Following the recent floods and landslides in Maharashtra, the state government has developed a rehabilitation policy for people living in areas prone to flooding and landslides.
Sources said the policy – which is prepared for rural areas – proposes to give an option of relocation to safer areas or opting for compensation for land and transfer of land to the government.
One official said the policy proposes that district disaster management authorities (DDMA) identify dangerously placed areas and prepare a list of people to relocate to a safer location.
âThe location can be finalized by chatting with people. If people agree to move to safer places, their existing structures or land will be transferred on behalf of the government and the government will provide them with alternative housing and basic amenities. In case some people want to sell their land, the government will buy it according to the land acquisition standards, but they will not be able to enjoy the benefits of other housing, âan official said.
After the floods and landslides in July, Thackeray ordered that a comprehensive and permanent policy be formulated for citizens of landslide prone areas as well as those living inside the blue line, which is marked taking into account the maximum flood flow in 25 years. Last month, the state cabinet set aside Rs 7,000 crore for long-term flood mitigation measures.
The official said that after the dangerously placed areas are identified by the DDMAs, a technical committee will review them for approval and then the government will give it its final approval.
Another official said that people who will be relocated or who can opt to sell their structures to the government must have legal structures or they can be regularized according to existing standards. Those who opt to sell their structures will receive compensation five times more than their value, the official said.
The official also said it was to ensure that all those falling in the dangerously placed areas would be relocated. “In addition, the land will belong to the government, which can then be used for forestry as it cannot be used for housing,” the official said.
The official added that the rehabilitation policy would be finalized soon and could then be submitted to the state cabinet for approval.