L-G says bring in pvt builders to develop colonies, Sheila disagrees

Ruhi Bhasin, Apurva Posted online: Monday, Oct 22, 2012 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit might have worked together to regularise 895 unauthorised colonies in Delhi, but seem to be poles apart in deciding the road to development. While Khanna has proposed to bring in private developers to refurbish the colonies, Dikshit asserted that the Delhi government will alone be responsible for all development in the regularised colonies.

“Big builders like Tata and HUDCO should come forward to take up development of not only unauthorised colonies, but also of areas where buildings are structurally unsafe. They can take up a certain area and can be provided with an alternative piece of land by the government to provide temporary accommodation to people living in these areas while construction is on,’’ a senior official from the L-G’s office said.

Last month, Khanna suggested that private developers could also participate in the development of the recently regularised colonies. He said: “I think redevelopment of all unauthorised colonies is going to be a huge opportunity for developers.’’

But officials said the proposal to involve developers was at a nascent stage. The L-G office also said it was ready to provide builders with 50 per cent extra floor area ratio. “We are contemplating such steps so that builders can recover the expenditure on such projects,’’ the official said.

Dikshit, however, questioned the need to bring in private developers and the efficiency of the move.

“I do not see any reason to bring in private companies for the development of regularised unauthorised colonies. The Delhi Development Authority had in 2009 announced the in-situ development for the artists living in Kathputli Colony, but nothing has happened since,” Dikshit said. She said the project hit several roadblocks.

“This is a human problem, and should be dealt with in a similar approach. The Delhi government will ensure all civic amenities to these colonies. People cannot be forced to move from one cluster to another and wait for their houses to be built,” Dikshit said.

Parliamentary Secretary Mukesh Sharma said the Delhi government would never allow private developers into unauthorised colonies. “These colonies have been there for years and the Delhi government is helping them. They cannot be used for profit,” Sharma said.