The municipal corporation (MC) demolished the slums at Labour Colony on Deepak Hospital road here on Thursday morning and later rehabilitated 55 beneficiaries to flats in Giaspura.
These flats still lack in electricity connections and water taps, despite the project missing several deadlines. Earlier, the flats were supposed to be handed over to them on August 15, 2013, by the deputy chief minister.
These are the first set of flats for rehabilitation of slum dwellers in the state that were handed over to beneficiaries, who had been waiting for the possession of these flat since long.
According to the MC, a beneficiary has to pay 10% of the actual cost of a flat. But after the slum dwellers showed their inability to pay this amount, the MC organised loan camps for them and many availed the facility.
The MC in its biometric survey had identified 103 beneficiaries of Labour Colony, but only 55 applied for loan recently to get the possession of flats. Out of 103, 26 had shifted to other places as the project got delayed, while four beneficiaries passed away and 13 slum dwellers had refused to avail the benefit. However, it has come to the light the named of five beneficiaries have been repeated in the list.
Earlier in the day, the MC teams under the supervision of deputy commissioner Rajat Agarwal and MC commissioner Pradeep Kumar Agarwal conducted an anti-encroachment drive and had demolished the shanties of Labour Colony.
Some of the shanties which were demolished belonged to those slum dwellers who were not included in the allotment list for flats.
However, the drive remained peaceful following which the MC staff took the allottees to Giaspura flats. Now, the MC plans to develop a green belt on the vacated land.
Though none of the political leader was invited to hand over the flats, the slum dwellers were feeling glad to get the possession of their flats.
Ganesh, one of the allottees who moved into the flat, said, “My wife Phoolwati had applied for a flat. Our dream came true after waiting for a long time. We had applied for a loan after while the remaining process was conducted by the MC. Now, I will apply for an electricity connection.”
Another allotee Raju (30) said, “I feel good that our dream turned out to be true. We are shifting our stuff to our flat. I thank the government for giving us a home.”
Camp for electricity connections
The MC in association with Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) organised a camp for slum dwellers so that they could get electricity connections by paying the required fee on the spot. The PSPCL employees were also seen installing transformers and wires in the flats.
Dump adjoining flats
A large dump adjoining the flats welcomed the slum dwellers as no action has been taken to clear the site. MC additional commissioner Ghanshyam Thori said, “The flats have been handed over to 55 beneficiaries of Labour Colony and we are planning to shift slum dwellers of Jamuna Colony to other flats by December 15. The PSPCL has started installing electricity connections while we have started the process to install taps. We will soon remove the dump.”
The MC had constructed 4,800 flats in Giaspura, Dhandari and Mundian Kalan for dwellers. The project was started in 2008.