Centre moves to regularise 895 illegal colonies ahead of polls

With elections in Delhi on the horizon — possibly in mid-February — the Central government is working overtime to regularise at least half of the 1,639 unauthorised colonies in the capital.

In a clear indication that the move is linked to Assembly elections, the BJP-led Central government has asked the Delhi government to send, at the earliest, a formal proposal to the Union Ministry of Urban Development (UD) so that “suitable amendments” to various rules can be carried out to facilitate regularisation of 895 unauthorised colonies.

At a meeting chaired by UD Minister M Venkaiah Naidu earlier this week, representatives of  National Capital Territory of Delhi were asked to send the proposal by next week. Sources said after examining the proposal, the UD Ministry will work in tandem with the Law Ministry to find a way out of the logjam.

A senior functionary of the UD Ministry told Newsline that the process was being sped up so that a majority of Delhi’s unauthorised colonies could be regularised before the elections are announced and the model code of conduct comes into force.

In 1993, the Delhi government had submitted a proposal to regularise all unauthorised colonies which had come up till March 31, 1993. Thereafter, the Union Cabinet approved guidelines in 2000, 2004 and 2007, to allow regularisation.

The 2007 guidelines — applicable to “non-affluent” colonies — resulted in issuance of regulations for regularisation of unauthorised colonies. However, the regulations were never completely implemented due to legal issues, including objections from various ministries.
Sources said an attempt by the previous Union government last year to regularise Sainik Farms,  Mahendru Enclave and Anant Ram Diary through a Cabinet decision came a cropper due to objections by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

It said there should be “clear and transparent methodology for fixing market value of land and regularisation charges/penalties to ward off complaints of corruption and favouritism”. The ministry also stressed that basic parameters for classification of affluent and non-affluent colonies should be clearly defined after proper field surveys.

The Finance Ministry also raised queries about the methodology proposed for the recovery of various charges/penalties from unauthorised colonies.

During a meeting held on September 10, it was pointed out that one of the reasons no decision had been taken to regularise 895 unauthorised colonies so far was the non-submission of layout plans by resident welfare associations.

At the same meeting, which was attended by senior functionaries of the UD Ministry, representatives of the the Delhi government, the Delhi Development Authority and other local bodies, it was decided that no practical purpose would be served by classifying colonies as affluent and non-affluent. For this, the 2008 regulations will be “suitably amended”.

Source: Indian Express
Dated: 15th December 2014

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