A state-level function on the commencement of distribution of Land Right certificates to slum dwellers under the ‘The Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Act, 2017’ and launching of ‘Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission – JAAGA’ at Chatrapur in Ganjam district on Monday with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as well as Mr Ratan Tata describing it as a historic event.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said “ my happiness rests in the happiness of the poor”. It is a historic day and a model for the entire world, he claimed. Mr Ratan Tata too praised the decision to accord land rights to slum dwellers as “earth shaking” and “far-reaching”.

It is a move that will provide entitlement and identity to the slum dwellers, he observed. Elaborate arrangements were made in all the towns across the state to view the live telecast of this event announcing the government’s intent to provide land rights and entitilement to slum dwellers in all towns.

Around 2,000 beneficiaries issued land right certificates on Monday alongwith sanction order for construction of house under Odisha Urban Housing Mission “Awaas”.

The slums will be equipped with all urban amenities such as water supply, road, drains, sanitation, street lights, healthcare, livelihood etc. under Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission.

Famous British Architect Lord Norman Foster along with Lady Foster, Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman Tata Trusts, Dr. Gautam Bhan, faculty member of IIHS, Rupa Kudva, Managing Director OMIDYAR Network India Advisors and several Ministers, MPs and MLAs were present.

Mr. R Venkatramanan, Managing Trustee, Tata Trusts welcomed the initiative of the State and assured to support the programme till the goal is achieved. Urban Development Minister, Niranjan Pujari, committed to complete the entire process by December 2018.

To institutionalize this initiative he mentioned that setting up of Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission –JAAGA will go a long way in transforming Slums into Liveable Habitats.

It will benefit 10 lakh slum dwellers in the state. The renowned British architect Lord Norman Foster who attended this celebration on the request of Mr. Tata, mentioned in his address said the legislation to accord land rights to slum dwellers is a groundbreaking one.

He mentioned that the new landowners whose certificates opened the doors to an era of positive change and security should definitely celebrate on Monday.

He also mentioned that this initiative will have a ripple effect not only in Odisha on Monday but will give a signal to the global community for their involvement in this kind of like-minded legislation.