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Slum re-development under JNNURM

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M Raghuram in The Hindu
To build a new generation city which is clean and to ensure that every segment of the society is housed in decent dwelling blocks, it is important for the cities to take up slum clearance on a sustained basis. Bangalore is now ready for its first ever “slum clearance with a mission.”

Under the “Slum-less Bangalore” project, the BBM) is now ready to hand over the first two housing units to slum dwellers. Five slums have been identified out of which the Kalyani slum and the Bakshi Garden slum will get a facelift and be ready for occupation by the end of March.
Restoration of dignity
Bangalore will join the four metropolises where such programmes have given slum dwellers decent dwellings. The BBMP has gone one step ahead of its larger metro cousins and called it “Restoration of dignity of urban poor.”

The programme has laid out elaborate facilities such as provision of safe drinking water, sewerage, storm water drains, solid waste management, community centre, anganwadi, school and vocational training centres for the rehabilitated slum dwellers.

The BBMP programme has also given microfinance link to the beneficiaries to pay 10-12 per cent of the cost of the new dwelling. The beneficiaries have been given biometric cards for establishing their ownership.

Outlining the programme taken up partly under the JNNURM, Chief Accounts Officer of the BBMP Manjunath told The Hindu Property Plus that the BBMP area had 542 slums out which 218 were being replaced with multi-storey dwellings by the Karnataka Slum Clearance Board. Another 324 slums were being developed by the BBMP at a cost of Rs. 88 crore.
The first phase of this programme was expected to cover 8,884 slum dwellers who will be housed in 1,667 dwelling units. The BBMP has agreed on the G + 3 storey structure for the dwelling blocks.

Since it has to be ‘in situ development’ the place where the slums stood will have to be cleared to make way for the multi-storey construction. The BBMP has constructed ‘transit camps’ for the slum dwellers to stay till their dwellings are ready.

Other slums which will be cleared for development include Jasma Bhavan slum in Austin Town, the one on Golf View road in Kodihalli and Nethaji Subhash Chandra Bose slum in Malleswaram.

Mr. Manjunath said the BBMP will utilise Central and State grants and assistance from financial institutions for the programme.

The BBMP often gets an inflated budget (Rs. 3302 crore for 2007-08) but in reality the total budget boils down to around Rs. 1,600 crore.

He said the reserves that have been accumulated from the backlog sum were now being marshalled for the housing programme.

There was a scheme titled “Sooru-neeru” which was designed to give housing and water to SC, ST colonies in the BBMP area.

With the JNNURM programmes being considered by banks for financial leveraging in the urban development plans, the local bodies now have a way out for clearing slums in the 63 mission cities all across the country.

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