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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Sheila govt did little for illegal colonies: CAG

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 02, 2014
First Published: 01:46 IST(2/8/2014) | Last Updated: 11:48 IST(2/8/2014)

The Sheila Dikshit government spent Rs. 3,029.21 crore on regularisation of illegal colonies in Delhi but failed to provide the most basic of amenities, such as sewer and water lines, roads and drainage, the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) has said.

The CAG report, tabled in Parliament and released on Friday, also indicted the previous government for failing to come up with a dedicated sewage master plan for the city, giving power discoms undue benefits and incurring avoidable financial irregularities among others.
 
Political parties in Delhi have counted on regularisation of illegal colonies — which make up close to half of the city’s spread — as a vote-catcher. Ahead of December’s assembly elections, Dikshit’s Congress government claimed it had completed the process of regularising 895 such colonies when in reality it had only identified them for the purpose and issued a notification. Crucial processes for fixing boundaries and completion of layout plans are still to be done.

“The urban development department released Rs. 3,666.81 crore during 2007-13 for providing basic services in unauthorised colonies. Of this, `3,029.21 crore was utilized,” the audit observed.

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“Certain changes were made by the urban development department that were not in accordance with revisions approved by the Union cabinet, on the basis of which Regulations 2008 were framed. Issue of provisional regularisation certificates (PRCs) was not envisaged in the guidelines. Several discrepancies were found in the boundaries,” it added.

It went on to say boundaries were fixed without verification of khasras (detailed land records), resulting in allotment of excess khasras to RWAs. “Prohibited areas, DDA hindrances, overlapping of boundaries, etc weren’t considered during boundary fixation in contravention of amended regulations.”

The auditor — which randomly selected 91 colonies for scrutiny and examined 82 files provided by the urban development department — also pointed to discrepancies in land status report.

Under a September 2012 order, colonies on private land stand regularized from the date of issue of the order and those on public land from the date of recovery of land cost. The audit revealed that according to the revenue department’s land status reports, 312 colonies were on private land and 583 on government land. But the urban development department later observed that the revenue department had changed the land status of a few colonies from private to government, bringing down the number of illegal colonies on private land from 312 to 111.

This indicated that 201 colonies on public land were sought to be regularized without recovery of land cost.


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