Bhubaneswar: The Odisha chief minister, Naveen Patnaik,  Tuesday announced that the  slum dwellers in urban areas of the state would be given land rights.

Patnaik, while briefing about the decision of the state cabinet, which met under his chairmaship on Tusday, said that the government has approved promulgation two ordinances for assigning land rights or property rights to the identified slum dwellers for redevelopment, rehabilitation and up-gradation of slums. As far as practicable, he added, efforts will be made to provide these rights on an in situ basis.

While the landless slum dwellers in NACs would be provide 600 sq ft land  those living in municipal areas would get 350 sq ft land. The urban poor in slums will get land rights for residential use, that are habitable, mortgageble,  and non-transferable. According to him, in corporation areas limited transferable rights will be given.

“It has been persistent effort of my government to bring about growth that is inclusive and empowering. Today’s decision will be a landmark step in this regard–setting a benchmark for the entire country,” Patnaik asserted.

The emotion with which Naveen announced the cabinet’s decision clearly hints at an early urban local bodies elections in the state. Even though the urban poll is due in 2018, Naveen may prepone it assert his popularity in the state.

“Today’s cabinet is dedicated to all such people”, he said filled with emotions.  “Today we had the cabinet for the people who are the lifeline of our cities and towns. They are the silent ones who keep our home secure and comfortable. It is because of their sacrifice and hard work the kitchens run and the gardens bloom, the city breathe and we feel secure”.