Staff Reporter

Congress too supports the civic body’s decision; Government has set the process rolling

Ruling sought to forbid transfer of power of attorney of jhuggi resettlement plots

Plots whose allotment has been cancelled will be re-allotted to the existing jhuggi dwellers

NEW DELHI: The sealing issue reigned paramount at the meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi Standing Committee here on Wednesday with Chairman Vijender Gupta saying that the civic body would press its case in the Supreme Court for discontinuing sealing operations in the Capital.

“All these problems would not have arisen if the Government had implemented its regularisation policy in time,” said Mr. Gupta, adding, “The 1,532 unauthorised colonies are home to over 30 lakh residents and we don’t want to politicise the issue. This issue is above politics.”

The Leader of the Opposition, J. K. Sharma, said his party supported the MCD’s decision and though the Delhi Government had set rolling the regularisation process, it would “take a little time”.

Several Councillors raised the issue of Tuesday’s cancellation of unoccupied slum resettlement plots and demanded an explanation of how the MCD was able to identify apparently overnight the 7,000-odd plots whose allotment was cancelled.

The Councillors also requested the Chairman to pass a ruling that would forbid transfer of power of attorney of jhuggi resettlement plots.

Additional Commissioner (Slum Department) A. B. Shukla said: “The Department had been conducting a survey since July 9. Only after this survey did we determine which resettlement plots were lying vacant and decided to cancel their allotment. It is the usual practice to conduct such a survey a month or so after the initial allotment.”

Explaining the resettlement process, Mr. Shukla said the MCD could intervene in a slum locality only after the landowner approached it. After this, a survey was conducted and a list of jhuggi dwellers was made. After the resettlement land has been identified, it is the MCD’s responsibility to develop it, he added.

Taking note of the proceedings, Chairman Vijender Gupta said: “The plots whose allotment has been cancelled will be re-allotted to the existing jhuggi dwellers. There will also be an in-house departmental enquiry to look into any discrepancies in this matter.”

Radio taxis

The Additional Deputy Commissioner of the MCD Remunerative Project Cell, Amiya Chandra, said the civic body was in the process of striking a deal with six radio taxi associations in the city that would net a revenue of Rs.245 crore a year.

The number of radio taxis plying on the city’s roads is expected to reach 20,000 by the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Community halls

The MCD Standing Committee also rejected a proposal that sought to make available MCD community halls for its functionaries free of cost.