As per a report from 2016, there are 128 slum clusters in Dehradun district among which 70 were encroached up on private land. The state has in all more than 582 dwellings which house more than 7.7 lakh people.
The Uttarakhand government’s land property initiative to identify slum dwellings and provide them with land ownership rights is not a feasible one, claim experts.
As per a report from 2016, there are 128 slum clusters in Dehradun district among which 70 were encroached up on private land. The state has around 582 dwellings which house more than 7.7 lakh people. Most of these settlements are on forest land or river encroached land and thus cannot be legally sold.
Reenu Paul, an environmentalist said “Saying that most of these settlements are on private land is incorrect. It is either municipal land or riverside area. There is hardly any life for these slum dwellers who live in miserable conditions,”
The environmentalist added that if these dwellings are regularised, the rivers where they are located may not survive.
“Initially, the catchment areas were encroached, then the river banks and now we have settlements even on river beds. Water is being diverted elsewhere upstream which is causing severe ecological damage. Builders have encroached on government land and with poor construction quality, they are jeopardising the lives of these settlers,” said Paul.
The government’s plan is to classify these settlements into three categories — those where land owning rights can be provided (mostly located on lands owned by civic bodies), those where a few changes in terms of security and facilities can be made to provide these rights (like those owned by the state, railways, forest department etc) and those where this is not an option. The government also plans to come up with facilities of water, electricity, sanitation etc, in such dwellings eventually. But experts don’t believe that this is a feasible plan in the long term.
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