The politics over unauthorised colonies in Delhi heated up once again on Monday with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) training guns on each other over issues concerning registry of property and regularisation of these colonies.
A Twitter spat erupted on the issue between top leaders of the two parties after Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri said they would start registry for granting ownership rights to residents of the 1,731 eligible unauthorised colonies in the next 8-10 days. To this, deputy chief minister and senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia sought clarification if the move meant regularising these colonies as promised by the BJP in several hoardings put up across the national Capital.
This came a day after Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that the BJP was “blatantly lying” about regularising these colonies. To counter the BJP, the AAP put up hoardings across the city saying, “DDA website: ‘Unauthorised colonies are not getting regularised’. 4 million people have been cheated.”
With assembly elections in Delhi scheduled in February, unauthorised colonies have emerged as a major poll issue. While BJP is primarily focusing on the Centre passing a law to grant ownership rights to residents of unauthorised colonies, the AAP is talking about the development works carried out in these colonies during its five-year tenure.
The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Act, 2019, which was passed in the recently concluded winter session of Parliament, will allow residents of unauthorised colonies to sell and purchase their property legally, and also will be granted loans from banks. But, regularising an unauthorised colony would mean that all plots and houses will have to made compliant with the building by-laws and development control norms as mentioned in the Master Plan for Delhi, 2021.
Puri on Monday said the ruling party in Delhi is baffled as the centre has done what they couldn’t do. “They couldn’t do this (grant ownership rights) for five years. They had sought time till 2021 to fix the boundaries of these unauthorised colonies. But now, when we have done the same process in three weeks’ time, they are now trying to create a false narrative to mislead people,” he said. Puri was speaking an event organised by the BJP to address the traders.
Kejriwal countered BJP’s claims in a press conference, saying that political parties indulge in politics, but if government starts furnishing wrong information, it is saddening. “The FAQs about PM UDAY scheme has a question — ‘Is this scheme meant for regularisation of unauthorised colonies?’. The reply says, ‘No this scheme is not for the regularisation of unauthorised colones or the structures therein’. It means that there is no regularisation of colony or the home. What is it?,” Kejriwal asked.
“Has even one person got the registry in his name?…People should not be fooled like this. Do concrete work and ask people for votes. We made roads and lanes and nobody can question our work…,” the chief minister said.
In a series of tweets earlier in the day, the Union minister attacked the AAP for “lying” to the people of Delhi. “The DDA completed maps of all colonies via satellite within just 2 months. 35,000 people have also registered on the website and many have also submitted their papers,” tweeted Puri.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which is executing the scheme, said they have already completed the process, including field checks, to verify the details of more than 30 properties.
Sisodia also asked Puri how the Centre will give ownership rights to the people living in unauthorised colonies without regularisation. “How will they give ownership to the people if they don’t authorise the colonies? BJP should stop fooling the people,” he said in another press conference on Monday.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in-charge of Delhi elections, tweeted, “As per their practice, @AAPDelhi again tries to confuse people on unauthorised colonies. @narendramodi Govt has passed a bill for *recognition of property rights of residents of unauthorised colonies of NCT Delhi *. So people have no doubt & the effort of @AAPDelhi will boomerang.”
The deputy chief minister insisted if BJP is serious about regularising these colonies then they should make it clear on DDA’s website.
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