What is it?
The term “Lal Dora” was originally used for rural settlements that existed at the beginning of the 20th century. As more and more people moved to cities and demand for housing went up, nearby villages were absorbed within the city boundaries. To differentiate the villages with regularized colonies within the city, a border was marked around these. These were then referred to as Lal Dora land.
Mostly, these areas are unauthorized settlements. Initially, after they were included in the city boundaries, the owners were required to get their properties registered and pay property tax. However, they were disinclined to pay up on these counts. As a result, they remained outside the scope of city planning and these areas remained unauthorized.
A lot of urban villages in the National Capital Region were originally Lal Dora land. However, most of these have now been regularized under the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act.
What it means to live in an Irregular property
Property tax: House tax is applicable even on Lal Dora residential land. The government has also put a limit to the height of building in these areas. In some areas, you can construct only up to four storeys. Often the residents break rules by not paying property tax or constructing more than the required permissible height, but such moves are fraught with risk.
Maintenance: Even if your village is unauthorized, it is the duty of the municipal corporation to carry out the cleaning and maintenance work in the area. However, often due to red tape, these areas remain neglected and lack civic amenities.
The risks: Unauthorized areas face the obvious risks of eviction and demolition of any structure by the municipal authority. In fact, selling a Lal Dora property is also difficult. Due to unclear title records and possible land disputes, few buyers would show interest. Even banks do not finance property in such areas.
How to get it regularized
Contrary to popular belief, you need to register your building plans with the development authority if your property falls in Lal Dora land. The entire village can also form an association to get the village regularized.
The direct impact of getting it regularized will be on property prices. A regularized colony will have sanctioned building plans and the property rates would become competitive with market rates in nearby regularized colonies.
If you want to buy property in lal dora land
Before signing the sale deed, you will need to get a no-objection certificate from the district magistrate’s office. You will need to check with the municipal corporation about property tax payments. You should also keep a copy of the payment receipt signed by the seller. It is in your favour to check the building plans with the authority before buying any such property.
—Devesh Chandra Srivastava