Its projects need more allocation to benefit urban poor: expert

The non-negotiable objective of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) is inclusive growth, stated Rakesh Ranjan, Director of Urban Development, Planning Commission, New Delhi.

He was speaking at the national consultation, ‘How Inclusive are our Cities? Implications for the 12th Five-Year Plan from the Perspective of the Urban Poor', organised by CIVIC and Habitat Forum here on Friday.

Holistic view

“Unless you look at the poor, you cannot make the city compete globally,” he said, highlighting the need for more budgetary allocation for JNNURM projects for the benefit of urban poor.

He said that JNNURM had, over the six-year period, become a “much-maligned project” as only 20 per cent of the sanctioned projects have been completed.

“The full impact can be felt only after all the sanctioned projects are completed,” he said.

Mr. Ranjan also stated that the problem was largely money related as well as institution-related.

There was a need for a structure that includes the “widest possible participatory process”.

The Union Government is clear that there should be no trade-off between growth and equity.

He said that “people” should be brought at the centre, while emphasis should be on participative planning. “The Centre hopes that the JNNURM schemes under the 12th Plan retain the architecture of the Rajiv Awaz Yojana.”

The conundrum

Dunu Roy, executive director of Hazards Centre, New Delhi, said there was conflict between safety for capital and safety for workers. “Much of the housing for the poor becomes vertical (flats) because of land market crisis. If a slum-dweller moves into a flat from a slum, he/she no longer comes under the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category. This, even though his economic condition would not have seen any change,” he said.

He said the National Advisory Council continues to adopt a charitable view and not a rights view.

Ruth Manorama, general secretary of Women's Voice, stressed on the need for a multi-pronged approach with a human rights perspective for inclusive planning.

BBMP's Special Commissioner K.R. Niranjan spoke about the civic authority's schemes for the urban poor.