KENDRAPARA: Slum dwellers of Kendrapara town gheraoed the district collectorate and the municipality office on Tuesday demanding land pattas in their favour. The agitators under the banner of Basti Basinka Ekata Manch, also threatened to boycott the upcoming civic polls if their demand is not met soon.
Manch president Sk Abdullah said in the last election, the ruling party (BJD) leaders had assured to provide housing units to slum dwellers. But they are yet to fulfil the promise. “More than 2,000 families in Dilarapur, Chauriberhampur, Ranapada, Badahat, Kakat, Madhapur and Santasahi slums are living in a miserable condition without any land rights for more than 50 years. Last year, the State government had promised to provide land pattas to us. But no action has been taken so far,” he claimed.
Sources said the areas around Chauriberhampur and other slums have turned into garbage dumps leading to pollution of air and water. An unpleasant stench hangs in the air as the waste generated in the town is being dumped in these areas.
“We live in filthy conditions due to lack of proper housing facilities. Since there are no toilets, we are forced to relieve ourselves in the open. The government should take steps to provide us land pattas soon,” said Mahendra Nayak of Chauriberhampur.
Executive officer of Kendrapara municipality Debaprasad Bal said, “We are determined to provide houses to all eligible slum dwellers to make Kendrapara slum-free by 2023. Slum dwellers will get land rights for residential use that are heritable but non-transferable. We have already provided houses and land pattas to many poor landless persons under several schemes of the State government. The authorities will issue land pattas to others after examining their documents.”