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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 10, 2012
Moving a step towards providing better amenities in unauthorised colonies, the Delhi Cabinet on Monday gave its nod to development works being carried out in certain pockets of colonies built in forest areas and close to ASI-protected monuments.  Senior Delhi government officials said the Cabinet approved the urban development plan to initiate upgradation work in those parts of the colonies which do not fall in the prohibited area or the forest area.

The overall development in colonies falling under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and forest land, however, will start once the government ‘regularises’ these colonies.

“It will take a while before the remaining unauthorised colonies are also regularised. But the residents won’t suffer. The area  built on ridge land and the area away from the stipulated 100-metre prohibited area of ASI-protected monuments will now see some development,” said a senior official.

There are 159 colonies built on forest land and 48 in ASI-protected areas.

The Cabinet has approved relaxation in rules that allow repair of drains and roads in regularised colonies. As existing rules don’t allow repair work in these colonies, the urban development department has brought these colonies at par with other regularised colonies where drains can be repaired and roads can be carpeted every five years. “The elected representatives will also be able to utilise local area development funds in such colonies,” said an official.