Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi Anil Baijal made some policy decisions today, among others clearing the way to pave the way for regularisation of 1,797 unauthorised colonies of Delhi. The Prime Minister Unauthorised Colonies in Delhi Awas Adhikar Yojana (PMUDAY) scheme will be implemented in all these colonies.
On 23 October, in a bid to compete with the populism of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Narendra Modi Cabinet had taken a pro-corruption but practical decision on illegal colonies of Delhi. The central government decided to regularise unauthorised colonies of Delhi, which will give ownership to 40 lakh people. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar shared the information with journalists at a press conference today.
Apart from this, cases filed under Section 81 of the Delhi Reforms Act will be withdrawn. The lieutenant governor has also approved the urbanisation of 79 villages of the capital.
The L-G tweeted that people living in illegal colonies will be able to get the documents of ownership of their house. This will facilitate them to get civil facilities and apply for loans etc. Recently, the Union Cabinet had approved a proposal to regularise 1,797 colonies of Delhi.
PMUDAY will benefit 40 lakh people of Delhi, who are settled in these 1,797 illegal colonies. Assembly elections are due in Delhi early next year. This remains an important electoral issue as much as it is an issue of standard of living of the people of the national capital. After approving the regularisation of hitherto illegal colonies, the BJP would be eager to take credit for it.
On Wednesday, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MPs demonstrated in Parliament demanding the approval of unauthorised colonies. Accusing the central government of cheating the people of Delhi, AAP MPs Sanjay Singh, Bhagwant Mann and others asked why it has not listed this bill for the winter session of Parliament.
The application of PMUDAY does not, however, mean that the issues Delhi’s unauthorised colonies face have been addressed. On 4 July, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had rapped the AAP government over inaction on unauthorised constructions being carried out in south Delhi’s Jaunapur and Dera Mandi forest areas. It noted that despite orders being passed on 11 December 2015, for removal of illegal constructions and filing of fresh execution plea, the matter has been pending.
Two days later, the NGT-appointed Yamuna Monitoring Committee has directed the Delhi Jal Board to furnish a list of unauthorised colonies, along with their population, not covered under the utility’s Interceptor Sewer Project (ISP) by 15 July. NGT warned that if the DJB failed to do so, the matter will be raised before the National Green Tribunal.