Partition refugees to get ownership of rented homes

January 7th, 2009 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) The standing committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi Wednesday passed the resolution that 15,000 properties owned by its slum department would be transferred on an ownership basis to the occupants - the 1947 partition refugees. The matter was pending in the committee since November last year and the approval of ownership transfer is a blessing in disguise for many of these refugees who struggle to make ends meet.

At least “10,625 residential units and 3,770 non-residential units under the ownership of the slum department would be transferred,” said Vijender Gupta, MCD standing committee chief.

“Most of these properties are owned by poor sections of the society. These were allotted on very nominal fees at the time of partition in 1947 to the migrants and have continued to be on rental basis for the last 62 years.

“Since thousands of families are living there or earning their livelihood for decades in these properties - it would be proper that as welfare measure, these properties be transferred to the allottees or occupants on ownership basis,” Gupta added.

Many occupants of the properties paid just Re.1 a month as rent - an amount fixed ages back.

“Since many had no ownership rights they could not renovate their homes to suit current needs like their family expanding or just bolstering structures. They had individually approached the corporation to transfer ownership rights for the same reason,” an MCD official said.

The decision it seems is also economically pragmatic.

Gupta said that the MCD had received very less as rent and “‚Ķtherefore, has not been able to spend on their maintenance and development”.

According to MCD records, the income from rent of these properties between 2001-2008 was Rs.28.7 million (Rs.2.8 crore) while the expenditure on the shoddy maintenance was a whopping Rs.147 million (Rs. 14.7 crore).

“The transfer of ownership will ensure that owners properly maintain their properties,” Gupta said.

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