These will serve as a blueprint for Rajiv Awas Yojana plans

The City Corporation may present the Detailed Project Reports (DPR) on three slum clusters in the city to the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) in New Delhi for vetting this week.

These reports will serve as a blueprint for construction projects that need to be undertaken in these areas under the Union government’s Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY).

This follows close on the heels of the pilot project inauguration at Mathipuram Colony near Vizhinjam, a week ago.

‘Slum-free India’

Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Centre has begun heavily advertising the flagship schemes of the UPA-led coalition, one of which is RAY that envisages a ‘Slum-free India’.

The guidelines of this comprehensive scheme stipulate that the first three years since the launch of RAY until 2013 is to be set aside for preparation, planning and the implementation to be carried out from 2013 to 2022.

Corporation officials have been working on a war footing to complete the thorough survey of the slum clusters that fall under Chala, Vellar, and Poonkulam wards.

Considering the amount of trouble that housing schemes have caused for the civic body for the past many years, they are treading carefully particularly with regard to the selection of beneficiaries.

Differentiating factor

It is this solid groundwork that characterises the RAY, compared to its predecessor – the Basic Services for the Urban Poor (BSUP), the implementation of which is still caught up in litigation in areas such as Karimadom Colony.

These three clusters constitute the first phase of execution and its selection was based on criteria that took into consideration micro-level issues affecting each household and the general social and economic issues affecting the region.

The vulnerability of these clusters coupled with the fact that these regions were less likely to present later problems during the construction phase spurred them to the top of the priority list, a standing committee chairperson of the City Corporation said.

‘Lack of clarity’

One area that was initially considered was five acres near the Muttathara Sewage Treatment Plant.

The former LDF government, a Corporation councillor said, had allocated that region for rehabilitation of the poor in five coastal wards but there appeared to be lack of clarity now on the fate of this land as the present leadership had marked it for other development projects.

The nodal agency of RAY in the city is the Kudumbasree Mission and they had already conducted a city-wide survey which revealed high levels of alcoholism, erratic water supply connections and unemployment figures calling for the kind of inclusive development promised by RAY.

The RAY guidelines had initially spelt out that a Slum free City Plan of Action (SFCPoA), that covers the entire urban agglomerate, must be made first. And then, based on this document, individual DPRs for each slum can be prepared dealing with the most vulnerable first.

But a revision of the scheme guidelines in September last year allows for DPRs of each prioritised slum to be submitted directly even before the SFCPoA.