Residents of unauthorised colonies in Delhi will soon have ownership rights of their properties, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said today. He went on to say that the Centre has "agreed" to the proposal sent by the Delhi government in this regard.
Mr Kejriwal said that the Delhi government on Wednesday received a reply to the proposal it had sent to the Centre in November 2015. "The Centre has sent a very positive response. They are ready, and asked some questions which will be replied by us in a few days," he said.
"The dream of residents in unauthorised colonies to have ownership rights of their properties will soon be realised," he added.
Arvind Kejriwal, who was addressing a press conference to announce the "good news", thanked the Central government for its approval.
"Registries of properties in 1,797 unauthorised colonies in Delhi will begin after Centre's approval to Delhi government's proposal," he said, adding that there was no development in these unauthorised colonies. "There was no roads, sewer pipelines and drainage system. But, Delhi government stood beside them. We will spend or have already spent Rs 6,000 crore to develop these colonies. This became possible as our government was committed to providing ownership rights to people," he said.
Delhi's urban development minister Satyendar Jain, who was also present at the press conference, said: "The cut-off date for properties to be covered for ownership rights in unauthorised colonies will be January 1, 2015."
With an eye on next year's Assembly elections in Delhi, Mr Kejriwal's party has sped up a lot of projects, including work being done in unauthorised colonies.
Last month, Mr Kejriwal had directed officials to complete development works in at least 781 unauthorised colonies in Delhi within the next five months. He had even directed officials to submit a weekly report on the progress of development works and would himself monitor the same.
"A provision of Rs 1,500 crore in the budget has been made by the Delhi government for the development of the unauthorised colonies," Mr Kejriwal said.
The Aam Aadmi Party, led by Arvind Kejriwal, recently promised to make rides on the Delhi Metro free for all women, but the move was unfeasible and was criticised by experts as "making the Delhi Metro economically weak; maybe even bankrupt". The Centre, which is a 50-50 partner in the Delhi Metro disallowed such a move.
There has been a constant power tussle between the Delhi government and the Centre in the last four years as to who really governs Delhi and who is responsible for what. The Supreme Court had to step in and define the powers for the Union Territory of Delhi, which also has certain, limited powers of a state.
Assembly elections will be due early next year.
(With inputs from PTI)