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CM Chavan offers slum dwellers bigger homes

While Prithviraj Chavan has decided not to intervene in the Campa Cola issue, he was quick to pass a resolution for the city’s slum dwellers to get 270-sq ft homes

While Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has refrained from making any statements in favour of Campa Cola residents, he was quick to pass a resolution in favour of the city’s slum dwellers.

An email from the CM’s office states that under the Slum Rehabilitation Act, they will now get 270-sq ft homes, instead of 225-sq ft. The ruling will be applicable to all redevelopment projects post-2008, which have been constructed till plinth level, or have only submitted their proposals.

For slum dwellers who have already moved in to their houses, or whose houses were constructed before 2008, Chavan’s letter declares that they could extend their homes till the balcony, including the flower bed area.

‘I feel discriminated’
When Vidya Srinivas, a resident of Campa Cola society who will soon lose her home, learned about the recent order in favour of slum dwellers, she said, “I feel discriminated. I shouldn’t be paying taxes at all.

I contribute more for the economy than the slum dwellers, and the CM simply says he cannot help us. But when it comes to them, he takes a swift decision.”

On Monday, Chavan had said that the state government would not intervene in the Campa Cola building issue since the Supreme Court had not given any relief to the residents against demolition of their illegal flats.

Minister of State for Housing, Sachin Ahir, claims that while the decision for slum dwellers has come late, as it was mentioned in the 2009 manifesto, he wants the government to take the decision on Campa Cola society on humanitarian grounds.

“I personally feel that the Campa Cola issue should not be dealt with by the government technically or legally, but it should be seen on human grounds; the legal issues can be dealt with later,” Ahir said.

Chain of support
Meanwhile, the BJP is planning to gather supporters at the Campa Cola compound today and form a human chain, to show the party’s support for the residents.

“The residents need our support right now, and I’m sure the people of Mumbai will help them. We want to put the message across that Mumbaikars are supporting the residents and want to change the government’s decision,” said a senior leader from BJP.

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