Illegal construction: Amnesty law on way

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The Delhi government is drafting a new legislation that will provide a one-time amnesty to several illegal constructions, currently exempt from demolition on a temporary basis.

The Union government had cleared a special legislation in 2006, offering amnesty to thousands of illegal constructions that were in line to be sealed or razed.

The Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act was passed by Parliament on May 19, 2006, and has been extended several times since — with the latest extension valid till December 31, 2014.

But a new legislation being prepared now on Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna's directions would make majority of these constructions permanently legitimate.

Khanna's Officer on Special Duty Ranjan Mukherjee told Newsline: "This amnesty scheme will cover entire Delhi and will provide relief to construction carried out in unauthorised colonies, plotted colonies and Lal Dora areas."

The scheme will provide relief to properties that came up before February 2007, when the Master Plan of Delhi 2021 was implemented.

A senior official of the Delhi government's Urban Development department said they have begun work on the proposal and could submit a draft plan to the Lieutenant-Governor as early as this month.

Ranjan Mukherjee said the L-G's Office will study the draft plan and send it to the Union Urban Development ministry for approval, after which it will have to be cleared in Parliament.

Mukherjee said under the plan, residents of unauthorised colonies will have to submit an affidavit stating their building is structurally safe. "In plotted colonies, like Greater Kailash, residents who constructed a third floor without getting the building plan sanctioned, will get relief under this scheme,'' Mukherjee said.

He said the scheme will conform to four criteria — "construction that is in line with building bylaws only will be covered under the scheme. The building should not obstruct free flow of air and sunlight of the neighbourhood buildings. It should be structurally safe and in accordance with fire regulations which means that the building cannot be more than 15 metres in height,'' Mukherjee said.

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