On Tuesday afternoon,those in Pandav Nagar were glued to television sets waiting for the governments announcement declaring them legal. When the announcement finally came,notifying 917 colonies,including Pandav Nagar,as regularised,for the residents here,it was the end of a 30-year long wait. Now,they have become legal owners of their property with the rights to buy and sell their property.
With the notification,Pandav Nagar is set to become prime property as all sales and purchases here will now be legal.
Abutting the Akshardham temple,Pandav Nagar is a residential colony that lies on either side of Patparganj Road. Crumbling potholed roads lead into the colony. Shops on either side are built on temporary drains covered with metal grills.
It was impossible to get a home loan earlier to buy property here. But those worries seem a thing of past now. There will be a sharp increase in the price of land as more people would want to buy houses here, said Inderjit Narula,president of the Ganesh Nagar Market Welfare Association.
Regularisation also brings with it the promise of development works like proper roads,streetlights,sewers and drains and timely repairs by the corporation.
The erstwhile unauthorised areas like S-Block,Ganesh Nagar and Nehru Complex are home to more than a lakh people,who hope that the governments nod will mean that their most basic sanitation issues the problem of sewage will now be resolved.
While water theft has been rampant in these colonies till now in the absence of any legalised water supply network,most residents said they faced no shortage of water or electricity. But there has never been any proper sewage facility, said a Pandav Nagar resident.
Area MLA Anil Kumar said there was hope that the area now would get a uniform system to dispose waste once the sewage network is in place. Even as Kumar is credited by the residents for improving the condition of roads in the locality,he does recall the days when they were in a bad shape.
People used to spend their own money to build roads. So they were uneven in many places and needed frequent repairs. Regularisation will bring better roads, he said.
Delhis water utility had taken up the mammoth task of providing water and sewerage facilities to the unauthorised colonies after provisional regularisation certificates were provided to them by the government in 2008,which were followed by a Supreme Court order that said people living in these colonies should be provided basic amenities.
Delhi Jal Board CEO Debashree Mukherjee said the agency was already providing these facilities wherever possible.
While the regularisation order does not make a practical difference,we are going to go by technical feasibility for setting up water and sewage networks in these areas. Wherever possible,we will provide water. Other will have to continue to depend on other means like borewells and water tankers.
P N Pathak,a Pandav Nagar resident for the last 25 years,said: We no longer to have wear the tag of living in an unauthorised colony. Our block had been given conditional clearance a year ago,and until yesterday the paperwork was still pending. Once the authorisation certificate comes through,life will become easier, he said.
However,invoking the Congress governments 2008 Assembly election scoop of giving provisional regularisation certificates to 1,639 unauthorised colonies,Leader of the Opposition Vijay Kumar Malhotra,termed the partial regularisation as another gimmick,wherein the fate of more than 700 remaining colonies has been jeopardised.