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Will change of status spell votes for Congress?

delhi Updated: Jun 07, 2012 23:59 IST
Neelam Pandey

The long-pending issue of regularising the 1,600-odd unauthorised colonies became a political plank in several elections.

It even helped the Congress sweep the 2008 Assembly elections. That was the year when the party issued provisional certificates to 1,200 colonies.

Every election year, all parties –ruling and opposition —raised the issue at every level to woo voters but residents of these colonies were living under the constant fear of their houses being razed.

In 2008, the Congress issued provisional certificates to 1,200-odd colonies, seen as a big ticket to gain a ‘legal tag’. The decision came ahead of the Assembly elections, which it won by a comfortable margin.

After the elections, however, the issue was put on the back-burner. Four years after the announcement, colonies that got provisional certificates had still not got regularisation letters.

After its debacle in the recent civic elections and with an eye on the coming assembly elections, the Congress-led government once again put the issue on top of its priority list.

The government had come under severe attack from the opposition BJP for failing to provide civic amenities in these colonies as well as delaying the process of regularisation.

The main hurdle in regularising these unauthorised colonies was the union government’s guideline to consider the boundaries based on satellite images obtained in 2002.

“Several resident welfare associations had submitted layout plans of their colonies based on the ground situation on February 8, 2007, while boundaries were drawn by Delhi State Spatial Data Infrastructure (DSSDI) based on satellite images of 2002,” said a senior Delhi government official.

This would have led to demolition of a number of properties, creating a law and order situation and affecting the vote-bank of the Congress as well.

Urban Development Minister AK Walia and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit held many meetings to resolve the issue. They had also met the union urban development minister to fast-track the process. The efforts have finally borne fruit with the ministry showing the green light to regularise the colonies.