Residents of various unauthorised colonies in Delhi on Wednesday welcomed the Centre's move to grant them ownership rights but said that the decision should be implemented soon and not be reduced to a "token" promise ahead of the assembly polls.
In a move that will benefit 40 lakh people, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to grant ownership rights to people living in unauthorised colonies in Delhi, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
"This has been long due. We are happy over the fact that we can finally have full and authentic ownership of our houses," said Ram Kilal, a resident of Pochanpur Extension in southwest Delhi.
Bilal, a resident of Kakrola's Nand Vihar, said,"It is good that the government has taken this step but I hope it does not take years to be done and is implemented soon. Generally such announcements are made as a 'token' promise before the elections."
The move comes ahead of the assembly polls in the national capital, scheduled early next year.
The decision is applicable to 1,797 identified unauthorised colonies spread over 175 square km inhabited by people from lower income groups.
It does not apply to 69 affluent colonies identified by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) including Sainik Farms, Mahendru Enclave and Anantram Dairy.
Manoj Bisht, a resident of Kunwar Singh Nagar in Najafgarh said,"Everytime representatives of parties visit us before elections, we tell them the same thing. Finally they have listened to the demand. But since it has been so long, this promise is hard to believe unless it is actually done."
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also lauded the Centre's move and 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.
Ujala Gautam, a resident of Suleman Nagar in Kirari area said the move will help fetch better prices for their properties besides easing access to other facilities.
"We had bought plots two decades back and could not sell them because no one wants to buy at higher prices in unauthorised colonies. After this move, the prices may rise. Even for residents there will be easier access to facilities," she said.