Vice President expresses displeasure over delay in taking possession of land allotted to Rajya Sabha in 2003

New Delhi, 30 July, 2020 : The Vice President of India & Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today expressed his displeasure over the delay in handing over possession of 8,700 square meters of land allotted to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat way back in 2003 at R K Puram in New Delhi.

At a meeting held to review the status of the issue with senior officials of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, Housing & Urban Development Ministry, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, Land and Development Office and legal counsel, the Shri Naidu directed the Secretary, Housing & Urban Development to initiate appropriate and urgent action to get the land cleared of encroachments.

While a total land of 8,700 sq. m was allotted to Rajya Sabha Secretariat, around 4384.25 sq m of it was occupied by different organisations, including three NGOs. In addition, unauthorized Jhuggies (slums) have come upon this land over an extent of 1193.54 sq m.

The Chairman has been constantly reviewing the progress on the issue since June 2018. He has directed the officials to take effective steps to resolve all the legal hurdles which have impeded the clearance of the land.

The Chairman was keen that once the land is handed over, the construction of Rajya Sabha TV and residential quarters for the staff of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, which is long-awaited, could be taken up immediately so that there is a substantial savings to the exchequer.

He pointed out that the Rajya Sabha TV used to pay an annual rent of Rs.30 crore earlier and it was now reduced to Rs.15 crore after he took up the issue with New Delhi Municipal Council. He observed that even Rs. 15 crore was a heavy and avoidable financial burden. In addition, he also noted that Rs. 1.25 crores have been incurred by Rajya Sabha towards the cost of the land and relocation of Jhuggies.

Referring to Rs. 1.25 lakhs being paid every month towards providing security to the land, he said that this expenditure would become infructuous unless the land is cleared and finally take possession of.

Keeping all these issue in view, Shri Naidu directed the Secretary Housing & Urban Development Ministry to hold a meeting at the earliest to coordinate with all concerned officials and resolve the issue.

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