The Bombay high court on 6 august 2010 asked the state government to spell out what action it proposed to take against slumdwellers who sell off flats allotted to them under the slum rehabilitation scheme.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice S C Dharmadhikari said that this was the last chance it was giving the government to file its affidavit and whether it would render assistance for removing people who are staying in slum rehab flats without authorization.
The court was hearing a PIL by city-based organisation Janhit Manch which had highlighted one such instance concerning the rehabilitation of slumdwellers who had encroached upon the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Of the 25,144 families who had encroached upon the SGNP, 8,711 slumdwellers were allotted flats in a rehabilitation project at Chandivli.
P N Munde, conservator of forests, SGNP, in an affidavit informed the court that many of the flats were illegally sold, leased out or turned into commercial premises. The Slum Rehabilitation Authority rules specify that the flats can be sold only after 10 years. Of the 3,000 flats inspected, some 329 flats had been leased out, 34 were sold, 531 were found to be locked, while 48 residential flats were converted into shops, the report stated.
The SRA informed the court that it would take time to survey the slum rehab flats and identify if it was being occupied by people who were not the original allottees. At the last hearing, the HC had recommended the setting up of an independent panel to take action against slumdwellers who flouted norms and sold off their flats.
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