Satellite images to decide future of unauthorised colonies
Facing flak for giving provisional certificates to unauthorised colonies in violation of norms, the Delhi government has decided to rely on satellite images provided by the Survey of India to ascertain if the areas meet the eligibility criteria for regularisation. After receiving the images, the government will decide the boundaries of the colonies.
Senior urban development department officials said the aerial images clicked in 2002 were hazy and of no use to determine if the properties — whose owners had sought amnesty under the regularisation scheme — actually existed on land.
According to the government rules, colonies that had 10% built-up area in 2002 and was increased to 50% in 2007, were eligible for regularisation. The government had awarded provisional regularisation certificates to 1,239 unauthorised colonies just ahead of the Assembly elections in 2008.
A complaint filed in the Lokayukta office in November 2011 by former MLA Ramvir Bidhuri alleged that many colonies, which were given provisional regularisation certificates, did not actually exist and government officials had colluded with land mafia to grab land.
Besides the cancellation of provisional regularisation of four colonies, which Bidhuri had mentioned in his complaint, the government cancelled the provisional regularisation of 39 more unauthorised colonies.
The government even formed a committee headed by divisional commissioner Vijay Dev, which recommended criminal proceedings against those involved in the irregularities.
Facing flak from BJP, chief minister Sheila Dikshit has directed the urban development department to abide by the norms in regularising colonies.
Department officials said they were preparing a report on the issuance of provisional regularisation certificates to be submitted to the Delhi Lokayukta. The lokayukta has issued notices to the government, seeking details about the procedure adopted in awarding PRCs in 2008.
“The provisional certificates were never a guarantee that the colonies would be regularised. We are verifying every aspect before moving further on the regularisation process,” said a senior UD official, requesting not to be named.