Chatrapur : Government of Odisha, organized a State-level function on the commencement of distribution of Land Right certificates to slum dwellers under the historic legislation ‘The Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Act, 2017’ and launching of ‘Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission – JAAGA’ at Chatrapur, Ganjam on 7th May 2018. Elaborate arrangements were made in all the towns across the State to view the live telecast of this grand event. The mega event was organized by the Ganjam District authorities under the guidance of Housing & Urban Development Department.
Consequent on enactment of this landmark legislation in August 2017, pilot implementation in 9 towns of Puri and Ganjam district was initiated with the active support of Tata Trusts. Around 2000 beneficiaries were issued land right certificates today alongwith sanction order for construction of house under Odisha Urban Housing Mission “Awaas”. The slums will be equipped with all urban amenities such as water supply, road, drains, sanitation, street lights, healthcare, livelihood etc. under Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission. Around 5000 people had gathered to be a part of this historic moment.
The famous British Architect Lord Norman Foster alongwith Lady Foster, Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman Tata Trusts, Dr. Gautam Bhan, faculty member of IIHS, Ms. Rupa Kudva, Managing Director OMIDYAR Network India Advisors and several Ministers, MPs and MLAs also graced the occasion. Shri G. Mathivathanan, Secretary, Housing & Urban Development welcomed all the dignitaries and expressed his gratitude to the Hon’ble Chief Minister for giving the opportunity to the department to implement the landmark legislation for the entire State.
Dr. Bhan, Leading Slum Activist & an academic, in his address informed the august house that the initiative taken by Chief Minister is historic and path breaking and this initiative of his, to value life over the value of land in urban areas is commendable.
Mr. R Venkatramanan, Managing Trustee, Tata Trusts welcomed the initiative of the State and assured to support the programme till the goal is achieved. He thanked the Chief Minister for realizing the contribution of the slum dwellers to the society and in turn bringing dignity in their life.
Managing Director, OMIDYAR Network India Advisors, Ms Rupa Kudva appreciated the unmatched decision of Shri Naveen Patnaik’s Government and assured to give wide publicity to this historic initiative for replication by other States and countries.
Presiding over the function, Shri Niranjan Pujari, Minister, H&UD and Water Resources highlighted the efforts made by urban department in enacting the legislation and starting the commencement of the distribution of Land Rights Certificate in the committed timelines and assured to complete the entire process by December 2018. To institutionalize this initiative he mentioned that setting up of Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission –JAAGA will go a long way in transforming Slums into Liveable Habitats.
The other Ministers present in the occasion also thanked the Hon’ble Chief Minister for taking this noble decision, which will help around 10 lakh slum people of the State.
The legendary industrialist, educationist, philanthropist par excellence Mr. Tata lauded the decision of the Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik as “earth shaking” and “far-reaching”. He congratulated the entire State on this historic occasion and assured whole-hearted support of the Tata Trusts to convert the dream of Chief Minister into a reality. He also drew attention of all by mentioning Odisha as a progressive State that will certainly fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the slum dwellers who are the lifeline of the cities.
The renowned British architect Lord Norman Foster who attended this celebration on the request of Mr. Tata, mentioned in his address that a progressive political leader in India like Shri Naveen Patnaik, had the courage and wisdom to create such a ground breaking legislation. He mentioned that the new land owners whose certificates opened the doors to an era of positive change and security should definitely celebrate today. He also mentioned that this initiative will have a ripple effect not only in Odisha today but will give a signal to the global community for their involvement in this kind of like minded legislation.
The CM in his address thanked Mr. Ratan Tata and Lord Norman Foster and other dignitaries for their presence on this historic day. He mentioned that this day will be a ‘game changer’ for the brothers and sisters living in difficult conditions in the slums. He mentioned that his Government, is committed to empowering the slum dwellers instead of evicting them, realizing their immense contributions in shaping urban centres. He congratulated the beneficiaries who received the land right certificates and assured their upliftment through Odisha Livable Habitat Mission “JAAGA”.