BHUBANESWAR: A delegation of slum leaders from the city-located Salia Sahi on Tuesday met Governor Dr SC Jamir and pressed for their demand of providing land pattas as land rights to the occupants of the Salia Sahi slum.
Under the banner of the Salia Sahi Samuhika Vikash Parishad, the delegation led by Parishad chief patron Sasmit Patra and president Alok Pariccha also placed before the Governor the need for a hospital and a high school at Salia Sahi to facilitate health and educational services for the one lakh strong population living in the heart of the city.
Besides, the Government’s apathy in not providing BPL cards to the eligible households in the slum was also highlighted during the talks with the Governor. This would lead to greater agony for the slum dwellers as they would not benefit from the provisions of the Food Security Bill by the UPA Government. The Governor promised to look into the issues.
The delegation also comprising of Parishad secretary Alok Digal, treasurer Dharmendra Digal and executive member Bibhu Mallick expressed their pain before the Governor that despite having requested for a meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, they were yet to hear from the Chief Minister’s Office.
Speaking to the media, Dr Sasmit Patra said, “Salia Sahi and about 300 smaller slums in and around Bhubaneswar are the lifeline of human capital which runs the city’s functional maintenance services. From households to offices, cars to buses, schools to canteens, it’s these slum dwellers that make life easier for the posh city-dwellers. But while the city is progressing, these poor slum dwellers are being denied their basic rights.”
He said that though the Congress Government in 1998 drew up a rehabilitation plan, it has not been implemented so far. Before the 2000 elections, promise was made to the Salia Sahi residents that they would be provided land pattas which was reiterated before the 2004 and 2009 elections and during successive municipal elections. The ruling BJD treats Salia Sahi as a vote-bank to be used and forgotten.