No amnesty for illegal floors in the Capital

Staff Reporter

But fourth floor constructed up to the permitted height of 15 metres would not be demolished

NEW DELHI: Union Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken on Tuesday ruled out any amnesty for illegally constructed fourth and fifth floors in the Capital, adding however that fourth floors constructed up to the permitted height of 15 metres would not be demolished.

Addressing a press conference here, the Minister said the Opposition parties’ demand for amnesty to all illegally constructed fourth and fifth floors was unreasonable considering the risk these additional floors would pose in the event of an earthquake.

“For buildings over 15 metres high, special precautions and facilities are needed which are found lacking on small plots. But if the fourth floor is within the prescribed height limit, it will not be pulled down,” he added.

The Minister said another reason why the demand for amnesty could not be met was that allowing such structures in Delhi would elicit similar demands from other States.

Norms relaxed

On the issue of unauthorised colonies, Mr. Maken made out a strong case for their regularisation saying that the norms had been relaxed to benefit nearly 40 lakh people in the Capital.

“People say regularisation would lead to a water problem in the colonies. But I believe that the way ahead is to regularise them so that they get piped water and the wastage of water through leakage and seepage is reduced. Also, sewer lines could then be laid for taking the sewage to the treatment plants and ensuring that the waste generated by these colonies does not flow through the open drains into the Yamuna,” Mr. Maken said.

According to the official guidelines issued last October, Mr. Maken said even ``habitations” that had come up as extension to village “abadi” and had not been notified as “Lal Dora” extension would not be eligible for regularisation provided they existed on March 31, 2002.

In fact, Mr. Maken said, the aerial survey of March 2002 would continue to be the yardstick for all regularisations and the colonies had been identified for regularisation according to it.

Date extended

“Here too,” he said, “the norms have been relaxed: while earlier it had been stated that only demarcated colonies having 50 per cent or more built-up area till the time of the aerial survey would be regularised, now the cut-off date has been extended to the date of formal announcement of the regularisation scheme.”

Seeking to clear confusion over the process of regularisation, the Minister said the residents’ welfare associations would not be required to submit service plans laying down details of water and power facilities. These jobs would be performed by the Delhi Jal Board and the power distribution companies instead.

Also, the Minister said, in the revised guidelines, there was no provision for the residents’ welfare associations to provide details of 15 per cent open area within the colonies for basic facilities.

“This is the job of the Delhi Development Authority and the land owning agencies,” he insisted.

Mr. Maken said recovery of development charges and modalities for undertaking development works would be undertaken by the Delhi Government.