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After over a year’s wait, Delhi slum rehabilitation policy finally takes off

In the first phase, the government is going to shift residents of slums and JJ clusters living in-and-around northwest Delhi’s Sultanpuri area.

delhi Updated: Dec 16, 2017 12:51 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times
Delhi slum,Delhi rehab policy,Slum rehabilitation
A key poll promise of the AAP before it came to power, the slum rehabilitation scheme got the nod of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal months after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP legislators criticised him of “sitting over” the file ever since the Cabinet approved it in July last year.(Ravi Choudhary/HT FILE)

After over a year’s wait, work on providing slum dwellers with better houses is finally going to take off in Delhi, with the first beneficiaries set to get houses in northwest Delhi’s Sultanpuri area.

The Aam Aadmi Party government has notified the ‘Delhi Slum and JJ Relocation and Rehabilitation Policy, 2015’ which mandates in-situ rehabilitation of slum dwellers within a radius of five kilometres.

A key poll promise of the AAP before it came to power, the scheme got the nod of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal months after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP legislators criticised him of “sitting over” the file ever since the Cabinet approved it in July last year.

Following this, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) is preparing to conduct a survey for identifying households that are in need of rehabilitation and to find out if they are eligible. As per the previous survey conducted in 2014-15, Delhi has 675 slum and JJ clusters.

“Within 10 days, we are going to float a tender for conducting a demand-supply survey where targeted households will be mapped and their alternate housing area identified,” said DUSIB CEO, Shurbir Singh. DUSIB has been made the nodal agency for the scheme and the survey of the entire city is likely to be over by June.

In the first phase, the government is going to shift residents of slums and JJ clusters living in-and-around northwest Delhi’s Sultanpuri area. “There are 1,060 ready-to-move dwelling units there. In a month’s time we plan to move eligible people living around the area into these houses,” Singh said.

So far, 603 households have been identified there out of which 224 have submitted the required documents. Among them, the government has cleared 187 to move into the new houses, even as more households are still being selected.

However, the houses under the new scheme will not be free. General category beneficiaries will have to pay ₹1.12 lakh for the 25-sq metre flat, while scheduled caste allottees will pay ₹1,000. Above this, ₹30,000 will be charged in both categories as maintenance cost for five years.

As land in Delhi also lies with other agencies like the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the policy lays down a separate framework. “For cases where land is not under the Delhi government, 40% of the plot would be given to the land-owning agency for commercial revenue generation and the government shall build EWS houses on the remaining 60% of the land,” an official said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday asked all land-owning agencies in the city not to demolish the jhuggis until the end of winter.

The order came after the CM held a meeting with senior officials from DUSIB, DDA and the three municipal corporations to discuss the slum policy that was notified on Monday.

“Please do not demolish jhuggis till winters are over, say around February 28, 2018. It’s very cold and take a humanitarian approach,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.

He also asked the agencies to follow the protocol set for the demolition in “letter and spirit”.

“No demolition should be done in future also without proper rehabilitation or relocation of the slum dwellers. DUSIB will lay down the norms for demolition according the notified slum policy and it will be applicable for all of Delhi and agencies,” the CM said.

First Published: Dec 16, 2017 12:51 IST