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The Delhi High Court Friday gave a green signal to the Delhi government to go ahead with the project under the Rajiv Ratna Awas Yojna housing scheme for slum dwellers in Kanhjawla village near Delhi.

The court had earlier stayed the project after a petition was filed by Joginder Singh, a villager of Kanjhawala, who alleged that the land belonged to the “Gaon Sabha” (village council) and the state government did not have any right over it.

Singh submitted that the panchayat has absolute control over the land and contended that the city government had not held the panchayat election for more than 15 years.

A division bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Ajit Bharihoke, however, turned down the villager’s plea and asked the farmers to make a proper representation before the Delhi lt governot for seeking any other relief.

Terming the entire capital as a metropolitan area, the bench said: “It is not in dispute that elections to the municipal corporation have been held from time to time. The petitioners and similarly situated persons have had an opportunity to elect municipal councillors. The question, thus, arises that having elected municipal councillors, whether the petitioners and other such members of the village are further entitled to have an elected panchayat? In our considered view, the answer to this question is in the negative.”

“The petitioners cannot be said to have a right to participate and vote for two different fora of local self government,” the court said.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had inaugurated the project and assured the people that the central government would give Rs.1,500 crore towards making cheap houses available to poorer sections in the capital.

The Delhi government had vowed to resolve the housing crisis before the Commonwealth Games in October and had proposed this scheme to provide houses to the poor people in the city.

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