NEW DELHI: The central government’s approval to regularise the unauthorised colonies across the national capital has drawn mixed reactions from their residents. While many welcomed the government’s announcement, others said they choose to hold off their reactions till something “happens for real”.
“For the last 20 years, the political parties have been making such announcements. In 2008, Former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit gave us a provisional certificate but nothing happened after that. Unauthorised colonies are an election issue for political parties so we are not confident whether something is actually going to happen,” Taj Khan, a resident of Johri Farms, Noor Nagar Extension, said.
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Khan has been living in the area for the last three decades. “Over the years, the issues with drainage, water supply, roads were solved but our development remain stagnant as we are unable to take loans by holding our property as mortgage or guarantee,” he added.
Mohammad Sajad, a shopkeeper in the area, believes that it is time the tag of being unauthorised is removed once and for all. In north Delhi’s Burari, where most of the settlements are unauthorised, many residents believe being regularised will ensure availability of clean drinking water and a better sewage system.
“Our sewage flows in this open drain which the civic bodies clean once in six months and the garbage is pulled and thrown on the street next to the drain,” said Shahid Hasan, who runs a wood shop near an open drain.
The decision help in the development of the area, according to Ashok Kumar Arora, a property dealer who said that the rates of land would go up as builders would be interested in investing in the area.
“The people will be benefit and so will the government as the residents will start paying house tax and they would also be required to pay to get ownership rights,” he said, adding that it would also be easier for the area’s residents to get loans from banks.
For Sant Lal and Deepak Sharma, residents of Bengali Colony in Burari, the decision brings a sense of relief from the constant fear of losing their homes to demolition drives.
“Now we won’t have the fear that our houses could be demolished anytime. Earlier, that was one fear we had to live with,” said 62-year-old Lal. “There will be a proper water supply as well as a sewer line.
The roads of our area would also be reconstructed and repaired like the others once the agencies have the permission,” said Sharma. Ramesh Sooryavanshee, 55, who has been living in the area since 2005 said electricity and sewage were the biggest problems which can now be solved.