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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Slum-free Urban India Campaign stipulates to provide seven basic amenities and entitlements to the urban poor and slum dwellers in the country by 2012: Kumari Selja


Press Information Bureau, Government of India


The Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja has said that the UPA Government has conceived and embarked upon a massive programme of affordable housing and basic amenities to the urban poor under the flagship programme, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). She was speaking on the occasion of laying the foundation stone for houses sanctioned by her ministry under the Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) component of JNNURM, here today. She said her ministry has been pursuing the goal of Slum-free Urban India Campaign under JNNURM, launched since October 2007 from Tirupathi. This Campaign stipulates that seven basic amenities and entitlements to the urban poor, namely land tenure, affordable shelter, water, sanitation, education, health and social security must be provided to the slum-dwellers in the country by 2012.

Following is the full text of the Minister’s address on the occasion:


KUMARI SELJA ADDRESSING THE FOUNDATION STONE LAYING CEREMONY AT RANGPO ON 5TH DECEMBER, 2009 (PIC: SANJAY AGARWAL)


“I am very happy to be here in Rangpo to participate in the function for laying the foundation stone for houses sanctioned by my Ministry under the Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) component of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

Roti, Kapda aur Makaan are the three basic necessities of a human being. Over the period of planned development, we have been able to address the problems of food security and clothing for the Aam Aadmi. As you may recall we are now working on a National Food Security Act. It gives me great satisfaction to say that for the first time in the history of the country, the UPA Government laid focus on providing “makaan” to the common man in cities and towns. The UPA Government conceived and embarked upon a massive programme of affordable housing and basic amenities to the urban poor under the flagship programme, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), launched in December 2005. My Ministry had earlier decided to support the construction of about 15 lakh houses for the urban poor in the country under JNNURM. Now, we have launched another scheme called Affordable Housing in Partnership to encourage partnerships between Government agencies, parastatals, local bodies and the private developers. Under this new scheme we are targeting another 10 lakh houses, not only covering EWS and LIG but also MIG.

As you may be aware, under JNNURM we support 4 programmes. Urban Infrastructure & Governance and Basic Services to the Urban Poor cover 65 identified cities, including Gangtok. Urban Infrastructure Scheme for Small & Medium Towns and Integrated Housing & Slum Development Programme focus on small and medium towns. I may inform you that the Government of India has so far sanctioned more than 2500 projects in the country under JNNURM covering total project cost of about Rs. 100,000 crores under all the four components of JNNURM together. The Central Government has already committed Central Assistance support of about Rs. 53,000 crores to States/UTs for the sanctioned projects. As far as my Ministry is concerned, we have sanctioned projects for housing and basic amenities to the urban poor, including slum-dwellers worth Rs.33860 crores. We have committed Additional Central Assistance of about Rs. 18,500 Crores. The houses under JNNURM will come with ownership of house in the name of the wife or husband and wife jointly and with provision of basic services such as water, sanitation, social security, education and health care. The poor will be enabled to attain the same quality of life as the other population of the city.

My Ministry has sanctioned 3 projects for Sikkim with the total project cost of Rs.33.58 Crore covering 254 houses for the poor under BSUP. This involves Central Grant of about Rs.29.06 Crore. We have recently provided an additional support of Rs.50 Crores for Sikkim under the Scheme of Affordable Housing in Partnership. Once project report is received, we will process it for sanction.

The projects for housing and basic amenities to the urban poor in Sikkim were sanctioned to enable the Government of Sikkim to attain the broader goal of making Sikkim slum-free and ensure that the urban poor are provided with the basic amenities they need. My Ministry has been pursuing the goal of Slum-free Urban India Campaign under JNNURM, launched since October 2007 from Tirupathi. This Campaign stipulates that seven basic amenities and entitlements to the urban poor, namely land tenure, affordable shelter, water, sanitation, education, health and social security must be provided to the slum-dwellers in the country by 2012.

I am happy to announce that the UPA Government has resolved to introduce a new scheme called Rajiv Awas Yojana for the slum dwellers and the urban poor. The Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) would extend support to States/UTs that are willing to assign property rights to people living in slum areas. UPA Government's effort would be to create a Slum free India in five years through the Rajiv Awas Yojana. The Rajiv Awas Yojana will provide a new RAY hope for our cities and towns, especially to the poor, slum-dwellers and disadvantaged sections of the urban society. I urge the Chief Minister to work out plan for Slum-free Sikkim where all the poor residents would own a home and access basic services. I also urge that all the slum dwellers are provided with property rights and enabled to lead a life with dignity.

In addition to JNNURM and the newly announced Rajiv Awas Yojana, my Ministry is working on several initiatives for the urban poor. We have revamped the Swarna Jayanti Shahri Rozgar Yojana with focus on empowerment of women’s self-help groups, entrepreneurship development for self-employment, micro-enterprises, micro-finance, community mobilization and capacity building. The budget for the scheme has been hiked by the UPA Government from Rs.250 Crores in 2006-07 to Rs.515 Crores in 2009-10. To focus on skill development and employability of the poor, the Government of India has announced National Skill Development Mission. The Mission will focus on development of modern skills and training to enable the poor to access remunerative jobs opened up by globalizing urban economies. We are targeting skills training for 2 lakh persons a year under the revamped SJSRY which has come into effect on 1st April 2009.

We have also revised the National Policy on Street Vendors’ 2004 in order to enable the street vendors carry out their trade without harassment from various authorities. The new Street Vendors Policy 2009 and Model Law on Street Vendors 2009 have been circulated to all State and UT Governments. I have urged the Chief Ministers to implement the new Street Vendors Policy to give a new deal to the street vendors. Master Plan must provide legal space for street vending. The Town Vending Committee must have at least 40% members from the street vendors themselves. The vendors must be enabled to carry out business in a hassle free and legal manner.

I am happy to inform you that we have launched an Interest Subsidy Scheme for Housing the Urban Poor. Under this scheme, the urban poor will be able to get loans from banks and other institutions at interest 5% lower than the market rate of interest to build their houses. I urge that the Government of Sikkim takes steps to avail benefit from the scheme.

I hope the machinery of the State Government would ensure that the benefits of JNNURM and other schemes reach the urban poor, especially the youth and women. These programmes have to be implemented in convergence with other Government of India initiatives. The issues of quality healthcare, primary education, social security etc. will have to be addressed by converging urban poverty alleviation programmes with the schemes of Health, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana, Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme, National Social Assistance Progarmme including Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme, Integrated Child Development Scheme, Janani Suraksha Yojana etc. I assure that the Government of India will extend full support to the Government of Sikkim to implement programmes for the poor and disadvantaged sections.

Last, but not the least, let me congratulate all the beneficiaries for whom foundation stone for houses is laid today. I wish them all the very best for the future. I also thank the State Government of Sikkim for having made this project possible. I would request the Government to ensure that the beneficiaries are also covered under skill development and employment generation support programmes under SJSRY.

Let us all work together with enthusiasm and dedication to make Urban India Slum-free and Poverty-free as quickly as possible.”
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When i started my blog on Sikkim way back in 2007, i had it clear on my mind that this blog shall help people look out for knowledge on Sikkim. I always wanted a knowledge house about Sikkim, its past, present and future. I do not know over the years how much did i succeed but my determination to let other understand my Sikkim is always giving me a push. with regards Shital Pradhan (himalayanreview@gmail.com)

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