Thursday, August 2, 2012


Regularising illegal colonies has economical and political benefits

Illegal colonies have become not only a problem for dwellers but a huge concern for urban development. Not only these colonies are denied of basic amenities, but also are excluded from the developmental schemes. After years of running around, the Centre has finally given a nod, in the backdrop of broader economic impact to regularise around 1200 colonies of Delhi.

However, things don’t appear as simple as it reads. There was an impression that 40 lakh people in the Congress stronghold were taken for a ride by halting the regularisation of their colonies. Moreover, there was scant development work that accompanied the non-approval in these impoverished localities. Albeit provisional regularisation certifi cates (PRCs) have been issued to 1,200 colonies, not more than 44 illegal ones have been regularised yet. However, the process is on, with 1018 colonies’ boundaries have already been finalised and regularisation certificates will be distributed within the next few months. It does not end here – the sore point of noninclusion the localities from developmental work and providing basic amenities will end – and these areas will be included in the city’s civic map. Almost one-third of Delhi’s population lives in the illegal colonies which no longer are faced with the chance of getting demolished. With regularisation, real estate boom is expected in these localities as the property owners now can buy and sell their properties drawing curtains to their pressing economic worries. In the same lines, Haryana government has vowed to regularise 1,000 odd illegal colonies across the urban centres of the state. It’s not only the restoration, but provision for the best amenities that are the high priority areas for the state government. The Municipal Corporations have set aside sizeable amount for roads, water supply, schools, healthcare, transport, even firefighting and police posts in these localities. The state exchequer will be delved for the expenses, even though the fund would be raised through indirect taxes from the people of the state.

The regularisation of unauthorised colonies seems to be a very potent vote catcher. Parkash Singh Badal knew it too well when he announced his regularisation drive that was the tipping point ahead of this year’s assembly election, that he won. The decision was taken in December by the incumbent government – chaired by him – where he declared that local municipal institutions will curve out identification and demarcation process which will be followed by regularising them and their development programmes will be treated at par with other localities. However, the regularisation endeavour of Punjab government has a catch and a price! The property holders in the unlawful colonies have to pay a development charge of 75 per cent of the property price in exchange for restoring legality of the colonies. It also restates that at least a majority of the owners must deposit the charge for the government to extend the facility. Predictably, there are very few takers to this proposal. The people residing in the illegal colonies form a major chunk of votes, too precious for the incumbent governments to loose. Bhupender Singh Hooda and Parkash Singh Badal realised it too well, and so did Sheila Dixit – all hell bent on speeding up the infrastructural development in the areas where the illegal colonies are located. It is a trend line in which regularisation of unauthorised colonies remains the dominant force behind the campaigns.  


No comments:

Post a Comment