Ahead of Shah visit, promises land rights, houses to slum dwellers.
Bhubaneswar: As BJP president Amit Shah prepares for this third Odisha visit in next month, apparently to woo voters for the 2018 urban polls, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik played a masterstroke by announcing land rights and affordable houses to slum dwellers in municipalities and Notified Area Councils (NACs) of the state.
The state has over 3,000 slums with nearly 80,000 households. On an average, each household comprises five members with three adults, meaning the party would directly touch around 240 lakh urban voters. The decision to provide land and affordable houses was taken at the Cabinet meeting. While land rights will be granted to slumdwellers of municipal councils and NACs, the property rights will be given to the slumdwellers of municipal corporation areas.
“We have taken a historic decision to grant land rights to the slumdwellers living in municipal councils and NACs, and property rights to those living in municipal corporation areas,” Mr Patnaik said. The Cabinet cleared a proposal to provide 600 sq. ft. land to landless slum dwellers in NACs and 350 sq. ft. land to those in municipality areas.
“The Cabinet today approved promulgation of two ordinances for assigning land rights and property rights to the identified slum dwellers for the development, rehabilitation and up gradation of slums,” the chief minister said. “The urban slum dwellers will get land rights for residential use that are heritable, mortgage able and non-transferrable. In corporate areas, limited transferable rights will be given,” he added.
On August 3, Mr Patnaik launched a new initiative called Unnati, under which the state government will provide 100 per cent piped water supply in all wards and LED street lighting in all 107 urban local bodies. Political analysts say the granting record of rights to slum dwellers and the launching of Unnati would help the ruling BJD to face the BJP’s campaign plan in urban polls.