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No eviction of slum-dwellers for now

Correspondent

Proper rehabilitation package to be worked out first

Representatives of slum-dwellers attend coordination meetingAdministration to consider suggestions put forth by them

CUTTACK: Eviction of slum-dwellers in the city will be suspended for the time being.

A decision to this effect was taken at a coordination meeting here on Wednesday where the district administration accepted a proposal that there should be no eviction without proper rehabilitation.

Protracted struggle

After a prolonged showdown between the local administration and slum-dwellers facing eviction, a solution was reached at the meeting, which was attended by representatives of the slum-dwellers, other stakeholders and the local administration.

In the wake of the High Court's orders to demolish illegal constructions and encroachments in the city, district Collector Deoranjan Kumar Singh convened a coordination meeting, inviting the representatives of the slums and kiosk owners to discuss the issue.

A four-point charter put forth by the All-Orissa Slum Development Confederation was accepted, said its president Subash Singh.

Vacant land

It was suggested that vacant government land be identified and allotted to the homeless at a reasonable rate. Further, slum-dwellers should be provided with funds from the Valmiki-Ambedkar project to enable them to construct houses.

Vending zones

Opening of vending zones for hawkers and roadside shop owners at select sites, setting up of more market complexes and earmarking separate locations for sale of mutton and fish were the other proposals that were considered, Mr. Singh said.

Master plan

The meeting felt that instead of the eviction drive, which could trigger a serious law and order problem, a proper master plan be prepared to check unplanned growth of the city.

"Unauthorised constructions and encroachment of government lands and roads have made the city congested," said representatives of kiosk and roadside shop owners.