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'Centre working on Bill to solve demolition problem'

By Staff
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New Delhi, May 4: Former Delhi chief minister and suspended BJP leader Madan Lal Khurana today said Union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy had assured him of bringing a comprehensive Bill in the coming Parliament session from May 10 to deal with the problem of unauthorised constructions and commercial units in residential areas in the capital.

''I had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month urging him to intervene to solve the crisis arising out of demolition of the unauthorised constructions and sealing of shops in the residential areas. I had also said if urgent steps were not initiated in this direction soon, I would sit on a hunger strike before the Prime Minister's residence.

However, Mr Reddy urged me not to resort to such a step assuring that the Centre had prepared a comprehensive Bill which would not only solve the problem of commercial units in the residential areas but also establish a status quo as far as unauthorised units are concerned,''Mr Khurana told a huge gathering at a 'dharna' by the Delhi Bachao Morcha at Jantar Mantar today.

''Mr Reddy assured me that the proposed Bill would go much beyond just solving the problem of sealing. Infact, its would provide for the status quo being maintained in Delhi as on January 1 this year so far as commercial units in residential areas and unauthorised constructions were concerned,''Mr Khurana said.

It is notable that the Supreme Court is to hear tomorrow a plea by the Centre for putting a six month moratorium on sealing of shops in the residential areas.

It is widely expected that the proposed Bill by the Centre will come up on the opening day of the session itself.

Mr Khurana said he had initially decided not to hold this dharna, aimed at highlighting the problems being faced by the common people and traders in Delhi, in view of the death of BJP leader Pramod Mahajan.

''However, I wanted to share with the people of Delhi the good news (of the Government considering a Bill to regularise shops and unauthorised constructions) so as to put at rest all their anxieties and fear over the ongoing demolition and sealing operations. After all, Delhi is a Temple for me and the welfare of its people my uppermost consideration,'' Mr Khurana said.

He said he would be going to Mumbai on Saturday to participate in a meeting to pay homage to the late Pramod Mahajan.

Also present at the 'dharna' were former Delhi minister Rajender Gupta, who is also chairman of the Delhi Bachao Morcha, morcha president Poornima Sethi and Mr Dayanand Chandela, MLA.

UNI

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