NGT raps Delhi govt for not using funds for slum removal

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The National Green Tribunal today rapped Delhi government over alleged non-utilisation of Rs 11.25 crores given to it by Railways way back in 2003-2004 for rehabilitation of slum clusters along rail tracks here by allotting flats to the inhabitants and remove encroachments.

“What did you (Delhi govt) do in all these years? After 2003 you did nothing. You received the money from everybody and kept it with you for a good number of years,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

The observation came after Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) sought to put the onus on the transport behemoth, telling the bench that Railways had given Rs 11.25 crore to it for relocation of jhuggis in 2003- 2004 and, as per the 2015 Delhi Slum and JJ Rehabilitation and Relocation policy, it was the land owning agency (railways) that was responsible for rehabilitation of slums.

But Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand and advocate Om Prakash, appearing for Railways, said that rehabilitation was a state subject and money has been lying with DUSIB but they have not utilised it till date.

After receipt of money, 257 jhuggi jhopri (JJ) dwellers were rehabilitated by the Slum and JJ Department by spending Rs 52 lakh, DUSIB said, adding at that time, the Slum Relocation Policy provided for allotment of 18 sq metres plots to the eligible jhuggi dwellers.

“However, near about 7,750 plots of slum and JJ Department were given to DDA on loan basis for relocation of JJ cluster at Yamuna Pushta. These plots were supposed to come back to the slum & JJ Department. However, DDA has not returned the same.

“In the meanwhile, a new Master Plan was introduced in 2007. The Master Plan envisaged allotment of flats instead of plots to relocated JJ dwellers. The DUSIB Act came into force in the year 2010,” it said.

DUSIB further said that at present, it had a number of flats constructed at Baprola and the department was prepared to start the relocation process of jhuggi basti at Azadpur and Lawrence Road, which have 389 jhuggis.

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