The regularisation of 917 colonies has brought a glimmer of hope to the residents of Hill Block, Gautam Nagar. From better roads to more streetlights, residents said they were looking forward to a better living in the next few years.
Satpal Rana, 55, owns a property in the colony and can finally apply for loans to buy a car or get his children married. Regularisation will also help in distributing his property among his children. “Ownership was a big issue as rights were not defined. Finally, we can divide our properties and also get better roads and sewerage facility,” he said.
Hill Block, located behind AIIMS, has 62 houses that came up around 1987 on disputed land. Since then, residents have been fighting for their rights. There is no proper streetlighting or drainage. The alleys are narrow and get filthy every monsoon.
“The property was acquired by the government but the land owner still sold us plots. Only when we took possession were we told that it was government property,” said Savita Singh, a resident. The housewife also felt that the colony needed a good drainage system. “Water gets clogged every monsoon and seeps into the kitchen on the ground floor,” she complained.
But in stark contrast to the enthusiasm of Hill Block residents was the cynicism of the rest of Gautam Nagar, regularised in 1977. Prakash Badal, a resident, complained of a broken sewer, bad streetlights and broken roads. “There is waterlogging all around. Apart from ownership rights, regularisation brought us nothing new,” he rued.
Sunil Chaudhary, the president of the area resident welfare association, said that since 1977, little has been done for the colony. “There is no outlet for one of the sewers which falls into an open gutter. During monsoon, the roads get submerged. None of the promises made during the regularisation have been fulfilled,” he said.