Land rights to slum dwellers historic step of Odisha Govt: H&UD Minister


Bhubaneswar, May 12

The Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Act -2017, aimed at empowering nearly 2.5 lakh families living in 2500 slum across Odisha, is a historic step taken by State government, said Housing & Urban Development Minister Niranjan Pujari here today.

He said the implementation of the first of its kind legislation in the country notified in the Odisha Gazette on September 16 last year, will benefit all ULBs across the 30 districts providing land rights certificate to nearly 2.5 lakhs households living in around 2500 slums.

“The urban poor in slums will get land rights for residential use that is heritable, mortgageable and non-transferable. The settlement will be made for land in actual occupation by the slum dwellers, upto a maximum limit of 646 sq ft in Notified Area Councils and 484 sq ft in Municipalities in case of in situ settlement,” the Minister said at a press conference after the review of his department by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the end of the fourth year of the BJD government’s fourth term.

In case of relocation of untenable slums, the maximum area of the land allocation will be 323 sqft for each household, he said adding, the relocation will be done on voluntary basis only if the slum dwellers agree to do so.

The Land Right is just a beginning of transforming slums into liveable habitat, he said and added, after issue of certificate land rights, efforts are being made to link all eligible slum households to affordable housing schemes.

The money collected from slum dwellers while settling the land under this act shall be credited to the constituted Urban Poor Welfare Fund in each ULB, which will be utilized in creation of infrastructure in the slum, areas.

He said land rights certificate has been distributed to 2000 slum dwellers so far.

The Minister said, the UNNATI scheme was launched with a view to ensuring convergence of all the schemes and programmes implemented in the urban areas of the State and fill the critical gap in the infrastructures as well as in funding made out of State Finance Commission and Central Finance Commission recommended grants to Urban Local Bodies.

“It has been introduced to ensure the benefits of the schemes reach the people in urban areas cutting across all the regions of the State and all cross sections of the society in a speedy and sustainable manner,” he said and added, this new initiative is mainly focused for expenditure towards improvement of urban roads of all existing WBM or Earthen (Kuchha) road to Bituminous or Cement Concrete (Pucca) roads with drain.

He said during last financial year Rs 633.42 crore was provided in the budget in favour of 30 PD, DRDA-cum-PD, DUDA for implementation of different developmental works in urban local bodies under their jurisdiction @ Rs.15.00 lakh, Rs.25.00 lakh & Rs.50.00 lakh in each ward of N.A.C., Municipality & Corporation respectively.

So far, 11,622 projects have been approved by the concerned PD, DUDAs and work order for 3072 projects have been issued whereas tender for 3482 projects have been floated, he said at the press conference.

The ‘Aahaar Programme’ launched on April 1, 2015 in five Municipal Corporations of the State with an objective to provide cooked hot meals (steamed rice and dalma) at affordable cost of Rs. 5 to the poor and needy people coming to urban areas for different purposes is serving beneficiaries in 111 Aahaar Kendras every day across the State.

He said the Housing through Odisha Urban Housing Mission (OUHM) scheme of the State government is aimed at ensuring people in urban areas access to a range of housing options within their affordability limits.

So far 10,820 houses have been constructed under the IHSDP projects, 1738 houses under BSUP projects, 2742 under RAY projects in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur & Jajpur, 2397 under BLC-PMAY projects, while sanction has been made for 54272 houses under BLC-PMAY, 6462 houses under AHP-PMAY and 7300 houses under ISSR-PMAY, the Minister added.

As many as 21576 houses under PMAY and 2948 houses under RAY are in the advanced stage of construction and shall be completed by December this year, he said.

“Rs.91726.50Lakh has so far been spent on these housing projects,” he added.

The Minister said the Central Government agency HUDCO has appreciated introduction of the DBT-OPS application and awarded H&UD Department on April 25 this year for this unique initiative.

He said towards the universal coverage of water supply in urban areas by 2018-19 for safe drinking water supply, the Housing & Urban Development Department is preparing an action plan to cover all wards of 114 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) by the end of 2018-19 by leveraging fund from State Plan, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT). District Mineral Fund (DMF) and Grants of 4th State Finance Commission (4th SFC).

During 2017-18, as many as 206 projects with a total cost of Rs1387.46 crore and 546 new water supply projects with a total cost of Rs 589.45 crore were undertaken with budget support of Rs. 377.45 crores.

Out of these 174 ongoing and 215 new projects have been completed by end of April 2018 while the remaining works are in different stages of construction.

“All the projects are scheduled to be completed by end of March next year,” he said.

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