RS considers Bill to relieve Delhiites of demolition, sealing

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New Delhi, Nov 29 (UNI) The Rajya Sabha is considering the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Bill, 2007 aimed at providing relief for at least a year to Delhiites from court-ordered demolition and sealing drives.

Presenting the Bill that has already been passed by the Lok Sabha, Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy said it would replace an Ordinance that provides for maintaining status quo on unauthorised colonies and illegal warehouses and godowns. The government had earlier promulgated the second Ordinance to ensure that no action was taken following an apex court order that commercial establishments in unauthorised colonies must stop functioning within three weeks from August 27.

Mr Reddy said within a year all possible steps would be taken to finalise norms, policy guidelines and strategies to deal with the torturous problem of dismantling the unauthorised constructions, commercial use of residential premises and encroachment of public land by slum dwellers.

Participating in the debate on the Bill, Mr Jaiprakash Agarwal of the Congress charged the BJP of not being interested in the welfare of Delhiites as despite the important Bill coming for discussion the party was not present.

Significantly, the BJP has been boycotting the proceedings of the House today to protest against the passage of AIIMS bill yesterday amid din.

He also charged the Urban Development Minister in the previous NDA regime with having submitted an affidavit in the court stating that it could order demolition of unauthorised constructions and said the present sealing problem originated only after that.

Asserting that no city in the world was established on the basis of a map or plan, Mr Aggarwal said it was not proper on the court's part to order the government to correct the Master Plan and present before it within a short time. The hurried manner in which the court dealt with a major and complicated document was objectionable, he said.

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