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Odisha Assembly passes Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Bill

Odisha assembly

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly on Wednesday passed four bills including the much-awaited Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Bill, 2017.

Introducing the Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Bill, 2017 in the Assembly, Housing and Urban Development Minister Niranjan Pujari said it is a historical decision of the State Government to provide land and housing units to the urban poor living in different slums. The Bill will provide land to slum dwellers residing in Municipalities and Notified Area Councils (NACs) of the State.

Stating that the demographic shift from rural to urban areas has been a continuous process for past several decades, Pujari said the shortage of affordable space has resulted in persons occupying large chunks of government land in urban areas. As per the 2011 census, 23.1 per cent of urban population which is one out of five urban households, live in slum areas, the Minister said.

Therefore, it was felt by the Government to enact a separate legislation to provide for assigning land rights to identified slum dwellers, for development, rehabilitation and upgradation of slums in Municipal Council areas and NACs, Pujari added.

While land up to 30 square metres will be settled free of cost, land above 30 square metres, subject to a maximum limit of 60 square metres in NACs and 40 square metres in municipal council areas, will be settled at a percentage of the benchmark value of the land, the Bill said.
Welcoming the legislation, Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra of Congress said, the bill will help the poor people, who are residing in the slums.

Other Bills which were also passed in the Assembly on the day are- The Odisha Sales Tax (Settlement of Arrears) Amendment Bill, 2017; The Odisha Motor Vehicle Taxation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and The Odisha Agricultural Produce Markets (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

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