With a unanimous vote in the Rajya Sabha Wednesday, the Parliament passed the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Bill, 2019, paving the way to give property rights to nearly 40 lakh people living in 1,731 unauthorised colonies in Delhi. The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha last week.
Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the government had identified the unauthorised colonies, on the basis of the findings of a cell, set up after a notification in 2008.
Puri said, “When one regularises something which is patently, or prima facie illegal, the process is a little different. An effective way of dealing with the residents of these colonies would be to confer, as a one-time exception, rights based on five documents which should be in their possession to make a one-time exception.”
The Delhi Development Authority is mapping the colonies and Puri said he hoped the uploading of maps would be done “within a matter of days”.
Congress leader Kumari Selja, while supporting the Bill, said it was “a political stunt” done “keeping in mind the upcoming elections,” and asked the government if there was a long-term plan. AAP’s Sanjay Singh also questioned the Bill’s timing and said there was a possibility that people will not get ownership rights before elections. “After 180 days, elections will be over and you won’t even think about unauthorised colonies,” he said.
During the debate, BJP’s Vijay Goel said the Delhi government delayed regularisation. Citing a chain of letters between the Centre and the government, he said the Delhi government had sought time till 2021 to complete mapping of colonies.
Digvijaya on Goel
Congress’s Digvijaya Singh, who spoke after Vijay Goel, said it was the latter who should be BJP’s Delhi Chief Ministerial face and not Manoj Tiwari. “Main Vijay Goel ji ke paksh me bol raha hu ki Manoj Tiwari mukhyamantri ke davedaar nahi ho sakte hain. Ye hak aapka banta hai (I am talking in favour of Vijay Goel. Manoj Tiwari cannot be the claimant to the post. It is your right),” said Singh. However, BJP is unlikely to announce a name before elections.