Eyeing the Assembly elections to be held next year and taking lessons from the drubbing the Congress got in the municipal polls,Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was more than generous to unauthorised colonies in the budget presented on Monday.
In her second budget speech,Dikshit promised to regularise eligible unauthorised colonies in the Capital. Promising civic amenities in unauthorised colonies,she said development in these colonies will not suffer for want of funds.
The government is committed to regularlise eligible unauthorised colonies within the framework of the guidelines issued by the Central government. This is a time-consuming process as there are various requirements stipulated in the guidelines. These are being dealt with by a number of departments and agencies, Dikshit said.
The Chief Minister earmarked Rs 631 crore for development activities in unauthorised colonies. The government has invested Rs 2,597 crore till March 2012,she said.
If required,the amount will be suitably enhanced for development work in unauthorised colonies. It will not suffer due to lack of funds or want of funds, Dikshit said.
The Delhi government issued provisional regularisation certificates (PRCs) to over 1,200 unauthorised colonies ahead of Assembly polls in 2008. The then Dikshit government,while distributing the certificates,had promised to regularise the colonies if the Congress came to power for a third term.
On the other hand,the three corporations after seeking legal opinion on charging property tax from unauthorised colonies has sent the proposal to the L-Gs office. The file has reached the L-G and is under consideration. The views of corporations on charging property tax from unauthorised colonies seem legitimate, said a source at the L-Gs office.
According to corporation officials,earlier,people used to pay tax voluntarily. But this practice was discontinued after the L-G issued a notice to the unified MCD asking it not to charge tax till services are provided and legal views on the topic are sought.
After the order,officials said the corporation lost nearly Rs 20 lakh in property tax from unauthorised colonies between 2011-12. We received Rs 772 crore as property tax in 2010-11. This came down to Rs 763 crore in 2012. We lost revenue as unauthorised colonies residents were misinformed about the L-Gs directive. Unless residents pay tax and get it recorded in government records,we cannot provide services as we dont know if these dwellings exist, said a senior official.