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Slum dwellers: Delhi assures cooperation to rlys

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Wednesday assured its “full cooperation” to the railways in shifting slum dwellers living along train tracks in the city and offered to prepare a detailed plan for their rehabilitation.

Delhi government’s urban development minister

Satyendar Jain

in a letter to Union railways minister Piyush Goyal said that cooperation of all the agencies will be needed to resettle slum dwellers as per ‘Jahan Jhuggi Wahin Makan’ promised by both the AAP and BJP.

“Shifting of slums will require a detailed plan. If the Railways Ministry approves, Delhi can prepare the plan,” Jain said in his letter.

He also assured “full cooperation” of the Delhi government and Chief Minister

Arvind Kejriwal

in providing houses to the slum dwellers.

In a relief to thousands of slum dwellers residing along the 140 km railway tracks in Delhi, the Centre informed the Supreme Court on Monday that they would not be removed till a final decision is taken by the government.

The Centre said that a final decision would be taken in consultation with the railways, the Delhi government and the Urban Development Ministry. The court said that no coercive action be taken against the slum dwellers for four weeks.

The top court on August 31 had directed the removal of around 48,000 slum dwellings along the railway tracks in Delhi within three months and said there shall not be any kind of political interference in the execution of the plan.

Kejriwal in Delhi assembly session on Monday had asserted that no slum dweller will be displaced without proper rehabilitation and assured that pucca houses will be provided to them before eviction.

Jain said that as per ‘Jahan Jhuggi Wahan Makan’ (in situ rehabilitation) policy, they have to find land near the slums that are to be removed to rehabilitate slum dwellers. Cooperation of all land owning agencies will be required in it, he said.

The minister in his letter to Goyal said that Delhi government has 40,000 flats that can be used in case of need.

“But these flats are in outer areas of Delhi. These can be given to those slum dwellers for whom land is not available near their neighbourhood and who cannot be provided houses as per ‘Jahan Jhuggi Wahan Makan’ policy,” Jain said.

The minister said that Delhi government believed that slum dwellers should not be removed during Covid-19 pandemic.

The law is clear that slum dweller cannot be removed unless they are provided pucca houses. The Delhi government in its policy has made it their legal right to be given permanent houses near their existing slums, he said.

The central government in its affidavit filed in a different case in the

Delhi high court

has accepted this policy of the city government, he claimed.

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