“Meet on ‘slum-free urban India' is a great opportunity”

The slum development programme — Rajiv Awas Yojna (RAY) — will take into consideration the need to create social infrastructure like health and education as well as means of livelihood along with housing.

In spite of creating basic amenities along with housing, there was a feeling of insecurity among slum-dwellers because of their concern for livelihood, Municipal Commissioner B. Ramanjaneyulu said here on Wednesday. He hoped the pilot project proposed at Suryatejnagar under RAY in which 200 houses would be constructed at a cost of Rs.11 crore would help allay their fears.

Slum development did not always mean shifting of people from slums but development in situ, he said. However, Omkarnagar and Sevanagar had to be shifted as the land was required for expansion by the Railways.

The holding of a two-day international conference on ‘slum-free urban India' was a great opportunity for Andhra Pradesh as well as Visakhapatnam, he said.

The State got an opportunity to hold the conference as it had taken up construction of houses with ‘saturation' concept, he said.

The conference concluded on Tuesday.

While 32 per cent of people were living in cities in India, the number was 80 per cent in developed countries but slums were surfacing there also, Mr. Ramanjaneyulu observed.

Right to Shelter

Brazil had Right to Shelter as constitutional right as a result of which slum-dwellers were given housing with 10 to 20 per cent as beneficiary share repaying the rest of the amount in 20 years.

Slum development programmes with private investment proved successful there, he added.

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