New Delhi: In a reprieve to dwellers of unauthorised tenements in poll-bound Delhi, Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill that will give them protection from demolition for three years beyond this year-end, with government saying it is in advanced stages of regularising 1,200 such colonies.
The National Capital of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Amendment Bill 2014 was passed by Rajya Sabha by a voice vote in a hurried manner on the last day of the Winter Session. The Lok Sabha had already passed the bill.
The bill provides for extension of the existing Act, which gives protection to unauthorised colonies from demolition, for a period of three years from January 1, 2015.
Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, while piloting the bill, said lakhs of people in Delhi live in slums who cannot be evicted and hence the legislation is the need of the hour for the capital, which is mini-India.
He said the government will now take steps towards regularisation of 1,200 plus unauthorised colonies in Delhi.
An amendment moved in the bill provides that unauthorised colonies which have come up till June 1,2014 will be entitled for regularisation. The earlier cut-off date was February 8, 2007.
Expressing concern over slum conditions, Naidu said, "You have to find a permanent solution. When there is a will, there is a way."
He said the government had brought this bill as it was committed to the welfare of poor people.
Replying to a brief debate, Naidu cited Tamil Nadu as a successful example of rehabilitation of the slum population.
Referring to NDA government's flagship "Housing for All" programme, he said, "Housing is a massive challenge before the country. We are in the final stage of formulating 'Housing for All' scheme with priority to slums."