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Saturday, Nov 23, 2019

Centre announces ownership rights in unauthorised colonies, jabs Kejriwal

It is the most far-sighted revolutionary decision, said Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said at a media briefing after the cabinet meeting.

india Updated: Oct 23, 2019 19:58 IST
Anisha Dutta
Anisha Dutta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The central government alleged that due to the delay by the state, many colonies were left to be considered for regularisation. (HT photo)
The central government alleged that due to the delay by the state, many colonies were left to be considered for regularisation. (HT photo)
         

At a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided to give ownership rights to 40 lakh people living in national capital Delhi’s unauthorised colonies. The ownership rights will be given to inhabitants of houses in these colonies irrespective of whether the houses were built on private or government land, Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Wednesday. The only exception, he said, would be 67 affluent, but unauthorised colonies such as Sainik Farms, Mahendru Enclave and Anant Ram Dairy.

“This is the biggest decision taken at the meeting today, a historic decision to give ownership rights to people in these colonies,” Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javdekar said at a media briefing on Wednesday. Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri called it the “most far-sighted revolutionary decision”.

Watch | 40 lakh people in Delhi’s unauthorised colonies to be given ownership rights: Centre

 

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had also announced a proposal to give ownership rights to people living in these colonies in July this year. Kejriwal had then said that the Aam Aadmi Party had received concurrence of the central government.

The focus on ownership rights to people living in these 1,797 colonies comes months before the assembly elections in Delhi early next year.

Hardeep Puri took the first shot at the Arvind Kejriwal government on Wednesday, holding the Aam Aadmi Party, or AAP government of dragging its feet.

“I have made many attempts to encourage the Delhi Chief Minister to do what was his responsibility, identify these colonies and take things forward,” he said, adding that the city government hadn’t even selected the firm that was to carry out the exercise to delineate the boundary of these colonies.

Puri said the delineation of the boundary of these colonies was the starting point of the regularisation process firmed up by the DDA’s regulations in 2008.

“The Delhi government could not delineate the boundaries of these colonies even after 11 years of issuance of the Regulations and has sought more time upto 2021 to complete this exercise,” he said.

This is when, Hardeep Puri told the news conference, the Centre decided to step in.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal ignored the barb but didn’t miss the opportunity to remind people that the plan had originated from his government. “The Union Cabinet has prepared road map based on our proposal sent in July. We want the central government to start the process immediately. There should be no further delay,” Kejriwal said.

Regularisation and ownership rights of unauthorised colonies has been politically-sensitive topic in the city’s politics. These colonies are home to a third of Delhi’s population, and votes.

“The ownership rights will be conferred on payment of nominal charge based on carpet area and plot size,” the minister said.

For colonies on government land, the charge will be 0.5 percent (for less than 100 square metres), 1 percent (for 100-250 sqm) and 2.5 percent (for greater than 250 sqm) of the circle rate of highest category of locality of the residential area surrounding the unauthorised colonies. For colonies on private land, the charge will be half of the charge on government land

Unauthorised colonies, unlike slums, are seen as a fallout of the city’s failure to provide housing to people willing to pay for them. There have been several announcements and decisions around unauthorised colonies in the past, mostly in the run-up to elections.