Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 7:
Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) plan to construct 4000 transit homes in Bhubaneswar that would be used as temporary shelters for slum dwellers during the eviction drives in slums.
While BDA intends to build 3000 of these houses, BMC has issued a tender call notice for construction of another 1000 houses. BDA has already started the first phase construction in Sailashree Vihar area and the second phase construction will be carried out in Gadakana.
BDA plans to spend one lakh rupees each to build these houses. Basic amenities such as electricity, drinking water would be provided to these houses that are intended to provide temporary housing to the displaced families until alternative arrangements are made for them.
‘Odisha Government had earlier decided to build about 3000-3500 transit homes in Bhubaneswar as many families are displaced without a temporary shelter arrangement during eviction drives. We have to offer the displaced a shelter. Based on that policy, we have already started construction work on 850 such houses,” said a senior official of BDA.
The experts, however, are not convinced about the success of this move without a proper strategy to contain the ever spiraling slums in Bhubaneswar.
“Slums are coming up overnight. They build houses wherever they find some free space. Besides, the lucrative rehabilitation scheme of the government is a big draw for many of them who repeatedly come back to slums hoping to get a new house from the government for free or at low cost. Unless the government keeps the new slums in check, I don’t see much meaning to the construction of transit homes,” said an expert town planner.