Tuesday, July 21, 2009

An attempt to make India slum-free

India's government wants to try to eliminate the slums around it's major cities. The head of Housing and Urban Development is asking her department to give more rights to the slum dwellers. She also wants to begin building infrastructure in the slums and provide it's dwellers with affordable housing.

From Headlines India, writer Kavita Bajeli-Datt tells us more about the plan.

In an effort to make India slum-free in five years, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Kumari Selja has urged state chief ministers to prepare an "inclusive master plan" that addresses the concerns of the urban poor.

In her letter she asked state governments to develop an urban land policy and a legal framework that accords property rights to urban slum dwellers and gives them a life of dignity.

Noting that master plans have excluded the poor from urban development, thus driving them to illegal settlements, Selja said: "There is need to develop an urban land policy and a legal framework for according security of property right to the slum dwellers and the urban poor."

She said the states could consider amending town planning, urban area development and municipal laws to reserve land to build affordable housing that has basic amenities.

The minister also wrote that the states should prepare and implement "inclusive" master plans by following a participatory process and ensure that the concerns of the urban poor, especially slum-dwellers, are adequately addressed in the process of urban planning and development.

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