Delhi Shramik Sangathan

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Evicted slum dwellers awaiting ‘dream’ home- Times of India

NAGPUR: Around 20 families evicted from the slums in Sanjay Gandhi Nagar area some months ago are still waiting to be rehabilitated. The slum dwellers were to be allocated flats under the Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP) scheme.
Though some families have moved to other areas, others continue to live in the same locality with the hope of getting a new home. They have erected temporary settlements on a damp land that gets water logged in the rainy season. Their only fault, they say, is that they hail from poor families.

Take the case of Ranjana Bansod, who was told by the local Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) and Nagpur Municipal Corporationofficials that she would get a flat in the same locality in a “couple of months”. Believing the authorities, she helped them demolish her shanty. “However, after moving out nearly two months ago, we have been leading a life of vagabonds,” Bansod said.

Another dweller Ujwalla Gajbhiye told TOI that the NMC’s slum rehabilitation department had assured that the construction of flats will begin as soon as they vacate the land. “We immediately vacated our shanties and also cooperated in demolishing them,” another dweller Sunita Tembhurne said, adding, “But nothing has happened so far.”

Under the BSUP scheme, the Centre will be contributing 50% funds, state 30%, NMC 10% and the remaining cost will be borne by the beneficiary. A senior civic official said the Centre has been releasing funds on time and there is no money problem to implement the scheme. “Political bias seems to be the only reason for delaying construction,” he said.

“We have asked the NMC and SRA to rehabilitate these families several times, but no step has been taken so far,” said former corporator Dr Milind Mane, who along with the affected families, met mayor Anil Sole to discuss the issue.

Taking serious cognisance, Sole spoke with SRA Nagpur in-charge Ajay Ramteke. “He admitted there has been delay and assured to start work soon,” Sole said.
However, sources in SRA blamed the affected families for not cooperating with the government on the resettlement issue. “We tried to register all the unauthorized occupants so that they can get houses under the scheme. But many of them opposed eviction. Now they are approaching demanding flats. Their allegation is baseless,” he said.

Meanwhile, NMC standing committee chairman Avinash Thakre on Saturday visited the area and took stock of the situation. “We will wait for a few more months and if nothing happens, we will launch an agitation,” the residents warned.

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