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Slum Dwellers Rehabilitation: Delhi High Court Takes Suo Moto Cognizance Of Non-Allotment Of Low-Cost Flats Under JNNURM Scheme

Nupur Thapliyal
7 Jun 2022 1:30 PM GMT
Slum Dwellers Rehabilitation: Delhi High Court Takes Suo Moto Cognizance Of Non-Allotment Of Low-Cost Flats Under JNNURM Scheme
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The Delhi High Court has taken suo moto cognizance of non-allotment of flats constructed under Centre's Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission Scheme, which was to be implemented by the Delhi Government, for rehabilitation of slum dwellers in the city.

Justice Pratibha M Singh noted that a large number of houses were either constructed or partially constructed but the same were yet to be allotted for rehabilitation of slum dwellers.

"The reasons for non-allotment of the said flats or the flats not being ready for occupation is claimed to be the lack of provision of basic amenities such as sewage treatment, water supply, electricity connection, etc. in the said flats. There seems to be a lack of coordination between the various governmental agencies in terms of payment of money for the construction of the said flats to DUSIB," the Court observed.

The suo moto cognisance has been taken under the name of "In Re: Housing for the Poor in Delhi."

The suo moto cognizance comes while Justice Singh was hearing a batch of petitions concerning the redevelopment of city's Kalkaji temple.

During the course of the said hearings, some jhuggi dwellers and other occupants were found to be unauthorised occupying land in the Kalkaji Mandir premises. Thus, the Court had passed orders for their rehabilitation and in the said process was exploring alternate accommodation for the occupants in terms of the policy of DUSIB, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and DDA.

Accordingly, on On 15th March, 2022, the Court was informed that approximately 52,000 flats, which were approved for construction under the JNNURM Scheme of the Central Government, had not yet been allotted due to the delay in execution of the agreement between the Central Government and the State Government.

Accordingly, the Court had called for a joint status report to be filed by the Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs along with Chief Secretary of Delhi Government.

Perusing the same, the Court noted that a large number of houses were either constructed or partially constructed but were yet to be allotted for rehabilitation of slum dwellers.

At the outset, Centre's counsel apprised the Court that out of the total amount which was to be released by the Central Government i.e., Rs.1,108.85 crores, a sum of Rs.1074.12 crores was already released to Delhi Government under the JNNURM Scheme.

On the other hand, the counsel appearing for DUSIB submitted that the houses which were under its control have now been placed under the Affordable Rental Housing Complexes Scheme launched by the Government of India as a sub-scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Urban (PMAY-U), and the allotment of the said vacant houses was currently not permitted.

Considering the large number of houses which were to be constructed under the Scheme for which substantial funds had already been expended, the Court was of the opinion that the process of completion of the houses ought to proceed expeditiously, so that the slum dwellers in the city can be duly rehabilitated and can be offered these houses as per the policy framed.

"There can be no doubt that a large part of the residents in Delhi belonging to the economically weaker sections of society require affordable housing. It is disconcerting that a large quantum of flats/houses are lying vacant due to lack of amenities or in a state of partial completion apparently due to lack of coordination between the authorities," the Court observed.

The matter will now be heard on July 6 by an appropriate division bench.

Case Title: In Re: Housing for the Poor in Delhi

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 552

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