Had written to Urban Development Principal Secretary that it had failed to locate 150 unauthorised colonies to which provisional certificates were issued

The scam involving regularisation of unauthorised colonies – in which attempts have been made by vested interests to show government land as private – has assumed even greater proportions now with the Chief Town Planner of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi writing to the Delhi Government's Urban Development Department that “150 such colonies could not be found”.

It has now come to light that the glaring disclosure was made by the Chief Town Planner in a letter to the Principal Secretary (Urban Development) in July 2009 in which he had submitted “site verification and built up percentage report of unauthorised colonies” in respect of the 1,639 such colonies enlisted by the UD Department for which provisional certificates had been issue by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in 2008.

In the report, the Chief Town Planner said in the past his office had provided the report of built up percentage pertaining to 1,432 list (district-wise). But in the case of “about 150 colonies”, he said, the report could not be provided “since some of the colonies could not be located on the aerial photographs.”

“This was because the RWAs had not provided proper key plan with sufficient surroundings/landmarks to locate the colony,” the Chief Town Planner said.

The Department also made it known that in several previous meetings with the Delhi Urban Development Minister it had conveyed that “some of the files have been found to be misplaced, out of MCD/DDA colonies and the report could, therefore, not be provided”.

No action taken

Incidentally, for two years the Urban Development Department did not act on this disclosure. Sources insist that the Delhi Government instead of probing the irregularities when they came to light, issued orders that construction activity would be permitted in areas for which provisional certificates have been issued.

Also, it has been reliably learnt that while unscrupulous and fake RWAs had staked claim to Government land by showing it as part of unauthorised colonies – that existed only on paper – the Delhi Government instead of going by the 2007 aerial survey for fixing the boundaries of these colonies, deftly passed on the responsibility to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

Further the MCD officials also allegedly colluded with the land sharks by giving various percentage of construction in the colonies on the basis of site visits carried out in 2009 as against the aerial survey of 2007.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said on Wednesday that she has asked UD Principal Secretary Chandramohan and Divisional Commissioner (Revenue) to probe the allegations by former MLA Ramvir Singh Bidhuri pertaining to four colonies in South Delhi for which provisional certificates were wrongly issued.

“The certificates were issued on the basis of claims made by the RWAs. The claims were later cross-checked on three main criteria – that the land was not forest land, that it did not belong to the ASI and the MCD was asked to look at the constructed area to see if it met the 50 per cent criteria,” she said.

Ms. Dikshit said while three years have passed, the Delhi Government has so far received sanctions for 160 colonies from the MCD, which had been given only a few months time. “So we would be going ahead with the regularisation of these colonies,” she said.

Keywords: DDA land scam

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