Slum in ahmedabad

Ahmedabad is considered to be the model city for urban development with projects like Sabarmati Riverfront, Kankaria Lake and many other edifices constructed here. But according to stats, Ahmedabad is house to state’s second largest slum. The famous aphorism “The rich have become richer, and the poor have become poorer” is well applicable to Ahmedabad.

Numbers show that 105,472 households in Ahmedabad came under Economic weaker section till November 2015. Well, that number is huge, and concerned authorities should pay attention to it. On one side our city serves as an epitome of urban success, and on the other hand, we are marked as the city with the second largest slum population in Gujarat. What could be the possible reason behind it?

Let’s do some reverse engineering here.

Statistics have shown that houses were not affordable although the median income of people had increased over the 2001-2011 decade. The availability of houses were insufficient and, so the price increased due to the scarcity. Because of this, the available homes which were meant for the poor class were bought by the middle class.

So this was the math behind why the slum population could not afford houses although our city experienced extensive development.

CEPT University analysed of the situation of all the slum areas of Ahmedabad. The information provided by them is an eye-opener.  

So don’t you think AMC should do something to curb this problem?

Well, it isn’t like AMC is doing nothing. It had launched a Slum Networking Project back in 1995 which is a whole different department under AMC dedicated to addressing the housing problems of slum dwellers. This department undertakes all the activities under the schemes run by State and Central Government for improving the housing of Economic weaker sections of Ahmedabad.

Under Slum Networking Project AMC also works to provide the necessary facilities to slum areas like water supply, sewage facilities, individual toilets, street lighting etc. AMC compensates the 80% cost of the physical infrastructure provided to the slum households, and the households pay the remaining 20% cost.

Let us dig into details of this project.

To make the effective implementation AMC has associated with various organisations. AMC has associated with NGOs and private organisations. There are multiple reasons as to why AMC has associated with these organisations.

We have listed all the organisations that are associated with SNP and their Reason

SNP Tie-ups

Mahila Housing SEWA Trust

Mahila Housing SEWA Trust

  • Many times the slum population are hesitant to participate in such programs. So it becomes necessary for the government body to explain the benefits of the scheme to the slum dwellers.  
  • AMC tied hands with this NGO to convince the slum dwellers to participate in the various schemes by the government and also to create awareness among them that such programmes are going on and what all procedures do they need to follow to avail the benefits of the housing schemes.

SAATH

SAATH

  • The responsibility of this organization is to provide physical infrastructure assistance. It helps in all the administrative work associated with the project and also provides on-field coordinators as and when requires.
  • The organization forms residents associations to help and make the process easier.

SEWA Bank

SEWA BANK

  • The bank provides loans to the slum dwellers so that they can participate in the various schemes and avail the benefits.
  • The slum dwellers need to give INR 2100 as a one-time contribution, and then they get the loans and other financial help from the bank.

Along with all this AMC has also appointed an in-house committee to implement the various schemes under the project efficiently.

Now, let us have an insight into all the Yojanas under the SNP project.

Construction of Houses under JnNURM Project

JnNURM Project - Ahmedabad

  • JnNURM – Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission was launched by Dr Manmohan Singh in 2005. The mission aims at improving the quality of life in the urban city. The primary aim is to enhance the infrastructure facilities in urban areas.
  • BSUP – Basic Services to Urban Poor is a sub-mission under this which specifically aims to upgrade the sum conditions in the urban cities.
  • AMC is constructing 20160 houses under this scheme with an area of 36.50 Sq.Mt.
  • 19806 houses are completed, and 14480 out of them were allocated to people affected by various commercial project development schemes.

Affordable Housing project Under the Mukhyamantri Gruh Awas Yojana Housing Scheme.

Mukhyamantri Gruh Awas Yojana Housing Scheme - Ahmedabad

  • Mukhyamantri Gruh (Gujarat Rural and Urban Housing) Yojana was launched to provide houses to people at a reasonable price.
  • The state government aims at building 50 lakh houses all over the state for the urban and rural population.
  • AMC will construct 5074 houses for economically weaker sections with an area of 28.00 Sq. Mts and 4937 houses for lower income groups with a carpet area of 45.00 Sq.Mts.

Housing Facility under Safai Kamdar Yojana.

Safai Kamdaar - Ahmedabad

  • The Safai Kamdar Vikas Nigam was started to provide housing facility to sanitation workers and their families.
  • Under this project AMC has built 1984 units in phase-1 and will be constructing 512 units in phase-2.  

Pilot Project DPR – Rajiv Awas Yojana ( RAY)

 Rajiv Awas Yojana ( RAY) - Ahmedabad

  • The Rajiv Awas Yojana was launched under the banner of Slum-free India. The scheme was directed to provide the primary social amenities and shelter to the slum population.
  • In phase-1 the AMC aims to construct 1344 units and in phase-2 1184 units shall be built.  
  • The central government will provide a subsidy of INR 75,000 ,and the state government will provide a subsidy of INR 1,50,000.

Gujarat Rehabilitation & Redevelopment of the Slum -2010.

Gujarat Rehabilitation & Redevelopment of the Slum -2010 - Ahmedabad

  • The Gujarat Rehabilitation scheme aims at providing Pakka Makan to everyone.
  • The slum dwellers will be provided with a (G+3) storeys unit.
  • The computerised draw system is adopted for the allocation process and ladies will be first allocated the houses.
  • At present 2264 units are constructed.

AMC follows some procedures to implement the project effectively. I have listed them below-

  • Monthly Monitoring Meeting:  The NGO partners and the AMC committee conduct monthly meetings to discuss the progress and welcome the new suggestion by the any of the members.
  • Joint Planning: The design plans are shared within the member and associated organisations of the project to suggest amendments.
  • Trainings: The AMC engineers and the NGO volunteers conduct trainings and educational sessions for the community to train them for the procedure and tell them the technical aspect.
  • Interaction with Public: The AMC officials also interact with the slum population pst lunch hours.

For doing such a good work under the Slum Networking Project, AMC has achieved various awards and achievements too.

This is what AMC is doing to curb the housing problems of the slum population and to remove the tag of having the second highest slum population in Gujarat.

Now let us take a look at the other side of the situation too. What we as residents of Ahmedabad are doing to solve this housing problem and how much are we supporting the AMC for this cause.

An incident topped the headlines of Ahmedabad news recently. It read as follows-

“The Science city area residents protest against the construction of houses under the SNP project.”

Well, it goes this way. The residents of science city area have a problem over the slum population moving to their posh area. According to them if such a thing happens then the shine of their projects worth crore of rupees would diminish. So they conducted a protest rally to oppose the construction of the units.  

Science city protest against EWS

With such news coming up one question pops up in my mind- How Hippocratic our society can be? On the one hand we blame the Government for doing nothing, and on the other hand, we oppose the good initiatives by the administrative bodies!

Do let me know your views in the comment section below.

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