Chairman Saifullah Khan, at a press briefing on Friday, said that the government should rehabilitate the slum dwellers that are to be evicted soon following High Court directions. “These are poor people. We should rehabilitate them under the 15-point programme,” said Khan. He said that eviction notices had been issued to occupants of around 370 illegal structures.
When asked whether all those involved in illegal encroachments in the state should be rehabilitated, Khan said that the illegal encroachments should not be allowed to come up in the first place. When pressed as to who can ensure this, he said the local panch, councillor or MLA can.
There have been allegations that vote-bank politics protected the Moti Dongor slum for many years, as many of the slums there have the blessings of former CM and Margao MLA Digambar Kamat. When questioned why Kamat was yet to speak on the issue, Khan said “he has assured us that a good lawyer will be provided.”
Khan said that most slum areas in the state are inhabited by Muslims and minorities, and questioned why slum-clearing happens only under BJP rule. He cited the Baina and St Inez slums as examples of past clearing of slums.