Slum dwellers in urban Odisha to get land rights

KalingaTV News Network

Bhubaneswar: In a decision described by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as ‘historic’, the Odisha cabinet today approved a proposal to confer land rights on slum dwellers in urban areas of the state.

The cabinet approved the promulgation of two ordinances for conferment of land rights to people living in slums in Notified Area Councils (NACs) and Municipalities of the state and property rights to those living in Municipal Corporation areas.

Landless people living in slums in NAC areas will get 650 sq ft of land while those in Municipality areas will get 450 sq ft of land, chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi told media persons after the cabinet meeting. The land size for slum dwellers in Municipal Corporation areas will be 300 sq ft, he said.

The land given cannot be sold or transferred within 10 years of allotment. But it can be mortgaged to avail bank loans for constructing a house, the chief secretary said.

To implement the new proposal, the State Government would soon constitute a rehabilitation and redevelopment committee in each NAC and Municipal area headed by district Collectors. The committee would identify eligible beneficiaries and distribute land records to them. Similar committees with the same task would also be formed in Municipal Corporation areas headed by either the Chairman of the Corporation or the district Collector.
That apart an Urban Poor Welfare fund would also be set up by the government to cater to the overall development of slum dwellers in the State.

The urban poor will get land rights for residential use that are ‘heritable, mortgageable and non-transferable’. As far as possible, efforts will be made to provide these rights on an ‘in situ’ basis, a press release issued by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) after the cabinet meeting said. Limited transferable rights will be given in Corporation areas, it said.

The government will also fast-track civic infrastructure and improve living conditions, the CMO release said.

Today’s decision will be a ‘landmark’ step in the government’s efforts to usher in inclusive growth, it said.