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Decks Cleared For Sahakarnagar Housing Scheme in Vadodara

The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) has cleared the decks for the Sahakarnagar housing scheme where 1,428 dwelling and 78 houses were razed by the civic body in July 2017 forcing thousands to stay on rent. No development was seen in the housing scheme that was being developed as an in situ housing project on the public-private partnership mode under the Pradhan Mantri Aavas Yojana. The developer was to construct houses in high-rise buildings for the residents of Sahakarnagar and monetise the remaining portion of the land where the settlement existed. The project had hit a roadblock when it came to light that a part of the land was earmarked as a pond on records.

On records, the pond measured about 4,200 square metres out of the total 44,304 square metres land available at the site. On site, officials and ousted residents say, it was much smaller. It had been filled and encroached over the years. The developer who had got the contract paid rent to the beneficiaries for a long time, but discontinued doing so.

A public interest litigation was also filed regarding the scheme encroaching on the water body. Vadodara mayor Keyur Rokadiya said that after marathon meetings with officials and the developer, the VMC had decided to give land in lieu of the area occupied by the pond. Besides the pond, a margin of nine metres will also have to be left around the pond as per rules. Rokadiya said that three plots adjoining the Sahakarnagar land had been identified and these will be given to the realtor.

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