NEW DELHI: The Centre has written to state governments and land-owning agencies to explore the possibilities of rehabilitation of slums on their land and seek central assistance under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) mission, the Rajya Sabha was told.
The Housing and Urban Minister Affairs Ministry, however, said that the Railways Ministry has reported rehabilitation for slum dwellers on railways' land is not "feasible" due to the national transporter's safety constraints and operational requirements.
In a written reply to a question Thursday, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the PMAY (U) guidelines state that land-owning agencies should also undertake "in-situ" slum redevelopment in their lands by using it as a resource for providing houses to slum dwellers.
The PMAY (U), launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015, aims to ensure "Housing for all by 2022" by providing financial assistance to a beneficiary.
"Pursuant to the issuance of scheme guidelines, the MoHUA has written to all state governments and central government land-owning ministries/departments, including the Ministry of Railways, to explore the possibilities of rehabilitation of slums on their land and seek central assistance under the PMAY (U) mission," Puri said.
According to the minister, the Railways Ministry has reported that most of the slum or encroachments are in the approaches of stations in metros and big cities and around railway tracks.
"The MoR has added that keeping in view its expansion plans, operational and maintenance requirements and safety of travelling public and since housing is a state subject, the state government or urban local body has to provide alternative sites for rehabilitation of the slum dwellers."
He said the MoR has expressed that the entire cost of such rehabilitation or resettlement may also be borne by state government or urban local body as the railways may not be able to contribute towards the cost of land or rehabilitation and resettlement.