New Delhi: With an eye on the next year`s election, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday promised to "soon" regularise the remaining 744 unauthorised colonies in the city and assured people that not a single house would be demolished in such settlements.
Addressing a public meeting at Nangloi in West Delhi, Dikshit said both the Centre and the city government would find a way out to regularise the unauthorised colonies which came up on land owned by forest and Archaeological Survey of India.
The city government on September 5 had issued a notification regularising 895 unauthorised colonies out of the 1,639 such settlements which are home to over 40 lakh residents and constitute a major vote bank.
"The remaining unauthorised colonies will be regularised soon. We are working hard to provide relief to the residents of such settlements. We will not allow any demolition in the unauthorised colonies as poor people have invested their hard earn money to construct the houses," Dikshit said.
Dikshit, who had pushed hard to regularise the colonies after the electoral debacle of the Congress in municipal polls held in April, said her government made a "historical decision" to give relief to lakhs of residents of the unauthorised colonies.
Describing regularisation of the colonies as a "complex process", Dikshit said her government "acted cautiously" to avoid any future legal or procedural wrangle in regularising the first batch of colonies.
"Both the Centre and Delhi government have been sympathetic towards residents of the unauthorised colonies as we follow the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru and Indira Gandhi. We honour the right of roti, kapra and makan of the citizens of Delhi," the Chief Minister said, amid applause from the audience.
Dikshit, who had pushed hard to regularise the colonies
after the electoral debacle of the Congress in municipal polls held in April, said large number of families were forced to put up in unauthorised colonies as there was acute shortage of dwelling units in Delhi.
"I think they have now become eligible for all advanced civic amenities on par with citizens living in rest of the city. Our government and the party are working in tandem towards the goal of regularising the remaining unauthorised colonies," she said.
Accusing the BJP of trying to mislead people on the issue of regularisation of the colonies, Dikshit said the opposition party never adopted a constructive approach on any issue.
"The principal opposition party is in the habit of misleading people. It is very strange that they are not able to digest en-masse regularisation of unauthorised colonies. They have lost wisdom to appreciate any good step taken by our government. They criticise and oppose for the sake of criticism and opposition," Dikshit said.
The BJP has been attacking the government for "failing" to regularise all the colonies at one go.
The Delhi government had issued provisional regularisation certificates to 1,639 unauthorised colonies ahead of the Assembly polls in 2008.
While distributing the certificates, the then Dikshit government had promised to regularise the colonies if Congress came to power for the third term.
After the Congress` defeat in municipal polls in April, Dikshit had asked all concerned departments to expedite the regularisation process.
In her address, Dikshit also promised to expedite the development process in the colonies which were regularised earlier this month.
"The Government has decided to accelerate the pace of development in the colonies which have been regularised. We do not have any dearth of money for this purpose. The hard days of the residents of such colonies are over. They can now look for a better future," she said.
Urban Development Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely, Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami and Dikshit`s Parliamentary Secretary Mukesh Sharma were present on the occasion.
The Chief Minister also flagged off two new routes of DTC buses in Nangloi and also laid foundation stone of a new bridge connecting Nihal Vihar and Paschim Vihar.