealing drive in other prominent markets in localities such as Meharchand, Khan Market, Green Park and Hauz Khas.