Land pool­ing in Delhi: things seem to be get­ting messier

Delhi govt’s re­quest for copies of res­o­lu­tions on con­ver­sion of vil­lages to ur­ban ar­eas leave mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions puz­zled. Claim they in­formed DDA months ago

HT Estates - - NEWS - Jee­van Prakash Sharma

To quote from Alice in Won­der­land, mat­ters re­lated to Delhi’s land pool­ing pol­icy (LPP) seem to be get­ting cu­ri­ouser and cu­ri­ouser. The plan, of im­mense im­por­tance to the Cap­i­tal city be­cause it will cre­ate 25 to 30 lakh homes for its cit­i­zens, still seems to have no clar­ity.

About 89 ru­ral vil­lages in Delhi have to be con­verted to ur­ban ar­eas and then de­vel­oped. Par­ties in­ter­ested in ben­e­fit­ing from LPP have to buy the land from the vil­lages, hand it over to DDA and get a per­cent­age back for de­vel­op­ment. As the Delhi gov­ern­ment had not taken a clear stand on LPP and a num­ber of prop­erty buy­ers had in­vested huge sums hop­ing for sub­stan­tial re­turns (ROI), HT Es­tates at­tempted to gain more clar­ity on LPP. An email was sent to Man­ish Siso­dia, state deputy chief min­is­ter, with a copy to Arvind Ke­jri­wal, chief min­is­ter, re­quest­ing in­for­ma­tion on con­ver­sion of the (89) ru­ral vil­lages to ur­ban in the LPP zones.

I n a quick re­sponse on Fe­bru­ary 10, 2016, GK Mad­hav, of­fi­cer on spe­cial duty to Siso­dia, for­warded the mail to the spe­cial sec­re­tary, ur­ban de­vel­op­ment, keep­ing this cor­re­spon­dent in the loop, ask­ing that the mat­ter be looked into.

On Fe­bru­ary 18, San­jeev Manko­tia, deputy sec­re­tary in the mu­nic­i­pal bod­ies branch of the ur­ban de­vel­op­ment (UD) depart­ment, in a mail to this cor­re­spon­dent, said his depart­ment had taken up the con­ver­sion mat­ter with three mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions. He had writ­ten to the East Delhi Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (EDMC), North Delhi Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (NDMC) and South Delhi Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (SDMC), ask­ing for copies of res­o­lu­tions declar­ing vil­lages in their ju­ris­dic­tion as ur­banised along­with draft of no­ti­fi­ca­tion. Manko­tia’s let­ters to the cor­po­ra­tions were dated Fe­bru­ary 11, mak­ing it ev­i­dent that the mat­ter was taken up two days after HT Es­tates sent the email to Siso­dia. Two doc­u­ments were also at­tached to Manko­tia’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion to the mu­nic­pal cor­po­ra­tions. One was a no­ti­fi­ca­tion from the director, pan­chayat, dated Oc­to­ber 19, 2015, with the sub­ject ‘Dec­la­ra­tion of 89 vil­lages as ur­ban vil­lages.’ The other was from the vice chair­man, Delhi De­vel­op­ment Author­ity (DDA), dated Fe­bru­ary 11, 2016, to the UD depart­ment, in­form­ing it about the no­ti­fi­ca­tion of 89 ur­ban vil­lages under Section 507 of the Delhi Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion Act, 1957. DDA’s let­ter had also men­tioned that the SDMC had passed a res­o­lu­tion in the house to de­clare vil­lages fall­ing under its ju­ris­dic­tion as ur­banised.

Now the ques­tion is, why did Manko­tia choose to send the director pan­chayat and DDA VC’s let­ters to the cor­po­ra­tions now, on Fe­bru­ary 11, 2016, in­stead of the dates on which they were is­sued, and that too after the emailed en­quiries by HT Es­tates? Se­condly, six months ago, when DDA VC’s let­ter to Manko­tia’s depart­ment had men­tioned that SDMC had passed a res­o­lu­tion in the house to de­clare vil­lages fall­ing under its ju­ris­dic­tion as ur­banised, why was the UD depart­ment now ask­ing the cor­po­ra­tions for a copy of the res­o­lu­tion?

While the UD depart­ment let­ter in­di­cates that the Delhi gov­ern­ment is com­pletely clue­less about LPP, it also high­lights com­plete lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween se­nior of­fi­cials of mu­nic­i­pal bod­ies and DDA.

While both SDMC and NDMC (North Delhi) claimed to have al­ready passed the res­olu-

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