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Encroachers to get houses under State’s new rehabilitation rules

The State government has drawn up a fresh set of guidelines for the rehabilitation of thousands of people affected by works under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP).

The new set of rules, designed by the Urban Development Department (UDD), has directed implementing agencies to ensure rehabilitation of encroachers on acquired land as opposed to the earlier guideline of paying them cash as compensation.

Encroachers will now be provided a housing unit along with over 19,000 project affected persons (PAPs), who are likely to be displaced by the MUTP.

Officials said the new rules were framed to complete the land acquisition process on time and meet the deadlines set for the projects. Enroachers have occupied most tracts of land the government is looking to acquire for the projects.

According to the guidelines, initially prepared by the Revenue Department in coordination with the UDD in May 2018, encroachers and PAPs will be given 269 square foot housing units in return for their land.

Compensation option

The policy says that if the implementing authority is not able to provide housing, then a compensation equivalent to the prevailing market rate should be handed over to the encroachers. A 300 square foot unit will be given if the encroachment falls under the jurisdiction of a council or a village.

The MUTP was formed with the assistance of the World Bank to improve transport infrastructure in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Three projects are being constructed under MUTP-2: two extra lines between Diva and Thane and Kurla and CSMT, and six lines between Borivali and Mumbai Central.

MUTP-3, which will displace 9,500 people, has received Rs. 519 crore in this year’s rail budget. Work has started on quadrupling the Dahanu-Virar line and building a new railway corridor between Airoli and Kalwa.

R.S. Khurana, chairman and managing director of Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation, said, “We were waiting for the State resolution. As we did with MUTP-1 and MUTP-2, we will proceed with the Resettlement & Rehabilitation of MUTP-3.”

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