Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung has approved Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) proposal of granting ownership rights to chulha taxpayers of five villages in the capital. These villages include Nagali Razapur, Todapur, Dashghara, Jhilmil Tahirpur and Arakpur Bagh Mochi.
Since Independence, chulha taxpayers and their families have been fighting for rights over the land where they had built their homes.
In 1911, when the Government of India decided to shift its capital from Kolkata to New Delhi, it decided not to acquire land in certain villages, provided the occupants of the said land paid chulha tax to the government.
“Chulha tax was charged at Rs 1 anna per month from every family and was determined on the number of chulhas each family had in their home. They continued to pay this tax till 1975,’’ an official said.
“At the time, there were only 302 families. But now, the number has grown to around 500. Also, there are different categories of occupants in these villages. For instance, there are original chulha taxpayers and their descendants. Then, there are people who purchased the land from the original taxpayers or their descendants. The third category is those people who have occupied the land illegally. It has been decided that the original occupants and their descendants, who have been occupying land as per permitted limit of 200 sq metres, will be charged pre-determined rates. Those who have purchased this land will have to pay conversion charges,” a DDA official said.
Meanwhile, to look into cases where land has been encroached upon, a committee has been constituted by the DDA.