May 17, 2012
For India, the greatest defeat despite its burgeoning economy has been its large slum population. According to a Planing Commission survey in 2010, there was a growth of 17.8 million in the urban slum population across the country in the last decade. A new government initiative to give slum dwellers property rights and assistance for home loans may just be a step towards solving India's slum troubles.
The Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja has said that in pursuance of the Government’s vision of creating a Slum-free India, ‘Rajiv AwasYojana’ (RAY) has been launched. The scheme was initially launched in 2011.
The Phase I of Rajiv AwasYojana is for a period of two years from the date of approval of the scheme. The Scheme will provide financial assistance to States that are willing to assign property rights to slum dwellers for provision of decent shelter and basic civic and social services for slum redevelopment, and for creation of affordable housing stock. Fifty per cent of the cost of provision of basic civic and social infrastructure and amenities and of housing, including rental housing, and transit housing for in-situ redevelopment – in slums would be borne by the Centre, including operation & maintenance of assets created under this scheme. For the North Eastern and Special Category States, the share of the Centre would be ninety per cent including the cost of land acquisition, if required.
Kumari Selja, in a written letter said, the Scheme is expected to cover about 250 cities, across the entire country by the end of 12th Plan (2017). The Affordable Housing in Partnership Scheme, which is intended to encourage public private partnerships for the creation of affordable housing stock has been dovetailed with RAY. Under this scheme, central support will be provided at the rate of Rs 50,000 per unit of affordable dwelling unit or 25 per cent of the cost of civic infrastructure (external and internal), whichever is lower.
She said, to enable the urban poor to obtain credit for home loans at affordable rates, the existing Interest Subsidy Scheme for Housing the Urban Poor (ISHUP), which provides five per cent interest subsidy on loans up to Rs. One lakh, has also been dovetailed with RAY. Kumari Selja said, under RAY, 8 pilot projects in 5 states with total project cost of Rs. 446.22 crores involving Central Assistance of Rs. 197.09 crores have been approved for construction of 8400 dwelling units.
As per Report received from the State Government, the City level Cells have been constituted in all the 4 cities and work related to slum identification, GIS Mapping and preparation of Pilot Projects has been initiated, she added.