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Odisha assembly today passed four bills including the much-awaited Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Bill, 2017 which will provide land to slum dwellers residing in Municipalities and Notified Area Councils (NACs) of the state. Introducing the Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Bill, 2017 in the Assembly, Housing and Urban Development Minister Niranjan Pujari said it is a historical decision of the state government to provide land and housing units to the urban poor living in different slums. Stating that the demographic shift from rural to urban areas has been a continuous process for past several decades, Pujari said the shortage of affordable space has resulted in persons occupying large chunks of government land in urban areas. As per the 2011 census, 23.1 per cent of the urban population which is one out of five urban households, live in slum areas, the minister said. Therefore, the minister said, it was felt by the government to enact a separate legislation to provide for assigning land rights to identified slum dwellers, for development, rehabilitation and upgradation of slums in Municipal Council areas and NACs. Welcoming the legislation, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress said that the bill will help the poor people, who are residing in the slums. BJP member Rabi Nayak also praised the move.
He, however, said the government should not use this for political gain of the ruling party. Earlier in August, Odisha cabinet had approved the proposal to provide land rights to the slum dwellers. The urban poor in slum will get land rights for residential use which is mortgageable and non-transferable. In corporate areas, limited transferable rights will be given. Other Bills which were also passed in the Assembly today are The Odisha Sales Tax (Settlement of Arrears) Amendment Bill, 2017, The Odisha Motor Vehicle Taxation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and The Odisha Agricultural Produce Markets (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
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