The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed concerns over the living conditions of slum dwellers in Mumbai and issued notices to the Maharashtra government and the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs seeking their responses.
Maharashtra responded, through its Chief Secretary, that several efforts have been made and schemes formulated to provide dwelling units to the slum dwellers for Economically Weaker Sections with the State and Central assistance under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna (Urban), PMAY (U). Shortage of funds has been cited as a constraint, NHRC said in a statement on Friday.
The Centre on its part responded that out of 2.24 lakh houses in Maharashtra, 2 lakh were sanctioned for Mumbai alone, out of which 58,225 have been grounded. The Commission has sought a response from the Secretary, Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to give a comprehensive report.
He has been given four weeks’ time, the Commission added.
The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in its communication dated December 3, 2021, submitted that the Land and Colonization are State subjects. The Centre is augmenting the efforts of the State to meet the housing needs of economically weaker sections in urban areas through Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna-Urban (PMAY-U).
Earlier in June last year, while dealing with a plea filed by human rights activist Adv Radhakanta Tripathy, the NHRC had sought response from the secretaries of various central ministries including Home, Health and Housing, and Urban Poverty Alleviation, over the plight of millions of homeless people and children during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Millions of homeless people, including lakhs of children on the street have been suffering immensely for a long time due to the virus and subsequent lockdown measures, the activist’s plea contended.