Nearly 500 jhuggi dwellers from eight slum tenements on Wednesday became proud owners of their dwelling units, at least on paper, as they were presented with allotment letters to their houses at a function at Delhi Secretariat. The Government has in this scheme for the first time used biometrics to ensure that there was no duplication in allotment and no sale of the flats that are meant for rehabilitation.

While Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit handed over the allotment letters to 40 eligible beneficiaries, the rest were presented the allotment letters at the function itself.

With this, the beneficiaries of the scheme would now be able to move from their slum tenements to “respectable address in well-developed housing complexes which are duly connected with public transport system”, the Delhi Government said.

Under the scheme, meant for rehabilitation of slum and jhuggi dwellers and executed by Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, the Delhi Government is paying the contribution of the Scheduled Caste beneficiaries and so the flats would be free of cost to them.

The scheme has been implemented as per guidelines of Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty alleviation’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

Those who have been given allotment letters would get to live in a housing complex at Bawana, where the Government intends to take the Delhi Metro service under the third phase.

35,000 more flats

Speaking about the scheme, Ms. Dikshit said under the first phase 500 allottees have been handed over allotment letters. She said another 35,000 flats for the EWS category are under construction at Narela, Bawana and Dwarka and would be made ready for allotment at the earliest.

It was also mentioned in the meeting that the Government has decided to accelerate the pace of construction of the EWS house and to shift the cut off date to March 31, 2007 so that more and more jhuggi dwellers could benefit from it.

The Delhi Government has prioritised 75 clusters for relocation and DUSIB has conducted a survey of around 16,000 jhuggis in 33 clusters. The eligibility of around 1,350 jhuggi dwellers has been determined from 14 clusters.

It said the jhuggi dwellers would be shifted to the new flats on relocation of their clusters. The flats are being allotted in joint names of husband and wife on lease hold basis for a period of 15 years and would thereafter be converted to freehold.

As per the terms, the beneficiaries would be required to only pay Rs.60,000 for a dwelling unit. However, the Government would provide 100 per cent subsidy in case of SC allottees, for whom the flats would be free.

Urban Development Minister A. K. Walia said the process of identification of beneficiaries had been taken up carefully in order to ensure allotment of flats to all eligible jhuggi dwellers. He said a comprehensive socio-economic survey of all jhuggi clusters in Delhi is being conducted to map the population and a strategy document is being prepared to make Delhi a slum-free city.

To prevent duplication in allotment, the Minister said biometric authentication of beneficiaries was also being conducted. This, he said, would also prevent the practice of sale of such flats that are meant for rehabilitation.

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