MUMBAI: In a major relaxation in the eligibility criteria for slum dwellers, who account for a large chunk of Mumbai’s population and to do away with hurdles in infrastructure projects, the Maharashtra Government has decided to regularise the residents of these slums, who have begun to stay in the dwellings after the cut-off date of January 1, 1995.
Coming before the elections to 10 urban civic bodies, including Mumbai, which are seen as a litmus test for the ruling Congress-NCP, the decision will help these occupiers get houses of their own.
Presently, slums up to the cut-off date are protected with this date being extended to 2000 for certain projects of vital public importance like the Mumbai airport makeover and the Dharavi redevelopment project, subject to the directions of the court.
In Mumbai, which is one of the densely populated cities in India, slum dwellers account for over 60 per cent of the population, while the percentage is around 35 per cent for the state.
After the weekly meeting of the Cabinet on Monday, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told reporters that at many places slum dwellers had transferred their dwellings to family members and others and hence many of the occupiers of these protected slums had been staying here after the cut-off date. This had led to a situation that while these slums could not be removed without the residents being rehabilitated (as the structures were protected), the rehabilitation of the residents was tough as they had shifted there after the cut-off date.