State

Slums to influence urban local body polls

Congress dubs BJP as anti-slum, BJP flaunts ordinance to woo voters

Ahead of the crucial urban local body (ULB) election, the slums have become the fulcrum of the poll pitches of all the contesting parties, given the slum dwellers’ numerical strength.  The leaders are busy dishing out promises in desperate bid to outsmart one another to woo the voters there. The slum dwellers in the state have been playing a major role in making or marring the chances of candidates in the ULB polls. Apart from being politically sensitive, the voters from the slums are known to exercise their franchise in a large number.   Aware of the electoral might they possess, both the Congress and the BJP are now pulling out all the stops to endear themselves with the voters. Interestingly, leaders of both the parties are rolling out promises that once elected, they would give ownership rights to them.  While the Congress leaders are pointing accusing fingers at the BJP government, saying that it is out to raze down the slums those of the saffron camp are trying to hammer home the point that their government has prevented the slums from being demolished through the ordinance brought into force. Former Rajpur Road MLA and ex-chairman of the state slum settlement development committee Rajkumar said that the residents of the slums are impatiently waiting for the elections to make the BJP kiss the dust.  Questioning the requirement for bringing in the ordinance by the BJP government, the Congress leader claimed that the government has failed to present the guidelines for regularisation of the slums framed during the Congress government in the court.

SLUM  STATISTICS

S.No

District Slums Population Households

1

Dehradun 162 214368

44159

2

Haridwar 122 181210

35354

3

Udham Singh Nagar 121 245280

48283

4

Nainital 55 76803

14228

5

Uttarkashi 20 14444

3152

6

Chamoli 21 3613

717

7

Tehri 13 2217

431

8

Bageshwar 7 1477

299

9

Almora 9 4252

940

10

Champawat 10 6670

1327

11

Pithoragarh 21 13044

2821

12 Pauri 21 8207

1463

Total 582 771585

153174

Contacted, the former minister and Rajpur Road MLA Khajan Das told The Pioneer that the BJP government has brought the special ordinance to spare the slums the hammer of the demolition drive. “The act which Congress brought about with much fanfare was able to provide ownership rights to just 36 families while more than seven lakh people are living in the registered slums of the state. Our government is committed to providing ownership rights to the slum dwellers. And for the areas located on the river banks, we would first make arrangements for their accommodation before they are shifted.  The slums dwellers are thus solidly standing with the BJP and a debacle is staring the Congress,’’ he said. An estimated 771585 people reside in the 582 slums located across the state. While it is believed that there are more than 1200 slums in the state the state government has recognized just 582 such dwellings. In Uttarakhand, the settlement of the slums had started in late 70s. Successive governments had provided protection to these dwellings by providing power, drinking water, and road networks. read more posts… Saturday, 10 November 2018 | Gajendra Singh Negi | Dehradun–

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