November 28, 2019
Pratima Mondal speaks about regularisation of unauthorised colonies in Delhi
Thank you, Chairman Sir. I rise to speak on The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Bill, 2019.
Sir, unauthorised colonies have been in existence since the planned development started by the Delhi Development Authority in the year 1967. Unauthorised colonies are the residential colonies constructed without taking the required permission for the layout or building plan. Consequently, consent deeds for these colonies are not registered by the Registrar or Sub-Registrar unless these are regularised by the government. Transaction of purchase and sale of property in these colonies is evidenced by a Power of Attorney, Possession letter, etc which does not convey any title in the property held by the Supreme Court in the case of Suraj Lamp and Industries Private Limited versus State of Haryana case.
Sir, properties are not just used for shelter. It is also seen as an investment. For numerous people like Arun Diwakar, a migrant labour from Bihar, settled in Delhi the property was fruitless as the investment was not useful to him. He could not mortgage it when his wife was seriously ill and hospitalised, and when he needed money for his daughter’s marriage.
Now this Bill seeks to grant people of this area an authority over their property. I support the Bill, but my concern also lies in the fact that the proposed legislation will convey a message that mass encroachment of government land will be made legal in the future. So henceforth, the government has to be very aware and get rid of illegal construction before it turns into a colony.
My question is also regarding the definition of ‘resident’. Sir, Clause 2 states that, a resident is a person possessing documents related to property, and his or her legal heirs. Sir, residents of a house do not include just the owner and children. The person might be childless and still have a family. So, I would request the minister to look into this. Spouse, parents and siblings of the owner must also be within the ambit of the definition. Thus, the term family must be used, since in the case of owner’s demise, the property can be transferred to someone who is not a legal heir, but maybe spouse. The move of the Bill is very fair, but systematic implementation must be provided.
Firstly, Delhi Development Authority has earned the distinction of being a slow mover. The reason for such a reputation is its sluggishness. This can prove to be a major issue. The solution to this can be fixing a time window within which the application is made online, has to be resolved by the DDA or else it can remain pending for years.
The government has added the clause of conveyance deed; it will delay the entire proceedings. The minister must state the date on which the owners will get valid registries in their hands.
Secondly, there are areas which have been left out in the mapping. Here I would appreciate that an online portal has been formed for filing a complaint related to fault in the map but again maps of only 14 out of 1,731 one colonies have been uploaded so far. The process seriously needs to be fastened. It is also necessary for the government to state the source of these maps.
Sir, my question is are you using the satellite maps, and that too of 2015? This will be a major mistake as it needs an upgrade. Here we need to make sure that not a single household must suffer and left out due to a mistake in map making. The common man should not suffer due to bureaucratic mistakes.
Thirdly, people are demanding that the names of their colonies be replaced. That is a legitimate demand and must be met with. This is so because there are many colonies which are known by the caste and profession of the people living in it. Just because the plot is occupied by people from a particular caste, it should not be named, such as Harijan Basti. This is not only a degrading attitude but also promotes caste system and caste-based discrimination is bound to increase if the colony names are accepted by the government. This is my sincere request to the minister. Do look into this matter in order to promote equality in the capital of India.
The Delhi Government has paid Rs 8,147 crore since 2015 for development work. It has laid down pipelines, improved sewage systems, and also constructed roads. How much does the Central Government intend to allot for the development work of this concerned area? Has the government even formulated any plan for improving the condition of this region?
Finally I would like to know from the government that what is in store for the so-called unauthorised colonies that have been left out. Is there any proposed Schedule for regularising colonies or places like Sainik Farms, Vasant Kunj, Chattarpur and other areas?
To sum it up, I would like to say that the intention of the proposed Bill is surely noble, because sheltar is a basic necessity, but the whole procedure needs a very smart and scientific approach. Or else, it could raise more problems for the people of Delhi. I would end with a simple question. The BJP Government came to power in 2014. Why did it take five years to bring in this Bill, and that too before Assembly elections? Is there any political agenda or motive behind this proposed legislation.