Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Rlys ready to give 30% encroached land to dwellers: Muttemwar

NAGPUR: The Indian Railways have 'in principle' agreed to give 30% of its encroached land along the tracks to encroachers provided they return 70% of it to the railways. This was disclosed by Congress MP from Nagpur Vilas Muttemwar on Tuesday.

Muttemwar says in city alone around 2 lakh people live in shanties near the railway tracks along Takia (Dhantoli), Gaddigodam, Dobi Nagar, Motibagh, Dipty Signal and Chunna Bhatti. Although the problem is that many expansion projects like the double line between Itwari and Kalamna and third railway line between Nagpur and Wardha will get delayed if steps are not taken to evict encroachers from the railway land, freeing such land has always been a problem in states. Political leaders also want some amicable solution to the problem as they apprehend removing these residents will dent their vote bank.

"We will convince the people to accept the 30% proposal," Muttemwar said.

After hue and cry over demolition of nearly 1,000 encroachments near Shani Mandir towards Wardha end and Goa Colony on Kamptee Road last year, Muttemwar pushed for rehabilitation of encroachers and took up the issue with railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

"Bansal has agreed to give 30% land to the residents who have encroached upon railway land. The encroachers should return 70% of the land to the railways. It is high time we think of vertical expansion of houses to get accommodated in 30% area," Muttemwar said.

"I've apprised Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on the issue and will call him soon. I will also meet union minister for housing and urban poverty alleviation Ajay Maken and Bansal soon to see how these shanties can be developed," Muttemwar informed.

In order to remove encroachments along tracks, railways has announced special low-cost houses for slum dwellers in Mumbai, Sealdah, Siliguri, Tiruchirapalli and Delhi under 'Sukhi Griha' scheme.

However, the senior Congress leader says railways doesn't have infrastructure and machinery to develop these localities and hence state government from funds under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) or Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) scheme should come forward to develop these areas. "Last year around Rs400 crore under SRA remained unutilized," the MP added.

As per the railway figures released in August 2012, at present, there are 1,34,841 encroachments reported on railway land. Railways 981 hectares of total land holding are under encroachment.

Muttemwar said that railways has also taken up the issue with housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry to arrive at a solution to relocate slums under the Rajiv Awas Yojna in cooperation with the state governments.


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