A survey is being conducted to rehabilitate slum dwellers residing around the “vulnerable” Mumbai International airport, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said.
Post the survey, all slum dwellers will be rehabilitated within two to three kilometres of their present residence, he informed the Legislative Council.
Fadnavis was replying to a Calling Attention motion moved by Congress MLC Janardhan Chandurkar, who, in a written statement, said the state government had taken the decision to rehabilitate slum dwellers in March 2015, but even after a year, no location was identified.
“There was a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister on April 29 this year regarding the issue where it was decided that rehabilitation will be completed on a 100-acre plot. But there was no location finalised for the project.
“On May 4, the government had issued notices to all slum dwellers about the survey being conducted which created confusion among the residents,” Chandurkar said.
The Mumbai airport slum dwellers association had recently written a letter to Fadnavis, seeking to know the location of the rehabilitation. However, they did not get any reply, resulting in insecurity and displeasure among them, he said.
People’s Republican Party MLC Jogendra Kawade then demanded that all slum dwellers be rehabilitated at the existing place instead of some other part of the city.
Fadnavis said, “A survey is being conducted keeping in mind ‘in situ rehabilitation’ and once the survey is completed, the government will finalise the plan of their resettlement”.
“Survey of a few slum pockets has been finished and the remaining will be completed by October this year,” the Chief Minister said, adding that he has also appealed to all political parties to co-operate on the issue.
“Being an international city, Mumbai airport is vulnerable to terrorist attacks, and thus, it is necessary to make the airport safe,” Fadnavis said.
After the resettlement of slum dwellers, the two to three km area around the airport will be turned into a buffer zone and the government will ensure the area is free from new encroachments, he added.