Delhi unauthorised colonies: Parliament passes bill to confer ownership rights to residents

The parliament has passed a bill, to grant ownership rights to people living in 1,731 unauthorised colonies in Delhi, benefiting eight lakh families

A bill to confer ownership rights to the residents of Delhi’s unauthorised colonies – The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Bill, 2019 – was passed by a voice vote in the Rajya Sabha, on December 4, 2019. It was already passed in the Lok Sabha on November 28, 2019. Replying to the debate in the upper house, urban development minister Hardeep Singh Puri, said that the bill would soon get the president’s nod and the work of uploading maps of 1,731 colonies would be completed.

“We have already uploaded maps of 1,130 colonies. After uploading all maps, we would give 15 days’ time, for filing objections (by resident welfare associations and other stakeholders). We would open the filing of application by resident from December 15 and a dedicated portal for that would also be provided,” the minister said.

About empowering women under the bill, he said that the registration of property in these colonies, would be done ‘either in the name of women head of the family or co-jointly (with male member)’. He also told the house that progressive names would be given to these colonies. About consideration of other colonies falling in forest areas, Archaeological Survey of India protected land, Zone O, Yamuna flood plains and in affluent categories, he said that these were not included in this bill and would be taken up separately.

 


Delhi unauthorised colonies: Bill to provide ownership rights introduced in the Lok Sabha

A bill, which seeks to provide a legal framework to grant ownership rights to people living in unauthorised colonies in Delhi, has been introduced in the Lok Sabha

November 27, 2019: The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Bill, 2019, was introduced by union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri, in the Lok Sabha on November 26, 2019. According to the Bill, ownership rights will be given on the basis of power of attorney, agreement of sale, will, possession letter or any other documents, including papers evidencing payment of consideration through a conveyance deed or authorisation slip. The stamp duty and registration charges shall be payable on the amount mentioned in the conveyance deed or authorisation slip, it states.

According to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the applicants will have to register and upload the required documents – general power of attorney, payment receipt, possession letter, etc. – on the website. “Thereafter, a team from the DDA will visit the spot for verification. The officials will help the applicants remove deficiencies, in case there are any,” he said.

 


Residents in Delhi’s unauthorised colonies can apply for ownership rights online from December 16, 2019

The applicants will get the ownership certificate within 180 days from the date of application. The applicants will have to register and upload the required documents such as power of attorney, payment receipt, possession letter on the portal to prove their claim.

November 25, 2019: Residents of unauthorised colonies in the national capital will be able to apply for ownership rights starting December 16, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on November 23, 2019.

The applicants will get the ownership certificate within 180 days from the date of application, the minister said at the launch of a portal which will ‘define and delineate’ the boundaries of 1,731 unauthorised colonies here using satellite imagery.

The Union Cabinet had on November 21, approved a bill that provides a legal framework to grant ownership rights to the people living in unauthorised colonies in the city, a move that will benefit 40 to 50 lakh people.

The decision is politically significant as it will benefit millions of poor migrants who hold key to the assembly election due early next year and had backed the Aam Aadmi Party in large numbers in the 2015 Delhi polls.
Inaugurating the website developed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Puri said: “What the Delhi government couldn’t do in 11 years, we have done that in just three months”.

Accusing the Arvind Kejriwal government of delaying the process of delineation of unauthorised colonies on various pretexts, Puri said, “Obstructionist and irresponsible attitude of the Delhi government is evident on every issue pertaining to the welfare of the people.

“We want the resident welfare associations to look at the boundaries delineated using satellite imagery and convey their suggestions and objections within 15 days”. The Union minister said that another website will be launched for residents to apply for ownership rights starting December 16.

The applicants will have to register and upload the required documents — general power of attorney, payment receipt, possession letter, etc — on the website, DDA Vice Chairman Tarun Kapoor said.

“Thereafter, a team of DDA will visit the spot for verification. The officials will help the applicants remove deficiencies, in case there are any,” he said.
Kapoor said DDA will start operating helpline centres at its local offices from December 1 to make the process smooth.
In a bid to remove legal hurdles in granting ownership in unauthorised colonies, the lieutenant governor has already declared 79 villages as ‘urban areas’. Ongoing cases pertaining to change of land use will also be withdrawn soon, he said.

 


Delhi unauthorised colonies: Cabinet approves bill to grant ownership rights

November 20, 2019: The union cabinet, on November 20, 2019, approved a bill that provides a legal framework for granting ownership rights to people living in unauthorised colonies in the national capital territory of Delhi. The bill is likely to be introduced in parliament on November 21, sources in the government said. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman described it as a legal framework, which includes various elements, including amendment to the Income Tax Act.

The proposed bill is aimed at recognising general power of attorney (GPA), will, agreement to sell, purchase and possession documents, which will be a one-time relaxation for this purpose, for the residents of these colonies. The bill will also provide for registration charges and stamp duty on last transaction and also address the issue of income tax liability, on account of less than circle rate charges. The decision is politically significant, as it will benefit millions of poor migrants who hold the key to the assembly election due early in 2020 and had backed the AAP in large numbers in the 2015 Delhi polls.

 


Boundaries of over 500 unauthorised colonies delineated in Delhi: DDA

Boundaries of more than 500 unauthorised colonies in the national capital have been delineated, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has said

November 18, 2019: The Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the Survey of India and officers of Revenue Department of the Delhi government have delineated the boundaries of more than 500 unauthorised colonies as per the standard operating procedure, using the satellite images of 2015 as the cut-off date, a statement from the DDA stated, on November 16, 2019. The delineated boundaries or maps are being uploaded on the DDA website.

According to a DDA statement, the presidents of RWAs of the colonies having common boundaries are requested to give their suggestions on the delineated boundaries, within 15 days of uploading of the map and point out any discrepancy which may be rectified, along with reasons and supporting documents on the DDA portal.

 


Delhi unauthorised colonies: Housing Ministry notifies regulations for grant of ownership rights

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has notified regulations, to confer ownership rights to residents of 1,731 unauthorised colonies in Delhi

October 31, 2019: The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, on October 29, 2019, notified the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Regulations, 2019 that fixes charges to be paid and the procedures to be followed, by the residents of 1,731 unauthorised colonies for ownership rights. The identification of the eligible colonies that were in existence on June 1, 2014 and had 50% occupancy on January 1, 2015, would be completed in the next two years, by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) from the date of the notification.

It stated that rates will be charged for the process. These rates would be applicable for a year, after which an annual 8% interest would be charged for late payment, the notification read. Depending on the category of locality and size of plot, residents would have to pay between Rs 14.55 per sq metre to Rs 4,837.50 per sq metre, to get ownership rights.

 


Delhi unauthorised colonies: Boundaries to be marked in three months, says DDA

With the union cabinet approving a proposal to grant ownership rights to the people in Delhi’s unauthorised colonies, the DDA has said that it will begin work on marking the boundaries of these colonies

October 24, 2019: On the day the Union Cabinet approved a proposal to grant ownership rights to people living in unauthorised colonies in the national capital, the Delhi Development Authority, on October 23, 2019, said it will soon begin work on marking the boundaries of these colonies, which is expected to be completed in three months. “The mapping will be based on a 2015 satellite imagery and the boundaries will be mapped on to that imagery. In three months, we will complete the marking of the boundaries. We will also launch a portal for people to apply by furnishing relevant details,” a senior DDA official said.

The DDA will also put the mapping in public domain and seek suggestions and objections, from members of the residents’ welfare associations and other people. “After applications, there will be self-assessments and on-spot visits by our officials to do verification. After verification, conveyance deeds will be issued and the property would be then registered,” the official said when asked about the process involved in it. The rights will be conferred on payment of nominal charge based on carpet area/plot size. For colonies on government land, the charge will be 0.5% for less than 100 sq m, 1% for 100-250 sq m and 2.5% for greater than 250 sq m, of the circle rate of highest category of locality of the residential area surrounding the unauthorised colony.

 


Delhi unauthorised colonies: Centre approves proposal to grant ownership rights

The union cabinet has approved a proposal, to grant ownership rights to people living in unauthorised colonies in Delhi

October 23, 2019: In a move that will benefit 40 lakh people, the union cabinet, on October 23, 2019, approved a proposal to grant ownership rights to people living in unauthorised colonies in Delhi, union minister Prakash Javadekar said. The proposal is based on the recommendations of a committee, he said. The move comes ahead of the Assembly polls in the national capital, scheduled for early 2020.

Housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the centre would also bring a bill in the winter session of parliament, to give relief to the residents of unauthorised colonies in the national capital. The decision ‘is applicable to 1,797 identified unauthorised colonies’ spread over 175 sq kms inhabited by people from lower income groups, he said. It does not apply to 69 affluent colonies identified by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) including Sainik Farms, Mahendru Enclave and Anantram Dairy, Puri added.

 


Delhi sealing drive: SC expresses unhappiness over Delhi HC order

The Supreme Court has expressed its dissatisfaction over a Delhi HC order pertaining to the sealing drive in the national capital and reiterated that other courts shall not entertain pleas related to the functioning of the monitoring committee appointed for the drive

January 29, 2019: The Supreme Court, on January 28, 2019, expressed displeasure over the Delhi High Court’s recent order in a sealing matter and restrained it from entertaining any plea related to the apex court-mandated monitoring committee on sealing of unauthorised constructions in the national capital. “We are not happy with the way the Delhi High Court has passed the order,” a bench comprising justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta said.

The bench noted that the apex court had made it clear in its December 15, 2017 judgement and two subsequent orders that any challenge to the decision of the monitoring committee, would lie only in the top court.

See also: NGT directs CPCB to issue directions, for the closure of Ansal Properties’ Sushant Lok-Phase I in Gurugram

The issue cropped up before the bench, when senior counsel Ranjit Kumar, assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the Delhi sealing matter, drew its attention to a report filed by the monitoring committee. As per the report, a division bench of the high court had, on January 23, 2019, passed an order in a matter related to the sealing of a premises in Mehrauli.

The division bench of the high court was hearing an appeal against the September 10, 2018 order passed by a single judge, who had dismissed a plea challenging the sealing action undertaken by the monitoring committee, on the ground that as per December 15, 2017 verdict of the apex court, the remedy against the action of the monitoring committee would lie only in the top court.

The division bench, while hearing the appeal, had directed the committee to file an affidavit before it, detailing the steps as to how they carry out the sealing action. In its January 23, 2019 order, the division bench, while disposing of the appeal, had noted that the ‘tone and tenor’ of the report submitted before it by the monitoring committee, was a matter of ‘some concern’. During the hearing before the apex court on January 28, the amicus referred to the orders passed by the Supreme Court earlier, in which it was said that other courts would not entertain pleas related to the committee. The apex court has posted the matter for further hearing on February 18, 2019.

 


Bring ordinance to stop sealing drive: Delhi urban development minister urges centre

Delhi’s urban development minister Satyendar Jain has requested the centre to bring an ordinance, to stop the ongoing sealing drive in Delhi and also find out a solution to encroachments on the city roads

January 4, 2019: Participating in a discussion in the state assembly on the sealing drive issue, Delhi’s urban development minister Satyendar Jain, on January 3, 2019, slammed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the BJP-led municipal corporations, saying that encroachment was the main problem but the sealing drive was being carried out, to ‘only make money’ and trouble the traders.

“I request the central government to bring an ordinance, to stop the sealing drive and also find out a solution to the encroachments on roads,” the AAP leader said. Jain also claimed that the conversion charges, being taken from traders to provide relief from sealing, are just to ‘make money’. “They (civic bodies) get an order of sealing 20 establishments but they seal 100 establishments. Later, out of 100, they de-seal 80 establishments to make money,” Jain claimed. The minister said municipal corporations and the police have powers to remove encroachments.

See also: Nearly 5,700 properties sealed by three MCDs in Delhi, since December 2017

Earlier, AAP MLAs Rituraj Govind, Nitin Tyagi and Saurabh Bharadwaj initiated a short discussion on ‘problems being faced by Delhiites due to the sealing of commercial properties and the urgent need for suitable legislation by the parliament to provide relief’.

The sealing drive, which has been underway on the directions of the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee, has assumed political overtones in Delhi with the 2019 Lok Sabha and the 2020 assembly polls drawing nearer.

 


 

Sealing drive: SC says situation in Delhi irreversible

The Supreme Court has termed the situation prevailing in Delhi as ‘irreversible’, saying the authorities would have to make all out efforts to deal with myriad problems like pollution, water crisis and traffic congestion in the national capital

May 4, 2018: The Supreme Court, on May 3, 2018, while hearing a matter relating to the sealing of unauthorised constructions in Delhi, observed that it was perhaps ‘too late’ to improve the situation but the authorities, including the Delhi government, would have to take all steps in a positive manner.

“Perhaps, the situation has become irreversible. Pollution, water, Yamuna water level and traffic congestion, we are having problems. Perhaps it is too late. Maybe it is irreversible. If efforts are made, things will improve. It cannot be done at the speed of light but at least you can start,” a bench comprising justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.

“The Delhi government also has to take steps in a positive manner. Everybody has to move forward,” the bench observed. The apex court asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to consider these aspects in a positive manner. “For whom is this all happening? It is for the people of Delhi and if things are going like this, nothing will happen. You see river Yamuna. There is no water. We would be wasting our time unless you will not do it,” the bench said.

The apex court also questioned the DDA, as to whether they have made any ‘plan B’, in case the apex court strikes down the laws protecting unauthorised constructions from being sealed.

It said the amendments in the Master Plan of Delhi-2021 could become meaningless, if these are struck down by the apex court. The bench, which had earlier stayed any further progress in amending the Master Plan 2021, also said that the proposed amendments relating to the floor area ratio (FAR) for shop-cum-residential plots and complexes, might lead to further constructions.

FAR is the ratio of a building’s total floor area (gross floor area) to the size of the piece of land on which it is built.

See also: Sealing drive: Centre proposes task force, to examine safety of buildings

“You (DDA) have to keep in mind the fact that the amendments that are under challenge from 2006, all that can be struck down. There is a possibility. You cannot say that you will deal with it when the court will strike it down. You must have a plan B ready,” the court said. The court also said if FAR was increased, huge constructions could come up in Delhi and the DDA cannot wish it away.

At the outset, additional solicitor general (ASG) ANS Nadkarni, appearing for the centre, told the bench that the special task force (STF), which would oversee enforcement of laws to deal with unauthorised constructions and encroachments in Delhi, has been constituted and it has started taking action against encroachments on public land.

The bench, however, observed that the STF was taking action against the poor people like tea stall owners on the pavements but not against those who were rich. “There are huge rooms for security guards, outside the big bungalows, on the pavements. Why are you not taking action against them?” the bench asked Nadkarni, who said ‘this is just the beginning’.

The bench also took exception to the DDA giving only three days, for inviting objections from the public before the proposed amendments to the Master Plan.

“You are saying that three days is reasonable. We accept it but you seek four to six weeks to file an affidavit. When it comes to the citizens, you say three days are enough but when it comes to the government, you say six weeks is not enough,” the bench said and referred to the rules which stipulate 90 days’ time for inviting objections.

The top court also questioned the proposed amendment regarding FAR and asked why there cannot be a status quo on it. Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, assisting the court as an amicus curiae, raised the issue of lack of environment impact assessment, before proposing to amend the Master Plan. The bench asked the DDA to file a tabular chart, giving details as to what the rules were and what was the amendment proposed and posted the matter for hearing on May 8, 2018.

The top court had earlier ordered the restoration of its 2006 monitoring committee, to identify and seal such offending structures. The monitoring committee, comprising KJ Rao, former advisor to the Election Commissioner; Bhure Lal, chairman of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, and major general (retd) Som Jhingan, was set up on March 24, 2006, by the court. The apex court is also hearing arguments on the validity of the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 and subsequent legislations, which protect unauthorised constructions from being sealed.

 

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