Urban poor short-changed says Bangalore JNNURM study

Bangalore 04/09/2010 : From left: Kathyayini Chamraj, Executive Trustee, CIVIC, Kavitha Kanan, Researcher, Harish Poovaiah, Chief Coordinator, CIVIC at a Press Conference in Bangalore on the release of JNURM Housing Project Studey.Photo: K. Gopinathan   | Photo Credit: K_Gopinathan

There is a gap between what has been promised for the urban poor under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and what is being implemented, a case study of Bangalore slums by the NGO Civic has revealed.

The study in 20 slums across Bangalore shows that there have been deviations every step of the way in implementing Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP) under JNNURM not only from the guidelines laid down by the Centre, but also from what had been promised in the City Development Plan (CDP).

The deviations range from inadequate budget allocation to evolving plans without consulting the beneficiaries, the report showed.

Poor outlay

Kathyayini Chamaraj, Executive Trustee of Civic, told presspersons here on Saturday that an assurance of Rs. 6,000 crore had been made to Karnataka under the JNNURM over seven years, which meant that about Rs. 857 crore should be allocated annually. However, this year only Rs. 44 crore had been allocated for BSUP, she said.

There was a big disparity between the number of houses promised, over two lakh, and those being built, a little over 16,000, she said. The mandate of earmarking 25 per cent for the poor in all housing projects had not been fulfilled, she added.

Kavita Kannan, researcher for the study, said the CDP had been drafted by top bureaucracy without consultations, and until late 2009, the project did not even have a Project Implementation Unit (PIU) to oversee the implementation. She said the scope of the mission had been narrowed in its implementation, giving emphasis only on the housing component and not on other social infrastructure benefits embedded in it, including health and education.

No transit stay

Harish Poovaiah, chief co-ordinator, said there had been no or very poor transit stay arrangements for construction of houses, especially in slums that come under the Karnataka Slum Clearance Board (KSCB).

Citing the instance of Deshanagar slum, he said the people had been left to stay on the streets even 15 months after starting a project.

The implementing authorities had not bothered to make arrangements for loans to help the beneficiaries.

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