New Delhi: Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a bill to regularise unauthorised colonies and rehabilitate slum dwellers in Delhi after incorporating a key amendment suggested by BJP members from the national capital.
The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Amendment Bill 2014, seeking extension of the existing Act for a period of three years from January 1, 2015, was passed after the government agreed to the amendment.
The amendment sought extension of cut off date for colonies eligible for authorisation.
Replying to a debate on the bill, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the amendment makes colonies eligible for authorisation beyond the cut off date of February 8, 2007. Now the government has agreed to extend the date to June 1, 2014.
Naidu said the government was moving in the direction of regularisation of 1,200 plus unauthorised colonies in Delhi. "We are going to take a final decision on the matter," he said.
The bill was introduced against the backdrop of phenomenal growth of Delhi that has led to problems of encroachment on public land, growth of slums, unauthorised constructions, large scale commercialisation of residential areas and inadequacy of housing stocks.
Naidu said his Ministry was taking all steps to retain Delhi's reputation as the greenest capital city.
He suggested three measures -- rainwater harvesting, tapping of solar power and plantation of trees -- for sustainable growth of the national capital.
Besides regularisation of unauthorised colonies, the bill seeks to regulate street vendors, regularise unauthorised colonies, village abadi areas and their extensions and existing farm houses; regularise schools, dispensaries, religious and cultural institutions, storages, warehouses and godowns built on agricultural land.
When Master Plan of Delhi-2021 was being prepared to protect certain forms of unauthorised developments from punitive action, the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 was enacted on May 19, 2006 for one year.
This was followed by similar other statutes on annual basis with the last one being the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011. This Act expires on December 31, 2014, necessitating its further extension.