With an eye on the civic polls, the Congress has once again dangled the carrot before 50 per cent of the city’s population. City party chief Kripashankar Singh said on Friday that his party and the government would ensure protection to slums built up to the year 2000 by issuing an ordinance to this effect soon.
He said the government would try to do so before the code of conduct for the civic polls is announced.
“We had made this commitment to the people in the 2007 civic poll and 2009 assembly elections. It’s not about appeasing voters,” Singh said.
He said there was unanimity within the DF government led by the Congress-NCP alliance that slum structures up to the year 2000 should get protection and be legalised instead of the earlier 1995 cut-off.
Structure protection means that slums/ shanties built up to the year 2000 will be considered legal.
These slum dwellers will be entitled to free housing. The ownership of these shanties can be transferred to people who are not original dwellers at the cost of a transfer fee.
Singh said the modalities of the transfer fee would be worked out.
The shanties built post 2000 will not get protection and can be demolished.
Senior officials in the state secretariat said so far no proposal had been mooted to extend slum cut-off beyond 1995 and such a decision would be a purely political one.
The Bombay high court had upheld 1995 as the cut-off in a PIL. The government has gone in appeal in the apex court against this decision.
Singh said, “If the government spells out its stance and passes this ordinance, there will not be any trouble in court.”