Low-rental houses for poor: HC asks de­tail plan from Pun­jab, Hry, UT

‘STATES’ DUTY’ Also seeks de­tails of bud­get sanc­tioned as part of Cen­tre’s ₹20 lakh crore pack­age

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HTSPOTLIGH­T - Suren­der Sharma n suren­der.sharma@htlive.com

CHANDIGARH : The high court on Tues­day di­rected the Pun­jab, Haryana gov­ern­ments and the Chandigarh ad­min­is­tra­tion to give de­tails on their plan to con­struct low-rental houses for labour­ers and slum dwellers as part of the Cen­tre’s Rs 20 lakh crore eco­nomic stim­u­lus to help thou­sands of mi­grants hit by Covid-19.

“The states are bound to pro­vide low-rental hous­ing and food to women and chil­dren liv­ing in colonies in view of Ar­ti­cle 21 of the Con­sti­tu­tion that pro­vides for pro­tec­tion and life with dig­nity to ev­ery ci­ti­zen. Now the states have to take a de­ci­sion on im­ple­ment­ing the Cen­tre’s de­ci­sion so that crime rate does not in­crease,” the bench of jus­tice

Ritu Bahri said dur­ing the re­sumed hear­ing of a pend­ing case wherein the court is mon­i­tor­ing so­cial and eco­nomic wel­fare schemes for chil­dren and women in the two states and the union ter­ri­tory.

The bench un­der­lined that de­spite the lock­down and

The states are bound to pro­vide low-rental hous­ing and food to women and chil­dren liv­ing in colonies in view of Ar­ti­cle 21 of the Con­sti­tu­tion that pro­vides for pro­tec­tion and life with dig­nity to ev­ery ci­ti­zen.

HIGH COURT BENCH

re­stric­tive func­tion­ing of courts, the mat­ter is be­ing taken up in view of cen­tral govern­ment’s de­ci­sion.

The de­tails have been sought by May 28.

The Chandigarh ad­min­is­tra­tion had told the court that that it had 5,500 fam­i­lies liv­ing in var­i­ous ‘kutcha’ colonies in Sec­tor-25, Maloya, Pal­sora etc.

It also in­formed the court that land for con­struc­tion of houses has been iden­ti­fied and the file is pend­ing with the Cen­tre.

The bench di­rected the cen­tral govern­ment’s coun­sel to ap­prise it on next date of hear­ing as to why file is not be­ing cleared, es­pe­cially in the wake of re­cent de­ci­sion.

It was pointed out that the cost of land is very high in Chandigarh. The court, how­ever, opined that the cost of the land can­not be made a ba­sis for con­struc­tion of houses of labour­ers and slum dwellers keep­ing in view the present sit­u­a­tion.

“Now, the UT ad­min­is­tra­tion should take a de­ci­sion on im­ple­ment­ing the Cen­tre’s de­ci­sion,” the bench ob­served.

Be­sides, the re­spon­dents were di­rected to pro­vide de­tails of the bud­get sanc­tioned for the same and how the funds will be used.

They were also told to list out the steps taken to pro­vide uni­form to safai karam­charis col­lect­ing garbage and mid-day meal to women and chil­dren in colonies where there is no an­gan­wari.

The court also sug­gested that the states con­sider buy­ing of veg­eta­bles from farm­ers and dis­trib­ute the same labour­ers/ slum dwellers by rop­ing in non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions (NGOs).

The UT ad­min­is­tra­tion was also told to ap­prise the court of the wages paid to these safai karam­charis. It has also to de­tail the process of giv­ing ra­tion to the labour­ers in colonies.

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