Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has decided to provide lands to slum dwellers residing in municipalities and Notified Area Councils (NACs) of the state.
A decision in this regard was taken at the state Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here today.
While land rights will be granted to slum dwellers of municipal councils and NACs, property rights will be given to slum dwellers of municipal corporation areas.
“We have taken a historic decision today to grant land rights to the slum dwellers living in municipal councils and NACs of the state and property rights to those living in municipal corporation areas,” Patnaik said after the meeting.
The cabinet has cleared a proposal to provide 600 sq ft land to landless slum residents in NACs and 350 sq ft land to those in municipality areas.
“The cabinet today approved promulgation of two ordinances for assigning land rights or property rights to the identified slum dwellers for redevelopment, rehabilitation and upgradation of slums,” the CM said.
“The urban poor in slum will get land rights for residential use that are heritable, mortgageable and non-transferrable. In corporate areas, limited transferrable rights will be given,” he added.
Under the Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Ordinance-2017, land rights shall be settled with landless slum dwellers in municipalities and NACs by the government.
While land up to 30 square metres shall be settled free of cost, land above 30 square metres, subject to a maximum limit of 60 square metres in NACs and 40 square metres in municipal council areas, shall be settled at a percentage of the benchmark value of the land, said Chief Secretary A.P. Padhi.
Land shall not be used for any purpose other than residential purposes, he added.
“Land right shall be heritable but not transferable. It may be mortgaged for the purpose of raising finance in form of housing loan from any financial institution,” said Padhi.
Under the Odisha Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Ordinance-2017, all slum dwellers belonging to economically weaker sections shall be entitled to a dwelling space of 300 square metres at an affordable cost as determined by the government.
“Property rights in relation to dwelling units shall be heritable and transferable after 10 years only to the eligible beneficiaries. Property rights in relation to housing sites shall be heritable but not transferable,” said Padhi.
A slum redevelopment and rehabilitation committee will be constituted at the urban local body level headed by the Commissioner at the corporation and Collector at the district-level to grant the certificate of property rights.
Leader of Opposition in Odisha Legislative Assembly, Narasingha Mishra has welcomed the decision.
“I had earlier raised the matter in the Assembly. Though the decision has come late, I welcome it,” Mishra said.
On the other hand, the BJP has criticised the move. Senior leader of the saffron party Bhrigu Buxipatra said the step has been taken keeping in mind the upcoming civic body polls. (with IANS inputs)