Slum free nation

on Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In his recent budget speech, FinMin, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee promised a slum free India in upcoming five years and for this very purpose a sum of Rs. 3973 crore has been allocated for various slum clearance schemes. An initiation in this direction was taken way back in 50’s by central government then and states like Tamil Nadu also came forward to shoulder the responsibility with the union govt. But ever since, only the number of slum dwellers has gone high. A slum free city sounds like an unrealistic dream. Govt. should emphasize on replacing the slums with built ‘pakka’ houses rather than evicting slum dwellers. According to 11th five year plan report, to achieve the target of a slum free nation, by the end of 2012, a fund of Rs. 3,60,000 crore is required and the amount allocated this year in the budget is a meager1% of the requirements. The primary issue to be dealt is actually the poverty. Ways should be devised to improve the livelihood of people living below poverty line and reframing of housing is the need of the hour. There are rules for government owned residential lands stating 10% of such land banks is reserved for the economically weaker section of the society. But such rules are not followed in actual practice. Socially responsible real estate practises should be implemented to get the desired result.