Mumbai, Feb 1 (IANS) To resolve the pending issue of homes for Mumbai's mill-workers, the Maharashtra government Friday said it would give them land in their native villages for constructing houses.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan made the announcement after consulting representatives of mill workers, social workers and government officials from various departments here Friday afternoon.
Chavan said that in view of shortage of land in Mumbai, it would be impossible to accommodate all the mill workers here.
"We can provide land to the mill workers in their native districts and allot some rental flats currently being constructed by the MMRDA," Chavan said.
However, the mill workers are opposed to this on grounds that the flats being built by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) are only 160 square feet in area.
Girni Kamgar Sangharsh Samiti general secretary Pravin Ghag demanded that these flats should be combined and made 320 square feet each and then allotted to the mill workers.
Chavan agreed to consider the proposal.
After the meeting, Ghag said that nearly 148,000 mill workers have applied for homes. Of them, 93,000 want homes in Mumbai while the rest are willing to move out of Mumbai.
"The government has given flats to only 7,000 mill workers. Nearly 140,000 workers are yet to be rehabilitated. It's a stupendous task for which we have been fighting for the past 25 years," Ghag told IANS.
"Chavan also directed the setting up of a committee to examine the housing issue and finalise the policy within three months," Ghag said.