Six slums under the Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) will be redeveloped as a proposal has been approved by the central and state government. Slum-dwellers from Valmiki Nagar, Mahakali Nagar, Laxmi colony, Kutchi Mohalla, Patel Mohalla, Ashok Bagh, and Takka Vasahat will get houses of 300 sq feet under the Prime Minister’s Housing Scheme as part of the rehabilitation.
These slums had come into existence before the year 2000 and they are eligible as per slum rehabilitation rules.
The houses will be constructed with funds received from the centre, state and contributions from the local body. The civic body will also provide assistance to slum-dwellers in getting a loan for contributing a small amount for the house.
Making Panvel a slum-free node has been a decade-old plan, even when the civic body was not formed. Earlier, the Panvel Municipal Council (PMC) had planned to clean all slums by providing them with permanent homes under the Rajiv Gandhi Aawas Yojana. However, in want of funds and the non-availability of plots, the plan could not be executed.
A senior civic official from PMC said that the country is celebrating its 75th year of Independence and there is a wish of the Prime Minister that every family in the country must have a permanent home with facilities like water supply, toilet, 24 hours electricity, and access road. “The houses will be provided under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana as the scheme is now available in urban areas,” said the official.
The slums pose a hurdle in the development of the city. Like, Laxmi Colony is posing a hurdle in the development of the state bus depot.
Arvind Mhatre, a corporator at PMC said that slum rehabilitation in Panvel is a long-pending plan which is now realizing. “Two to three plots have been earmarked for rehabilitating the slum dwellers. Most of them are daily wage laborers,” said Mhatre. However, he added that the civic body should also allow residents of 29 villages included after the formation of the corporation to extend their houses which are more than 50 years old,” said Mhatre.
As per the plan, the civic body will construct houses under the Pradhan Mantri Yojana in four categories. They are the redevelopment of slums, affordable housing for economically weaker and low-income groups, construction of affordable housing through a public-private partnership, and grants for the construction of individual houses for the economically weaker sections.