Apparently eyeing the elections, Maharashtra government today announced "slum transfer policy" which makes the present occupant of a house in a slum the beneficiary of the redevelopment scheme. It also announced that 138 gram-panchayats situated at the tehsil headquarters would be upgraded to municipal councils.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan made these announcements in both Houses of the State Legislature here. The slum transfer policy would ensure that any structure that has come up prior to January 1, 1995 gets benefits of the slum redevelopment projects, even though it has changed hands.
As a result, the present occupant would get the benefit of the redevelopment scheme. "With the slum transfer policy, the transfer of the protected structure will be legalised and will go a long way in making Mumbai slum-free," he said.
Chavan also announced that 429 medicines from essential drug list and 107 medicines from the essential consumables list would be provided free to those getting treatment at the health centres and hospitals governed by the public health department. These medicines include drugs for cancer and heart ailments. There would be no upper income bar for beneficiaries. The annual budget of the scheme would be Rs 510.60 crore, he said, adding all the health centres and hospitals under the public health department will be prescription-free.
The scheme would come into force from March 1.
The Chief Minister said that rural areas were urbanising fast and the government wanted that to happen in a planned manner as per the guidelines of the Centre's Urban Development Plans, Formulation and Implementation policy.
He said the state government was empowered to give the status of municipal council to villages with population of more than 25,000, with more than 35% of it dependent on non-agricultural industries.
Using this provision, 138 gram-panchayats situated at the tehsil headquarters will be upgraded to municipal councils.