Govt offers loans for layout plans

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With the process of preparing layout plans for unauthorised colonies deadlocked over lack of funds, the Urban Development department has proposed interest-free loans to residents' welfare associations (RWAs). Considered a big ticket issue in the upcoming Assembly elections, the ruling Congress has fast-tracked the regularisation of unauthorised colonies where close to 40 lakh voters reside.

Before development works can be carried out in around 900 such colonies, it is mandatory for the municipal corporations to survey and prepare layout plans in each unauthorised colony. Senior officials said the layout plans were essential before residents could be given sale deeds.

However, after civic bodies said they do not have enough architects to prepare the plans, the government roped in institutes such as Jamia Millia Islamia, School of Planning and Architecture and IP University to prepare layout plans.

A senior UD department official said several RWAs complained to the government that they did not have funds to pay civic bodies or institutes. "The department has now proposed to give the RWAs interest-free loans to pay for layout plans. We have recommended a revolving fund of Rs 10 crore to Rs 15 crore, which RWAs can use when they require," he said.

He said the proposal had been forwarded to the Finance department for consideration.

Government estimates show that it would cost the RWAs between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.5 lakh to prepare a layout plan. "The municipal corporations and institutes have completed layout plans for some colonies, but the process had remained stalled because of the lack of funds from the Delhi government. We are hopeful of resolving this situation soon," an official from the Delhi government said.

A Congress MLA said the government would make all necessary payments to complete the process of regularisation in all unauthorised colonies. "No resident in any unauthorised colony will be asked to pay money for this process. The Delhi government is ready to make any necessary payments," he said.

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