By Subhadra Banda and Shahana Sheikh
There is little transparency in the regularisation of unauthorised colonies in Delhi.
Earlier this week, acting on behalf of the Delhi government, the Chief Minister wrote a letter to the President asking for a probe against the former Chief Minister, reportedly for “alleged irregularities in the regularisation of unauthorised colonies in Delhi”. This follows the Delhi Lokayukta’s finding in November 2013 that the “issuance of the PRC [provisional regularisation certificates] on the eve of the elections [in 2008] was a populist measure intended to woo voters”. It also found that some unauthorised colonies (UACs) received the PRC despite having submitted incomplete applications.
UACs, which are estimated to house 30 per cent of Delhi’s population, were promised regularisation in 2008, and again in the manifestos of the Aam Aadmi Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and the Congress, prior to the Delhi elections of 2013. In his first address to the newly-elected Delhi Assembly this year, the Lieutenant Governor announced that an “action plan for regularising unauthorised colonies within a year is being drawn up and this plan shall be implemented rigorously in a time-bound manner”. To understand this issue, it is important to understand how this problem arose.