Sandeep Joshi

Unless it is required for urgent public project: Jaipal Reddy

The Rajya Sabha passes the NCT of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Bill, 2007

Extends moratorium on sealings, demolitions on properties covered under MPD-2021

NEW DELHI: Union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy on Thursday said no slum or jhuggi-jhonpri cluster on government land would be vacated or demolished provided that land is not required for any urgent public project.

He also said the Centre would soon regularise the Capital’s 1,500-odd unauthorised colonies and find solutions to problems related to unauthorised farmhouses and unauthorised commercial areas.

Mr. Reddy was speaking in the Rajya Sabha during the debate on the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Bill, 2007.

The Bill was subsequently passed by the House extending the moratorium on all sealing and demolition exercises on properties and areas covered under the Master Plan for Delhi-2021 till December 31, 2008.

This one year’s extra time would be utilised to prepare a comprehensive plan for betterment of Delhi and find solutions to the civic problems, the House was told. The Centre would deal with all the problems, be it that of farmhouses, guest houses, commercial activities in residential properties, problems of Old Delhi, hawkers and vendors’ issues, or unauthorised colonies, the Minister announced.

“We will also consider allowing vertical growth in the city. We need to liberalise norms. I have no intention of keeping any of these problems in suspended animation,” he added.

Referring to MPD-2021, Mr. Reddy said there was no doubt regarding the validity of the new Master Plan and it is already in operation. Its guidelines are ready and regulations are being framed now, which would soon be put before the court for final clearance, he added.

“The Government is also planning to involve developers in a big way to ensure proper housing for slum-dwellers. Similarly, special attention would be given to the civic problems of Old Delhi,” he added.

The Minister asked those whose properties have been sealed earlier but are now covered under the Master Plan to approach the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee for relief. He assured that the case of some unauthorised colonies like Sainik Farms that have so far not been included in the regularisation list would be taken up in due course.

Taking part in the debate, Delhi PCC president J. P. Agarwal asked the Government to resolve the matter related to unauthorised colonies, slum clusters, farmhouses and other similar problems once and for all. “Slum-dwellers and street vendors who have been residing at a place or earning their livings should be given houses and shops, while unauthorised colonies provided all basic civic amenities. Similarly, more professionals should be allowed to operate from a residential area, while more areas should be brought under mixed land use category,” he demanded.