#India – Property rights bill for slum dwellers sought


HYDERABAD, June 13, 2013

Staff Reporter, The Hindu 

Urban housing activists under the banner of the Campaign for Housing and Tenurial Rights (CHATRI) sought immediate enactment of property rights for slum dwellers as envisaged in the Rajiv Awas Yojana guidelines.

At a press conference on Wednesday, activists from Human Rights Forum and Montfort Social Institute’s Housing Rights Network among others, sought immediate tabling of the draft bill for the AP Property Rights to Slum Dwellers Act, 2011. The bill had been pending for the past two Assembly sessions, they said, and demanded that the authorities bring the legislation in the current session. The activists also wanted re-assessment of slums in the State, as many areas notified earlier no longer qualified as slums.

“Priority will be given to the already developed slums once funds begin to arrive from the Centre. We demand that priority in terms of energy and funds be given from bottom upwards,” said Director of the Montfort Social Institute, Varghese Thekanath.

Showing Keshav Nagar chosen for RAY pilot project as an example of official preferences, he said the colony did not qualify as a slum, as all the houses were built under Indira Awas Yojana, and each beneficiary already had pattas for 60 yards.

“The colony was built in 14 acres of prime land. Now all the houses will be demolished, for construction of G-plus-three houses within four acres. The remaining 10 acres will be at government’s disposal for allotment to commercial complexes,” Mr. Thekanath said.

‘Emulate T.N. model’

He also asked the State government to emulate the Tamil Nadu model and reduce beneficiary contribution to 10 per cent of the total cost, which again could be taken as contribution of direct labour, than cash.

 

#India- Urban poor to be identified on vulnerabilities


By , TNN | Jan 14, 2013, 04.36 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The urban poor will now be identified on the basis of social, economic and occupational vulnerabilities as the housing and poverty alleviation ministry has decided to junk the Planning Commission‘s income benchmark.

As of now, families earning below Rs 4,824 a month are put in the bracket of urban poor.

The move comes as the ministry is finding it difficult to identify beneficiaries in metropolises and other cities, where few families earn below the BPL cutoff while many of them live in vulnerable conditions.

It has also been noticed that income certificates are forged or are being procured after bribing officials.

As the socio-economic census is going on across the country, the ministry is working on a mechanism according to which urban poor will be defined according to people’s vulnerabilities. Under the mechanism, families will be divided into two groups — those automatically included the other automatically excluded — in the poverty bracket.

Those automatically included in the poverty bracket will be the homeless and jobless. Automatically excluded will be families with a pakka house, motor vehicle or electronic appliances such as air-conditioner or refrigerator.

Those included will be graded by the ministry on the basis of economic, social, occupational and housing vulnerabilities. Based on data from the caste census, families will be graded and assigned points according to their needs.

“The formula will help in identifying poor in terms of vulnerabilities and government schemes will target the vulnerable group. It will result in better targeting,” housing and urban poverty alleviation minister Ajay Makentold TOI, adding that the identification of urban poor will be based on the recommendations of the Hashim committee.

“Those living in slums will automatically be eligible for benefits under the slum-rehabilitation scheme,” the minister said.

The new mechanism is also aimed at ensuring distribution of benefits of government schemes to city-specific “vulnerable” basket as per the specific needs in a particular city.

If a family scores very high on the housing vulnerability index, it would be given priority under slum upgradation schemes and Rajiv Awas Yojana, an official said.

Once the census is complete, the city-specific urban poor basket will be ready. “We will take it up with other ministries also to adopt the new criteria,” Maken said.

 

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