The Tejinder Khanna Committee Report on illegal and additional constructions in the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) flats and encroachments on government land is in cold storage for a decade now.
In February 2006, the Union Ministry of Urban Development notified setting up of a committee headed by the former Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna. The committee submitted its report on 15 May 2006. However, successive state governments and the Centre made no efforts to implement the committee’s recommendations which would have put a check on rampant corruption in municipal corporations and also in DDA and the Delhi police. This would have helped in increasing government revenues.
Besides Khanna, the other members of the Committee were Sayed S. Shafi, E.F.N Reibero, S.C. Vatsa, Harsh Vardhan and M.M. Kutty. The committee was asked to make an assessment of the magnitude of the problem of unauthorised constructions and misuse of premises to assess various types of violations to suggest a feasible strategy to deal with various issues besides other issues related to illegal constructions and misuse of government land.
The committee had recommended removing encroachments from government land or to recover exemplary cost from the encroachers. It also suggested a voluntary disclosure scheme to enable the violators to self-declare their violations of the Building Code Regulations or encroachment over public land. Similarly for illegal additions in the DDA flats, the committee had recommended penal provisions.
“Besides making several recommendations regarding the change in DDA’s role, the Committee also suggested special institutional arrangements which will prove to be relevant and meaningful, like setting up of a Delhi Vision Group, Delhi Urban Regulatory Authority, Delhi Real Estate Commission, High Power Enforcement Agency, Empowered Special Task Forces for Key Infrastructure Projects. However no step has been taken yet by the government to implement the recommendations,” said Anil Sood, a social activist. Sood has written to the Delhi government in this regard.
The committee had also recommended necessary changes to be made to the Delhi Development Act, 1957 for addressing various master plan issues, including providing for a differentiated land-use policy to deal with the diverse socio-economic realities of Delhi, as also the vestment of necessary powers in the proposed Delhi Urban Regulatory Authority.
The Committee had gone in details about the unauthorised colonies and said that over 55% of Delhi’s residents are living in such colonies.
“As against the 438 regular and approved colonies on 1 January 1994, there were as many as 1,641 unauthorised colonies awaiting regularisation. There are also 60 re-settlement colonies established by the Slum and JJ Wing of MCD, inhabited by nearly 15 lakh people. The unauthorised colonies account for a population of nearly 35 lakh. Over and above these, there are another 30 lakh persons estimated to be living in 6 lakh jhuggis spread over 1,200 Jhuggi-Jhopri (JJ) clusters. If these three components are added, it can be seen that over 55% of Delhi’s residents are living in colonies other than in regular ones,” the committee had mentioned.