Staff Reporter

BHUBANESWAR: Activists fighting for the cause of slum-dwellers here on Tuesday alleged that the State government was trying to grab land in occupation of slum habitants by pretending to provide them “concrete houses.”

As per the information obtained in exercise of RTI Act, inhabitants of city's Niladri Vihar slum, which is spread over 16.55 acres, would be rehabilitated in flats.

A meeting chaired by for Chief Secretary a couple of months ago decided to construct four storeyed apartments on 7.88 acres of land of Niladri Vihar slum. And the rest 8.77 acres could be developed into a residential or commercial complex.

“Under Basic Service to the Urban Poor programmes, housing concerns of slum dwellers would be addressed. But we cannot understand why government is planning to construct apartment for these slum dwellers,” said Sibram, president of Basti Surakshya Manch.

He said their houses could have been built on individual plots.

The government decided to retrieve about eight acres of land from slum dwellers and hand it over to private companies, said Biswapriya Kanungo, who obtained the reply.