After the Congress's debacle in the last municipal elections, the Delhi chief minister is not leaving any stone unturned to ensure victory in the upcoming assembly elections.
With an eye on assembly polls later this year, the Delhi government on Saturday gave an in principle approval for regularisation of 205 unauthorised colonies in the city to ensure development work can be carried out in these colonies on par with other areas of the city.
The move will benefit at least 15 lakh people residing in these colonies.
A meeting of the Delhi Cabinet presided over by chief minister Sheila Dikshit approved the long-pending proposal to regularise the settlements which were given provisional regularisation certificates in 2008.
"The cabinet has given in principle approval for regularisation of 205 unauthorised colonies. This would enable the agencies involved in developmental works to immediately start work in all parts of these colonies," said Dikshit.
On Saturday, a convention of the residents of unauthorised colonies was organised by the unauthorised colonies federation headed by Jagpravesh Kumar wherein the announcement was made in front of thousands of people.
Delhi minister Kiran Walia, MP Sandeep Dikshit and MP Ramesh Kumar and the chief minister were part of this federation.
"Our government would never allow any agency to demolish houses and uproot families who mostly belong to the middle income group and weaker sections. Delhi would delete the term unauthorised from its dictionary. The days of bulldozers are over," said Dikshit.
"People had to settle in unauthorised colonies due to compulsions as there was no other option. Government agencies neglected the need of more and more dwelling units required for the increasing population in the city," added Dikshit.
Out of the 205 colonies, officials said, 157 colonies came up partly on forest land while 48 settlements have encroached land belonging to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The Delhi government in September had regularised 895 unauthorised colonies which are home to nearly 35 lakh people.
"We will come out with the list of 205 colonies which have been given approval for regularisation within 15 days," said Arvinder Singh, urban development minister.
Assembly polls in Delhi are scheduled for December 2013.
Praising the Delhi government for the steps it has taken in regularising unauthorised colonies, MP Sandeep Dikshit said: "I am not at all worried or concerned about the elections. It is because of the Delhi government that work in unauthorised colonies was able to start. Facilities present in posh colonies such as Greater Kailash I and Jor Bagh will be provided in these colonies too."