New Delhi: Close on the heels of regularising 917 unauthorised colonies in the capital, the Centre on Friday said it would regularise more such existing colonies and was looking for options that includes knocking at the doors of the judiciary as well.
Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath also said his ministry would embark on an ardous task of fully regularising religious structures in the national capital built before 2007 and also providing park space at such places.
Addressing a press conference organised by Delhi Development Authority here, Nath categorically said there was no option other than to regularise such colonies which have been existing for the past three to four decades.
"What to do. They have all been there. They should not have been there, but they are there for the past 30 to 40 years. What is the other solution?" he asked.
"After we decided to regularise unauthorised colonies in 2007, we received 1639 applications and in the first phase 917 have been regularised. The matter regarding those colonies located on forest and ridge lands and close to ASI areas are under active consideration.
"We will find a solution. If necessary, we will go to the court and seek directions," Nath said.
The regularisation of 917 colonies will benefit 40 lakh people in the capital.
Replying to a volley of questions whether regularising unauthorised colonies will set a wrong precedent and encourage development of such colonies, the Minister admitted that was the case and pitched for stringent monitoring and greater accountability.
"I agree with everything. But we cannot demolish these structures because they have existed all along. Now we need stricter enforcement and greater accountability on the part of the enforcement agency which is the MCD. The Ministry does not enforce things," he said.
On regularisation of religious structures, he said there are many structures in the capital and that there was an urgent need to "fully regularise" them.
"We have not counted them. The process is on. We cannot raze religious structures. All the structures which have been built before 2007 will be regularised and some way would be found out to give parking space there," he said.
Nath also said the government was considering granting ownership rights to 45 resettlement colonies in the capital.