1.5 million houses sanctioned for the poor: Kumari Selja

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New Delhi, July 1 (ANI): Union Minister for Tourism and Housing Kumari Selja on Wednesday said that the Government has sanctioned over 1.5 million houses for the poor people across the country.

Kumari Selja, releasing her ministry's 100-day agenda, announced that the Government is likely to develop a model legal framework to consider property rights to the urban slum dwellers.

She said that the UPA government is committed to encourage domestic tourism in the country. Aiming at empowering the urban poor with legal rights, UPA government is initiating steps to provide property entitlements to them.

"We will develop a model legal framework for consideration by states and Union Territories for according property rights to slum dwellers," said the Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Tourism Minister Selja.

There are about 81 million urban poor or slum dwellers in the country, as per the 2004-05 census.

"Ministry will formulate 'Rajiv Awas Yojana' for slum dwellers and the urban poor in an effort to promote a slum-free India in five years.

Clarifying that the property rights means access to housing by the slum dwellers, Selja said the scheme would focus on according rights to those living in slums and states would provide basic amenities such as water supply, sewerage, drainage, internal and approach roads, street lighting and social infrastructure facilities.

Now, we are proposing that master plans have to include reservation of land to build houses for the poor and also for their economic activities like street vending, Selja said.

Once the slum dwellers get the ownership right through legal process, they can leverage it for their further betterment, she said.

As per the plan, the property rights model will draw best practices both within and outside the country and be circulated to states to enable them to establish their own legal regulatory frameworks suiting local conditions.

The model legal framework for property rights proposes to include reservation of land for housing and informal sector activities by the urban poor in city and zonal plans.

"It will cover the provision of security of tenure to the urban poor and also making land available for affordable housing, basic amenities and informal sector activities of the poor through the process of urban planning," Selja said. (ANI)

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