Slum Rehabilitation Under the JNNURM Programme
Samarthan is currently involved in advocating a participatory approach in planning for slum rehabilitation under JNNURM’s ‘Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme’ (IHSDP). A field study of the programme implementation in Bhopal and discussions with the beneficiary community corroborate the need for this approach.
The absence of a participatory approach and hence a lack of understanding of the needs of the community to be rehabilitated, has been primarily responsible for the following issues that need to be addressed on an urgent basis
- The design of dwelling units and the layout planning of the housing must be based on a proper understanding of the socio-economic profile of the users. The poor quality of construction and the inappropriate design of units is the cause for both social and economic setbacks to the rehabilitated community. The housing constructed for rehabilitation are already turning into another slum.
- The absence of an integrated livelihood programme, parallel to the housing construction has caused (often severe), setbacks to families, in particular the daily wage workers, in terms of livelihood and earning.
The rehabilitated family’s capacity to cope with the additional costs of living in the social housing, as compared to their former residence in the slums is further burdened by loss of earning. The beneficiaries are now paying mortgages, electricity and water bills, as well as bear the burden of hidden costs of finishing or renovating their houses to make them fit for living, due to the semi-finished nature of the house units. Their previous assets in the form of the house they had built in the slum is also lost.
Rehabilitation housing is being constructed by different agencies, under the auspices of the Madhya Pradesh Urban Services for the Poor (MPUSP), which is UADD’s implementing arm for the slum rehabilitation programme. Each agency has a its own perspective on design and programme for implementation, although the schemes are approved by a single committee. Although the JNNURM programme is coming to a close in 2012, slum rehabilitation is going to continue in the long term and deserves better understanding for continuous improvement.
Samarthan is intervening in the Rehabilitation Programme at three levels
- Facilitating the Gautam Nagar slum dwellers in Bhopal, who are planned to shift to the PC Nagar area, in negotiating with the various authorities to make their rehabilitation as smooth as is possible.
- Facilitating the Shyam Nagar and Madrasi Colony beneficiaries in ironing out issues of mortgage repayment and ownership with the ULB.
- Advocating an integrated and participatory approach to rehabilitation of slums and acting as a coordinator for different programs to be planned for the community through different stakeholder government agencies.