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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Amid din, Lok Sabha clears law to regularise Delhi colonies

The Bill replaces the ordinance brought in December to extend protection from punitive action to unauthorised colonies, JJ clusters and constructions in Delhi’s rural areas built on agriculture land for another three years.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
March 11, 2021 1:59:42 am

Amid Opposition uproar over the fuel price hike and farm laws, the Lok Sabha Wednesday passed the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2021, to regularise unauthorised colonies.

The House saw repeated adjournments as Opposition MPs raised slogans in the Well. The question hour was disrupted and the House later witnessed three abrupt adjournments.

Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said the Bill would give protection to unauthorised colonies from sealing till December 31, 2023.

“There is a public perception that the issue of unauthorised colonies has been delayed by some political parties when they were in office,” Puri said while replying to a debate on the Bill.

The Bill, passed by the Rajya Sabha on February 9, was passed by a voice vote on Wednesday.

According to Puri, the problem of unauthorised colonies had been there before Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, but no previous government took it up with any degree of seriousness.

“In 1947, 17 per cent of India’s population lived in cities. The population of Delhi was 8 lakh at that time… The 1951 census showed Delhi’s population at 22 lakh. The 2011 census showed Delhi’s population at 1.6 crore. There will be another census this year and I expect the population of Delhi to be close to 2 crore, if not higher,” he said. He said it was a matter of shame that between 2006 when the process of regularisation started and 2014, all governments which were in power in Delhi did nothing. Citing a letter received by his ministry from Delhi government in 2019, seeking extension of timeline for conducting survey of unauthorised colonies, Puri said that it was then that the Modi government decided to bring this Bill.

The Bill replaces the ordinance brought in December to extend protection from punitive action to unauthorised colonies, JJ clusters and constructions in Delhi’s rural areas built on agriculture land for another three years. The legislation will extend legal protection for scores of illegal constructions and unauthorised colonies in the national capital from demolition or sealing till December 2023.

Meenakshi Lekhi, BJP MP from New Delhi, said a large number of people living in unauthorised colonies did not get proper amenities earlier. But the Bill provides not just ownership rights to those living in these colonies but will facilitate access to institutional credit. There are around 1,700 unauthorised colonies in Delhi.

The NCT of Delhi (Special Provisions) Second Amendment Bill, 2021, is an extension of a similar law passed in 2011. When the law expired, the government in 2014 enacted it again to grant extension. —With PTI Inputs

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