When the UPA government had passed the order for regularising unauthorised colonies, it was hailed as a landmark decision. For almost four million people often struggling for basic amenities in ‘unauthorised’ areas of the city, the decision showed a ray of hope, an indication that the constant fear of living in homes that could be demolished at any time as they were considered illegal by the authorities, would come to an end. However, politicians saw it as the perfect opportunity to amass huge tracks of land in the city.
A Tehelka investigation reveals how Delhi based leaders of the BJP have illegally occupied Delhi Development Authority (DDA) land worth around 2,000 crore.
Those involved in the land racket are BJP leader Braham Singh, candidate from the Okhla in the 2015 Delhi Assembly Elections and his brother, Bir Singh, sitting councillor in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and former deputy mayor of south Delhi.
In collusion with officers of the DDA and the Department of Urban Development, Braham Singh and his aides have occupied massive areas of land within the city. The vast stretches of lands are located in: Kotla Mahigram, Abul Fazal Enclave, Radha Krishna Vihar and Madanpur Khadar Extension.
In 2011, Vijay Dev, then divisional commissioner, Department of Revenue, Delhi, had inquired into the matter. The inquiry report revealed that a number Up for grabs Vast streches of land have been usurped by the power hungry of colonies, which got the go-ahead certificate from the Department of Urban Development, were fake.
The modus operandi of grabbing the land was simple — to project an area as an irregular colony inhabited by slum dwellers in order to get it regularised. All that was needed, was a few contacts in the concerned departments — the DDA and the Department of Urban Development, and bogus applications.
Documents reveal that Khasra (a legal document specifying land detail) numbers 169, 171 and 176 in Radha Krishna Vihar are legally owned by the DDA. These constitute an area of 6,270 square meters. But, the said area was shown as an unauthorised colony seeking regularisation from the Department of Urban Development by Braham Singh. The application stated that 67 houses belonging to him and his relatives existed on the said land. For this, he had submitted a bogus list of residents. However, a visit to the land reveals that even today the ‘colony’ is still largely vacant with no more than a few shanties covering a miniscule area of the land and the residents mentioned in Singh’s list are not living there, instead the shanties have been rented out to furniture traders, garages and tea vendors.
Tehelka found that the people on the list, all relatives of Singh, are actually living in well-to-do houses in Madanpur Khadar. When Singh had sought for regularisation a few years back, the estimated cost of the area was around 500 crore. Today he and his family continue to enjoy control of a land which is now valued at approximately 700 crore.