NEW DELHI: Slow pace of development work in unauthorized colonies is bothering BJP. Party MLAs want the Delhi administration to speed it up and simultaneously start work in all 1,639 colonies which had applied for regularization. At present, development work is being carried out only in the 895 colonies cleared for regularization by the Sheila Dikshit government just before assembly elections.
Making a pitch for regularization of all 1,639 unauthorized colonies, BJP wants government to provide basic civic infrastructure in all of them. "There is a need to provide basic amenities like sewers, drinking water and roads here, irrespective of regularization status. People are living in these colonies and it is our responsibility to take care of their basic requirements. The government should start work in all 1,639 colonies," Nand Kishore Garg, BJP MLA from Trinagar, said.
Close to Rs 800 crore has been allocated for development of unauthorized colonies in the latest budget. "At present, we can't use this fund in all 1,639 colonies. Development work is being carried out only in 895 which were cleared for regularization last year and about 130 which meet regularization criteria," a government official said.
But MLAs claim, despite repeated requests to LG Najeeb Jung, work in most colonies hasn't started yet. Rajesh Gehlot, BJP MLA from Matiala, has 165 unauthorized colonies in his constituency. He claims no work has begun in any of these colonies. "The government is yet to start development. In this year alone, no fund has been sanctioned in any of the colonies in my area. I have written to the LG. Most of the colonies don't even have access roads," Gehlot said.
In absence of a government in Delhi, most MLAs are unable to get projects sanctioned. BJP MLA from Wazirpur Mahinder Nagpal says it has become difficult to get work done in the present scenario. "People come to us with a lot of expectations. But we are unable to get work done as government officials are working at a slow pace. It is difficult to reach them. They take a lot of time to sanction projects. The LG should direct officials to expedite the process. Also, the work should be carried out in all unauthorized colonies," Nagpal said.
With uncertainty continuing over formation of government, BJP is focusing on unauthorized colonies, which is considered to be an AAP vote bank. BJP hopes to make a dent in AAP's vote bank by pushing for regularization of all colonies on an 'as is where is basis' and carrying out development work. "We have written to urban development ministry for regularization of all 1,639 colonies. We are extending the cut-off date for regularization from 2007 to 2014. Our party is committed to carrying out development work in the city," Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay said.