Millennium Post

Beyond politics

In an important development, the Ministry of Urban Development, led by Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, has announced that instead of promised regularisation of unauthorised colonies in the national capital, the government will move along with redevelopment first. According to the minister regularisation without redevelopment will only lead to the creation of more slums in the city. The rationale behind such a move has been that by just regularisation, the people residing in these colonies will not attain modicum of decent living.

Only redevelopment can ensure the subsequent right of sale and purchase of land and provide basic amenities such as schools, community centres, sewage, parks and other such facilities. As per current statistics, there are 1,469 unauthorised colonies, which are inhabited by approximately 50 lakh people. With assembly elections just a few months away, the union government’s recent announcement does obstruct various political entities from making empty promises surrounding regularisation of these unauthorised colonies that inhabit  lower working class migrants. Before the 2008 assembly elections, the Congress-led state government had handed out provision regularisation certificates to 1,218 colonies. Since then neither regularisation nor redevelopment has reached a majority of these colonies.

The current dispensation at the Centre has taken a right step by finally acknowledging that the reasons why these colonies came up in the first place was because there was a lack of affordable or government-sponsored housing. The public is aware of the fact that the Delhi Development Authority did not meet its targets for housing people from economically weaker sections. Therefore, as the city kept growing, such unauthorised colonies continued to mushroom. Consequently, in a bid to fix the problem in a definitive way, the government has come up with such a plan. Now let us hope that political expediency does not come in the way before redevelopment plans are implemented.
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