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Slum Development / Housing

No slum notified in Chennai after 1985: Report

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The Hindu        12.09.2016

No slum notified in Chennai after 1985: Report

Urban chaos:Experts say instead of providing decent housing, slum dwellers are being relocated to faraway places. —File photo
Urban chaos:Experts say instead of providing decent housing, slum dwellers are being relocated to faraway places. —File photo

Despite hundreds of slums cropping up in the city, not a single slum has been officially recognised since 1985 by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board, said a report released by Information and Resource Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities (IRCDUC).

After the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Act of 1971 was passed, around 1,202 slums in Chennai were recognised, and 17 more were added to the list in 1985. Most of the slums were improved in situ, either by building tenements or by providing basic services, as mandated in the Act.

However, not a single new slum has been officially recognised in the city since then. Experts claim that instead of providing decent housing, slum dwellers are being relocated to Perumbakkam, Ezhil Nagar and faraway places, where they end up losing their livelihood.

“The officials are ghettoising them instead of providing them a place nearby,” said G. Selva, of the CPI (M). “Children drop out of schools, men and women lose their jobs. Many end up doing antisocial activities to eke out a living,” he said.

Based on an analysis of the information available in the Slum Free Plan of Action of various districts in Tamil Nadu, the report revealed that many still remain non-notified across the State. No slum is notified under the Rajiv Awas Yojana in the Salem district. Out of the 100 slums surveyed in Thoothukudi, 87 remain non-notified.

An all-India survey conducted in 2012 by the National Sample Survey Office, stated that there were 2,364 slums with 5,88,611 households in urban areas of the State, out of which notified slums were 1,156 comprising of 2,45,089 households, constituting 49 per cent of the total slums.

In reply, the government stated that declaration of slums would only encourage slums dwellers to encroach vacant lands and claim rights over them, besides demanding basic services. Meagre allocation of funds by the State government for meeting the needs of slum dwellers was also cited as a reason for non-notification of slum areas.

“The unresolved issue that needs to be answered is that who is now responsible for declaration of slums. Is it the Urban Local Body or the TNSCB? As per the RTI response we received, the TNSCB is no longer declaring slums,” said Vanessa Peter, policy researcher, IRCDUC.

Work in progress

Officials from the Board said they were currently in the process of notifying slums in the city. “We began the process last year and it is in progress,” said a senior official from TNSCB.

About 51 per cent of slum dwellers in the city, according to the report, belonged to Scheduled Castes and Tribes. Anbuselvam, Dalit scholar and activist, asks, “Why can’t the State not provide them a house near their place of livelihood and who is the beneficiary of the land, once they are evicted.” “Most of these people are underprivileged and marginalised; they must be helped, not thrown out,” he said.


Slum-dwellers to get new houses in the same locality

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The Hindu      18.07.2016 

Slum-dwellers to get new houses in the same locality

The slum clearance board has taken up construction of 26,978 houses

The Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) will be constructing 26,978 in the same locality houses across the State.

“As many as 180 locations across the State have been approved for in situ construction,” said a senior official from TNSCB. “There has been a big demand from people for in situ constructions and we wish to cover the maximum we can,” he added. While 100 houses have been completed, 20,779 houses are being constructed.

In Chennai, 4,662 houses under the Beneficiary Led Individual Construction have been approved. Red Hills, Moolakadai, Koyambedu, and South Madras are among the areas chosen for construction. The construction of 925 houses is in progress.

The cost of the in situ beneficiary-led housing project is Rs. 69,472 lakh. It will be implemented under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

Officials said while they had been providing pattas to slum dwellers, the ones who live on untenable land cannot be regularised, even if they have been living there for generations. “To accommodate people who live on these lands we have built houses in Perumbakkam and Kannagi Nagar,” the official said.

“How can we move to a place which is 40 km away from the city, leaving behind our home, livelihood, and education of our children. We have lived here for generations,” said R. Alamelu, a resident of Govindasamy Nagar, who along with hundreds of residents in the area was on the brink of eviction. While a large number of families in the area were relocated from the locality over the years, Alamelu and others have been fighting it.

“We want in situ construction and have requested the higher authorities for it, time and again. We cannot afford to struggle like our friends in the resettlement colonies,” said S. Jyotsna, a student.

A 2005 pre-feasibility study conducted by TNSCB states that “clearance and relocation of slums costs 10 times more than upgrading at the existing sites”


Applications invited for housing scheme

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The Hindu      11.07.2016  

Applications invited for housing scheme

The Dindigul Corporation has invited applications from rural and urban poor to assist them in constructing a house under credit linked subsidy scheme offered by the Central Government.

Under this scheme, the applicant will be provided home loan for construction of a house, according to a press releases from the corporation here on Saturday.

Beneficiaries are eligible for a 6.5 per cent interest subsidy for 15 years. The subsidy will be available for a loan of Rs.6 lakhs. There will not be any subsidy to additional loan, if any. The carpet area of houses should be up to 30 square metres and 60 square metres for economically weaker sections (EWS) and low income group (LIG) respectively.


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