Bangalore is home to around 450 slums. Karnataka Housing Minister D.T. Jayakumar has floated a proposal to replace all existing slums with flats for the slum-dwellers. According to a news report in The Hindu today, the Minister announced that the project will be a joint venture between civic agencies and private land developers.
While half the land will be used to house slum dwellers who were on the 2004 electoral rolls, the other half of the property will be given to the private land developers for commercial development.
Those who came after the cut-off date would have to move to rehabilitation centres. They would be given alternative housing after all the slums were developed. The project would be completed by 2015, he said.
Once this project is completed, there is a proposal to not allow huts to come up anywhere in the city.
On the face of it, this seems like a great idea. The flats and their inhabitants will have all the basic utilities such as water supply, sewage, electricity etc., not to mention that the slum-dwellers will actually have a roof over their heads. I do hope that things go as planned.
This situation, however, rife with opportunities for corruption. Indian electoral rolls are notorious for not having the names of residents, having names twice or thirce, having dead peoples’ names, etc., plus because there is no system for identifying people (i.e., most people don’t have IDs) how are the officials going to identify the people that are entitled to these flats?