fter a long battle, affluent colonies such as Sainik Farms, Anantram Dairy and Mahendru Enclave could soon be legalised under the tag of `unauthorised regularised colonies’.
Delhi’s AAP government has sent a revised regulation pertaining to regularisation of unauthorised colonies to the Union urban development ministry for notification in this regard.
Sources say the state and central governments are on the same page, though the regularisation process will take some time.
In the revised regulation, the Delhi government has dropped the clause which prohibits it from regularising colonies `inhabited by affluent sections’ along with other changes. “The Delhi government has submitted a proposal for regularising these colonies saying there should be no distinction between affluent and non-affluent colonies,“ said a UD ministry official. We are improving the proposal and will soon be taking it to the Cabinet for approval,“ said a UD ministry official.
Sources say, the issue of affluent colonies was raised in some of the meetings with the ministry . The MoUD, sources say , had asked the Delhi government if there was any survey done by it to identity affluent colonies. “As there is no set criteria to identify an affluent colony , the government decided to delete the clause. There were several other changes made in the regulation in a bid to simplify the complicated process,“ said an official.
The revised regulations were sent to MoUD in November last year. “We are waiting for the ministry to notify it. We have send several reminders to the ministry to expedite the process, but are yet to hear from them,“ said a senior official.
The government’s decision to delete the clause has come as huge relief to residents of these `affluent’ colonies. “On what basis did they identify affluent colonies? Not everyone is affluent here. The legal status will help us sell our properties. At present, we can’t get a bank loan against our properties. We can’t get any construction work done. Our colony should be treated just like any other colony that is regularised in due course,“ said Brij Bhushan, joint secretary of Western Avenue Welfare Association, one of the RWAs in Sanik Farms.
Residents of Mahendru Enclave said regularisation would enable develop ment work in the locality . “The colony came up almost three decades back. Residents have paid for sewer lines, construction of roads and other basic facilities. As the number of residents has gone up, there is an urgent need to relay the facilities. If the colony is regularised, the government will have to provide these facilities,“ said G R Soni, general secretary of Mahendru Enclave RWA.
Another major change in the regulation is regarding the cut-off date. While the centre had fixed June 1, 2014 as the cut-off date for regularisation, the AAP government revised it to January 1, 2015, after it came to power last year. Delhi government officials say MoUD has agreed to the new cut-off date.
Periodic regularization of unauthorized colonies has been going on for years. Although the Sheila Dikshit government had cleared 895 colonies for regularisation in 2012 -a year before the assembly election -not one of these colonies has been regularized till date. Of the 895, the BJP-led municipal corporations had approved layouts of 10 colonies in 2013. And now the entire exercise of fixing boundaries, preparing layouts and consultation with RWA is being repeated all over again. “The decision to change the cut-off date has changed everything.The previous plans were made based on the old cut-off date of February 2007.Those layouts are of no use,“ said a senior official with South Delhi Municipal Corporation, which had approved plans of four colonies.
The Aam Aadmi Party government has roped in a new agency for total station mapping (TSM) of unauthorized colonies. So far, surveys of 251 colonies have been completed. “If there are some more changes in the notification, we will have to carry out the survey again,“ said a senior government official.
In the revised guidelines, the government has introduced regularization charges to be levied on colonies. The charge varies from Rs 3,750 per sqm to Rs 13,500 per sqm, depending on the size of the plot and category of the colony . “This was not there in the previous regulation.Residents of colonies which have come up on private land will have to pay regularisation charges along with development charges,“ said a senior official.
When contacted, urban development ministry official said, “They (Delhi gov ernment) have also submitted that the criteria for regularisation and charging the compounding fee should be on the basis of plot size and the property tax slab category .“ He added that the approved policy would be placed before the Delhi high court.