52 slums set for a makeover

Key areas:The impetus will be on improving sanitation and waste management facilities.File Photo  

: While the 2011 census defined slums as “residential areas where dwellings are unfit for human habitation”, the Delhi government has set a path to transform them into ‘adarsh bastis’ (model slums).

Setting a deadline of August 30 for the project, the government has identified 52 of the 675 slums in the Capital which will be developed with impetus on sanitation. The project is being implemented by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) in collaboration with NGOs and self-help groups (SHGs).

Speaking to The Hindu , V.K. Jain, CEO, DUSIB, said, “All executive engineers have been instructed to ensure that the selected JJ bastis are ready within the time frame.”

Scope of work

The scope of work involves ensuring that community toilets are available and are in good condition, creating ‘Shishu Vatikas’ or playing areas for children, proper sewage network, water supply, adequate lighting on streets, and road resurfacing. NGOs such as Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR), FORCE and CURE, and SHGs like Mahila Pragati Manch are mapping the needs of each slum.

The discoms have identified 1,108 dark spots in the slums which will be illuminated. “Safety of our children and women should be the first issue which should be addressed. Women in many slums do not leave their homes to relieve themselves at night out of fear. The stretches are dark and community toilets are far away,” said Vimla from Mahila Pragati Manch, who is working in these slums.

Issue of sustainability

Residents of these slums welcomed the move, but were sceptical about the sustainability of the project.

“What is the point of building toilets when no proper sewage system exists in the slums? In our area, toilets remain locked up as the septic tank is overflowing,” said Kaushalya, a resident of Janta Mazdoor Camp, Jafrabad, which is set to be turned into a model slum.

Speaking at a workshop organised on Friday to prepare a framework for the project, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the project would help in giving the basic right of dignity to slum dwellers.

“At the end of the day what people are looking for is dignity, greater certainty about the services that they are entitled to and last but not the least, livelihood and skill development that meet their requirement and not something imposed from above,” he emphasised.

Reinforcing this commitment, Girija Sahu of CFAR stated that if community engagement had to be made “strong and enduring, then all stakeholders, both within the government and outside, must provide communities with platforms that will enable them to learn, share and be an integral part of all processes from planning to delivery”.

Discoms have identified 1,108 dark spots in the slums which will be illuminated

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 8:15:32 AM |

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