ownership rightsThe Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi Government took the decision to grant ownership rights to approximately 7,200 families who received agricultural land in the mid-70s. This ownership is being offered under the 20-point programme for landless people that was introduced by the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975-76.

The officials told that approximately 12,500 landless families in the national capital have received land for cultivation.

Rajendra Pal Gautam, Minister for Social Justice, Delhi Government said at that time, there were around 360 villages in Delhi. Around 12,500 families from these villages got plots measuring an acre or less.

Recognized as ‘Asamis’ or tenants, these families were required to apply for land ownership with the revenue department. Some of them found a way around the bureaucratic process and secured ownership rights to their land, while the others, mainly from Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes, could not, ‘because they could not afford to bribe officers’, an official claimed.

Minister Gautam also said that left in the lurch, these families still do not have land rights. Considering the rapid rate of urbanization in the national capital, new housing and infrastructure projects will be undertaken. Therefore, they face a serious threat of eviction.

The people having ownership rights get decent compensation in case the agencies acquire their land for government projects. Also, these people have access to the economic opportunities, but the 7,200 families in 89 villages of Delhi are vulnerable to displacement, without any compensation, the minister said.

Minister then said that these families have been moving from pillar to post for the last 40 years.

One and a half year ago, the Delhi Government had organized a special session on the issue but still nothing much is achieved. The files keep oscillating between the centre and the city government, the minister alleged.

The right of ownership is being granted under the 20-point programme across the country and only the national capital city is lagging behind, the Minister claimed.

Recently, at a meeting convened by the minister and chief secretary Vijay Dev, district magistrates, divisional commissioners and the principal secretary (revenue) were given directions to dispose of the pending cases at the earliest.

An official informed that the district magistrates have started meeting such families and the cases will be disposed of soon.