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Delhi govt to rehabilitate slum-dwellers

Delhi govt to rehabilitate slum-dwellers
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After years of delay, the Delhi government has decided to start allocation of around 10,000 low-cost flats to slum-dwellers. The project will start from the next month in keeping with the government’s plan to make the national capital slum-free.

Delhi Urban Development Minister AK Walia said that the government will allocate 500 flats to slum dwellers in June and the process will continue thereafter. The decision to start the allocation process was taken at a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who instructed the Urban Development department to
expedite distribution of the flats.

The Delhi State Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) has already completed the construction of 9,660 flats in Narela, Dwarka and Bhorgarh under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission scheme and another 5,184 flats are likely to be completed very soon. There are 685 slum clusters in the city, out of which 352 have come up on land owned by Delhi Development Authority (DDA), while 333 others occupy land owned by the Delhi government, Railways, Central Public Works Department, New Delhi Municipal Corporation, Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Cantonment Board.

Walia said that the Delhi government will ask the DDA to remove the slums from their land and provide the residential housing while it will take care of relocation of the rest of the slum clusters.

Officials said identification of beneficiaries for the first phase of allocation is underway. The slum dwellers from SC community will get the flats free as Delhi government has already decided to waive the fee of Rs 60,000 for them.

Sources in the government said people who have settled in a slum or a jhughi-jhopri cluster not later than 31 March 2007 will be eligible to receive the low-cost houses. As part of its ambitious plan to make Delhi slum-free, the government has decided to construct 72,000 low-cost flats in the next two years for allotment to slum dwellers.

Top officials involved in the mega housing project said the ground work for construction of the low-cost flats has already started and agencies involved in it have been told to expedite the process. The DSIIDC will implement the project.

In her annual address to top officials earlier this year, the chief minister had identified rehabillitation of slum-dwellers as one of the three major priorities for her government for the coming financial year. Officials said that the government would make available hospitals, schools, shopping complexes and bus services in the areas where the low-cost flats are coming up.
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