The criteria for determining the eligibility of slum and jhuggi jhopri dwellers for relocation, rehabilitation and allotment of flats was relaxed by the Delhi Cabinet on Monday through an extension of the cut-off date from January 1, 2002 to March 31, 2007.

Following the Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the Delhi Government has also decided to undertake developmental works in most of the unauthorised colonies. She said the Government also considered the issue of providing basic civic amenities in those colonies which have come up on Government land.

Stating that by extending the cut-off date for determining the eligibility, the Cabinet has ratified the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board's decision to this effect, Ms. Dikshit however stated that while the dwellers who settled in the slum and jhuggi jhopri clusters during the extended period would be considered for allotment, their terms and conditions would be somewhat different. The new cut-off date, the Chief Minister said, will also be followed in case of in-situ development.

Since the Board had also recommended that the annual income of Rs.60,000 of the family of a dweller to make him or her eligible for allotment of a flat may be raised to Rs.1 lakh per annum in view of the higher standard of living in the Capital city, the Cabinet also agreed with this recommendation.

Delhi Urban Development Minister A.K. Walia said the Delhi Government would try to keep the cost of flats economical and reasonable by adopting cost-effective designs, technology and methodology developed by HUDCO, Development Alternatives and other expert organisations and agencies. “This will go a long way in minimising the cost burden on slum and jhuggi dwellers,” he said.

The Cabinet also decided that there will be no need to bring individual clusters before the Board for recommending to the Government for relocation. In order to make the process smooth, it has been decided that the CEO of DUSIB would prepare the priority list for shifting of clusters in consultation with the Urban Development Department of Delhi Government.

The Chief Minister said Delhi Government would in the meantime continue with the developmental works in unauthorised colonies located on private land with permission of the Delhi High Court.

Having already stressed the need to begin developmental works in all unauthorised colonies, the Delhi Cabinet on Monday also decided to consider laying of basic civic amenities in those unauthorised colonies which have come up on Government land. However, it said, this policy would be determined by future decisions of the Delhi High Court.

The issue would also be taken up by the Delhi Cabinet with the Lieutenant Governor and the Union Government since unhygienic and insanitary conditions prevail in many of these colonies, rendering them prone to water borne diseases.

Dr. Walia said the Department of Urban Development has been constantly monitoring the process of regularisation and was now awaiting finalised lay-out plans in respect of 100 unauthorised colonies as promised by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. ``This will facilitate acceleration of the process of regularisation and laying of basic civic amenities in such colonies ensuring much-awaited relief to residents,'' he said.

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