The process for allotment of around 15,000 low-cost houses constructed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission project would begin by this March, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit announced at a meeting of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board here on Tuesday.

At the meeting, Ms. Dikshit and DUSIB Vice-Chairman A. K. Walia stressed the need to begin the process at the earliest. The Board also gave its nod for modification of cut-off date for eligibility of the slum dwellers from March 31, 2002, to March 31, 2007. It also decided to raise the eligibility criteria of annual family income from Rs.60,000 to Rs.1 lakh per annum.

Addressing the meeting, which was also attended by Development Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan and Social Welfare Minister Mangat Ram Singh besides senior officials, the Chief Minister said the allotment of 15,000 house should be started soon as the constructed ones have been lying vacant for many months and their condition was deteriorating due to non-occupation.

``In order to make Delhi slum-free it is imperative to initiate the process for allotment of the already built houses as the aspirants have been impatiently waiting to have their own homes’’ she said, adding that the Government wanted to provide low-cost houses to maximum number of slum dwellers and members of other weaker sections.

While 9,660 flats have already been completed, another 5,184 flats are expected to be completed soon.

The meeting was informed that DUSIB has already initiated its exercise to identify eligible applicants by undertaking a survey in 46 jhuggi-jhonpri clusters for relocation. The Board has also been directed to undertake another survey in view of amendment in two crucial eligibility criteria. In order to expedite the process it would now be organising camps in the clusters itself.

The Chief Minister said the scheme would benefit the allottees as now they would be able to own houses in fully-developed localities which will be having parks, civic amenities, shops for essential commodities and public transport facilities.

Dr. Walia said the Board is also planning to construct 10,200 dwelling units in Poot Khurd at an estimated cost of Rs.425 crore for which the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation has been selected as the implementing agency.

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