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Dharavi Redevelopment: 'Land transfer is to Maha govt, not the developer Adani Group'



Mumbai, June 16 (IANS) The ongoing Dharavi redevelopment project does not involve any land transfer to Adani Group but it was only to the Maharashtra government’s Dharavi Redevelopment Project/Slum Rehabilitation Authority (DRP/SRA).

The Dharavi Redevelopment Project Private Ltd (DRPPL), which is a joint venture between the Maharashtra Government and Adani Group, is a developer of housing and commercial tenements and it will hand over the same to DRP/SRA of the state government to allocate as per survey findings.

Sources have strongly denied the recent allegations made by Mumbai North Central MP Varsha Gaikwad over the allotment of land for rehabilitation of Dharavi residents within Mumbai.

Sources said that as per the tender, while land remains and stands allocated to DRP/SRA at rates decided by the government, DRPPL has to pay to the government as per demand just for development.

This is as per tender scheme.

In return, DRPPL will get development rights.

The state support agreement, which is part of the tender document, clearly states that, state government will support the project by giving land to their own DRP/SRA department.

The details of multiple and important government resolutions on Dharavi Redevelopment have been conveyed multiple times to the concerned MP.

These include GRs (government resolutions) of 2018 and later of 2022, which gives absolute clarity about the proposed redevelopment of Dharavi and the ensuing rehabilitation of Dharavikars.

As far as the Railway land is concerned, it was allocated to DRP even before tendering for which DRPPL has paid a whopping premium of 170 per cent to the prevailing ready reckoner rates.

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And additionally, is developing a world class township there. The allegations that Dharavikars will be thrown out of Dharavi and rendered homeless are pure fiction and a mere figment to create anxiety among masses.

The government’s GR of 2022 depicts a unique condition that each and every tenement holder of Dharavi, eligible or ineligible, will be given a home, a copy of which is also publicly available.

“No Dharavikar will be displaced under the DRP/SRA scheme. This is a unique provision compared to regular SRA scheme wherein only eligible tenement holders were provided a house of up to 300 square feet and it remains in all previous government dispensations,” a source said.

Under the Dharavi redevelopment project, the tenement holders will be provided a house of 350 square feet, which is 17 per cent more than any other SRA scheme in Mumbai.

According to sources, the Dharavi Redevelopment Tender is one of the most progressive in terms of its outlook towards informal settlers of Dharavi.

It is completely pro-people which includes free and highly concessional housing, stamp duty and property tax exemption, ten-year free maintenance and a ten percent commercial area in residential premises to enable the prospective housing societies to have a sustainable revenue stream in addition to the corpus being provided, sources submitted.

The GRs of 2018, 2022 and the tender clearly spells out eligibility for in-situ rehabilitation for tenements in existence on ground floor before January 1, 2000.

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Those existing on higher floors and beyond, up to January 1, 2011, will be allotted homes under PMAY outside Dharavi anywhere within MMR for just Rs 2.5 lakh or rental housing as per policy of government of Maharashtra.

Tenements which came into existence between January 1, 2011 and date to be announced by the government of Maharashtra will get homes under state government’s proposed affordable rental home policy with an option of hire-purchase.

The demand for 500 square feet for an informal settlement has no such precedence in Mumbai’s slum redevelopment schemes and thus is only being promoted to cause anxiety among people.

For the eligible tenements of businesses, the government scheme provides for a proper free of cost business place as also a five-year state GST rebate is offered which will result in boosting their profitability, usher them into the formal economy, make them more competitive and offer them multiple growth opportunities.

On deliverables, the tender has put stringent timelines and any violation will attract penalties.

On the allegation that the allotment of a Kurla land was done without following due process by the state government, sources clarified that the facts are otherwise.

Firstly, the land is going to be given to DRP and not Adani Group nor DRPPL.

The process under Maharashtra land Revenue (Disposal of Government Lands) Rules, 1971 was duly followed before issuance of the relevant GR.

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“The actual concern and fear of the MP is not for the people of Dharavi or their betterment. The opposition and spreading of such fake narratives is being driven only for electoral ambition to keep the people of Dharavi stay the way they have been with poor or little to almost zero access to basic amenities to lead a dignified life. That is the reason why for so many decades no action was taken to build proper housing for Dharavikars,” said a source.

The MP (referring to Varsha Gaikwad) is also attempting to build a false narrative and throw a spanner in the works of the state government’s scheme to redevelop Dharavi even as its residents are waiting for better houses with world-class amenities for several decades, sources added.

The Dharavi Redevelopment Project is a first-of-its-kind initiative that seeks to transform the locality into a world-class city, creating a sustainable and thriving neighborhood while preserving its timeless essence.

The project seeks to improve the quality of life for over one million residents of Dharavi through a human-centric approach.

Also, a number of additional initiatives are being integrated towards sustainable multi modal transport systems, state of art infra on utilities.

Additionally, vocational based skilling is being planned for youth and other wage aspirants of Dharavi to improve their earning potential and facilitate them jobs, which will give them opportunities which are more eco-friendly and benign.



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Eyeing Assembly poll, Ajit Pawar discusses seat-sharing with HM Shah




Mumbai, July 14 (IANS) Buoyed by the victory of its two candidates in the biennial election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council held on Friday, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Saturday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and discussed a range of issues including crucial seat-sharing among the MahaYuti partners for the upcoming assembly election, a road map to further strengthen the alliance to take on the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and the crop loan waiver for farmers.

Confirming Pawar’s meeting with Shah, sources from NCP on Sunday said, “It is very clear that MahaYuti will together contest the ensuing assembly election in Maharashtra with full force and strength with a sole objective of retaining the power. Shah has ruled out the possibility of the BJP going solo or severing links with the NCP or with Shiv Sena. A veteran BJP leader and Union home minister also clarified that the BJP will give due justice to the allies including Shiv Sena and NCP in the seat-sharing with winnability as the leading criteria.”

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The sources added that MahaYuti’s victory over nine seats in the state council election has boosted the morale of its party workers, especially after the dismal performance in the Lok Sabha elections.

The timing of Pawar’s meeting is crucial as Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had reportedly held a similar meeting with Shah a fortnight ago. Shinde, who will lead the MahaYuti in the upcoming assembly election, has been calling the shots after he won seven of the 15 seats fought in the Lok Sabha elections.

Shinde is believed to have conveyed to the BJP that Shiv Sena is keen to contest 100 seats in the Assembly election. Shinde’s proposal came after pressures mounted on the BJP from the cadres to not contest less than 150 seats considering its victory on 106 seats in the 2009 assembly elections.

Against this backdrop, Pawar’s meeting was all the more significant as the NCP has been repeatedly reminding the BJP that it was promised 90 Assembly seats when it joined MahaYuti in July 2022. If BJP is staking claim over 150 seats and Shinde on 100 seats then NCP will be left with 38 seats which will be unacceptable for it.

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As per the sources, Shah has reiterated that MahaYuti will remain intact.

Pawar, who as the state finance minister has proposed a slew of freebies and sops to farmers, women, youth, industry and varied sections in the budget, has also made a strong case for the waiver in crop loan in a bid to give much-needed relief to farmers who are in distress due to damage to their crops in the wake of natural calamities and market variations in the prices of agricultural produces.

The deputy CM brought to Shah’s notice that the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government had implemented a crop loan waiver scheme but MahaYuti covered and gave benefits to the farmers who were repaying their loans regularly. Pawar’s suggestion is important as during 2023-24, agriculture and allied sectors are expected to grow by a paltry 1.9 per cent against 4.5 per cent in 2022-23.



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Manipur: CRPF trooper killed, 3 cops injured after militants ambush joint patrol party




Imphal, July 14 (IANS) A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan was killed and three other security personnel got injured when suspected militants ambushed a joint patrol party with the state police in Manipur’s Jiribam district on Sunday, police said.

The three injured include a CRPF jawan and two Manipur police personnel.

A police official in Imphal said that the joint patrol party came under heavy fire from the hilltop by suspected militants at Morbung village of Jiribam district bordering Assam.

The CRPF troopers were inside a patrol SUV when the suspected insurgents opened fire, the police official said, adding that the vehicle was later found with bullet holes and its windshield shattered.

The security personnel retaliated and the militants took shelter in the forest of the mountainous terrain.

A combing operation is now going on and additional forces have rushed to the areas.

The injured security personnel were quickly evacuated and are currently under medical treatment in the government hospital.

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Sunday’s incident was the second militant attack on the security forces in Manipur in five weeks.

On June 10, suspected militants attacked the advance security convoy of Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh in the state’s Kangpokpi district and a security personnel was injured in the attack.

The advance security convoy was on its way to the trouble-torn Jiribam district on June 10 ahead of the Chief Minister’s scheduled visit to the state’s bordering district with Assam which recently witnessed violence.

The advance convoy was attacked near Kotlen village on the Imphal-Jiribam National Highway (NH-37).

Jiribam witnessed a wave of violence after the killing of 59-year-old farmer Soibam Saratkumar Singh on June 6.

The Jiribam violence led to around 900 tribals belonging to the Kuki and Hmar communities taking shelter at the homes of relatives and friends in two villages in the Cachar district of southern Assam, while around 1,000 people, mostly belonging to the Meitei community, are now sheltered in seven relief camps in Jiribam.

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Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh CMs discuss cooperation for progress of states




Mumbai, July 14 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday met his Maharashtra counterpart Eknath Shinde at the latter’s official residence ‘Varsha’, during which they decided to strengthen cooperation for the development of the two states.

TDP chief Naidu and Shiv Sena leader Shinde discussed the political scenario, especially after the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) formed the government for the record third term.

Incidentally, Shiv Sena and TDP are two crucial allies in the NDA.

The Chief Minister’s Office said, “Both CMs held detailed discussions on boosting development by increasing cooperation between the two states. They discussed a wide range of issues relating to infrastructure development, interlinking of rivers, allocation of river water and further increasing the cultural cooperation between the two states.”

Civil Aviation Minister Kinjarapu Ram Mohan Naidu, Maharashtra Public Works Department Minister Dada Bhuse and Shiv Sena MP and CM Shinde’s son Shrikant Shinde also attended the meeting.

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J&K: Youth jumps in Chenab, body found in Pakistan




Jammu, July 14 (IANS) The body of a youth who reportedly ended his life by jumping into river Chenab in Akhnoor area of Jammu district, was recovered in Pakistan. His family sought the Prime Minister’s intervention to bring back his body.

Officials said that a youth named Harash Nagotra went missing on June 11 while his motorcycle was found on the banks of the Chenab in Akhnoor.

The family lodged a missing report in the concerned police station and preliminary investigation revealed that the youth might have ended his life by jumping into the river.

Before he went missing, he had lost Rs 80,000 through an online gaming app.

The family got to know about Nagotra’s death through a WhatsApp message from a Pakistani official.

“Subash, father of the youth, said that he had got the WhatsApp message from a Pakistani official who said he was working in the post-mortem department. The official told the family that the youth’s body had been recovered from a canal in Sialkot area of Pakistani Punjab on June 13,” officials said.

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“The relatives of the youth said that they have written to the PMO, Ministry of External Affairs and MHA. The family has appealed to the Prime Minister to intervene and get the body of the youth back to India for last rites,” officials said.



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Bengal govt avoiding 'tiff' with Raj Bhavan for oath of 4 newly elected MLAs




Kolkata, July 14 (IANS) After the recent controversies over the oath ceremony of the two legislators elected from Baranagar and Bhagawangola, the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal is cautious this time to avoid any tiff with Raj Bhavan over the swearing-in ceremony of the four newly elected MLAs.

In a clean sweep, Trinamool won all four constituencies in the Assembly bypolls the results of which were declared on Saturday.

Insiders from the state cabinet said that the right protocol for approaching Governor V. Ananda Bose will be followed strictly to get the latter’s nod for the oath ceremony of the four newly elected MLAs namely Madhuparna Thakur from Bagda, Supti Pandey from Maniktala, Krishnas Kalyani from Raiganj and Dr Mukut Mani Adhikari from Ranaghat-Dakshin.

A communique from the state Parliamentary Affairs department will be sent to the office of the Governor this week only, where the latter will be requested to either administer the oath ceremony of the four newly elected MLAs or nominate anyone for the same, said a member of the state cabinet who refused to be named.

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As per the protocol, such initial communique regarding the oath-ceremony of newly elected MLAs has to go to the office of the Governor from the office of the state Parliamentary affairs minister.

However, in the earlier case of Sayantika Banerjee from Baranagar and Reyat Houssen Sarkar from Bhagawangola, the initial communique was sent from the office of the assembly Speaker and the assembly secretary.

The state cabinet member further said that the reaction from the Governor will determine the next course of action and if the Governor adopts the same path of prolonging the process, the Speaker of the House using his own authority under Section 5 of Chapter 2 of the ‘Rules of Business’ of the state assembly, will himself administer the oath-ceremony of the four newly elected MLAs at any forthcoming session of the House.

In the cases of Sayantika Banerjee and Reyat Houssen Sarkar, a special one-day session of the assembly had to be convened for the Speaker to administer their oath ceremony. However, in the case of the four newly elected MLAs that special session will not be necessary as the oath ceremony can be conducted in the forthcoming monsoon session of the assembly resuming this month — probably from July 22.

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However, in that case too uncertainties will prevail on how far the four elected MLAs will be able to participate in the proceedings of the House in the backdrop of Article 193 of the Indian Constitution which gives the power to the Governor to impose such a financial penalty on newly elected MLAs participating in the assembly proceedings or even occupying their allotted seats in the House without the ascent of the Governor.



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