Slum dwellers in five Odisha cities to get land rights

The municipal corporations will have the flexibility of granting rights over land up to 45 sq mtr per slum household
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik (Photo | EPS)
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik (Photo | EPS)

BHUBANESWAR: With urban body elections round the corner, the State government on Friday announced a new year bonanza for slum dwellers in the five major cities of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur and Rourkela to confer land rights on them under the Jaga Mission.

The State Cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik gave the nod to the proposal to bring necessary amendments to the Odisha Municipal Corporation Act, 2003 for according land rights to households at 938 slums in the five municipal corporations. About 2.4 lakh slum households will benefit from the move. The Cabinet cleared the proposal to bring an ordinance to amend the provisions of the Act.

Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra told mediapersons that the corporations will have the flexibility of granting rights over land up to 45 sq mtr to the slum dwellers. If the households belong to EWS category, land rights will be granted free of cost over an area of 30 sq mtr.

However, if a household is in occupation of a patch less than 30 sq mtr and vacant government land is available adjacent to the dwelling unit, right will be granted over 30 sq mtr by adding the land available for the purpose.

The Chief Secretary said that promulgation of the proposed ordinance will not only ensure security of tenure but also make the households eligible for availing housing schemes, benefitting over 9.7 lakh population in the five municipal corporation areas.

The State government had enacted the Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Act, 2017 with a view to provide land rights to identified and eligible slum dwellers with a twin objective of providing security of tenure and tranform the slums into liveable habitats under the Jaga Mission. The jurisdiction of the Act extended to all municipalities and notified area councils.

Similar provisions were also incorporated in the Municipal Corporation Act, 2003 through an amendment in 2017 to confer land rights on the slum dwellers. However, after about four years of implementation, it is seen that the amended provisions have remained by and large inconsequential as no significant progress could be made for various reasons.

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