New Delhi: In a move aimed at wooing rural voters ahead of Assembly polls, the Delhi Government on Saturday announced extension of Lal Dora to 360 more villages and lifting of restriction on use of agriculture land for construction.
The decisions will help villagers get their properties registered and carry out construction works after approval of building plans from authorities.
Earlier, under the Section 81 of the Land Reforms Act, no agricultural land could be used for construction of houses and other purposes.
Describing it as "historical decision", Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said it will provide relief to lakhs of people in the city.
Lal Dora refers to land which is that part of the village `abadi` (habitation) which is used for non-agricultural purpose only. Lal Dora was exempted from the building by laws, and construction norms and related regulations under Delhi Municipal Act.
The decision to extend the Lal Dora and lifting of restriction on use of agricultural land for other purposes was taken at a Cabinet meeting presided by Dikshit.
Officials said the Union Urban Development Ministry will have to ratify the decision for its implementation.
Announcing the Cabinet decision at a rally in Talkatora stadium, Dikshit promised that all "problems" being faced by people living in rural areas will be resolved soon.
"We won`t let rural Delhi lag behind the urban areas in development. We will provide same facilities in these areas that are available in urban areas. Our foes say that this decision is taken keeping in mind the upcoming elections, but if that would have been so, you wouldn`t have elected us thrice," she said while addressing villagers.
Urban Development Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said Section 81 has often been misused.
"Villagers should be allowed to build their home on their land wherever they want. We have decided that Lal Dora will be extended to all 360 villages. We will give three months` time to RWAs or Gram Sabhas to identify the extended population of the village and apply accordingly," said Lovely.
The minister said that anybody who wants to build a house in rural area now can approach MCDs as the civic agencies have the authority to clear it.
The Chief Minister has also issued an order to the revenue department to withdraw all pending cases under section 81 in various courts, the minister said.
"Villagers living anywhere, in rural or urbanised villages, Lal Dora, extended Lal Dora, farm houses or even at places under the 20 point programme will not be issued any notices under section 81 from now on. The Chief Minister has also issued an order to the revenue department to withdraw all pending cases under section 81 in various courts," Lovely said.
"Maps falling in urbanised village, extended population, unauthorised colonies which have been authorised by us can be passed. Section 81 will not be applicable in any of the above mentioned places anymore," he said.
The decision on lifting restriction of Rule 81 of the Land Acquisition Act for certain categories of land will mean that villages in the city would no longer be apprehensive of getting notices under the provision.
As per existing norms under the Act, no agricultural land can be used for construction of houses and other purposes but lifting of the restriction would pave way for building flats on those lands.
Singh said government has also decided to relax restrictions under Section 33 of the Land Reforms Act which will pave way for transfer of land by farm land owners.
"Another decision was taken by the Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today is regarding Section 33. She has instructed the divisional commissioner and the Chief Secretary to issue an order to provide relief from Section 33 to the villagers as soon as possible as it does not requires a cabinet decision," he said.
On difficulties being faced by those who were allotted plots under `20-point` programme in early 1980s, Lovely said the an in-principle decision to provide relief for those having residential properties has been taken.
"Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has given personal responsibility to the Divisional Commissioner to get the proposal approved from the Home Ministry and the central government and report it to her. I am confident that we will soon meet here again to announce relief from the 20-point programme," he said.
Responding to a demand that like government lecturers, retirement age of government teachers in Delhi should also be extended to 65 years, Chief Minster Sheila Dikshit promised that the cabinet will soon meet to take a "positive" decision in this regard.
She said that Delhi is one of the top four cities of the world and the first city in the country to implement direct cash transfer scheme.