BMC polls: BJP to woo 40 lakh Mumbai slum dwellers
An official communication from the BJP said the government would soon take steps to resolve housing issues of 40 lakh slum-dwellers residing in the potential buffer zone of the national park, on railway land and MbPT landmumbai Updated: Oct 11, 2016 00:02 IST
Ahead of the 2017 civic poll, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to announce sops for the city’s slum-dwellers, which is traditionally a Congress vote bank.
On Monday, a delegation of the party’s city unit went to Delhi to meet concerned Union ministers with regards to the issue of slum-dwellers on the land owned by railways and the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), besides the issue of redevelopment of buildings and slums falling in the buffer zone of Borivli national park.
An official communication from the BJP said the government would soon take steps to resolve housing issues of 40 lakh slum-dwellers residing in the proposed buffer zone of the national park, on railway land and MbPT land. The press release states that the issue of 45,000 slums on MbPT land was likely to be resolved with the Union ministry of shipping led by Nitin Gadkari, promising to move a cabinet note for redevelopment of slums and cessed buildings on this land at the same site.
The delegation informed that Union railways minister Suresh Prabhu also ensured a policy on rehabilitating nearly 12 lakh slum dwellers on railway land on the lines of slums near the airport with a cut off date of 2000 instead of 1995. ``Prabhu spoke to the Railway Board officials as well as the Chief Minister in our presence and ensured that a policy would be unveiled soon,’’ said a member of the delegation.
With regard to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), BJP is hoping to gain mileage out of reducing the buffer zone status from a probable 10 km to just 100 metre. The press release states that redevelopment of all the slums, buildings from Dahisar to Andheri besides Bhandup and Mulund would have been stalled if the buffer zone would have encompassed a 10 km radius.
``BJP has been following this issue, as the previous government did not take any proactive role in this. The delegation met the minister and requested that the buffer zone if restricted to just 100 metre and the Union environment minister promised a final decision on this soon,’’ states the press release.
The centre’s expert committee on declaring the Environment Sensitive Zone (ESZ) in July had already accepted the state’s stance that the buffer zone be reduced to a minimal 100 metre and maximum 4 km.
Eyeing the slum votes :
BJP, which is preparing to contest all 227 seats in the upcoming Mumbai civic polls is hoping to woo all sections of the city.
While it is confident of the middle class voters, the urban poor have not been the party’s stronghold. This is a bid to turn the tide in its favour.