Slum dwellers not happy with 'irregularities' in flat allotment

  • Harshraj Singh, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Jan 31, 2015 07:51 IST

As around 100 families from the Jamuna Colony, a slum area near Sidhwan Canal on the Pakhowal Road, are protesting against authorities for not allotting them flats, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) has directed them to vacate its land which is a sight for a hotel.

While the MC and LIT had planned to conduct a demolition drive on Friday, it was postponed due to non-availability of required police force. The slum dwellers have been opposing the demolition drive as they wanted the authorities to shift them to newly constructed flats before razing their shanties.

The Ludhiana MC had also conducted biometric surveys twice at the Jamuna Colony and had identified 478 families that were supposed to be shifted to the flats in Giaspura. The flats were constructed under a slum rehabilitation project under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). “The first survey was conducted in 2008 and the last survey was conducted in 2013,” said the sources.

Majority of identified families have been shifted to the flats in Giaspura, claims MC. While around 100 families are claiming that their names were not registered during the surveys, the MC officials said the slum dwellers came there after the survey was done and that was why they were not allotted the flats.

Now, these slum dwellers have been directed to vacate the land as it is a sight for a hotel, according to the LIT. The dwellers said they had no other place to live and the government should provide flats to them.

RS Parmar, a resident, said, “We met the additional commissioner of MC, who has assured to look into the issue. The government should allot flats to all the slum dwellers. These 100 families have been living their for the past many years, but they had no identification proofs to show during the survey.”

Another slum dweller Surjit said, “The government should conduct another survey to allot us flats. There should be no discrimination. If they demolish our shanties, where will we go?”

Under the project for rehabilitation of slum dwellers, the MC has constructed around 4,800 flats in Giaspura, Dhandari and Mundian. The MC had to shift around 1,100 slum familes of Labour Colony, Jamuna Colony and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar to flats in Giaspura. Many of the allottees, whose names were in the list, had already shifted to other places and the flats meant for them are lying vacant.

An official of Ludhiana Improvement Trust said, “We have recently issued orders to the slum dwellers to vacate the land. This land is a sight for a hotel. The demolition drive was to be conducted on Friday, but it was postponed.” The MC officials claimed that these 100 families came after the surveys and their claims were not correct.

Additional commissioner, MC, Ghanshyam Thori said, “The flats can be allotted to the slum dwellers only after a new survey. However, we have given directions to look into the claims of these slum dwellers. If they started living in Jamuna Colony after the surveys, then their names will not in be in the beneficiary list. We have postponed the drive for removal of shanties. It will now be done after February 15.”

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