Income proof must under slum rehabilitation policy

There are 675 slums and jhuggis in the Capital, and over 3 lakh dwelling units will be required to rehabilitate them.File Photo  

he Delhi government has added an income clause to its “Delhi Slum and JJ Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy, 2015”. Now, only those slum households which have an annual income of up to Rs 3 lakh will be eligible for alternative housing under the policy.

Earlier, a dweller who could furnish a proof of being the resident of a jhuggi or a slum was entitled to rehabilitation and relocation. “Now, slum dwellers will have to give an affidavit showing their annual income while enrolling for the scheme,” said a government official. There are 675 slums and jhuggis in the Capital, and over 3 lakh dwelling units will be required to rehabilitate them.

According to the Delhi government, this was one of the key comments put forward by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) while giving its nod for the policy. “We have incorporated the suggestions from the ministry into the policy. They wanted the income cap so that the policy is in tandem with the Centre's Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna which defines the economically weaker section (EWS) as those households earning up to Rs 3 lakh per year,” added the official.

However, sources said the government was facing serious challenges in finalising the cost it would have to incur in building each dwelling unit. Initially, the government had chalked out an expenditure of Rs 1.5 lakh per dwelling unit for its project.

“The policy covers slums and JJ clusters across Delhi, irrespective of the land they are on. So, if houses are being built on Delhi government’s plots, that does not shoot out budget. But the moment we plan a housing project in, say, DDA's land, the cost of each dwelling unit shoots up to Rs 20 lakh. This is because of high circle rates of plots,” said another official.

As a solution, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), which is finalising the policy document, has proposed to use land as a resource where parcels of it will be sold and the money will be pumped into building houses for slum dwellers. For cases where land is not under the Delhi government, 40 per cent of the plot would be given to the land owning agency for commercial revenue generation and the government shall build EWS houses on the remaining 60 per cent of the land.

Another change that has been made based on the comments received from the MoUD is the cut-off date for eligibility to alternate housing.

The Aam Aadmi Party government had approved the cut-off date as February 14, 2015 – the day AAP formed the government in Delhi. But now it has been changed to January 1, 2015, as the ministry had stated that fresh electoral rolls are out by then.

The policy also states that JJ clusters which have come up before January 1, 2006, will not be removed without rehabilitation.

Chief Minster Arvind Kejriwal is likely to approve the revised policy within a week.

The income cap has been introduced so that the policy is in tandem with the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 10:11:10 AM |

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