for a slum-free India to roll out by January
Monday December 06, 2010 02:15:12 PM,
With around 93.06 million people projected to live in slums across
India by 2011, the ambitious Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) meant to
provide housing to the urban poor is expected to roll out by
January, officials say.
Under the ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation, RAY -
a scheme to give shelter to the homeless - aims to make the
country free of slums.
"We intend to go to the cabinet with the scheme parameters by the
end of this month. Once the cabinet approves the scheme, the
ministry will decide the date for its launch. We hope to launch it
in the next two months but certainly before the end of this
fiscal," a senior ministry official told IANS.
Official sources said the parameters of the scheme were considered
by the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) of the finance ministry
in the last week of October and based on its observations, the
housing ministry is likely to move the cabinet.
The ministry had sought over Rs.6,000 crore (Rs. 60 billion) from
the EFC for the remaining period of the 11th Plan.
President Pratibha Patil, in her address to the joint session of
parliament in June 2009, had announced the government's intention
to launch RAY and make India slum-free in five years. According to
the committee's report to the ministry submitted in September,
India's slum population is projected to rise to 93.06 million by
2011 (7.75 percent of total population).
The preparatory phase of the project began in March this year and
states were required to prepare a plan of action based on
geographic information system-enabled mapping for specific cities
to be made slum-free, the official said.
Unlike previous schemes, RAY seeks to provide property rights to
slum dwellers. The ministry has already prepared a model law on
property rights which will be sent to states close to the scheme's
The official added that the project's success depended on the will
of state governments. "The states will have to align their laws to
provide property rights to slum dwellers," he said.
An amount of about Rs.10 lakh crore (Rs.10 trillion) would be
needed to address the housing shortage in urban areas, 98 percent
of which pertains to the economically weakers sections, ministry
Tthe government is likely to use the public-private partnership
(PPP) model to build infrastructure under the project.
"The central government cannot be expected to bear the entire
expenditure. Private sector participation will be needed," the
He said while it was largely for the states to finalise the terms
of PPP, the ministry was working out a pattern of funding so as to
fix the share of states and the central government.
The ministry has also decided to be more inclusive in defining
slums and responded positively to the suggestion of an expert
committee which said a contiguous area with 20-25 households
having slum-like characteristics be considered as slums.
Officials said states will be required to continue the three
reforms being carried out under the JNNURM (Jawharlal Nehru
National Urban Renewal Mission) for the urban poor - internal
earmarking within local body budgets for basic services,
earmarking at least 20-25 percent of developed land in all housing
projects and provision of basic amenities.
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