Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday issued land ownership certificates to 65,000 poor families living in slums in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, and Raurkela at a programme organised at the Kalinga Stadium in the state capital. Incidentally, Odisha is the only state in the country to give land rights to slum dwellers.
Addressing a gathering on this occasion, the Chief Minister said that financial assistance will also be provided to the beneficiaries for the construction of houses. The second phase of the certificate will be issued next October. The Chief Minister said that this campaign will continue till all the poor families of these cities get land rights.
It is worth noting that the Jaga Mission programme, which started in 2018, provides land rights to poor families living in urban slums. Till now more than 2,40,000 families in different cities of the state have received land rights. Along with this, 40,000 families have been given assistance for building houses. With the aim of making slum-free Odisha, all these slums are being given all basic facilities and are being converted into Biju Model Colonies. Till now, 1010 settlements in 68 urban areas have been converted into Biju Model Colony.
The Chief Minister said, “The city is not only for the rich. Even the poor have the right to live in the city with their families. The labour of the poor is added to every brick used in the construction of the city. We should all respect their contribution. Jaga Mission has given respect to the poor, giving them a new identity.”
Stating that the Jaga Mission has attracted the attention of the whole world, he said that the poor people have the first right in the city. The Chief Minister opined that the Jaga Mission has ushered in a new era in the transformation of the city. “The 5T initiative has accelerated our efforts to transform people’s lives,” he added.
The Chief Minister thanked Tata Steel Foundation for its significant contribution to the Jaga Mission programme and extended Tata Steel. The Chief Minister also said, “We are moving ahead with everyone’s cooperation.” Stating that the government’s goal is to build a new Odisha, a strong Odisha, a transformed Odisha, he said, “Today’s programme will be a milestone towards achieving this goal.”
During this programme, the Chief Minister inaugurated 1010 Biju Model Colonies and honoured the cities of Cuttack, Khordha, Koraput, and Jajpur for their outstanding work in the construction of the Biju Model Colony.
He said that where it is not possible to give a place to the slum dwellers in their own place due to legal reasons, new colonies are being set up in nearby places with the consent of all. Chikiti, Boudh, Dhenkanal, and Keshinga were also promoted by the Chief Minister for their outstanding work in setting up the new colonies.
Dhenkanal district has been the first in the country to grant land rights to slum dwellers under the Forest Rights Act.
Speaking at the programme, Odisha Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Usha Devi said that due to the vision and efforts of the Chief Minister, the poor people of the state have smiles on their faces today.
The Managing Director of Tata Steel Foundation said, “Tata Steel is always ready to provide support to the government in various public welfare programmes. Although such a programme is completely new to Tata Steel, we have taken up this responsibility well. We will continue to cooperate in the state government’s efforts.”