Wednesday, April 24, 2024
154,225FansLike
654,155FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe

Capital Conundrum

The Rajya Sabha recently passed the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which seeks to extend the validity of a central act on unauthorised colonies and slum relocation. Against the exploding population growth in Delhi, it portends another urban crisis

In December 13, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to extend protection against punitive action to unauthorised developments in Delhi for three years. The Bill amends the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011, and seeks to provide protection to certain categories of slum dwellers, hawkers and unauthorised colonies in Delhi from punitive action.

The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2023, seeks to provide an extension to the validity of the Act from January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2026. Till that time, the government will come out with the Delhi Master Plan which is expected to give a roadmap for arrangements of slums, unauthorised colonies, village population areas and other existing land policy and regulation infirmities.

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2023, also commonly known as Delhi Services Act, is a bill that extends the central government’s control of services and gives powers to the lieutenant governor of Delhi over the capital city’s elected government.

As per the Act, the process of conferring the ownership rights to the residents of unauthorised colonies and action as per the Development Control Norms for unauthorized colonies “is under progress and will take time”. 

Puri said: “The phenomenal growth of the National Capital Territory of Delhi over the last many years has led to an increase in demand for housing, commercial space and other civic amenities. The gap in the demand and supply has resulted in the problems of encroachment on public land, growth of slums, unauthorized constructions, etc.”

The Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006, was enacted on May 19, 2006, initially for a period of one year, to protect certain forms of unauthorised developments in Delhi from punitive action. This protection to various forms of unauthorised developments in Delhi has continued since through ordinances and acts enacted from time to time.

In 2011, a comprehensive legislation, namely, the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011, was enacted which was valid for a period of three years up to December 31, 2014. The validity of the Act has been extended from time to time with such modifications as were necessary and the current validity is up to December 31, 2023.

As per the provisions of the 2011 Act, orderly arrangements had to be made for relocation and rehabilitation of slum dwellers and jhuggi-jhopri clusters, unauthorised colonies, village abadi area (including urban villages) and their extensions, farm houses involving construction beyond permissible building limits, schools, dispensaries, religious and cultural institutions, storages, warehouses and godowns used for agricultural inputs or produce (including dairy and poultry) in rural areas built on agricultural land, guidelines for redevelopment of existing go down clusters (including those for a storage of non-agricultural goods), special areas and policy or plan for orderly arrangement in all other areas of the National Capital Territory of Delhi in consonance with the Master Plan on its review.

The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorized Colonies) Regulations, 2019, was notified on October 29, 2019, to confer ownership rights to the residents of unauthorised colonies. The Development Control Norms for these unauthorized colonies were notified on March 8, 2022. 

Puri said that the work on conferring ownership rights was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. He told the Lok Sabha that about 40-50 lakh individuals live in unauthorised colonies, which means 8-10 lakh households could be eligible for ownership rights. Till now, only 4 lakh registrations have taken place, and conveyance deeds have been issued in just 20,881 cases.

Puri further said that “the Master Plan for Delhi with the perspective year 2041 is under finalisation wherein the measures for unauthorised developments like jhuggi-jhopri clusters, unauthorised colonies, etc, are being included. The process of dealing with these unauthorised developments will take more time. Therefore, there is a need for continuing the protection from punitive action granted to certain forms of unauthorised developments in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The 2011 Act is valid up to 31st December, 2023, and it is necessary to continue the protection of those unauthorized developments where adequate measures are yet to be taken.” 

—By Adarsh Kumar and India Legal Bureau

Previous articleTwilight Lives
Next articleHow Green Will Be My Valley?
spot_img

News Update