Regularisation process under Lokayukta scanner

Regularisation process under Lokayukta scanner

At a time when the Delhi government is strongly pushing for regularisation of over 1,600 unauthorised colonies, home to around 60 lakh people, Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin has decided to launch a detailed probe into alleged irregularities in the process initiated for regularisation.

The decision by the Lokayukta came after Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna last month asked him to file a final report on the politically sensitive matter for taking appropriate action.

The Lokayukta had earlier sent an interim report to Khanna, and recommended issuance of an advisory to the urban development department of the Delhi government, finding it guilty of “en masse” granting provisional regularisation certificates to unauthorised colonies without proper verification.

The Lokayukta will launch a full investigation into the matter. The probe will focus on the alleged nexus between land grabbers and politicians, sources said.

Last year, a committee headed by the then divisional commissioner Vijay Dev had found serious wrongdoings in the process of issuing provisional regularisation certificates (PRCs), and had recommended criminal proceedings against those involved.

The committee said certain non-existent colonies were issued PRCs. As per norms, unauthorised colonies, which had come up before March 31, 2002 and which had 50 per cent built-up area as on February 8, 2007 were eligible for PRCs.

The committee had highlighted the alleged nexus among land grabbers, real estate mafia, resident welfare associations and certain elements in government departments concerned to procure PRCs by filing “bogus” documents.

In his interim report to the Lt Governor, Justice Sarin said PRCs were issued without any physical verification of unauthorised colonies, some of which were “plain” fields. The government is in the process of providing basic infrastructure like roads, electricity and drainage in these colonies.

“It appears prima facie that en masse PRCs were granted without regard to eligibility for extraneous reasons and considerations to appease a large segment of people and for benefit of certain sections,” the report said.

The government had issued notices to a number of colonies, following submission of the report by Vijay Dev, and started the process to cancel their PRCs. Ahead of the Assembly polls in 2008, the Delhi government had issued the PRCs to 1,600 unauthorised colonies, which constitute an important vote bank.

Back then, the Sheila Dikshit-led Delhi government, while distributing the certificates, had promised to regularise the colonies if Congress came to power for the third term.

After the Congress’ defeat in the municipal polls in April 2012, Dikshit had asked all the departments concerned to expedite the regularisation process. Losing support base in unauthorised colonies was identified as one of the reasons for defeat of Congress in the municipal polls.

With Assembly polls due in November, the city government has started infrastructure projects in 900 colonies.

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