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Posted at: Oct 24, 2019, 7:19 AM; last updated: Oct 24, 2019, 1:38 PM (IST)EYING POLLS

Illegal Delhi colonies to be regularised

Centre to bring Bill in winter session of Parliament, 40 lakh to benefit
Illegal Delhi colonies to be regularised
Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Puri addresses a press conference on cabinet decisions, in New Delhi on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. PTI

New Delhi, October 23 

Ahead of the Delhi Assembly polls, the Union Cabinet today approved a proposal to grant ownership rights to those living in unauthorised colonies in Delhi, a move that will benefit 40 to 50 lakh people.

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the Centre would move swiftly to execute the decision and bring a Bill in the winter session of Parliament beginning November 18 to this effect. 

He accused the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government of trying to “delay” the decision to grant people from low income groups ownership rights.

Puri said the Delhi Government had sought time till 2021 to give inputs sought from it. “The Modi government decided to take the initiative when it became clear that the Delhi Government will do nothing”. The decision is politically significant as it will benefit millions of poor migrants who hold the key to the Assembly election results. They had backed AAP in large numbers in 2015. The Delhi elections are due early next year.

“Delineation of boundary of unauthorised colonies is the starting point of the process, as per regulations. However, the Delhi Government could not delineate the boundaries of these colonies even after 11 years of issuance of regulations and has sought more time up to 2021 to complete this exercise,” an official statement said.

The decision “is applicable to 1,797 identified unauthorised colonies” spread over 175 sq km that are inhabited by people from lower income groups, he said. Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who addressed the media briefing on the Cabinet decision, said the number of beneficiaries  was 40 lakh. Puri put the figure at nearly 50 lakh.

It does not apply to 69 affluent colonies identified by the Delhi Development Authority, including Sainik Farms, Mahendru Enclave and Anantram Dairy, Puri noted. Welcoming the decision, CM Kejriwal said the road map for it was based on a proposal sent by the Delhi Government in July and that the Centre should start the process immediately. “The Union Cabinet has prepared the road map based on our proposal sent in July. We want the Central Government to start the process immediately,” he said.

The proposed Bill is aimed at recognising general power of attorney (GPA), will, agreement to sell, purchase and possession documents, which will be a one-time relaxation for residents of these colonies.

The minister said people living in these colones have neither invested in safe structures nor could the government create any social infrastructure on account of these colonies having developed without an approved layout plan (LOP). 

Revival plan: BSNL, MTNL to be merged

The government has approved a Rs 68,751 crore revival package for loss-making BSNL and MTNL, including 4G spectrum allocation and voluntary retirement scheme, as well as their merger. Till the completion of the process, MTNL will operate as a subsidiary of BSNL 

Total debt: Rs 40,000 crore

Non-oil cos can set up petrol pumps

In the biggest reform in fuel retailing sector in almost two decades, the government on Wednesday relaxed norms for setting up petrol pumps, allowing non-oil companies to venture into the business, a move that could help private and foreign firms to enter the market.

Open to pvt, foreign firms

 

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