The state government plans to sell nearly 30,000 houses situated in labour colonies across 18 different cities,including Lucknow,to raise around Rs 400 crore. Those living in these houses,including non-labourers,will have the option to purchase their houses.
A proposal in this regard will be soon tabled before the state cabinet for its approval.
UP has 30,643 houses in labour colonies. Most of them 18,015 are situated in 22 labour colonies in Kanpur,which is the industrial capital of the state. These colonies were constructed for people who worked in factories.
The construction was completed in 1952 with Central governments assistance. At most places,since the land was provided by the state government,their ownership was transferred to it. Labourers living in these colonies were allotted houses on nominal rent with their maintenance and upkeep managed by the Labour Department.
Now most of the factories have shut down and those who were allotted these houses have either died or left the city. Most of the houses are now in possession of illegal occupants,who acquired them from the labourers in lieu of money. Descendants of labourers are living in some of the houses. The rent is Rs 125 for a one-room set and Rs 235 for a two-room set. The total rent from these houses is Rs 5 crore annually,which is deposited with the Labour Department.
Earlier,an exercise for selling these houses was carried out by the state government,when the Labour Department offered to sell them to the residents in 1995. But no one came forward and the Labour Department stopped undertaking maintenance work at these colonies. Later,in 2011,the state government served eviction notices to the residents and stopped accepting rent.
However,the residents could not be evicted. Now the government has decided to sell the houses. Labourers or their descendants,and in some cases,government servants, who now occupy these houses,will be offered houses at the local circle rate fixed by the concerned district magistrate. However,illegal occupants who are in possession of these houses will have to pay double the circle rate.
The situation now is different from what it was 18 years ago. As the rates of property in cities have skyrocketed and the houses are now within city limits,the residents will purchase them. Our department has already held meetings with the residents and they are ready to purchase, an official from the Labour Department said.