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Bhubaneswar: Slum Leaders meet Odisha Governor for rights over land

 

Posted Wednesday July 06, 2016

Bhubaneswar, Odisha, Slum, Land Rights  
 
Slum leaders from the Bhubaneswar-located Salia Sahi Slum met the Odisha Governor S.C. Jamir and pressed for providing land “pattas” as land rights to the occupants of the Salia Sahi slum.  

HNF Correspondent

 
 

A delegation of slum leaders from the Bhubaneswar-located Salia Sahi Slum met the Odisha Governor S.C. Jamir and pressed for providing land “pattas” as land rights to the occupants of the Salia Sahi slum. Under the forum of Salia Sahi Samuhika Vikash Parishad, the delegation led by the Parishad’s Chief Patron Dr.Sasmit Patra and its President Alok Pariccha also placed before the Governor the need for a hospital and a high school in Salia Sahi slum to facilitate health and educational services for the one lakh strong population which is deprived of these basic services despite being in the heart of the city. Apart from these constraints, the Government’s apathy in not providing BPL cards to the eligible households in the slum was also highlighted during the deliberations with the Governor.

 

This would lead to greater agony for the slum dwellers as they would not benefit from the provisions of the Food Security Bill by the UPA Government. The Governor heard the delegation patiently and promised to look into the matter.

The delegation also comprising of the Parishad’s Secretary Alok Kumar Digal, Treasurer Dharmendra Digal and Executive Committee Member Bibhu Ranjan Mallick expressed their pain before the Governor that despite having requested a meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, they were yet to hear from the Chief Minister’s Office. Later meeting the press and media, they were thankful to the Governor for having heard their voice though the Chief Minister could not find time probably because they were not corporate leaders but slum leaders.

Addressing the press and media, the Parishad’s Chief Patron Dr.Sasmit Patra said, “Salia sahi slum and about 300 smaller slums in and around Bhubaneswar is the lifeline of human capital which runs the city’s functional maintenance services. From households to offices, cars to buses, schools to canteens, it’s these slum dwellers who make life easier for the posh city-dwellers. But while the city is progressing, these poor slum dwellers are being denied the basic rights on the land where they have been living for decades. Though the Congress Government in 1998 drew up a rehabilitation plan, the plan has not been implemented so far over the past 13 years by the present BJD Government. Before the 2000 elections, promises were made to the Salia Sahi slum dwellers that they would be provided land “pattas” which was reiterated before the 2004 and 2009 elections and during successive municipal elections. But after the elections are over, the ruling party seems to suffer from selective amnesia and fails to realize those promises of land rights for the slum dwellers. It treats the Salia Sahi as a votebank to be used and forgotten. This is not acceptable. Land rights must be provided.” Voicing concerns about the plight of the slum dwellers, the Parishad President Alok Chandra Pariccha said, “Salia Sahi slum is dotted around by posh hospitals but we cannot take our children for treatment there. There are posh academic institutions around our slum but we do not have a proper High School for our children. Why are we being deliberately pushed to the ghettos of society rather than being embraced by the mainstream? We are constructing and building Bhubaneswar, its offices and apartments, but we are denied an inch of land on which we and our fathers have been living. We must be provided land rights so that we can live in this society with dignity.”

 
 
 

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