Govt sop for Mumbai’s slumdwellers: Those that built shanties till Jan 2011 can be rehabilitated
Under the current legal provisions, those living in slums built until January 1, 2000, get legal protectionmumbai Updated: Dec 21, 2017 00:27 IST
The state Assembly on Wednesday cleared an amendment in the Maharashtra Slum Areas Act, 1971, to enable the government to provide houses to ‘ineligible’ slumdwellers residing in hutments built until January 1, 2011. This means around 3.5 lakh hutments (18 lakh people) in Mumbai will get houses under the central government’s ambitious ‘Housing for All’ initiative. The catch: They will have to pay the construction cost before getting possession.
Under the current legal provisions, those living in slums built until January 1, 2000, get legal protection. And they can’t be removed without a free rehabilitation tenement. The Bombay high court refused to allow the government to extend this deadline. The amendment passed by the Assembly, however, will give some legal protection to slumdwellers who have built shanties beyond the 2000 cut-off date.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the deadline of 2011 was set because the census was undertaken that year. “It is true the cut-off date for the rehabilitation of slumdwellers in pukka houses is January 1, 2000. The government was committed to provide houses to all by 2022. The ineligible slumdwellers will be given houses either on an in-situ basis or relocated according to the availability of the space. The scheme will be applicable to all the slums in the state,” he said.
The government will provide houses to these slumdwellers by charging construction cost with assistance from the Central Government’s Prime Minister Awas Yojana. The Act also empowers the chief executive officer of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority to decide on transfer of land and rehabilitation of residents.
Although the state government has assured the courts it would not extend the cut-off date from January 1, 2000, officials from the housing department feel the amendment would not be a violation of this assurance because the slumdwellers are being charged for tenements. However, there are chances the dwellers would resist any action against them when they become eligible for a rehabilitation tenement.