The Revenue Department of the Delhi Government has released 136.5 acres of land in different parts of the Capital from the clutches of builders and land mafia after demolishing structures raised on the land during this May and June, Revenue Minister Rajkumar Chauhan said here on Saturday.

The Minister said the builders and the land mafia had taken possession of this agricultural land illegally and were trying to raise residential colonies on it.

In May, about 25 acres of land was released in North-West Delhi, he said. Then in June so far, he added, about 99 acres of land has been released and taken into possession by the Department in North-West Delhi and about 12.5 acres in South-West Delhi.

Constant watch

This land belongs to the Gram Sabha and the land mafia and builders had illegally grabbed it and sold it to ordinary people, the Minister said, adding that the Revenue Department would now keep a constant watch on illegal construction taking place in the Capital.

Mr. Chauhan said that to protect the Gram Sabha land from the clutches of the land mafia and to prevent its unauthorised use, the issue had also been brought before the Cabinet and it had approved of some measures.

He said the Deputy Commissioners have been instructed to immediately stop any construction on Gram Sabha land. Besides, he said, in case of any such construction, the responsibility for the matter would lie with the Deputy Commissioner (Revenue), Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Deputy Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Deputy Commissioner of Police and the area Station House Officer.

The Minister said that in 2007 the proposal to regularise 1,639 colonies was taken up for consideration by the Government. Apart from these 1,639 colonies, if any new colony comes up on government land or on any private plot, then the Revenue Department would immediately demolish it. The builders making these new colonies would also be prosecuted, he added.

Paper verification

Mr. Chauhan said people buying or selling property in any of these unauthorised colonies should first get the papers verified by the Revenue Department. If need arises, advertisements would be issued in newspapers appealing to the people not to get trapped in these colonies because of the low rates of flats or plots there.

On behalf of the Revenue Department, the Minister said, all concerned SDMs have been directed to ensure with the help of the police that no new unauthorised construction takes place in their areas. The Block Development Officers have also been directed to erect a boundary wall or fence around all the Gram Sabha land in their jurisdiction.

The Minister cautioned that cases would be filed and all possible legal action taken against builders and developers found cutting plots on Gram Sabha land in Delhi.

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