South Delhi Municipal Corporation(SDMC) will regularise the unauthorised constructions done by shops in many markets at a fixed charge and make the property freehold for them.
This will generate good revenue for the civic body and allow shopkeepers to have a clear title of the commercial property that will reduce their unnecessary harassment, said officials.
The corporation has decided to levy 50% of the conversion charge at circle rate, Rs 5,00,000 for each division and amalgamation of shops along with an affidavit that they will either remove the unauthorised construction or get it regularised from the department, as a one-time opportunity for the shopkeepers to convert the property from leasehold to freehold.
Over whether this move will promote unauthorised construction, SDMC mayor Mukesh Suryan said: “The person did construction without permission, we are penalising them, and this is just a one-time opportunity. The proposal was pending for a long time, it will ease the process for the shopkeepers to get their properties converted to freehold. This will not promote unauthorised construction as it is our market and we are giving them permission in a one-time offer”.
Earlier, the corporation had come up with a proposal to give relaxations to the shopkeepers to sell their properties. But it did not provide the desired results.
“Despite above relaxations, it has been observed that lessees are not coming forward for conversion of their property from leasehold to freehold. Huge rates of the damage or misuse charges and determination period for damage charges may be the main reasons,” said Gyanesh Bharti, SDMC commissioner, in a letter.
In 2006, the Land and Development Office transferred markets to the unified municipal corporation with an aim that the corporation will act as a licensor in respect of commercial shops. At present, SDMC is the competent authority in 44 markets in south Delhi.
In 2018, the south corporation came up with a proposal that damage charges on account of unauthorised construction in commercial land use of leasehold shops transferred from the Land and Development Office be charged only after the removal of the encroachment within six months.
As per the rules of leasehold property, “the allottee shall not make any alteration in the transferred premises either externally or internally without obtaining the permission of the government in writing”.
“The purpose of this policy is to ease the process of conversion to freehold and to generate revenue,” said Prem Shankar Jha, director, land and estate department, SDMC.