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Odisha govt’s ‘JAGA Mission’ runs into controversy after steep rise in beneficiaries’ number

Bhubaneswar: The ‘JAGA Mission’, a project to give land titles to urban slum dwellers free of cost launched by Odisha Government in May this year, has now become a matter of contention after the number of beneficiaries increased by 8 lakh in just six months.

The Government, while launching the programme, had set a target to provide land patta to 10 lakh slum dwellers belonging to 2,500 slums in a year. However, the figure has shot up to 18 lakh in just six months, as advertised in today’s newspapers.

Now, question is doing round that on what criteria, more 8 lakh beneficiaries were selected and figured in the list within a span of six months.

The Tata Trust is extending technical support to the Liveable Habitat Mission (JAGA) by the way of drone surveys and slum mapping to identify beneficiaries.

On May 7 this year, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had rolled out the scheme at a special programme in Chhatrapur of Ganjam district in presence of Tata Trusts Chairman Ratan Tata and noted British architect Norman Foster in the first phase. Patnaik claimed to have distributed land pattas to 2,000 slum dwellers of nine urban local bodies in Ganjam and Puri districts.

The list of first phase beneficiaries has not yet been uploaded in government websites, which questioned the government’s transparency claim. at a time when the Chief Minister is preaching three 3T formula- teamwork, transparency and technology.

The controversy involving the number of beneficiaries came to fore on Thursday after advertisements issued by the Housing and Urban Development Department showed that 18 lakh slum residents will be benefitted under the scheme.

Later in the day, Chief Minister Patnaik distributed land right certificates to slum dwellers at a State-level function in Puri.

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