It’s a case of too late and too little for mill workers’ families. Last Diwali, the state government had promised to provide 40,000 homes to surviving families of those mill workers, who went on strike in 1982. Five months later, this promise is still unfulfilled.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan in a meeting with a delegation of mill workers’ unions and state officials on Monday said that the first allotment of the 6,948 houses would be done on May 1.
Chavan also said that chief secretary would sort out contentious issues of working out the cost of these houses, besides finalising eligibility criteria for buying them.
However, a committee under the then chief secretary JP Dange had been set up last year to resolve these issues, but the committee has met only once.
“The CM told us that they can create only 40,000 houses, while there were nearly 2.5 lakh mill workers on rolls when the strike was announced. Another contention is that state is not willing to sell these homes at nominal prices. We cannot afford Rs8-10 lakh for a home,’’ said Datta Ishavalkar of Girni Kamgar Sangharsh Samiti, one of the mill workers’ union.
“The state facilitated big land deals of the mill owners but when it comes to giving us homes as low priced as possible, they are saying it cannot be done,’’ he added.
At the meeting, Mhada CEO Satish Gavai said that the prices of the houses could be reduced from Rs10 lakh to Rs8.5 lakh but not below that. While the construction for these homes comes to Rs1,476 per sq feet, Mhada has included additional taxes of labour, contract, maintenance.
Mill workers unions are expecting houses within the range of Rs1-2 lakh.
The state has sold application forms to mill workers families for the first lot of the houses. They have received over one lakh applicants for the 6,900 homes already constructed.