New Delhi: The Central government has launched a massive campaign to wipe out the slums from 250 cities. The first phase of the ambitious project Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojna will be started in 250 cities of the country.

in the initial phase, the project will be launched in cities which have a population in excess of one lakh. The beneficiary families of these cities will be given the ownership rights of the house.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave a green signal to this proposal on Thursday.

The government will also form a fund of Rs 1000 crore to help people coming from financially weak background to get loan for house construction.

Union Minister for Home Affairs P Chidambaram said the government wants to make country slum free by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan.

The project will be introduced from this year onwards and states will play an important role in its implementation.

Every state will bring their proposed scheme to Centre and then will negotiate on funds to be allocated. After the Centre is convinced, the funds would be approved for the states.

Low cost housing units will play a key role for states. Though plans are afoot to charge an amount from the beneficiaries, however the Union Government is yet to take a final decision in this regard.

Under the project, the government aims to propose two suggestions to get rid of slum in city area.

Either the present slums will be developed on their present location or they will be shifted to city outskirts. Under both circumstances, state government will make the plan for the project. About 3.2 crore people slum dwellers will benefit from this project.

“Although decision is still pending, the government will bear 50 per cent of the cost of the project,” said Chidambaram. To bear the expenses for house construction, people will be provided with loan on easy installments.

JPN/Bureau