The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Bill to provide ownership title to over 40 lakh people in unauthorised colonies in the national capital with Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri saying that the move will change the face of Delhi and "what could not be done in 11 years was being done in 30 days."
In his reply to the debate on the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Bill, 2019, Puri laid down tight timelines to achieve the task to provide ownership rights to over 40,000 people living in 1,731 unauthorised colonies in Delhi.
He also targeted Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government of "creating hurdles" in the process of giving ownership rights and denied opposition claims that the bill was linked to assembly elections in Delhi early next year.
Puri said digital maps of unauthorised colonies will be uploaded by the end of this year and a portal will be created by December 16 for residents of colonies to apply for registration.
The minister said that nearly 75 help centres will be created by DDA "so that there is no resident who does not get help".
He said if residents start coming as soon as the portal opens, the work on conferring property rights "can be done in 15 days".
The minister said if there is any difficulty in implementation, assistance will be there round-the-clock. "We have to end this injustice. What could not be done in 11 years, we will try to do it 30 days," he said.
Referring to Kejriwal's remarks about early registration, Puri said he wanted to caution the chief minister as this has to be done by the Delhi government and he may have to eat his own words.
"You were not allowing us to proceed for the last three years. How many roadblocks you have created, look in the mirror," he said.
The minister said the Kejriwal government told the court that it needs two more years for mapping these colonies. "The people who created hurdles are now saying act fast," he said.
The minister said that the bill will provide ease of living to the residents of the colonies.
Earlier, moving the bill for passage in the House, Puri said Delhi had a population of 8 lakh in 1947 which grew to 20 lakh in 1950 when the first census took place.
He said the population of the national capital and its neighbouring areas could be around 2 crore when the census takes place in 2021.
The minister said his father also came to Delhi as a refugee after partition. Puri said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government was laying thrust on urban renewal and more than 1.12 crore houses will be built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana to fulfill the mission of 'Housing for All' by 2022.
Referring to Delhi, he said some "half-hearted" steps were made in 2008 during Congress rule about unauthorised colonies and a court judgment in 2011 laid down that sale agreement/General Power of Attorney or will transactions are not 'transfers' or 'sales' and that such transactions cannot be treated as completed transfers or conveyances.
He said Delhi government was to delineate the unauthorised colonies but "half-hearted attempts were made" and the Arvind Kejriwal-led government informed that it needed time till 2021 for the task.
The minister said that "nothing would have happened" till 2021 and the Narendra Modi government took a decision to do take steps to provide relief to people.
He said the plot size in illegal colonies was small and work on digital mapping will be completed by December 31 this year. "The maps are being uploaded on a new website. We are not going only by satellite data, we are putting boundaries. The RWA (Resident Welfare Associations) will be given 15 days to respond," he said.
Puri went on to mention that around 300 digital maps have already been uploaded. He said individuals who can show evidence of their residing in these colonies can apply "in the second part". "My date for this is December 16. All people deprived of conferment rights can apply for registration," he said.
He said the number of people in the over 1,700 unauthorised colonies being regularised could be as high as 50 lakhs.
Several members, including four of seven BJP MPs in Delhi, took part in the debate.
The Bill recognises the property rights of residents of unauthorised colonies and also provides some relief to the residents of unauthorised colonies in Delhi from registration charges.
The properties in these colonies are at present not being registered by registration authorities.
The Bill seeks to recognise and confer rights of ownership or transfer or mortgage to the residents of such colonies on the basis of power of attorney, agreement to sale, will, possession letter and other documents.
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