New Delhi, Mar 12 (UNI) The tallest leader in the city politics is pained at authorities not been able to protect the interests of the people living in urban and rural villages of the capital.
The authorities failed to project the true picture of the plight of people living in 'lal dora' (village) areas before the court as a result of which it ordered dismantling of all commercial structures in such areas as in all other parts of the city, said Delhi Assembly Speaker Prem Singh, who holds a world record of winning all elections for the last 48 years for Congress and from Ambedkar Nagar constituency in South Delhi.
Lal dora areas had never been treated on par with the other parts of the city for good reasons, he said and added that lands belonging to farmers living in villages around the city were acquired as and when space was required to settle the expanding population.
However, with agricultural lands taken away, the farmers with no other skills but tilling land were left with no livelihood, said the 'dalit' leader who has recognition in the party as well as the masses.
Planners and policy framers realising this predicament of the villagers gave them special protection since 1961, said Mr Singh, who was the President of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee when Congress got the historic second straight term in office.
There had been about two dozen rules and regulations since then that allowed these people to construct structures in 'lal dora' areas without needing to get the building plans passed in accordance with building bylaws, he said.
This allowed people living in such areas to eke out a living by renting out their premises, he added.
Now even this cushion was being snatched away, which could lead to a law and order problem, he warned.
Not only that the authorities did not present the case before the court properly but also chose to ignore the man (Prem Singh) who has had the experience of heading departments like revenue, panchayat, development, flood and irrigation, public works department, cooperatives, agriculture marketing, fisheries and fodder, and horticulture.
The man who had won ten consecutive elections and even then was not considered for in any state or national-level committees constituted to find a way out of large-scale demolition of illegal structures and unauthorised constructions in the city, wondered how would the party face the electorate at the next hustings, including municipal elections slated for next year.
Mr Singh had a piece of advise for Delhi Development Authority too, saying it should concentrate only on planning both physical and financial, coordination, integration, evaluation and monitoring trunk infrastructure while development, construction, management and maintenance should go to other authorities or the private sector, expecting of course constructing Low Income Group flats for the Economically Weaker Section.
Mr Singh also felt that the benefit granted to 'lal dora' areas should also be extended to poor people living in unauthorised colonies.
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