SUBJECT :Admn earmarks 356 acres  

Chandigarh, December 20
Of the 2,811 acres of net available land, the Chandigarh administration has earmarked 356 acres for rehabilitation of slum-dwellers. The slum-dwellers will now be housed in 18 colonies at eight different locations across the city, an official press release said here today.

The city has a total area of 28,170 acres. A major part of the city, around 19,389 acres, is covered by residential sectors (from Sectors 1 to 63).

The city has 1,272.56 acres of defence land; 316.28 acres of railway land; reserved forest cover of 2,718.10 acres; and Mani Majra spread over 963.69 acres.

This totals up to 24,659 acres, leaving it with only 3,511 acres of land located on the periphery.

With the IT Park being allocated 700 acres, the net available land works out to 2,811 acres. Out of this, the UT administration, living up to the spirit of the ‘Open Hand’ symbol, has given 356 acres, around 20 per cent, for resettlement of slum-dwellers.

“Given the shortage of costly land, it was a Herculean task for the administration to identify and earmark 356 acres of land for the rehabilitation of slum-dwellers. The pressure on land in the city, the gateway to Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, is mounting by the day with City Beautiful emerging as a hub of economic activity,” said UT Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar.

“The new settlements will be fully integrated mini-townships with provision for dispensaries, crèches, aganwaris, schools, community centres and services shops. Each block of 64 flats will have a common open area, regular drinking water supply, overhead water storage tanks, streetlights, metalled roads and green parks with children playing equipment,” said the Finance Secretary.

The press release said the project was estimated to cost Rs 1,187 crore. Each dwelling unit would cost Rs 4.7 lakh and would be allotted on licence fee basis.

“The licence fee worked out to more than Rs 3,300, which was found unaffordable for poor slum-dwellers and cried for subsidisation. Hence, the UT administration has decided to charge a token licence fee of just Rs 1,000 per month from each unit. It will just set off the management cost,” said an official of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB).

According to the findings of a survey, 23,841 slum families, consisting of over one lakh persons, have been found eligible for flats; 90 per cent of slum families are nuclear in size; the monthly income of 85 per cent ranges between Rs 1,000 and Rs 3,000; 81 per cent have been living in the city for over 10 years and 35 per cent for over 20 years.

Source: Tribune News Service