Unauthorised colonies may become flashpoint
NEW DELHI: Months before the election, the unauthorised colonies could become a huge flashpoint between AAP and BJP. According to the census, nearly 25 per cent of Delhi's population stays in unauthorised colonies. While the AAP is trying to get attention through initiating development works there, the BJP through its DDA targetting AAP for non-cooperation in regularising these colonies.
Fifty-six years ago, Delhi had 110 unauthorised colonies, housing nearly 2,21,000 people. Today, it has 1,797 of them. According to the Economic Survey of Delhi, at least 5.6 million Delhi residents live in slums, illegal colonies, crumbling urban villages and dilapidated buildings.
The population in these colonies are mostly from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal. A section of Bangladeshi immigrants also stays in the unauthorised colonies. From day one, the AAP became popular with the people of the unauthorised colonies. "The AAP government has always been very active in these areas and we have always done various development works in these areas," said an official.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Development Authority which is under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is led by the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi is the prime authority behind the regularisation of these colonies. However, despite various discussions, the plan has not seen the light. Recently, Housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri accused the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi of delaying in regularisation process.
The AAP government rubbished such claims by the centre and clarified that all the files related to the issue have been forwarded to the Center. Puri said a committee was formed under the housing and urban affairs secretary (Durga Shankar Mishra) in 2017 to expedite the process by resolving all issues with the local government. "The Delhi government had then said they need two years to deal with the issues. We are trying to solve the problem but the local government
is not on board. And they blame the central government," Puri said.
At this point, the questions arise that why before the election the unauthorised colonies are becoming such a big issue. The leaders said that in as in Delhi the election fight would be triangular the AAP wants to ensure the vote of 25 per cent voters. Similarly, the BJP who has lesser support from these areas are also in the field to ensure the trust of these people.
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