Land Tenure Rights – Ray Of Hope To Slum Dwellers

The land is the most valuable assets for every people around the world because, people have social and cultural values attached to it, and that defines the growth of an individual. When the land tenure is secure, land can pull in growth and investment, but when land rights are insecure; this can lead to the conflicts, exclusion of particular sets of groups or peoples such as the urban poor, woman, marginalized and indigenous people.

It does not matter how strongly or beautifully the structure of the house is, it were still incomplete and considered as the insecure settlement if the dwellers do not have the land tenure rights. Under the government schemes, the houses get built every year whether the houses made under BSUP scheme (Basic Services for Urban Poor), SRA scheme (Slum Rehabilitation Authority) or any other schemes of the government. However, without the land tenure rights, the sense of ownership lacks.

In the context of Nagpur, the city has total 446 slums out of which the government notified few. Slum dwellers are staying on this land since more than 30 years and have all the documents on Aadhar card, voter id, Ration card, etc. and this legal entitlement enables them a right to live in the city. The demand for land tenure rights in the city is not new, and the slum dwellers are demanding the tenure rights from last 14 years.  First GR came in the year 2002.However, there was no implementation. Despite living for so long and the absence of government initiative towards Maliki patte, people started to voice out their demands. Slum dwellers began mobilising themselves and started favouring the campaigns led by SVM (SeharVikasManch) and other social organisation.  In few months local municipal elections were also approaching. Hence, for the slum dwellers, it’s now or never kind of situation. Slum dwellers felt this is the right time to come together and voice out the demands for Land tenure rights which were completely ignored by the earlier government of Maharashtra. If we (Slum Dwellers) fails to take our demand forward the process of getting tenure rights will again be delayed. Further, the application campaign has reached out to zonal offices, NIT and NMC offices asking officials to act on GR (Government Resolution) and start the process of Land Tenure rights. To push government Furthermore on 26th November 2016 (Constitution Day), People’s Movement led by woman’s SVM to the Hyderabad House (CM office) has covered the attention of the media as well. The result of application campaign started by SVM and other social organisation has helped to put pressure on government and on 1 Jan 2017 with the New Year gift to Slum dwellers, NIT (Nagpur Improvement Trust) has begun the distribution process of Land tenure rights.

A positive initiative of the Chief Minister MrDevendra Fadnavis and Maharashtra Government can be seen in Nagpur on patta rights (land tenure rights) for the urban slum dwellers. According to Maharashtra Government Resolution (GR) dated 03 January 2017, land up to the first 500 sqft will be given free and the land tenure rights will be given jointly to husband and wife in the slums of Nagpur. Further, the GR also explains that the slums located on the land of government authorities such as Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), Collector Land and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) will be given land tenure rights by the respective government authorities themselves. The New GR (Government Resolution) has come with a great relief for the slum dwellers. GR will get help slum dwellers to get their land tenure rights since it’s been mentioned under PMAY in the fourth vertical that the beneficiary will be those who has the land in their name.

This is a good initiative by the Maharashtra Chief Minister MrDevendraFadnavis to give land rights to the slum dwellers, and this model can also be replicated in other states. However, certain terms and conditions are also attached to Land tenure rights. It will be good to see how soon the government of Maharashtra fulfil the demand of slum dwellers and set a tone for secure land rights to all slum dwellers in the Nagpur. As land tenure is considered as the most important and widely discussed around the world.

Written By-

NITIN MESHRAM

A fellow of TISS, Mumbai, completed Masters in Urban Policy and Governance. Presently, working for Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA) as State Campaigner in Nagpur.

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