The Delhi Congress presented a united front on Friday with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Union State Minister for Urban Development Ajay Maken sharing the same platform for announcing the granting of provisional regularisation to 1,639 unauthorised colonies that came up before March 31, 2002.
Maken went back to the Delhi Secretariat after five years to attend a Delhi government press conference in what is being described as an attempt to show solidarity with Dikshit. In a meeting with AICC chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the Delhi leaders were told to publicise and share achievements of the party in power and get over factionalism.
Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief Jai Prakash Aggarwal, Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely and Delhi Urban Development Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan were also present.
Maken decided to use the occasion to lead the charge against the BJP. “In 2004, when the BJP issued guidelines for regularisation of unauthorised colonies, it said development work had to be done by the societies, not the government and that regularisation would be granted only once the development work was completed. This was impossible because development is a continuous process. We have changed this. We will do the entire development. Also, there are no development control norms now,” said Maken.
He said that under the 2004 norms, these colonies had to provide 15 per cent land for development “even if houses had to be demolished”. “Now development can be done on available land. Also, the Master Plan 2021 has a provision that the government can give directions for development of illegal colonies from time to time. This is the first MPD that backs the guidelines,” he added.
He also said that no land penalty charges would be imposed on private land. “We have also asked the MCD to clear layout plan of these colonies in two months,” he said.
Asked about the Supreme Court's reservation on the issue, Dikshit said the government was ready with its reply that would be submitted in court on July 7.