Housing and Urban Development Secretary takes up the issue with Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation

The State government has moved the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) seeking special assistance under Rajiv Awas Yojna (RAY) for slum areas of Phailin-battered Berhampur. The government is also exploring the possibility of soliciting support from the World Bank for rehabilitation of slum dwellers in Berhampur.

Development Commissioner and State Housing and Urban Development Secretary I. Srinivas addressed a letter to Arun Mishra, Secretary of HUPA, stating that the cyclone accompanied by heavy rain battered Berhampur in general and slums in particular.

“Out of 162 slums in Berhampur, 158 are totally devastated. In all, 25,000 dwellings have collapsed, affecting 1.19 lakh people,” Mr. Srinivas noted. The State government sought special assistance of Rs.313.97 crore under RAY for taking up 13 projects covering 56 slums, comprising 5,633 households and a population of 24,029. The project would help provide housing and other basic facilities, it said.

The HUD Department proposed to develop housing for slum dwellers in new locations in the case of four out of 13 projects and in case of the remaining 9, development programmes would be taken up in the areas where slums existed. According to government sources, the World Bank has shown interest in supporting the scheme through the International Development Association (IDA). The HUPA Secretary has been asked to recommend the slum development plan of Berhampur to the Department of Economic Affairs, which would forward the same to the World Bank. At present, a slum-free city plan of action for Berhampur, as part of RAY, is being prepared. The tenability assessment of all slums in Berhampur has been completed and categorisation of slums on the basis of their present status has been done.

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