Delhi govt mulls freeze on sealing, demolition drives



New Delhi: With an eye on assembly polls later this year, Delhi Government is considering freezing all sorts of sealing and demolition in residential and commercial areas in the city.

The issue was discussed at a cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday.

Sources said Dikshit was in favour of not allowing any kind of sealing and demolition drive in residential areas including in unauthorised colonies. "The government is likely to come out with some sort of guidelines to put a total brake on sealing and demolition in the city," they said.

The Parliament in December 2011 had given a three year relief to people in unauthorised colonies from sealing and demolition of their houses and shops.

However, officials said despite the relief, demolition and sealing have been taking place in unauthorised colonies which has prompted the city government to consider coming out with new regulations.

As per the the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provision), status quo will be maintained up to 2014-end with regard to unauthorised colonies including village abadis (settlements) and their extensions, storages, warehouses and godowns for farm produce, among others.

Commercial establishments operating illegally in farm houses and other places in nearly 400 rural areas and urbanised villages were also given the reprieve under the legislation.

The Bill was enacted in 2008 after demolitions started in unauthorised commercial and residential areas at the instance of the Supreme Court.

It was extended year after year since then.

Delhi Government in September last year had regularised 895 unauthorised colonies out of 1,639 such settlements.

Dikshit, who has been pushing hard for regularisation of the remaining colonies, has been insisting that not a single house in the unauthorised colonies will be demolished as people had invested their hard earned money to construct them. The assembly polls are slated for November this year.

PTI