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.