The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed a Bill to regularise around 1,700 unauthorised colonies in Delhi, PTI reported. The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha last month, according to the Hindustan Times.

Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that the Bill will give protection to unauthorised colonies from sealing till December 31, 2023, PTI reported.

Speaking in the Lower House on Wednesday, Puri said that no government had taken up the matter of regularising these colonies “with any degree of seriousness”.

“The population of Delhi according to the last Census in 2011 stood at 1.6 crore and it will reach at least 2 crore, if not more, in the 2021 Census,” Puri said. “All political parties, especially those who have delayed the process of regularisation...those whose neglect of Delhi borders on criminal, they should now be co-operating.”

In a separate tweet, Puri said that the work on the process has already started and will be completed in a “time bound manner”.

While speaking on the Bill in Rajya Sabha last month, the minister had said that it will benefit 1.35 crore people in Delhi under three central schemes, according to the Hindustan Times. In 2019, the Union Cabinet had cleared the plan to give ownership rights to 40 lakh people living in the unauthorised colonies in Delhi.