New Delhi: After years of delay, Delhi Government on Wednesday started allotment of around 14,000 low-cost flats to slum dwellers in keeping with its plan to make the national capital slum-free.

In the first batch, 500 flats, located in Bawana, were distributed on Wednesday among eligible residents of eight slum clusters in West and South Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said around 13,500 flats are also ready for distribution and the process for their allotment has already been started.

"It was our dream to offer houses to the weaker section and today we have fulfilled the dream. We will construct more flats for distribution among the poor people," she said.

The Chief Minister said Government would make available hospitals, schools, shops and bus services to the occupants of the flats in Bawana so that they do not face any inconvenience.

"I hope you will have a comfortable life in your new homes," she said.

The flats were built by Delhi State Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) in Bawana, Narela and Bhorgah area with financial assistance from the Union Urban Development Ministry under the JNNURM scheme.

The slum dwellers from SC and ST community will get the flats free of cost as Delhi government has already decided to waive the fee of Rs 60,000 for them.

Officials said people who have settled in a slum or a 'jhugghi-jhopri' cluster not later than March 31, 2007, willbe eligible to get allotment of the low-cost houses.

The cost of each of the 14,000 flats has been estimated at Rs 3.34 lakh, out of which the contribution of Delhi government and union government is Rs 62,000 and Rs 1.19 lakh respectively while the share of the land owning agency is Rs 93,000. The contribution of the beneficiary has been fixed at around Rs 60,000.

The official said any beneficiary who has been staying in a slum cluster before April 1, 2002 will have to pay an amount of Rs 60,000 while any resident who settled in a slum between April 1, 2004, and March 31, 2007, will have to pay upto Rs 1.22 lakh.

The government has made arrangements to facilitate bank loans to the beneficiaries at low interest rate.

Construction of most of the 14,000 flats were completed almost three years ago but they could not be distributed due to procedural delays.

To make the city slum free, the government has already decided to construct around 70,000 low-cost flats for slum dwellers.

Officials said 14,000 flats are being distributed among residents of slums which have come up on land owned by Delhi government and Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB).

There are 685 slum clusters in the city, out of which 352 have come up on land owned by DDA while 333 slums have come up on land owned by Delhi government, railways, CPWD, NDMC, MCD, Cantonment Board and CPWD.

The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), which is the nodal agency for implementing the slum relocation policy, has been asked to accelerate the pace of construction and allotment of the flats, said a senior official.


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