Urban renewal joke, 1% housing achvd

Urban renewal a joke, only 1% housing target reached

Tushar Dhara
First Published : 25 Apr 2009 10:22:29 AM IST
Last Updated : 25 Apr 2009 02:29:54 PM IST

HYDERABAD: Every government in India has gloated about its achievements on providing housing to the urban poor.

But talk and implementation are two different things and, going by the track record, bear absolutely no relation with each other. Documents obtained from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) using the Right to Information Act show that the actual number of housing units completed in GHMC’s jurisdiction under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) is a little over 1 per cent of the target even three years after being sanctioned. That is, out of an ambitious target of 20,019 housing units sanctioned in 2006, only 224 have been fully completed and are ready for occupation.

The ambitious JNNURM was launched by the Union Government in 2005 to cater to cities and towns by building and upgrading urban infrastructure like roads, flyovers, drainage and drinking water projects. One of the sub-missions of the JNNURM is Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP) which aims to deliver basic civic amenities like water supply, sanitation, sewerage etc. One of the components of BSUP is to provide housing through integrated development of slums.

The scheme is called Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP). IHSDP combined the then existing VAMBAY and NSDP housing schemes to provide an integrated approach to ameliorate the conditions of urban slum dwellers who do not possess adequate shelter and reside in dilapidated structures. Specific colonies were identified under the scheme where the construction of housing units would be undertaken. There were specific time targets for the completion of houses. The latest target for completion of houses is April 2009 and the GHMC has been woefully inadequate in achieving it. Out of 2,550 houses which were supposed to be built by this month not a single house has been finished. The houses are in different stages of construction: 878 have not been started, 1,540 are in the foundation stage, 108 in the framework stage and 24 in the wall stage. The 15 localities where these houses were supposed to come up include Tirumalagiri, Nandanavanam II, Sashtri Nagar, Anna Nagar, Bandlaguda and some others.

Similarly, out of 5,803 housing units targeted for completion by September 2009, only 256 are in the foundation stage. The rest have literally not gotten off the ground in 16 localities including Road No 46 Jubilee Hills, Chilkalguda, BJR Nagar, Shamshiguda and Uppuguda.

Dr P Panduranga Rao, Engineer-in- Chief of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) said that the noncompletion of houses was due to problems like identifying suitable sites. He said that they could only begin construction when vacant sites were identified either in the existing slum areas or new ones. “Sometimes there are objections from the people themselves who do not want to move to new housing sites,” he said.

Panduranga Rao also said that GHMC was waiting for the government’s sanction for construction a certain number of houses. GHMC documents show that 11,290 houses are yet to receive this sanction.



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Filed under JNNURM, Land, Urban reforms Agenda

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