Slum improvement project cleared

J Balaji

NEW DELHI: The Urban Development Ministry has sanctioned a Rs.74-crore project to improve public amenities such as concrete roads, stormwater drains, community toilets, streetlights, parks, playgrounds, gymnasiums, multipurpose halls and community centres covering 186 slums in the Chennai city.

The project is aimed at improving the living standards of slum dwellers and will be implemented at Vysarpadi, Saidapet, R.K. Nagar, Royapuram and places near the Perungudi railway station etc., utilising funds from the Jawarharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), more specifically under its Basic Services to Urban Poor (BSUP) scheme.

Chennai Mayor M. Subramanian, who held discussions with Urban Development Ministry officials here on Wednesday, said that of the total project cost, 50 per cent would be given by the Centre and the rest by the Tamil Nadu government.

A similar project was being implemented in Chennai since 2007 at a cost of Rs.87 crore.

As per 2001 census, the city had a slum population of 7.48 lakh out of its total 43.34 lakh population and the steadily increasing number of slums and its dwellers was putting tremendous pressure on the urban basic services and infrastructure. Hence, the civic body planned the project, he said.

Chennai Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni said though the project ought to be completed in 18 months, the civic body would implement it in a year.

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