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‘MLA funds could be used for unauthorised colonies’

‘MLA funds could be used for unauthorised colonies’
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With an eye on next year’s assembly polls, Delhi government on Monday took a number of decisions for speedy implementation of infrastructure projects in the 895 unauthorised regularised colonies which are home to around 35 lakh people.

A meeting of the Delhi cabinet, presided over by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, decided to allow spending of MLA Local Area Development funds for developmental projects in the 895 colonies which were regularised three months ago.

The cabinet has also reversed a number of existing norms in carrying out repair works in the colonies to ensure better civic amenities for residents of the recently regularised colonies.

As per existing norms, repair works on roads and drains in the regularised  colonies could be done only after the expiry of their stipulated ‘life period’. But the cabinet has decided to do away with the norm to improve the existing facilities in the settlements. ‘The civic condition in the colonies is in bad shape and that is why the cabinet has decided to allow the agencies to take up repair works at the earliest,’ said Dikshit, who had pushed hard to regularise the colonies after the Congress’ electoral debacle in civic polls held in April. The decision will go a long way in bringing a sea-change in the standard of life of the residents in the colonies, she added.

Parliamentary secretary Mukesh Sharma said Delhi government was striving hard to provide civic amenities and infrastructure in all the regularised unauthorised colonies. The decision by the government came a day before the Delhi assembly meets for the winter session. The BJP has already said it will raise the issue of lack of basic infrastructure in the colonies. Sources said the government by this month-end would lift restriction on sale and purchase of properties in 320 unauthorised regularised colonies, which came up on private land.

The issue was discussed in the cabinet. Officials said the cabinet decided to apply the same norms that were framed for facilitatingbasic amenities in colonies regularised almost 30 years ago for carrying out development works in the 895 settlements. ‘The decision of the government will come into immediate effect,’ they said.

Delhi government had issued provisional regularisation certificates to over 1,639 unauthorised colonies ahead of the 2008 assembly polls. The then Dikshit government, while distributing the certificates, had promised to regularise the colonies if Congress came to power for the third term.
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