Gearing for Assembly elections later this year, Delhi government on Saturday gave in-principle approval for regularisation of over 200 unauthorised colonies.
During a meeting of the Delhi cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, the long-pending proposal to regularise the settlements, which were given provisional regularisation certificates in 2008, was approved. “The cabinet has given in-principle approval for regularisation of 205 unauthorised colonies,” Urban Development Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said.
Of the 205 colonies, 157 are partly on forest land while 48 settlements have encroached on land belonging to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The government said it has decided to regularise the colonies after getting clearance from Forest department and ASI. This move is expected to give relief to 15 lakh people residing in these settlements.
The government had regularised 895 colonies in September last year. The cabinet has also decided to begin development work in all regularised colonies.
“We will come out with a list of 205 colonies, which have been given approval for regularisation by the cabinet, within 15 days,” Lovely said. The government has asked the municipal corporations to take the help of professional architects and make layout plans for colonies which were regularised.
Meanwhile, during a convention of Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) at Talkatora Stadium on Saturday afternoon, the Chief Minister announced that agencies like Delhi Jal Board, Public Works Department, Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation would be told to provide basic amenities in regularised colonies.
“We assure that the word unauthorised would be wiped out from the city. It is our promise that in six months to two years, there will be no unauthorised colony in Delhi. We don’t see any reason why people living in such colonies should not get basic facilities,” Sheila Dikshit said.
Women and Child Development Minister Kiran Walia and MP Sandeep Dikshit were also present at the convention. “Unauthorised colonies will soon be brought at par with areas like Greater Kailash or Jor Bagh. Our aim is to provide them basic facilities like roads, water and sewers,” Lovely said.
The government said middle- and low-income housing projects would also be taken up to prevent more unauthorised colonies from coming up in the city. “We will never allow any agency to demolish houses and uproot families. The days of bulldozers are over,” Dikshit said.