Kejriwal government fails colonies awaiting a legal tag | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Kejriwal government fails colonies awaiting a legal tag

Kejriwal govt anniversary Updated: Feb 12, 2016 13:32 IST
HT Correspondent
Arvind Kejriwal-led government

Lack of affordable housing has led to the messy growth of unplanned settlements like East Azad Nagar.(Sonu Mehta/ HT Photo)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) after taking power in the Capital a year ago pledged support for people living in unauthorised colonies and slum clusters, adopting a strong stand against demolition of such structures without proper rehabilitation.

But the Arvind Kejriwal-led government has failed to turn around the fortunes of the residents of these bustling neighbourhoods, many of them with no legal electricity or water supply.

Analysts say lack of affordable housing has led to the messy growth of unplanned settlements in the city while politicians are not keen to bulldoze these illegal colonies as they can be rubber stamped in exchange for votes and money.

Apart from revising the cut-off date for the colonies to be revamped from June 1, 2014, to January 1, 2015, the AAP administration also decided to allow registry of properties in the 895 settlements that were granted legal status by previous governments.

However, the number of colonies to be added to a list of 1,650 unauthorised areas already notified for regularisation remains unclear.

In March last year, the Delhi government issued a direction to finalise the boundaries of the 1,650 illegal colonies in the city, including the 895 granted legal status by the Centre when the Congress was in power.

Soon after taking office, the AAP government also directed the city’s municipal bodies to finalise the layout plans of these areas based on the boundaries outlined by it.

Sources in the civic bodies, however, say it is a difficult task as the maps can’t be extrapolated on the existing periphery of these colonies. Officials said the decision would only add to the legal hurdles in the way of regularising these neighbourhoods owing to lack of clarity on the details of the land that people get registered.

“The government can waive certain conditions required to clear the layout plan of a colony. But adequate amendments need to be made in the Capital’s master plan. Adhering to a master plan is important for any city’s chances of remaining safe in case of a calamity,” an official said.

Sources said while allowing the registration of these colonies would also lead to a surge in revenues of the city’s cash-strapped municipal bodies, the legal status of such properties would remain questionable.

The Delhi government had identified 895 colonies for regularisation in September 2012. Of these, 312 colonies on private land were notified as regularised.

The government sent the outlined boundaries of these colonies to the municipal corporations for planning and legal approval. But only nine colonies got their layout plans passed.