Hyderabad: The Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, has directed the officials of the Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) to see that the “Slum Free AP” programme was implemented with clear milestones and under definite time-schedule. He said that he would take up with the Union Ministry of Housing, Urban Poverty Alleviation Development for its early approval and Central assistance.
While reviewing the JNNURM activities recently, the Chief Minister wanted a dedicated team of officials to oversee, monitor and implement the programme on a mission mode and Andhra Pradesh should become a role model in its successful completion.
It may be recalled here that the State government had initiated a programme called “Slum Free AP” prior to the initiation of Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), which is also on similar lines with the objectives of RAY. The Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA) has been designated as the State Level Nodal Agency (SLNA) to monitor the implementation of RAY activities. The RAY is a path-breaking programme announced by the President in September 2009 with a vision to make India slum-free by 2014. It is proposed to provide the slum dwellers decent and affordable shelter, all basic amenities and social infrastructure like community halls, urban health centres, primary schools, night shelters, livelihood centers and so on in all slums on par with rest of the town while eliminating slum like conditions. It envisages, for the first time, conferring property rights on the slum dwellers and prevention of formation of new slums by earmarking certain proportion of land or built up space to the Economically Weaker Sections and Low Income Groups in all future developments.
The Chief Minister was informed by the officials that in Andhra Pradesh, the Slum profiling was completed by MEPMA in all 125 ULBs, including Secunderabad Cantonment wherein general data on the population, tenure status, availability of basic environmental and social infrastructure and its linkages were obtained. Currently, there are 7,447 slums, 5,367 have been notified, 2,012 are non-notified and 68 Slum Pockets with a total slum population of 88.49 lakhs and 18.94 lakh slum households. As a pilot to understand the socio economic household profile, a survey was initiated in three pilot towns (Chirala, Dharmavaram and Suryapet) much before the RAY program was announced by the Centre.
All the 125 ULBs are to be included under the RAY programme in a phased manner. In the first phase, 27 (25+2 newly added) ULBs (including four mission cities— Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati, all municipal corporations, including the three pilot towns), in the second phase, 61 ULBs, and in the third phase, 37 ULBs are proposed for inclusion under RAY. A total of 952 slums are proposed for redevelopment and rehabilitation in the first year. A detailed socio-economic household survey commenced in the first phase ULBs which is being conducted by the Community Resource Persons (women) from Self Help Groups residing in those slums, assisted by Community Organisers, Engineers, Town Planners, Social Development and Capacity Building specialists, GIS specialists under the guidance of Municipal Commissioner. MEPMA, being a State level nodal agency is providing the required guidance and assistance under the guidance of Secretary, Municipal Administration.
The survey is aimed at collecting relevant data relating to each household w.r.t. their dwelling unit, access civic amenities, health, livelihoods, migration particulars, skill training requirements, their earning and expenditure patterns with a view to plan for better quality of life on par with other citizens.
The first phase ULBs under RAY have engaged consultants to perform Topographical Survey of slums using Total Station and they are developing a Geographic Information System (GIS) by integrating the socio-economic household data and topographical survey data, which will assist the ULB in deficiency analysis of infrastructure and socio-economic household data. The 25 ULBs in the first phase have already submitted their Slum-free City Plans and the State government also prepared consolidated State Plan of Action and submitted to the Centre for approval. This plan has projected the first year requirement for housing as 1,00,888 dwelling units with an estimated cost of Rs 3,091 crores and Rs 1,685.06 crores towards environmental and social infrastructure.
The Draft Andhra Pradesh Slum (Identification, Redevelopment, Rehabilitation and Prevention) Act 2010, which envisages conferring property rights on the slum dwellers, has also been prepared and is under consideration of the Govt. for placing before the Legislative Assembly for approval. The legislation broadly envisages: identification and declaration of slum areas, survey and identification of slum dwellers, protection from eviction, conferring property rights, constitution of State and district slum redevelopment authority, In-situ redevelopment, and relocation of slums with rehabilitation, Providing transit accommodation and Earmarking certain proportion of land or built up space for prevention of future growth of slums and so on.
The Chief Minister said that these initiatives are expected to result in significant improvement in the quality of lives of the urban poor by reducing poverty, improving their human development indices, enhancing human dignity and help achieve the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations, and make Andhra Pradesh a highly evolved and inclusive State in India. (NSS)