'Slum panchayat' a reality? | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'Slum panchayat' a reality?

It was an ambitious project that sought to revolutionise the way the Capital's most neglected residents, those eking an existence in unauthorised colonies dotting the Capital's vast outback, viewed their relationship with the police and vice-versa.

delhi Updated: Jun 27, 2011 22:58 IST
Jatin Anand

It was an ambitious project that sought to revolutionise the way the Capital's most neglected residents, those eking an existence in unauthorised colonies dotting the Capital's vast outback, viewed their relationship with the police and vice-versa.

Six months after it was announced, amid much pomp and show and by none other than the commissioner of police himself, this 'initiative for the people' based on their voluntary cooperation is far from seeing the light of day due to a lack of motivation - and mutual trust.

"The unauthorised colonies project was supposed to have kicked-off in four locations that is, at Jahangirpuri, Mongolpuri, Seemapuri and Anand Parbat on March 1. However, except for one location, the project hasn't been received too kindly at the other three locations by the residents themselves," admitted a senior police officer on condition of anonymity.

After having roped-in local NGOs, the plan was to conduct weekly meetings between the SHO and residents at a designated spot where intelligence inputs, especially those pertaining to encroachment of land by the builder mafia, unauthorised constructions and extortion by lower police functionaries, could be discussed and remedied.

Fast-forward to June 2011 and the project, just one-fourth of it rather, has only taken-off in northwest Delhi's Jahangirpuri while data collected by volunteers from the other three locations bites the dust due to the apparent non-feasibility of its implementation.

"The biggest hurdle we have faced is lack of leadership. Those deemed fit, based on a specific operating procedure (SOP), don't want to be a part of the programme because they aren't motivated enough. We are now in the process of developing another standard operating procedure which can prove more effective when implemented at all four locations," the officer said.