CAG picks holes in DDA's land policies

| | New Delhi
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CAG picks holes in DDA's land policies

Saturday, 17 December 2016 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has lambasted Delhi Development Authority (DDA)’s land management policies in its performance audit report. The report, which was tabled in Parliament, alleged that DDA did not have reliable database in respect of land acquired and utilised as well as vacant land in its possession.

There was lack of coordination between the DDA and the Delhi Government in acquisition proceedings, release of compensation/enhanced compensation, receipt of land from Delhi Government, reconciliation of accounts and proper utilisation of funds by Delhi Government. “In seven cases of acquisition, although the awards for acquisition of 2052 acres of land were announced before January 1, 2009, physical possession of only 486 acres of land was received up to October 2016.  As such, land measuring 1,566 acres has not been received upto October 2016. The acquisition of this may lapse in view of the enactment of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013,” it said.

The report futher states, “there was delay in completion of land acquisition process. Time taken for release of compensation to Delhi Government, after receipt of demand from Delhi Government, ranged from seven months to more than eight years. Further, the time taken for transfer of land to user departments (or non transfer of land upto October 2016), after taking possession of land from Delhi Government, ranged from one month to more than nine years. 

“Audit noticed deficiencies in planning for land development activities. Audit noticed delay ranging from six months to more than 17 years in start of work, after the approval of layout plan/ administrative approval and expenditure sanction by the competent authority. Further, delay in the range of three to 43 months was noticed in completion of works. Delays ranging from 15 months to 55 months were also noticed in handing over of completed works to the concerned authorities,” it said.

On the land disposal, the CAG said there was neither a documented policy nor timeframe to prioritize, schedule and plan the land disposal activities. Further, centralized record/database of number of plots available for disposal was also not available.  “Disposal of industrial land could not be carried out for last 16 years due to dispute between DDA and Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation. No records relating to valuation of land and fixation of reserve price was provided to Audit, in the absence of which audit could not draw an assurance that any guideline in this regard existed and valuation was carried out properly and with necessary due diligence,” it said.

According to report, 13 out of 36 cases put up to IAC did not fulfil the requirements of Nazul Rules and allotment was made in four of these cases.  “DDA did not have clear guidelines or policy to decide whether a society was running for charitable purpose. Different standards and criteria were used in different cases,” it said. There has been a declining trend in the allotment of commercial plots. The percentage of plots disposed during 2010-11 to 2014-15 ranged between three per cent and 15 per cent of the number of plots put to disposal.

Perpetual lease of 90 years was required to be renewed after specific intervals. At the end of 90 years, land would lapse to DDA or could be made freehold by the lessee. However, there was no mechanism in DDA to watch and monitor the renewal of leases, as some leases were renewed up to second renewal, while others were not renewed at all. The third renewal was not done in any of the test checked cases.

The report said that the demand of ground rent was not raised regularly as per the terms of lease and recovery of ground rent was in arrears, which was not monitored.  There were delays up to 32 years in raising the demand for charges on the unauthorized occupants.

Activities in DDA relating to land Acquisition, land Development, land Disposal and Protection of land for the period of five years from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2015 were examined at DDA Headquarters as well as at its various field offices by CAG teams.  

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