Parliament Thursday passed a Bill to protect slums and unauthorised colonies in the National Capital Region from punitive action till a framework for orderly arrangements are in place. The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill gives immunity to slums and unauthorised constructions till December 31, 2020. The immunity under the existing Bill ends on December 31 this year.
Replying to a debate, before Rajya Sabha passed the bill, Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said if the Bill is not passed, it will lead to “unprecedented chaos” in the capital, which witnesses an influx of over six lakh people a year. Puri said that there were seven categories of unauthorised colonies and each of them had separate cut-off points and dates.
“I don’t have any answer on why nothing was done between 2008 and 2014, but post-2014, an attempt to fast-track things has been made,” he said, adding that a Supreme Court-appointed committee was looking into the matter.
He said the Delhi government had filed an affidavit in the High Court seeking two-year extension to complete the work and the Centre has been left with no option than to seek one more year to ward off the ‘Sword of Damocles’ hanging on the poor.
On the allegations that a blind school was demolished, he said it was an illegal construction and that notice was served to those who got it constructed and the government has offered to rehabilitate the children.