The Delhi government, with its eye on the forthcoming assembly elections, seems to be going all out to appease voters, especially those residing in the recently regularised colonies.
The government seems to have finally woken up to the major safety hazard to these colonies from high-tension wires and is mulling ways to completely finance the relocation of the electric lines.
According to officials, most of the houses in such colonies have come up near the wires, posing a serious threat to the safety of the residents. In the last four years, 27 people have been killed after coming in contact with these wires while around 48 have been injured by electric shocks.
As the Assembly election nears, the government is now said to be looking into the possibilities of funding the entire cost of relocating such high-tension wires. In many cases, the cost may go up to Rs 10 crore for an area.
So far, the government used to provide 50% of the funding and the rest was provided by the MLA of the area.
Sources said that a number of MLAs have asked the government to look into the issue. The leaders had stated that their local MLA funds could be utilised in removing the wires, but was proving inadequate. The residents, the MLAs said, had raised the issue several times in constituency meetings held recently.
After facing a major defeat in the municipal elections last year, the Congress government is not willing to take any chances and is planning to clear a proposal on the electric lines soon.
"The issue of removing the high-tension wire had been discussed in the Assembly a number of times. Though a scheme was formulated by the government to provide 50 per cent of the funds, MLAs claim it is not sufficient. With elections barely a few months away, the pressure on clearing this proposal has been mounting for some time," a senior Delhi government official conceded.
While the city government has made several efforts to regularize the unauthorised colonies in the city, nothing has been done to control the problem of high-tension wires in these residential colonies.
According to power department, it has served 137 notices to several houses for having failed to have maintained the minimum distance from the high-tension wires.