Slum Areas improvement and clearance Act

The Slum Areas improvement and clearance Act 1956

The act focuses on improvement and clearance of slum areas in certain Union Territories and protection of tenants in such areas from eviction. Apart from this identification and notification of slum areas, slum improvement area & declaration of slum clearance area.

Description of Slum

Under this act slum is defined as an area unfit for human habitation because of dilapidated buildings, overcrowding, faulty arrangement and design of buildings, narrowness or faulty arrangement of streets, lack of ventilation, light or sanitation facilities or any other combination of these factors.

Dilapidated building can be assessed on its basis of repair, stability, freedom from damp, natural light & air, water supply, drainage & sanitary conveniences.

Improvement (if possible) & Cost

If the building is found to be unfit for human habitation & improvement can be done at reasonable cost then competent authority may issue a notice to the owner of the property for necessary repair & improvement. In case the improvement is carried out by the authority then the expense will be recovered from building owners by means of rent, recovery from occupiers of building, by land revenue etc.

Demolition & Redevelopment

Buildings which cannot be repaired within reasonable cost then the authority is required to serve a notice within 30 days of inspection & demolition can be carried out only after 6 weeks of expiration of the notice.

In areas where demolition order has passed/ demolition taken place no redevelopment can take place without approval of competent authority.

Land Acquisition & Compensation

Land acquisition will be done by central government after providing information & discussion with land owner. The notice of land acquisition is required to be published in Official Gazette.

This act provides right to receive compensation for every person having any interest in any land acquired under this act by central government.

Basis for determining compensation –

  • Amount equal to 60 times the net average monthly income actually derived from such land during the period of 5 consecutive years
  • Amount mentioned in the notice which may be accepted or rejected
  • If the amount mentioned in notice is rejected & higher amount is demanded then appeal can be made to administrator.

In case there are more than 1 person claiming the amount then the amount will be divided between the claimants.

Protection of tenants in Slum areas & powers of officials

Tenant slum areas cannot be cleared/evicted without permission of the competent authority. No person can execute eviction without approval from competent authority. The order of eviction will only be provided after giving opportunity to tenant of being heard.

This act also details out the powers of competent authority to carryout inspection & surveys of the area to identify them as fit for human habitation or unfit for human habitation. The person carrying out inspection has the authority to gain forceful entry to building after getting permission from authority & informing land/building owner.

Apart from this penalties under this act have been provided for building/land owners who disobey the order from competent authority.

Read about: What is a Slum, Human Poverty Index (HPI)

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