Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Wednesday announced that he would make Mumbai slum-free. About 40 per cent of the city’s 14 million people live in slums.
The CM, who announced the plan in the state legislative assembly insisted he was serious though he did not specify a deadline to clear the slums.
His plans to clear slums include making 10 lakh houses available in two years, and enforcing existing laws to prevent unauthorised hutments.
A special cell, headed by an inspector general of police, will be set up to provide the civic body with the police force needed to remove illegal slums and take action against slumlords.
A major chunk of Congress voters live in slums, and many see the announcement as a political move in the run-up to the elections next year.
“Elections are a year away so what else do you expect?” said urban planner Chandrashekhar Prabhu. “If 1,000 homes are created, it will be a big thing.”