NEW DELHI: Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri yet again came out against the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government on Tuesday over the regularisation of unauthorised colonies in Delhi.
“I am deeply pained to have to say to you... I find that elected representatives sometimes, you know who I am referring to, adopt one position in public to say,” the Union housing and urban affairs minister said in an indirect reference to the AAP government in his address at an international conference on the ‘Master Plan for Delhi-2041’.
“We must reach out to the people because those are the vote bank and then, when it comes to doing something for them, they follow policy and take measures completely opposed to them.”
Lt. Governor Anil Baijal, Secretary, Housing and Urban Affairs secretary Durga Shankar Mishra, DDA vice-chairman Tarun Kapoor, Marron Institute of Urban Management senior fellow Pedro B. Ortiz were among the dignitaries present at the event.
Development of unauthorised colonies is a bone of contention between the AAP government and the Centre. With over 1,650 unauthorised colonies in Delhi, migrant and slum dwellers form a substantial chunk of voters who can play a major role in deciding electoral outcome of any political party.
In fact, Puri had recently written to Kejriwal claiming the whole process of regularising unauthorised colonies was stalled due to “apathy and inaction” of the AAP government. The whole process is stalled due to the apathy and inaction on the part of your government to finalise the boundaries after survey of these colonies, he wrote. But, the AAP government blamed the Centre for the delay in the regularization process.
On Tuesday, the Union minister claimed that the Delhi government has sought two more years for mapping these unauthorised colonies. “When we tried to do something for those people living in informal settlement, they (AAP government) have been a stumbling block. We did not accept that position, we are going ahead in any case,” he said.
Inability of planned development to catch up with the speed of population growth and increase in demand for planned housing, commerce, industry have led to acute shortage of developments and also spurned unregulated supply chain of unauthorised developments, Puri said.
Multiple factors to be kept in mind: L-G
L-G Anil Baijal said the Delhi Master Plan 2041 must take into account the sustainable environment, citizen engagement in planning at local level, universal accessibility, zero waste mechanism among others