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Bill coming to spare shops

The Urban Development Ministry is ready with a bill to deal with four of Delhi's major problems: the sealing of shops in residential areas, demolition of unauthorised constructions, eviction of hawkers from pavements and removal of slum clusters.

india Updated: May 08, 2006 01:24 IST

The Urban Development Ministry is ready with a bill to deal with four of Delhi's major problems: the sealing of shops in residential areas, demolition of unauthorised constructions, eviction of hawkers from pavements and removal of slum clusters.

Ministry sources said the necessary permission had been taken from the Law Ministry to introduce the bill in the Parliament session beginning May 10.

By the time the ministry brings the bill, all slum dwellers, however, will have been evicted from the banks of the Yamuna. Since the bill will not be effective from retrospective effect, those already evicted will not be allowed to settle back in their original dwellings.

Sources said the Bill would be simple and seek a one-year moratorium on the four problems. The bill makes it clear that the moratorium will not be applicable to encroachments on government land and the demolition of such encroachments will continue.

The bill says a comprehensive policy needs to be drawn on all these aspects and the government needs 12 months to draw and finalise it. It mentions that the Tejinder Khanna committee is dealing with unauthorised constructions and the Master Plan with the sealing drive.

For hawkers, it has been decided that 2.5 per cent of Delhi's population (3.5 lakh people) can be given licences. The bill says appropriate vending points will be identified and allocated to these vendors within a year.

Slum-dwellers too stand to benefit. While favouring in-situ regularisation as far as possible, the bill says that within the first year itself, one lakh dwelling units will be constructed in which four lakh people can be resettled.

(According to Urban Development Ministry estimates, Delhi's total slum population is 16 lakh.)

Since both the Congress and the BJP have been demanding such a bill since the demolition and sealing drives started, it is expected to be passed in Parliament without any hitch.

First Published: May 08, 2006 01:24 IST