Slum Rehabilitation Policy : Evolution, Need, Process, and Loopholes.

Introduction :

Slum Rehabilitation Policy in India is an initiative started to revive of protect the slum area and its people in the country. The purpose of this policy is to protect these areas and develop them into productive areas for their people. All the projects under the policy are to be carried out by the government. Under the Policy, the Government of India has taken up various projects like slums rehabilitation, slummaup programme, development of sludge management, etc. Some of these projects are under preparation and the others are in progress. It is necessary to provide financial support and technical support to all the NGOs and private companies engaged in slumbar projects. There are several projects such as slumber treatment, rehabilitation of the health of people, beautification of area, cleaning and beautifying areas, water supply, building and repairs of houses, food and foodstuff distribution, education and training, maintenance of health, medical and other facilities to develop slummies, to establish water treatment plants and plants for slummy management.

Slum Rehabilitation Scheme : Evolution

When clearing slums, people must be put first. The entire planning and implementation process must include the consent and mandatory participation of community-based organizations (CBOs) and slum dwellers, as well as full transparency of how it is implemented. The Shantadeep Housing Cooperative in Kailashnagar, Sabarmati is a good example of slum rehabilitation, formed through the active participation of slum dwellers and the involvement of NGOs.

Chennai Slum Policy Overview The Tamil Nadu Slum Clearing Act 1971 was the first law to address India’s slum problem by creating the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearing Board (TNSCB).

In order to provide quality housing to the urban poor in the slums of Mumbai, the Maharashtra government launched a comprehensive slum rehabilitation programme in December 1995 and established the Slum Rehabilitation Authority, or SRA.

The Government of Maharashtra has launched a comprehensive slum rehabilitation scheme by introducing an innovative concept of using land as a resource and allowing incentive floor space index (FSI) in the form of tenements for sale in the open market, for cross-subsidization of the slum rehabilitation tenements which are to be provided free to the slum-dwellers.

Brief About The Slum Act :

The Maharashtra Slum Areas (Improvement, Clearance, and Re-development) Act, 1971 (hence referred to as the “Slum Act”) was considerably revised in 1996-97 and 2001, adding Chapter I-A. “Slum Rehabilitation Scheme” is the title of that Chapter.

Section 3A of the Act deals with the establishment of  a Slum Rehabilitation Authority to carry out the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme. The Slum Rehabilitation Authority is intended to undertake and implement many rehabilitation initiatives for the welfare of people dwelling in slums.

The powers, duties and functions of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority are :

  1. To survey and review existing position regarding Slum areas in greater Mumbai.
  2. To formulate schemes for rehabilitation of slum areas.
  3. To get the slum rehabilitation scheme implemented.
  4. To do all such other acts and things as may be necessary for achieving the objective of rehabilitation of slums.

The State became aware of the spread of slums on public lands and properties. As a result, it decided to give the Slum Rehabilitation Authority broad powers so that the they can clear public lands in collaboration with local authorities. The State Government made suitable adjustments and included provisions in the planning and municipal laws to that goal.

In Mumbai, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority was given the task of approving developments on sites with extensive slum pockets. The land was divided into private and governmental ownership. As a result, the Development Control Regulations for Brihanmumbai (D.C. Rules 1991) were also revised after the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act (M.R.T.P. Act) was amended. Individual development was managed, monitored, and regulated, as well as restricted, using development control principles.

The term “slum rehabilitation area” refers to an area declared as such by the competent authority under Section 3C(1) in accordance with the slum rehabilitation programme notified under Section 3B. Section 3B defines the term “slum rehabilitation scheme.” Further portions of the Act give authority, and the Act has been significantly changed to that purpose. A quick review of the aforementioned provision would indicate that it envisages the Slum Rehabilitation Authority allotting housing estates to the residents and, pending such allotment, his relocation to a vacant transit accommodation.

How Slum Rehabilitation Works ?

Slum residents must first organize themselves into co-ops as part of the process. They then vote to give a property developer the mandate to re-house them onsite in Slum Rehabilitation Authority regulated high-rise buildings approximately half the size of the site they currently occupy—all for free. The rehabilitation also involves compensation for three years of temporary relocation during building construction. After completion, each family receives legal title and moves into their specified apartment, which includes a bathroom with running water and a kitchenette.

Regulations allow the developer an attractive subsidy to build and sell commercially an equivalent area on the other half of the site in exchange for delivering this pro bono rehabilitation. Both components are clearly defined and have separate access. At today’s high property values, the earnings from this commercial and residential sale, Developers and Investors covers more than the costs of pro bono slum rehabilitation, also providing a healthy return on their investment. 

Loopholes in Slum rehabilitation :

Addressing slums is not just about providing housing through resettlement; it should address civil society infrastructure, capacity building, sociocultural development, and more. Rather than providing social housing through gentrification, better urban renewal policies will include a rights-based approach, focusing on land tenure security and local development. A bottom-up approach involving improving infrastructure through slum notifications will lead to more humane slum policies.

Slums are a harsh reality in most Indian cities and the government has launched various initiatives to promote affordable housing for the urban poor. In this context, it is important to analyze the pros and cons of living in slums so that better policy interventions can be made in this regard.

Many do not believe that slum upgrading is a success because community planners believe there is no other successful option than where these displaced slum dwellers should go. They point to the difficulty of providing the necessary resources for the benefit of residents or effectively in the long term.

Conclusion :

Many governments are trying to find a solution to this problem, and one of the proposed solutions is to upgrade slums. Slum upgrading is essentially a strategy to improve slum infrastructure, such as  Provide communities with adequate water and sanitation. Furthermore, due to the weaker legal status of slum dwellers, strategies often include legalizing the rights of slum dwellers to the land on which they live.

From the venerable slum-clearing scheme enacted in 1956 to more novel schemes such as the Prime Minister’s Funding Scheme in 1985; there has been a paradigm shift in politics over the years. The policy has evolved from slum clearance to slum upgrading. Where the dominant strategy in the past was to “clean up” slums to “clean up” cities, the new policy reflects a greater commitment to the rights of slum dwellers.

Slum upgrading is an integrated approach aimed at reversing a region’s downward trend. These declines may be legal (land ownership), physical (infrastructure), social (eg crime or education) or economic.

References :

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