By: Akshay Chooramani
Regularize unauthorized colonies and giving ownership rights to residents: AAP manifesto states: “We will provide registration rights with regard to property and sales deeds in resettlement colonies. Further, we will provide water and sewer lines, electricity, schools and hospitals in a systematic and phased manner. Multi-pronged action to make available these basic necessities is the only way of empowering unauthorized colonies, which is something that has never been attempted by the BJP or the Congress. Within one year of our government formation, these unauthorized colonies will be regularized and residents will be given ownership rights.”
Aam Aadmi Party had promised to regularise the unauthorised colonies within 1 year of it coming to power. Regularising unauthorised colonies means that various developmental works can be undertaken in such colonies like sewage, water supply, road and drainage and giving ownership rights to the occupants. Official estimates peg the number of unauthorized colonies in the city at 1,731, with about 50 lakh residents. Soon after coming to power, the AAP government announced the decision to open registry of property in unauthorized colonies bypassing the process to be completed by the municipal corporations. The government said in 2015 that soon after it sends the boundary details to corporations, it would also allow registry of property provided the policy is cleared by the Central Government as land in Delhi is controlled by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) headed by the Lieutenant Governor.
The process was stuck for nearly 4 years, on account for pending approval of the Central government, however, in November 2019, Central government acted on the proposal sent by the Delhi government and tabled “The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Bill, 2019” bill in Parliament to regularise the unauthorized colonies of Delhi. The bill has been passed by both houses. This would allow the residents of these 1731 unauthorised colonies to claim legal ownership of their houses. The registration process for the same is currently under process and DDA has been made the nodal authority for the same instead of Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) which is controlled Delhi Govt.
The second part of the promise was to carry out the development work in these unauthorised colonies. As per the budget document tabled in Delhi Assembly, AAP government has sanctioned 500 crore rupees for the development of these unauthorised colonies for financial year 2019-20. As per the outcome budget 2019-20, over the last five years AAP government has spent around 6000 crore rupees for the development related work in these unauthorised colonies which includes laying of water and sewer lines, laying of roads and drains. From year 2015-2019, unauthorised colonies where water pipelines have been laid has increased from 30% (435 colonies) to 86% (1554 colonies). Similarly for construction of roads and drains, overall network in unauthorised colonies has increased from 17% (309 colonies) to 71% (1281 colonies).
Therefore, considering that law has been enacted by Parliament and various developmental works have been undertaken as promised in the manifesto, however the residents are yet to get registered deeds for their land from the Government, hence the promise as been classified as ‘Adequate Progress’.