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Monday, February 26, 2024

Lok Sabha Passes Delhi Unauthorized Buildings Bill

On Tuesday, the Parliament enacted a Bill to prolong by three years the immunity granted to unauthorized structures in slums, farm homes, and other colonies in the national capital from official action.

The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Act, 2023, extends the protection afforded to unauthorized constructions for a three-year term beginning January 1, 2024 and ending December 31, 2026.

The Bill was passed by voice vote in the Lok Sabha following a brief debate in which only three MPs, including one from the opposition, took part. After the suspension of 49 Opposition MPs from the Lower House earlier in the day, this was the first Bill to be discussed.

Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, while replying to the debate, said that the Centre had introduced the PM-UDAY scheme in October 2019 to help regularize unauthorized colonies but almost immediately work stopped due to Covid-19 pandemic.

’40 lakh people benefitted’

“Out of the 2-2.5 crore people, 40 lakh benefited by authorization of unauthorized colonies but still some sections not covered in the initial list but more will be benefited.”

“Over 70 lakh people will benefit from land pooling.” Delhi is not just rising in population, but also in economic power, and much reconstruction is taking place. This Bill wants a three-year extension, which will provide us time and cushion to conduct broad consultations for the orderly development of illegal colonies,” he added.

According to the Bill’s asserts and objectives, “the Master Plan for Delhi with the perspective year 2041 is under finalisation, which includes measures for unauthorised developments such as Jhuggi-Jhompri [slum] clusters, unauthorised colonies, and so on.”

It stated that dealing with these unauthorized developments will take extra time. “Therefore, there is a need for continuing the protection from punitive action granted to certain forms of unauthorised developments in the National Capital Territory of Delhi” .

The Bill was also approved by voice vote in the Rajya Sabha.

Intervening in the discussion, Rajya Sabha Leader Piyush Goyal stated that despite their presence, Congress and AAP MPs did not support the Bill. This demonstrates their stance regarding Dalits, OBCs and homeless people of Delhi.

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Source: The Hindu

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