Flats start crumbling, but slum dwellers yet to get possesssion

  • Harshraj Singh, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Aug 21, 2014 13:54 IST

The “dream homes” of the city’s slum dwellers have started crumbling in Giaspura even before the beneficiaries could take possession of the flats they were allotted under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) Scheme.

With no security deployed in and around the area, windowpanes and doors of a few flats have come off.Nearly 1,600 flats in Giaspura were supposed to be handed over to slum dwellers on August 15, 2013, by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal, while another lot of more than 3,200 flats at Giaspura, Mundian Kalan and Dhandari by March 31 this year, but the state government has failed to keep its word.

Besides, the government had also announced that they would construct 20,000 more flats for slum dwellers and labourers, but to no avail.

When HT team visited Giaspura flats on Wednesday, it was found that windows and doors of the flats, which were ready for allotment, were broken. However, sources said grills were not installed at windows due to which miscreants broke window panes and entered into flats. A speck of dust could be seen in flats and cobwebs could be seen hanging there. Each flat has two rooms, kitchen and a bathroom.

Of around 1,099 persons identified for flats in the first phase, most of them are beggars, rag pickers or labourers of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Labour Colony and Yamuna Colony.

Most of the beneficiaries have not been able to pay Rs 25,000 (10% of Rs 2.5 lakh, which is the actual cost of each flat) as they do not have financial backing, identity proofs and documents due to which banks are not providing them loans.

Ashok Kumar, a slum dweller at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, said: “The government promised us that it will hand over the flats last year but nothing has been done so far. We have been living in slums for more than 20 years now. The government should look into the matter and take steps at the earliest.”

RS Parmar, who is working for rights of the slum dwellers at Yamuna Colony, said: “We met the MC commissioner recently and demanded him to handover flats to the persons concerned at the earliest. If banks can’t provide them loans then the government should make arrangement for loans so that people can get flats after fulfilling the requirements.”

When contacted, additional commissioner, Ghanshyam Thori, said: “We will meet bank officials on Thursday to arrange loans for slum dwellers so that they can pay the required amount. Most of the flats are ready, while work on remaining flats has almost completed.”

He said they would look into the matter of broken mirrors and doors of the flats at Giaspura at the earliest.

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