Congress shows dream of permanent house to slum dwellers

NEW DELHI(PTI): After BJP and AAP’s promises, the Congress on Wednesday, went a step further by bringing out a draft legislation to regularise these unauthorised colonies. The Slum Dwellers Bill of the Congress party promises that if voted to power, the party will provide permanent houses with right of ownership to the slum dwellers in the capital.

But with land in Delhi being owned by the center and Delhi government having almost no say, the party has no road map of achieving the target.

The unauthorised colony votes dominate 29 of 70 assembly seats in Delhi. Once a Congress stronghold, these votes had traveled to the BJP and Aam Aadmi Party during the 2013 assembly polls. The Congress had managed only two seats, 19 went to the BJP and six to AAP. This 19
percent vote is crucial for all the three political parties.

Since 2003 assembly polls, the Congress has been promising these voters their permanent homes, but 15 years of Sheila Dikshit government failed to regularise even a single colony. Even when UPA government was in power and Dikshit was having a smooth equation with the center, not a piece of paper could move in the positive direction.

To bring in the Shelter Act, there will be need to change the land use type. These slums and unauthorised colonies have developed either on agricultural land or on land belonging to the Archaeological Survey of India. Urban development ministry through Delhi Development Authority,
the land owing agency in Delhi will be able to change the land use pattern.

Now with the development model of the Congress failing to have an impact and the promises of cheap water and power being looked as a complete poll gimmick, this Shelter Act is its master stroke.

Party’s general secretaries PC Chacko and Ajay Maken along with Delhi unit president Arvinder Singh Lovely and secretary Tom Vadakkan released the draft document in the capital. Based on the Model Draft Bill for Right to Shelter Act by Justice Mudgal in 2012-13, the legislature will ensure a dwelling unit to every slum dweller family. It will also grant freehold ownership of the property.

“We are contesting the election focusing only on development plank and to substantiate our vision and view, we soon will release second part of our manifesto,”said Maken.