State Fears Losing Rights Over Gram Sabha Land After Urbanization Notification
NEW DELHI: Delhi Development Authority’s plan to execute the land pooling policy has hit a roadblock as the state government is yet to notify land in villages as development areas. The state fears that it may lose its right over gram sabha land after declaring the villages as urbanized. Due to this, Delhi government is now planning to approach lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung to get the existing gram sabha land allocated to it en bloc before it takes the step.
This issue may end in a stalemate between the Centre and the state if not resolved fast. Land falls under the purview of the Centre in Delhi and the LG has the final authority on its policy matters. However, for the land pooling policy, the state holds the power to notify as urbanized the villages sought to be declared development areas to make way for commercial, residential and community infrastructure.
Earlier, TOI had reported about guidelines for implementation of the land pooling policy notified by the Union urban development ministry. But it cannot be implemented till Delhi government notifies as urbanized 95 villages which have been shortlisted by the municipal corporations.
Government officials said discussion are on regarding the issue in various departments and their concerns are now being firmly put down as the view of the state. They have pushed for gram sabha land to be allocated to the state by the LG.
It is felt that it would become tough for the state to undertake future projects if it lets go of ownership of the gram sabha land and it would become dependent on DDA. The state already claims that due to land shortage it has to purchase it from DDA at market rates, which are quite high.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia has over the months vehemently highlighted this peculiar case in Delhi due to lack of full statehood. He had mentioned how the government has to buy land in its own jurisdiction for public projects at exorbitant rates from DDA.
Sources said that South Delhi Municipal Corporation has approved urbanization of around 40 villages and send the proposal for notification to the state. The matter has since been pending due to deliberation on the gram sabha land issue.
The bureaucracy feels that when the LG, who is also the chairman of DDA, deliberates on the gram sabha land issue he will be critical of it. If the state and the LG are not on the same page then it may result in another point of strife in the ongoing power tussle and further complicate Centre-state relations.
The land pooling policy was notified on September 5, 2013. As per Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954, agricultural land cannot be used for any other purpose and DDA cannot take up development in non-notified areas. To work to start, corporations have to give a proposal of declaring the villages urbanized and Delhi government has to notify it.
Source: Times of India
Dated: 6th September 2015