Rajya Sabha MPs unite for Delhi slum dwellers

Rajya Sabha passes National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Amendment Bill, 2014

Published - December 23, 2014 05:56 pm IST - NEW DELHI

On the last day of the Winter Session, the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Amendment Bill 2014 that offers protection from demolition to the residents of unauthorised colonies in the Capital, till 2017.

The Bill provides an extension to the existing Act, which gives protection to unauthorised colonies from demolition for a period of three years from January 1, 2015.

The two sides buried their disagreements to come together to pass the Bill, taking a humane view of the issue. The Opposition parties made it clear that they were supporting the Government in passing the Bill because it offers protection to people in need who live in these unauthorised colonies and would have to face eviction in the dead of the winter, unless the Bill was passed.

The agreement was however, disrupted after BJP's Vijay Goel commented against the Congress and a united Opposition rose in protest.

Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, while piloting the Bill, said lakhs of people in Delhi live in slums and unauthorised colonies and it is imperative to seek a long-term solution to the problem. He said the government is open to good examples from across the country and will study the slum redevelopment models being followed in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Mr. Naidu accepted suggestions from the Opposition on focussing on rehabilitation and said steps will be taken towards regularisation of unauthorised colonies in Delhi.

An amendment was moved in the Bill that provides unauthorised colonies which have come up till June 1,2014 will be entitled for regularisation; the earlier cut­off date was February 8, 2007.

The Minister also said providing housing for all is a major challenge for the government and the national housing plan is now in its final stages.

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