Bhubaneswar, June 24: The Orissa government is planning to frame a new policy to rehabilitate slum dwellers. The new policy will also focus on the improvement of living conditions of the economically backward sections.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting chaired by chief secretary Bijay Patnaik today at the secretariat. In the first phase, focus will be given to rehabilitation of slum dwellers of the capital city. Later, the welfare scheme will be extended to other cities such as Cuttack, Berhampur and Rourkela.
The Orissa government has decided to build nearly 10,000 homes for poverty-stricken people. Of these, 5,000 houses will be reserved for slum dwellers and the rest for lower income groups (LIG).
The dwelling units will be constructed in a public private partnership (PPP) mode. The number of slum dwellers in the city is on a rise. As per official estimate, the number of slum dwellers has crossed two lakh.
“Very often, the eviction process ends in resistance by the slum dwellers. The new scheme will ease the eviction process,” said chief secretary Patnaik. He also said that the final module would be formulated in one month.
The decision to formulate a new policy comes in the wake of stiff resistance by the people during eviction of roadside slums. The Orissa government is also planning to set up 100 public lavatories in the city.
“The lavatories are necessary as the number of immigrants is on a rise,” said an official.
The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has also decided to upgrade skills of urban poor to enhance their employment potential. Apart from training youth living in slums, the government will put focus on proper placement assistance and loans from nationalised banks to start their own ventures.