Pilot project to remove encroachments near railway tracks
New Delhi: In order to remove encroachments along tracks, Railways will construct special low-cost houses for slum dwellers in Mumbai, Sealdah, Siliguri, Tiruchirapalli and Delhi.
Aptly named 'Sukhi Griha' scheme, the project entails construction of low-cost houses for slum dwellers, who are residing near the tracks thus affecting the smooth movement of trains.
"We have undertaken steps for removal of encroachments by giving them small shelters through Sukhi Griha Scheme and also through other central schemes. The Sukhi Griha scheme aims for slum dwellers' rehabilitation and resettlement in a planned manner," said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Poverty drives many people to live dangerously near railway tracks and often risk their lives. "These dwellers also affect smooth movement of trains. So we have adopted a human approach for removing encroachments along the tracks," the official said.
At present, there are about 1,34,841 encroachments reported on railway land.
Railways have approximately 4.31 hectares of land, out of which about 981 hectares of total land holding, are under encroachment.
According to data prepared by the Railway Ministry, over 220 hectares of railway land have been encroached in the Northern Zone, followed by 167 hectares in Northeast Frontier Zone and 162 hectares in South Eastern Zone.
Railways have shelled out Rs 22 crore for Mumbai and Rs 11 crore for Delhi under the scheme till now. "Funds will be provided for other cities also as detailed rehabilitation plans are being worked out with states concerned," said the official.
The scheme was announced in the Rail Budget 2011-12 by then Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Besides this, railways has also taken up the issue with Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ministry to arrive at a solution to relocate slums under the Rajiv Awas Yojna in cooperation with the state governments concerned.