Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Thursday said that those living in unauthorised colonies would soon get ownership rights of their properties in these areas. The CM made the announcement a week after the Centre shared a draft Cabinet note on regularising the city’s unauthorised colonies with the Delhi government.
Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said the Delhi government has received a “positive response” from the Centre on its 2015 proposal to regularise such colonies, which houses an estimated population of 40 lakh.
“Yesterday, we received a very positive response from the Centre, which is ready to clear our proposal. We want to thank the Centre for this. After the Centre approves the proposal, registration of properties will begin… We will put up camps if needed,” Kejriwal said.
Ownership rights are the first step in granting legal status to colonies which came up without legal sanction. There are 1,797 such colonies in the city, according to government documents. Each party has promised regularisation as a large voter base lives in these areas.
AAP, too, made the promise of regularisation when it came to power in 2015. While the Centre and Delhi have been at loggerheads over the issue, Kejriwal struck a reconciliatory note on Thursday.
“I am happy to announce that a very positive reply to the proposal was received by us from the Centre on Wednesday. I want to thank the Centre on behalf of the people of Delhi,” he said.
He, however, did not refer to the draft Cabinet note during the press conference. Both AAP and BJP could lay equal claim over the latest push towards regularisation.
Kejriwal said the Centre has posed some “technical queries” on the proposal, which will be answered by the Delhi government in the next two-three days. The officials concerned have been issued necessary directions in this regard, he said. Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain said January 1, 2015, has been decided as the cut-off date, which means properties that came up after that will not be regularised.
The Delhi Cabinet had finalised a proposal to regularise unauthorised colonies and sent it to the Centre in November 2015. However, the Centre had sent it back to Delhi, specifying the need to have demarcated boundaries of such colonies. The Delhi government’s Urban Development Department’s demarcation exercise has yielded little result since then.
In March, the Centre set up a panel under the Lt-Governor to chart ways to confer ownership rights in these colonies. The panel submitted its report on June 10.
Meanwhile, asked about the political significance of the development, against the possibility of Delhi going to polls in another six months, Kejriwal said there was no point indulging in pointing fingers anymore, and people should instead start distributing laddoos.
“We had sent the proposal in 2015. We kept trying and I am sure that the Centre was also trying. It’s good things are finally moving…We never had the intention to fight with an individual or party. Delhi is the country’s capital and it can develop only if the Centre and state cooperate,” he said.
Later in the day, Kejriwal said the move would be most beneficial to Purvanchalis. “The biggest beneficiaries of the opening of registries will be the Purvanchalis who have made Delhi their home, since most migrants in the city live in these colonies,” a statement issued by AAP quoted him, after his meeting with members of the community.
BJP Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari, meanwhile, credited the Centre for the development. “The work on regularisation of unauthorised colonies has been fast-tracked after a committee headed by the L-G handed over its report to the Housing and Urban Affairs Minister. Now, there is no scope for the Kejriwal government to stall it,” he said.