Development | VOL. 12, ISSUE 74, September-October 2012 |

Urban poor: India Amenities

The Planning Commission is the nodal agency in the Government for estimation of poverty in the country. As per their estimates the number of urban people living below poverty line in the year 2011 stands at 76.4 million as opposed to 81.4 million in 2004-05.

The governmental schemes

Although slum development is a state subject, the Indian Government provides assistance to states for slum redevelopment through its schemes of Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP), Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) launched in 2005. Under BSUP scheme, 527 projects have been approved with total project cost of Rs 301886.9 million for construction of 1.01 million dwelling units (DUs). Under IHSDP scheme, 1084 projects in 928 cities have been approved with total project cost of Rs 120485 million for construction of 0.6 million DUs. Another programme, the Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) aims at providing gainful employment to the urban unemployed and under-employed poor, through encouraging the setting up of self employment ventures by the urban poor living below the poverty line, skills training and also through providing wage employment by utilising their labour for construction of socially and economically useful public assets. This Scheme is applicable to all cities and towns in the country.

In addition, a new scheme, Rajiv Awaas Yojana (RAY) has been launched in June 2011 with a view to create a slum-free India. The scheme is expected to cover above 250 cities, across the entire country by the end of 12th plan (2017). The states would be required to include all the mission cities of JNNURM, preferably cities with more than 3 lakh population as per 2001 Census; and other smaller cities, with due consideration to the pace of growth of the city, of slums, predominance of minority population, and areas where property rights are assigned. Funds have been released to 34 states/UTs under Slum Free City Planning Scheme – the preparatory phase of RAY. Also, 8 pilot projects with total project cost of Rs 4462.2 million involving central assistance of Rs 1970.9 million have been approved under RAY for construction of 8400 dwelling units.

Moreover, the Affordable Housing in Partnership Scheme, which is intended to encourage public private partnerships for the creation of affordable housing stock has been dovetailed with RAY. Under this Scheme, central support will be provided at the rate of Rs 50,000 per unit of rental/affordable dwelling unit or 25 per cent of the cost of civic infrastructure (external and internal), whichever is lower. Under this Scheme, which is applicable to all cities covered under RAY, 8 projects have been sanctioned with a central assistance of Rs 72 million for construction of 5776 dwelling units.

Also co-joined with RAY is the Interest Subsidy Scheme for Housing the Urban Poor (ISHUP) Scheme, to enable the urban poor to obtain credit for home loans at affordable rate. The Scheme provides 5 per cent interest subsidy on loans up to Rs one lakh – and till August 2012, 10,215 beneficiaries have been benefitted.

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