The term “LAL DORA” was used for the first time in the year 1908. It is a name classification given to that part of the village land which is part of the village “Abadi” (Habitation). It was supposed to be used for non agricultural purpose only. It is that part of the land which was supposed to have been an extension of the village habitation, wherein the villagers used to have their support systems, livestock etc. In the olden days, these areas were marked by the land revenue department by tying a Red Thread (Lal Dora in Hindi language) around it, to make a boundary and to distinguish it from the agricultural land. The lal Dora also denotes that the jurisdiction of the municipal authorities or the urban development is not applicable, in toto.
In 1957, the Delhi municipal corporation issued a notification n and the government listed the lands under the LAL DORA classification, within and on the outskirts of Delhi.
Lal Dora was exempt from the building bye laws, and strict construction norms and regulations, as regulated under the Delhi municipal act. There was / is no need to apply for the building sanction plans etc. In 1963, the MCD passed a notification which did not make it mandatory for building sanction plans to be passed for the urban Lal Dora lands too.
Though the term Lal Dora applies to both Rural & Urban villages, the thin dividing line has vanished over the period of time, and prime areas of Delhi today (though still classified as Lal Dora) operate commercial & high end residential areas.
Villages like Basant Gaon, Munirka, Khirki, Yusuf sarai, Katwaria sarai, Mahipalpur, Chhatarpur, Sant Nagar, Rangpuri, Kanjhawla, Najafgarh, Lado sarai, Mehrauli, Shahpur Jatt etc. have all been absorbed into the developed limits of Delhi, and they form part of the elite areas.
The Lal Dora areas in some of the rural villages, which are surrounded by agricultural land, have been included under the Delhi master plan MPD 2021. These Lal Dora lands would abutt the premium residential & commercial zones. To top it all, many such lal Dora areas would be extremely well connected through the proposed initiatives of the government to connect the Delhi city through a maze of Roads, expressways, metros etc.
Many Lal Dora abadis have the facilities provided by the government like secure electricity connection, water from the Delhi Jal board, sewerage etc. After the New master plan of Delhi MPD 2021 is notified, many agricultural lands of these villages would be included in the residential or commercial zones. With the provision of infrastructure to these areas, most of the erstwhile Lal Dora areas without these amenities & infrastructure would be included.
Statistics reveal that there are 362 villages in Delhi, out of which 135 are classified as urban villages, and 227 are classified as rural villages. Decades back, when the revenue settlement was undertaken for Delhi, for the first time, most of these villages were well defined and the population was enumerated within those boundaries. The land outside these Lal Dora lands was appraised for the purpose of land revenue, as Agricultural land. Between 1908 and 1952 (when the consolidation exercise was taken up again), the population of these villages expanded and the villages too had extended beyond the earlier defined boundaries. The new periphery boundaries were termed as “PHIRNI” and the areas between the earlier LAL DORA boundaries, and the “PHIRNI” was known as the extended Lal Dora area.
In August 1963, a notification was issued by the then Delhi administration that no building permissions are required for the construction on the extended Lal Dora land, too, if and since, the land owner is creating a habitation / house for his own living / subsistence.
The above is only for information. The latest rules and regulations governing commercial construction on the Lal dora land would be as per the revised master plan norms. (ref. the Tejinder Khanna committee recommendations ,the expert committee on lal dora report (2007) and the observations of the Hon’ble Courts directive. This Author does not take liberty / responsibility of reporting details of those decisions, to be framed and released at a later date.