No decision on development charges, committee to examine issue

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New Delhi, Jan 18(PTI) In the wake of sharp differncesamong the ministers, Delhi government today once again failedto take a decision on finalising development charges fromresidents of over 1,600 unauthorised colonies which are in theprocess of being regularised.

At a cabinet meeting, presided by Chief Minister SheilaDikshit, several ministers opposed the "hefty" chargesproposed by the Urban Development department on house ownersof unauthorised colonies for providing basic amenities likewater supply, sewerage and electricity.

Dikshit said a four-member ministerial committee has beenset up to examine the issue, after a decision on levying thedevelopment charge was deferred for the third time.

A minister said the cabinet did not take a decision onthe proposal prepared by Urban Development Department whichsought to levy "very hefty" charges on each household forland cost as well as providing basic facilities.

Delhi government had issued provisional regularisationcertificates to over 1,200 unauthorised colonies in the year2008, just before the assembly elections.

Sources said that as per the proposal put forth in thecabinet, Rs 319 has been sought to be levied per square metreof plot for providing water supply while Rs 359 per squaremeter has been proposed for providing sewer facility.

According to the proposal, house owners will have topay Rs 89.72 per square metre as construction fees, Rs 83 persquare metre for drainage and another Rs 62.3 per square metrefor community services.

It also sought to levy Rs 3,000 for electricityconnection having a load of one kilowatt.

Combining all the charges, as per the proposal, a houseowner in an unauthorised colony will have to pay about Rs 913per square metre of plot plus the charges for electricityconnection besides some security deposit.

So, if somebody has a house on a 50 meter plot, he willhave to pay Rs 45,000 to the government for various basicamenities in addition to electricity charges and securitydeposit.

Sources said the cabinet decided to set up the committeeto "delay" the announcement of levying the development chargesas well as recovering land cost as it may draw sharp criticismfrom occupants of unauthorised colonies, especially whenpeople are reeling under spiralling prices of essentialcommodities. .

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