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With Delhi Assembly elections nearing, cabinet extends cut-off date to regularise 2,000 illegal colonies

The cabinet decision has elicited strong rebuttals from the Delhi Congress and the AAP.

With Assembly elections nearing, the Centre on Monday paved the way for the regularisation of over “2,000 unauthorised colonies” through an ordinance and extended the cut-off date for regularisation of these colonies from March 2002 to June 2014.

The existing guidelines were last amended in June 2012, which changed the sequence to be followed for regularisation — allowing approval of lay-out plan and land use change after issue of formal order of regularisation. A statement from the Union Urban Development Ministry read, “This was done without seeking the approval of the Union Cabinet for amending the guidelines, and accordingly, no further action was taken.”

“The ordinance is for regularisation of unauthorised colonies in Delhi,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, adding that the detailed implementation and guidelines will be issued by the authorities concerned.

According to the UD Ministry statement, the Cabinet decision comes in the backdrop of several rounds of discussions held between the Urban Development Ministry, headed by Venkaiah Naidu, and Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung.

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“The Delhi government had sent a proposal, seeking extension of cut-off date for regularisation. It had opined that regularisation of unauthorised colonies would bring planned constructions to these colonies under existing building bylaws and other applicable rules. This in turn, would result in more development in the colonies,” the UD Ministry statement read.

The move has elicited strong rebuttals from the Delhi Congress and the AAP.

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Arvinder Singh Lovely said the UPA government in 2012 had already cleared 895 unauthorised colonies for regularisation and the remaining colonies were either on ASI, Forest Department or Defence land.

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“All the BJP government has done is to extend the cut-off date. They do not even know how many colonies will benefit. It is like giving tuberculosis medicine to a heart patient,” he said.

Meanwhile, the AAP said the move was a last-minute “unsuccessful election gimmick”. “The Modi government has replayed the cruel joke on poor people earlier played by the Sheila Dikshit government,” the party said.

The party said the new measure would not let people get their houses legally registered or their maps approved. “For these, prior approvals from the Revenue department and agencies such as the DDA will be required. It is also clear that no home loans will be available unless all legal clearances are provided… If the Modi government was serious, it should have got the maps approved for these colonies,” the party said.

THEY SAID…

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The BJP government has only extended the cut-off date. They don’t know how many colonies will benefit. It is like giving tuberculosis medicine to a heart patient.

– Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely

The Modi government has replayed the cruel joke on the poor people which had earlier been played by the Congress government led by Sheila Dikshit.

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal

First published on: 30-12-2014 at 03:10 IST
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