In a first, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) at Borivli will introduce a lottery system next week for allotting flats to encroachers in the national park eligible for resettlement.
The move is aimed at ensuring transparency. At present, the park authorities have undertaken the exercise of rehabilitating 995 encroachers in resettlement flats at Chandivli.
"We decided to conduct a lottery like MHADA to avoid any allegations of bias in the allotment of flats. The drawing of lots will be held outside the park premises and in the presence of non-government organisations," said Sunil Limaye, director and conservator, SGNP.
"We don't want allegations such as we were influenced to allot a flat to someone on a particular floor."
Also, for the first time, encroachers eligible for resettlement have been made to give their thumbprints and attach a family photograph in the form that would entitle them to resettlement. This is to make sure that encroachers recognised by the state for resettlement don't claim another flat. "We have got complaints that people who were resettled at various places have sold their flats and have come back. There is a likelihood that these people will claim another flat," said Limaye. "The thumbprints and family photograph will help in verification."
In May 1997, the Bombay high court had ruled that 80,000 encroachments inside SGNP would have to be resettled outside the park within a period of 18 months. Till date, of the 25,000-odd eligible encroachers, 8,711 have been rehabilitated in the first phase. The second phase involves resettling 13,000 odd families including those in adivasi padas but the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) is yet to decide on the resettlement location. Once the location is finalised, the SRA has given a time frame of two years to build the houses.