In what could be seen as the first step towards making Thane slum-free, Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan handed over house keys to more than 150 families under the Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP) project.
Chavan along with the secretary of the ministry of housing and urban poor alleviation Kiran Dhingra first visited the constructed houses in Kausa and later handed over the keys at the Ram Ganesh Gadkari Rangayatan in Thane.
Under the BSUP project, the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) proposed to build 10,248 dwelling units at an estimated cost of Rs372 crore. While 50% of the cost will be funded by the central government, 30% will be borne by the state and 9% by the municipal corporation. Those benefiting from the project will pay the remaining 11%.
The TMC has constructed around 2,000 houses so far. The chief minister on Tuesday distributed keys to more than 150 families who will be residing in two buildings at Tulsidham.
Chavan said: “Thane is the most populated district in the country. It sees around 50% growth every decade. We will also be starting the Rajiv Awas Yojana, which will benefit nearly two lakh families in Thane.”
The chief minister said the model law regarding property rights is awaiting President’s approval. “Through this law, more responsibility will be given to state government officials such as ward officers and policemen to curb illegal slums and constructions. If they fail to fulfil their responsibilities, action will be taken against them.”
However, a controversy broke out when Thane Congress general secretary Vikrant Chavan made allegations of irregularities in the project. The CM assured that he would look into the irregularities, if any.