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Urban Reality: Will land rights improve quality of life in Delhi?

Updated : July 26, 2019 10:21 AM IST

The urban reality of Delhi is that 30 percent of its population lives in unauthorised cramped colonies, with very few basic amenities. The other reality is, Delhi elections are a few months away and so we have a bonanza in the offing. Both the Centre and the state have called a truce of sorts on legitimising property rights in these unauthorised colonies.

Even after the Centre's announcement to regularize Delhi's illegal colonies, there are many hurdles that have to be crossed. Is putting a legal tag to 1,797 colonies the solution? Will it improve the quality of life of the residents?

CNBC-TV18 spoke to Atishi Marlena, spokesperson of Aam Aadmi Party; Niti Jain, spokesperson of BJP; Rumi Aijaz, a senior fellow at Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and Sanjukta Bhaduri, professor of Urban Planning at School of Planning and Architecture.

Niti Jain, Spokesperson of BJP

This was a 100-day plan to regularise the unauthorised colonies which was after these Lok Sabha elections, it was a 100-day plan in the Modi government which is now being implemented. The Centre created a committee which was headed by Anil Baijal and they submitted a report in June to the Urban Affairs Ministry to Hardeep Singh Puri. In fact the Centre had requested the Delhi government to help them in an n ground survey and the Delhi government was somehow not up to it and they said we will be able to finish it by 2021 and that is the kind of answers and that is the kind of intention that the Delhi government has been coming up with. The regularisation of the colonies has been an important part of what we have been saying for a long time and glad that it is happening no matter who wants to take the credit for that.

Atishi Marlena, spokesperson of Aam Aadmi Party

It is very clear that regularisation and development of unauthorised colonies has to happen, it has to happen with the collaboration of the Delhi government and the central government. Neither of the two government can do it on their own. Many of us who live in more developed parts of the city take things for granted. We take for granted that we have pipe water connections, we take for granted that we have rain water drains, we take it for granted that we have proper sewer treatment facilities and these are basic citizenship rights which people in unauthorised colonies lack. This is how their quality of life is going to change.

Rumi Aijaz, Senior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation (ORF)

Regularisation of unauthorised colonies means a lot for those residents who are staying in such colonies. The first thing is their mind is about the fear of eviction. It has happened in the past in the case of many colonies more in case of those that are inhabited by the affluent sections of the society where demolition work did take place. When you regularise it has to backed by a good layout plan which we have made already but it should address all the concerns that exist.

Sanjukta Bhaduri, Professor of Urban Planning, School of Planning and Architecture

Though I would laud the initiative, there are certain hurdles in the implementation. One is that in terms of road widths where the fire engine cannot go in and then there are issues of facilities, there are not much facilities. So how do we provide the community facilities because there are no open spaces.

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