Flats to Replace Slums

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?

7 Comments so far

  1. shek (unregistered) on April 30th, 2006 @ 10:23 pm

    Y is the govt keen on destroying its vote banks?

  2. Suyog (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 9:14 am

    This is a idea similar to the one floated and implemented in Mumbai. As with most cases, the execution will be tough.

  3. Ravi (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 12:48 pm

    Though a political minefield, this is still a welcome move and presents an opportunity for slum-dwellers to move up the ‘value-chain’, in a manner of speaking. Perhaps every such settlment should form a co-operative so that only genuine dwellers can take advantage of this offer.

  4. rubic_cube (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 3:22 pm

    My father had bought an apartment in such a complex in Mumbai. Expectedly, there are several issues that one has to contend with. In many such complexes, there is no boundary wall or strict demarcation between the housing for slum people and the poshly developed apartments complex. The issues of 2 vastly different economic societies coexisting the same complex are many. Many a times, builders have completed moving out the slum dwellers but not completed the apartments that they advertised.

  5. sujatha (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

    Thank you all for your comments.

    Shek and Rubic_cube: The flats are meant slum-dwellers, not for people who do not live in the slums as of 2004.

    Suyog, agree.

    Ravi, agree with you and I do hope that the intended purposes of this move are borne out.

  6. sujatha (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 3:27 pm

    Oops! Shek and Rubic_cube: The flats are meant for the slum-dwellers, not for people who do not live in the slums as of 2004.

  7. when soldier is soldier it will fetch player (unregistered) on May 9th, 2006 @ 12:05 am

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