The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is learnt to have blocked attempts of the Union Urban Development Ministry to regularise three affluent colonies — Sainik Farms, Anant Ram Dairy and Mahendru Enclave in Delhi, sources said. A Cabinet note, detailing the proposal, was sent back by the PMO after it was sent for inter-ministerial consultation, sources said.
The UD ministry had moved a Cabinet note in August last year to regularise the three “affluent unauthorised” colonies. After the PMO raised objections, the proposal has been shelved for now.
Earlier also, the ministry was in a fix on how to define an affluent colony and was still mulling over the regularisation charges to be levied on the three colonies — Sainik Farms, Anant Ram Dairy in South Delhi and Mahendru Enclave in North Delhi. These colonies are home to several politicians, businessmen, policemen and retired bureaucrats.
“The plan to regularise these three colonies is not happening now,” a senior official in the ministry said.
The decision means that under the present UPA-II regime, with only three months to go for the general elections, the regularisation of these colonies will not take place. It will now depend on the next government, which comes to power.
Just before the Assembly elections in Delhi, the UD ministry had sought to move the Cabinet, particularly to regularise these three colonies. The proposal, which had been hanging fire for several years, was fast-tracked last year at the insistence of UD minister Kamal Nath.
The ministry aimed at securing in-principle nod for the three colonies to protect them from any kind of demolition in the future. “There was ambiguity as to what really qualifies as an affluent colony. The other colonies, which were regularised earlier, were home to the middle-class or the lower middleclass,” an official said.
In 2006, a committee headed by former Delhi Chief Secretary K K Mathur submitted a report, suggesting hefty regularisation charges for these colonies but it was rejected by the ministry.
“Sainik Farms has a long history. It was started in the late 1960s as a co-operative society for rehabilitation of war widows and retired defence personnel. With government support, land was purchased by the society and allotted to defence personnel for farmhouses. Over time, the area, commonly called as Sainik Farms, has attracted many non-defence personnel also. There are hardly any farmhouses in the colony and, in fact, on many plots large houses and villas can be seen,” the report stated.