India

Traduction : Google traduction | Last update : January 2016

URBANIZATIONindia

According to the Report of World Urbanization Prospects (United Nation 2014), India is growing with a rate of 1.1% each year. In 2014, 32% of the population live in urban area. (1)

  • Urban Area : 221.979 thousands (1990) > 410.204 thousands (2014) > 814.399 thousands (2050)
  • Rural Area : 646.911 thousands (1990) > 857.198 thousands (2014) > 805.652 thousands (2050)

History of Cities – Heritage

Urban Housing

Rural Housing

LEGAL ASPECTS

Right to Housing

There is no constitutional provisions in India for the right to housing. However, the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India , which demarcates governance powers over different issues to the center and the state, land is a ‘state’ subject. Though housing is not explicitly listed, the state list includes: “works, lands and buildings vested in or in the possession of the state.” Most laws regulating land and housing therefore are promulgated and administered at the federal level. At the Federal level, some of the recent new policies/laws affecting housing and land are: Odisha Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Bill 2015; Andhra Pradesh Land Pooling Scheme (2015); Telangana Land Regularization Scheme (2015); Amendment to Gujarat Land Laws.

Shelter is the basic human need and very closely related to the right to livelihood mentioned in the Constitution of India under Article 21.

Other legal sources :

  • Judgments of Supreme Court of India has affirmed that Right to Life (Art. 21) includes right to housing.
  • The most significant national law that governs informal settlements is the Slum Areas (Improvements and Clearance) Act 1956 governing Union Territories, but adopted by states.
  • Other significant central laws include : Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006; Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013; Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act 2015; Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act 2015. National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy 2007 that focus on ‘Affordable Housing for All’ is scheduled to be revised and reissued in 2017. Schemes/Mission by the current government: PMAY-Housing for All by 2022; SMART Cities Mission; Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation; National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana.
  • Indian People’s Tribunal on Environment and Human Rights – the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 32

Forced Eviction

1 – THE SITUATION

According to the PROUD, Public squatting is illegal and in the absence of a proper housing policy every government has used the notion of  ‘cut of date’ to make some people legal occupants and others illegal. (1)

Public squatting is illegal and in the absence of a proper housing policy every government has used the notion of ‘cut of date’ to make some people legal occupants and others illegal. (1)

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (Draft Land Aquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill-2011)

Inspite of the recurring assurances for amelioration of the slums by political parties before every election and their commitment in the international conventions, our governments continue to carry-on forceful evictions in cities. Under the spell of globalisation and in fierce completion to attract global investment, city authorities would go to any extent to augment infrastructure, undertake development projects for beautification. (1)

Like this, we hear several reports of forceful evictions every day evicting thousands of poor families from different parts of developing countries thus violating all International Human Rights Covenants to uphold the rights of the affluent class. (1)

In 2004-2005, city of Mumbai itself has witnessed inhuman evictions carried-out by State Govt. of Maharashtra and Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation(BMC) in which   more than 80,000 families have become homeless. Inspite of international linkage, constant protest actions, the role and capacity of civil society, NGOs and other such agents seems to be marginal to influence the state policies in favour of the poor. (1)

While one section of our society having all the riches and enjoy 24 hours of drinking water, electricity, good sanitation, all of them are not only denied to the poor but they are not even tolerated and spared in cities. They are evicted regularly for some reasons or the other. These evictions are eating into the city’s soul. Thousands of slums being cruelly flattened to bring entire families on the streets, begging. Everything that once they had is gone. It is true that their homes are illegitimate but they have raised them with their life’s savings. By breaking their homes, BMC not only violated their right to housing but also destroyed their livelihood. Can anyone expect the children who have watched their homes broken before their eyes to ever respect the law again ? their anger, their frustration will find a way out, to hurt the very society they had once sworn to serve. (1)

Similarly, by driving away vendors off the street and shutting down their means of livelihood, our govt. is only exacerbating joblessness. All that these poor people were doing was borrowing ten square feet of pavement for a few hours from the Mafias that controls it , paying regular hafta to them and police who come to harass them, they serve thousands of people who buy their food, clothes, books etc. off the street cheap. By destroying their stalls, Govt. is not cleaning up Mumbai but are endangering it. Is this the way a democratic nation treating it’s citizens ? (1)

The example of Subhashnagar, Wadala, where all the residents were residing near the Don Bosco School for about 15 years or more prior to November 1993. But part of the settlement was demolished on May 10, 1993, and no notices were given prior to the demolition. The police had even resorted to lathi charge and several persons suffered injuries. The site from which they were evicted from near the Don Bosco School has now been made into a ‘garden’. There are numerous examples to show that the middle class notion of beautification which led to the demolition of many a slum. (1)

One of them being the Sanjay Gandhi Nagar in Nariman Point where people came for construction work and settled there in the construction site and areas, which were unsuitable for development work. It was not long before the people they served expressed their distaste for them as neighbours. The Cuffe 46 Indian People’s Tribunal on Environment and Human Rights Parade/ Colaba Residents Association brought pressure upon the local authority to remove them from sight. As a result, in 1980 the municipal authority demolished the colony. Having nowhere to go, the people simply rebuilt their huts. In 1981 and 1986 they were demolished again untInspite of the recurring assurances for amelioration of the slums by political parties before every election and their commitment in the international conventions. (1)

According to Montfort Social Institute (2), India has the world’s largest number of people, 632 million, living in multidimensional poverty. A Technical Group on Urban Housing Shortage estimated that the national urban housing shortage (2012) was 18.78 million, 95% of which are of poor.

The reasons include (2) :

  • speculation and illegal changes in land use;
  • displacement for infrastructure and other projects (It is estimated that 65-70 million people were displaced for ‘development’ since 1947);
  • Special Economic Zones (A CAG Report states that of 392 notified SEZs, for which lands were acquired, only 152 are operational.);
  • Irrigation and Hydroelectric projects (Example: Narmada Valley Development Projectestimated to displace 1.5 million people in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhy Pradesh; Kanhar Dam that commenced in 2014 will submerge 87 villages and displace 7,500 families; Jalayagnam consisting of 86 projects in Andhra Pradesh will displace 129,739 families);
  • Thermal Power Projects;
  • Mining and Steel Projects (Vedanta Alumina Refinery; POSCO Steel Plant);
  • Land Acquistion by Armed Forces (1000,000 acres of land acquired in Jammu and Kashmir by 2013).

In the absence of affordable housing millions of mostly informal sector workers live on the streets and slums. Most low income residents do not enjoy security of tenure over their land and housing. They are often routinely evicted. Terms like ‘slum’, ‘encroacher’ and ‘illegal’ are part of the urban governance vocabulary, making them vulnerable to eviction. (2)

According to 2011 census, India has 1.7 million homeless persons of whom 938,384 in urban areas. Homeless women suffer the worst kind of violence and insecurity. Forced evictions happen for reasons such as ‘urban renewal’, ‘city beautification’, ‘slum free city schemes’. But often it is to free up land by both government and private players for real estate and profit. (2)

  • 200,000 people from 19 sites were evicted for 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi;
  • 35,000 homes were demolished in Yamuna Pushta, Delhi; Between Nov. 2004 and March 2005,
  • 90,000 houses in 44 settlements were demolished in Mumbai to transform it into another Shangai.
  • In 2006, Indira Nagar and Janata Nagar, Mumbai, homes were demolished and settlements set on fire by authorities.
  • A HRLN study indicates that between 2010 -15, 57,000 families in urban areas were evicted forcefully. But this is a limited study of some cities. The impact of such displacements is long lasting and often irreversible driving people and their communities to despair.

2 – WHAT CAN DO SOCIAL MOVEMENTS ?

Organisations like PROUD has organised the local communities, through issue-solving process, constant people’s struggles pressurising the local authorities, not only stopped forceful evictions in Dharavi slum but also influenced Govt. policies for housing schemes for the urban poor. (1)

  • On 11th and 12th December, 2004, about 150 people representing NGOs, CBOs, Labour unions and other housing rights activists met in a meeting organized by Committee for the Right to Housing(CRH) and decided to form an united action group to face the eviction-issue. This resulted in forming, “ Awas Adhikar Samyukta Kruti Samiti ” which met several times for mobilizing more and more support.
  • On 22nd December, 2004, PROUD, along with POWER and Mumbai Urban Poor Forum Submitted a Memorandum to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra strongly protesting the ruthless evictions carried in different parts of Mumbai and appealed to stop evictions immediately and rehabilitate the affected people.
  • On 27th December, 2004, an Appeal letter against forceful evictions and the plight of the urban poor was written to Ms. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, UPA, Shri. Sharad Pawar, President , NCP and Shri. Somnath Chatterji, Loksabha Speaker by Mumbai Urban Poor Forum.
  • On 30th December, 2004, there was a press conference organized by   joint action forum, “Awas Adhikar Samyukta Kruti Samiti ” to protest forceful evictions before providing alternative shelter to the poor.
  • On 17th January, 2005, a Public Hearing was organized in which International Human Rights Activists like Mr. Miloon Kothari, Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing for the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Justice(Rtd.) Hosbet Suresh, Kenneth Fernandes, COHRE joined to condemn the way the evictions were carried-out by BMC violating International covenants such as United Nations Habitat-II Istanbul declaration.
  • And finally, on 2nd and 3rd February, 2005 two Protest Dharnas were organized which was also attended by Ms. Medha Patkar, several NGOs, CBOs, Labour Unions and some political parties. This followed by some delegates meeting with Chief Minister and deputy Chief Minister respectively which also failed to fetch any positive results as they were adamant to make Mumbai to be listed as an International financial center like London, New York and Tokyo. Total 4 demands were put in-front of them, they heard us out and said that the cabinet and BMC is meeting on the same day at 8.30 pm to decide on this issue.

According to Montfort Social Institute, the civil society has been finding ways to resist forced evictions (2) :

  • POSCO Steel Plant proposed to be constructed at a cost of USD 12 billion in Odisha was stiffly resisted by the victims over the last decade through legal means, and grass root mobilization in spite of heavy repression. People were finally victorious when the company decided not to go ahead with the project last year.
  • In August 2013, the Kondh tribe rejected Vedanta’s bauxite mining proposal in the Niyamgiri hills that threatened to displace them from their sacred ancestral land.
  • The three decade old Narmada Valley Development Project has encountered resistance from people led by Narmada Bachao Andolan. It opened up a ‘development’ debate in the country.
  • In October 2015, National Green Tribunal prohibited closing of the dam gates until completion of rehabilitation.
  • On the urban front too, there has been resistance. One of the important victories is the 18 year old struggle in Hyderabad against Nandanavanam Project (Musi River Front Project) that threatens to displace around 20,000 people. The struggle led by Campaign for Housing and Tenurial Rights (CHATRI) and Montfort Social Institute (MSI) besides stopping the displacement, initiated a debate on the type of resettlement required. The Movement has been insisting on in situ development that provides adequate housing of two bed rooms has been finally accepted by the current Telangana state for the urban and rural poor. The pilot project is implemented with the support of CHATRI and MSI at IDH Colony. The experience is to be replicated in the rest of the state.
  • There is resistance building up to the plans of the new government to build 100 SMART cities and other ‘urban renewal’ programs. The resistance to the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, Amaravati, led by CHATRI/MSI, environmental groups, farmers and others is typical of the way these projects are looked at.

Land Rights

According to the PROUD, land reforms were accorded highest significance as tool of poverty alleviation to set up an egalitarian society in village in tune with the socialist ideology enshrined in the constitution’s Directives principles of state Policy.272 legislations have been enacted so far with regard to land reform. (1)

The Zamidari system was abolished, and land reform was included in the policy guidelines of almost every Five Year Plan. All the state Governments were asked to enact the Agricultural Land Ceiling Act and limit the maximum landholdings, to acquire surplus land and distribute it among the landless and marginal farmers. By 1961, almost all states passed the Agricultural Land Ceiling Act. (1)

As a result of the utter failure of the abolition of the Zamidari system, the Planning Commission, in 1955, advised all the state Government to a ceiling on agricultural land holding , to acquire land and distribute surplus land among the landless and other marginalized . However legislation were full of loopholes and favored big landholders. It was widely perceived that most of the states deliberately delayed the land ceiling legislation to enable big landholders to manipulate land records and transfer excess land. As a result, by 1970, ceiling laws had resulted in vesting only one million hectares of agricultural land of which 50% was distributed to the rural poor but not necessarily to the landless. (1)

With the onset of Globalization and the establishment of industries and agrao-industries (promoted by governments) is increasing the problems of landlessness and the exodus of rural populations. Poor peoples deprived of their livelihood resources, have no other choice than join ranks of landless workers in the city slums areas. Some statistics are:

  • 43% of the people of India are still absolutely and near landless (<0.2 ha.)
  • 13.345 Dalits and 11.50% Tribal households are absolute landless
  • A mere 1.33% landholders in the country (having more than 10 hectares) continue to control 15.20% of the land holdings
  • 63% of marginal landholders control only 15.60% of the landholdings (NSS 48th round 1992)
  • Landlessness among Dalits increased from 56.8% in 1977-78 to 61.9% in 1983
  • Landlessness among tribals increased from 48.5% in 1977-78 to 49.4% in 1983

Big landholders have been grabbing the land Dalits and Tribals, either by flexing or by manipulation of land records in connivance with land officials, or by lending money to adivasis at exorbitant rates of interest. As a result, alienation of 9,15,442.57 acres of Adivasis land has been reported as on November 30, 1996(Land Reform Section, GOI). (1)

The land of tribals is taken away for setting up development projects, industrial concerns, and national pars and for other purposes. Since independence, the establishment of various development projects has displaced around 30 million people have been displaced by the establishment of various projects. Of them, around 40% are Adivasis and 25% are Dalits. (1)

Land Grabbing

According to the PROUD, with the onset of Globalization and the establishment of industries and agrao-industries (promoted by governments) is increasing the problems of landlessness and the exodus of rural populations. Poor peoples deprived of their livelihood resources, have no other choice than join ranks of landless workers in the city slums areas. (1) Some statistics are:

  • 43% of the people of India are still absolutely and near landless (<0.2 ha.)
  • 13.345 Dalits and 11.50% Tribal households are absolute landless
  • A mere 1.33% landholders in the country (having more than 10 hectares) continue to control 15.20% of the land holdings
  • 63% of marginal landholders control only 15.60% of the landholdings (NSS 48th round 1992)
  • Landlessness among Dalits increased from 56.8% in 1977-78 to 61.9% in 1983
  • Landlessness among tribals increased from 48.5% in 1977-78 to 49.4% in 1983

Big landholders have been grabbing the land Dalits and Tribals, either by flexing or by manipulation of land records in connivance with land officials, or by lending money to adivasis at exorbitant rates of interest. As a result, alienation of 9,15,442.57 acres of Adivasis land has been reported as on November 30, 1996 (Land Reform Section, GOI). (1)

Land mafia grab citizens’ peace – Owners struggle to stake claim over property as builders plot in connivance with cops JOY SENGUPTA. (1)

Some instances as below:

Patna, Jan. 14: Owning a property in the state capital is becoming a pain for the citizens, especially those who have stepped into their old age.

Mala Ghosh, an octogenarian, is living in constant fear of being thrown out of her two-storeyed house on Dakbungalow Road. Mala has all the documents to prove the house was built by her late husband in 1939 and is registered in her name. But that isn’t proving to be of much help in the legal wrangle she is caught in. Another set of documents claims she has sold off the property to a man from Barh. “My house is built over three-and-a-half cottah. On September 24 last year, a person from Barh court came to my house with a notice. I was shocked to know that a case has been filed against me claiming that in June 2008, I had entered into an agreement with one Sanjay Kumar towards selling this house for Rs 20 lakh. As per this agreement, I had visited Haquiqatpur village in Barh and signed the sale documents. The complainant also said that I had already taken Rs 15 lakh from him,” Mala said.

The elderly woman’s ordeal did not end with the “false” complaint. Sanjay Kumar, the complainant, moved court claiming Mala was not ready to accept the remaining Rs 5 lakh and vacate the property.

“This person has filed a civil suit against me at the Barh court. The fact is I have no clue about who Sanjay Kumar is and neither have I ever visited Barh. The agreement has my fake signature as well as the signature of Sanjay Kumar and four other witnesses whom I don’t know,” Mala, a former principal of Magadh Mahila College, told The

Mala, who at 83 is active and strong, is ready to fight for her house. As the case hearing continues in court, Mala continues to stay in the “disputed house”. Sanjay Kumar could not be reached for comment.

The former teacher, however, is not the only one caught in such property disputes. A number of other people, mostly senior citizens, are running from pillar to post to gain control of the property they bought with their hard-earned money. Their humble background and fast greying hair give the land mafia and builders reasons to believe they can be easy targets of extortion and land grab.

The case of 52-year-old Sharad Chandra Sinha, a teacher of psychology at AN College, is becoming more complicated each passing day. Sharad bought a two cottah land in the Anisabad area in 2003 at a cost of Rs 3 lakh. “After buying the land, I constructed the boundary wall and a small house in 2004. The same year, the circle officer (CO) executed the mutation of my land. On November 8 last year, I was at my land overseeing some construction work when around 20 people came down and threatened me at gunpoint to stop the work. On November 10, the same men, accompanied by probationary sub-inspector B.K. Choudhary, asked me to come to the Gardanibagh police station with all the land papers,” Sharad said.

He obeyed the police order and says he showed his property papers to a sub-inspector at Gardanibagh police station. “The goons claimed the land belonged to Hina Sahib, wife of incarcerated don Mohammad Shahabuddin, and the boundary wall was erected by them. The goons, too, showed land ownership papers, based on which the construction on my land was stopped. I met director-general of police (DGP) Abhayanand with my grievance on November 19. The DGP immediately contacted the station house officer at Gardanibagh and directed him to look into the matter. The same day, the sub-divisional officer imposed sections 144 and 107 on my land, restricting me from going there and carrying out any construction work,” Sharad said.

Till this day, Sharad is making rounds of police stations to regain control of his plot. “The cost of my land now will easily touch a crore. I do not know what to do. I am running to the police station and to the sub-divisional officer in the hope of getting some solution,” he added.

On December 25, The Telegraph had reported the plight of a retired government engineer, Mathura Singh (65), a resident of Raja Bazaar, who had locked up his family and himself inside his house after allegedly receiving threat calls from a builder, Anil Singh. The builder, alleged Mathura, has asked him to vacate his 5.75 cottah land in the CDA Colony and pay up Rs 25 lakh. According to Mathura, the builder, in connivance with some relatives of his, captured the plot given to him by his father-in-law. “We won the (land dispute) case in July last year. On December 21, Anil called me at 11.30pm and threatened me to pay up Rs 25 lakh, the money he had supposedly spent in fighting the case. I lodged an FIR with the Shastri Nagar police station the very next day but the builder has not been arrested yet,” Mathura said. Anil was unavailable for comment.

If Mathura is being harassed by powerful people, 59-year-old Sunetra Ray is facing threats from the people she allowed to stay on rent in her house.

On November 23 last year, Sunetra, daughter of former Patna district magistrate (DM) Baidya Nath Basu, approached present Patna DM Sanjay Kumar Singh, alleging that her house in the Sri Krishna Puri area had been captured by owners of a private coaching institute who were threatening her with dire consequences if she reported the matter to anyone.

Sunetra, who at present works as an assistant general manager at Steel Authority of India Limited in Delhi, said that in July 2010, she gave her house to a coaching institute on a monthly rent of Rs 20,000. After March 2011, the institute stopped paying the house rent. It did not even pay the electricity bill because of which the power supply was disconnected. Later, the institute owners installed a generator on the premises and continued their business.

Based on Sunetra’s complaint, the DM has ordered an immediate inquiry into the matter. Earlier last year, an IIT Kharagpur faculty, Sujoy Kumar Guha, complained that his house, located on New Dakbunglow Road, had been captured by the land mafia. Till date, no relief has come the teacher’s way. Legal experts believe builders and the land mafia are targeting elderly owners as it is easier to “harass” them.

“It is a fact that the land mafia mostly target people who have passed their prime and are living alone or are out of town. In most cases, the local police stations are hand-in-glove with the mafia,” Sameer Kant Sinha, a lawyer, told The Telegraph. Echoing Sameer’s views, Ramakant Prasad Verma, an advocate at Patna Civil Court, said no person can be harassed if the police and the administration are strict and vigilant.

“In Patna, land and property grabbing has become quite common. Making fake agreement papers and forcing court cases on the owners is the most common ploy. These builders and land grabbers work in connivance with the local police. If the police and the local administration are transparent and truthful, no person can be troubled. Muscle power is rarely used these days as the builders have worked out other ways to trouble a person using the law,” the advocate said.

He added that those caught in such cases have little way out.

“It is only the court which can help them. Such matters take a lot of time but the court is the only saviour. Also, the senior officials sitting in the administration and police can do a lot,” Ramakant said.

The district administration, when asked, had nothing new to say. “Most of these cases are related to forgery. The district administration takes up these matters very seriously whenever they are brought forward. For instance, in case of Mala Ghosh, the administration has provided security to her,” Patna DM Sanjay Kumar Singh said. Security cannot ward off legal troubles, but for now, octogenarian Mala can breathe easy under the watchful eyes of policemen.

Some Interesting Practices

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASPECTS

Housing Market

According to Montfort Social Institute (2) :

The 2011 census in India reports that 69 per cent of the population (742.5 million) live in its 6,40,867 villages. India has the largest number of landless households (101 million ) in the world. (2)

According to the Socio-economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011, 13 per cent of the rural households live in one room with mud/temporary walls and roof. The total national rural housing shortage at the end of 2012 was estimated at 40 million, of which 90 per cent were Below Poverty Line (BPL) households. (2)

A Technical group on Urban Housing Shortage estimated that the national urban housing shortage at the end of 2012 was 18.78 million, 95 per cent of which was of the poor. A recent study indicated that the urban housing shortage will grow at a rate of 6.6 per cent for 10 years, and will increase to 34 million units by 2022. A 2010 study projects that migration to urban centers will continue, and over 70 per cent of migrants are not likely to have affordable housing at market price. The report says that 38 million households will not be able to afford housing by 2030, with an increase of 30 percent such households in Tier I and Tier cities. The situation will be even worse in Tier IV cities. (2)

Quality of Housing

Informal Housing / Slum / Homeless

According to PROUD, India is a unique country for it’s diverse multi-culture, Multi-religion, Multi-language etc. with 1.2 Billion Population. About 35-40% of the total urban population in India are poor, illiterate, jobless and homeless who are forced to live in slums & squatter-settlements in an un-serviced, un-hygienic, intolerable and subhuman conditions (1) :

  • The urban poor are the victims of evictions whose livelihood opportunities are further being curbed due to increasing Urbanization, Mechanization and Cost-effective strategies,
  • Negligence of urban poor in slums and squatter settlements, street-vendors… by the development agencies.
  • 65% of Mumbai’s 22.5 million people live in slums & squatters, have 1 toilet per/1000 people & <80% have less than 100 Sq. Ft. homes.
  • Formal Housing is unaffordable in urban India leading to proliferation of slums and squatters.

Given the absence of affordable housing, millions are compelled to live in extremely inadequate conditions on the streets and slums. As per the Slum Census 2011, there was a 37.14 per cent decadal growth in slum households. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation estimates that 10 states – Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh account for 82 per cent of the population living in slums. Census 2011 date reveals that 36 per cent of households in slums do not have basic facilities such as electricity, tap water, and sanitation within house premises. Over 27 percent residents live in rental accommodation, mostly in slums. These and other issues are major challenges for the coming years. (2)

ROLE OF PUBLIC AUTHORITIES

Social – Public Housing

Other Programs

According to PROUD, due to the pressure of people’s struggle demanding land ownership and housing rights, Successive Governaments have come up with various schemes in favour of the pooras mentioned below (1) :

1 – The Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act (ULCRA,1976) :

This act imposed a ceiling on vacant land ownership excess of 500 Sq. Mts. in Mumbai and accordingly, the state government of Maharashtra would take over the surplus of vacant land at the low rate of Rs. 10 per Sq.m.

  • The acquired land is going to be used for housing of the Economically Weaker Section(EWS) .
  • The said land use is within public interest
  • Acquisition would cause undue hardship to the landowner
  • Since the public authorities have been unable to continue acquire surplus land and due to lack of land supply , the land price increased enormously.
  • The poor could not afford to buy a house, because of the high construction costs.

2 – The Slum Improvement Programme (SIP):

Started in 1976. As per the 1976 census, the slum population of Mumbai was 3.5 Million, around 6,50,000 families and within SIP a minimum of basic amenities were supposed to be provided free until 1985:

  • 1 drinking water tap per 30 households.
  • Construction of community drainage.
  • 1 toilet seat per 50 persons.
  • Street lights to be provided.
  • Roads to be constructed

According to PROUD, The Main drawbacks of SIP :

  •  SIP was poorly managed and funded though.
  • The maintenance of civic amenities was not covered and there was lack of people’s participation as a result the hygienic situation did not become as good as planned.
  • There was lack of land tenure arrangements, so security did not exist, evictions continued anyway.
  • In many ways SIP appeared to be waste of investments.

3 – The Slum Upgradation Programme (BUDP-SUP, 1985):

Launched as an important part of the World Bank sponsored Bombay Urban Development Project(BUDP). The total cost of BUDP was Rs. 282 crores of which the World Bank paid 151 Crores and the remaining Rs. 131 Crores was funded by the State govt. and the implementing agencies’(MHADA,BMC, BMRDA):

  •  The SUP component was Rs.53 crores.
  • The Project involved the lease of the land of the slums to the housing societies.
  • Loan assistance to slum-dwellers for environmental and home improvement( 1 tap for 10 house holds).
  • The land tenure was given in the form of 30-year renewable land-lease to housing societies on a nominal rate of Rs.1 per annum.
  • Loan assistance consisted of Rs.2,000 per house hold for environmental improvement and Rs.5,000 to Rs.14,250 per house hold for house improvement.
  • The said loan was repayable in 20 years at the rate of 12% interest.
  • The down payment of the slum-dweller was Rs.251 and the maintenance costs of Rs.10-15 per month.
  • The BUDP was officially wound-up in March,1994.

4 – The Prime Minister’s Grant Project, 1985-1994(PMGP)/Rajiv Gandhi

Jopadpati Niwara Parishad (RGJNP):

After a visit of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in December, 1985 he declared a grant of Rs.100 crores to the ameliorate the housing conditions of around 60,000 poor families in the old island city of Mumbai. Apart from Rs.100 crores grant, Rs.37 crores were allocated to the slum redevelopment projects in Dharavi.

  • The cost of the said 180 Sq.Ft.flat was estimated Rs.37,500 in 1987.
  • Down-payment was Rs.5,000 per family.
  • PMGP subsidy was Rs.5,400 per family.
  • PMGP interest free loan was Rs.7,100 per family.
  • Rs. 20,000 was a loan from HUDCO.

After the Gulf war in 1988, when the prices of building materials went-up and the construction cost went-up to Rs.50,000 and there was no subsidy to fill this gap of Rs. 12,500. Due to the above factors, many slum-dwellers eventually sold their houses.

According to Montfort Social Institute,

5 – Indira Awas Yojana (IAY)

Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) to provide housing assistance to the rural poor since 1985, gives financial grant of Rs. 70,000 per unit in the plains and Rs. 75,000 for hills. The government recently announced that the amount is insufficient, and the Scheme will be subsumed under the new Housing for All Program with central government subsidy of Rs. 100,000.

CAG pointed out many irrecularities in its implementaiton. In 2001, VAMBAY scheme was launched to upgrade housing stock and provide adequate housing for urban poor. But a number of housing units are either lying vacant or have not been handed over.

VAMBAY was replaced with JNNURM in 2005. It focused on 65 Mission Cities with the provisions of shelter, upgradation of physical infrastructure and certain social amenities. An appraisal of the implementation of the program found that the City Development Plans (CDP) were not participatory. Nor are they backed by Initial Environmental Studies or Social Impact Assessments.

The 2012 CAG report found that of the 2,815 JNNURM Projects approved until March 2011, only 253 (8.9 per cent)had been completed. Of the 1,066,161 dwelling units approved, only 27 per cent were completed, and only 13.6 per cent occupied. According to a report, there are almost 20,000 dwelling units constructed under JNNURM vacant in Hyderabad alone.

Rajiv Avas Yojana (RAY), announced in 2009 aimed at securing ‘property rights’ for residents in slum settlements, was allotted Rs. 322 bilion during 2012-17. Since its inception, 120,000 houses were approved in 116 houses, but only 1,154 units have been built, and 18,281 are under construction. The current NDA government announced the closure of RAY and JNNURM in June 2015. In this context the two bed room housing for the urban poor at a cost of Rs. 700,000 by Telangana state is an innovation.

Security of tenure is a major issue. In many cities public lands including lands allocated for housing the poor are diverted for profitable projects.

Bibliography & Sitography

  1. PROUD – People’s Responsible Organisation of United Dharavi
  2. Montfort Social Institute

HABITAT AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

Major Problems

According to PROUD :

  • In the absence of a proper housing policy every government has used the notion of ‘cut of date’ to make some people legal occupants and others illegal.
  • Too many NGOs working in the same location but in isolation creating confusion among the local community and leading them to be more dependent.
  • Financial problem and that selection of grantees is in India is often
  • determined not on ability or technical expertise but rather on the
  • applicant’s ability to pay a bribe.
  • The NGOs interviewed by the ACHR-2013 has alleged that to have their application approved required bribes amounting to 15% to 30% of the grant. If a conservative estimate of 15% is used as a “bribe to process the applications”, during the Fiscal Years 2002-2003 to 2008-2009 at least Rs. 10 billions have been spent on bribes paid to different layers of officials for approval of the projects.

According to Montfort Social Institute :

The process of globalization since the 1980s, but more particularly since the 1990s have unleashed market forces that have made cities marketable commodities rather than liveable communities. Land has become highly commodified as also housing. Unrestrained commercial development of housing for the urban elite is precisely at the expense of the poor. Cities in India has traditionally been an alchemy of different social and economic groups living side by side. But this is giving way to exclusive town ships of the elite giving no access to the poor. The new urban development paradigm further accentuates such segregation and exclusion. This make the presence of the urban working classes highly undesirable. This influences policies and governance processes. There is a decline of organisations of the working classes on the one hand, and resistance to their organisation on the other. This has an adverse impact on building people’s movements.

Major Claims

According to PROUD :

Homelessness and housing shortage is perhaps the starkest indicators of urban poverty existing in India. About nineteen million (18.78 million) households grapple with housing shortage in Urban India (2012) as per the estimate of the Technical Group on Urban Housing Shortage (TG-12) (2012-17) constituted by NBO, M/o Housing & Urban Poverty AlleviationWhile housing is  defined  as  being  a  package  of  multiple characteristics including location, tenure, size, infrastructure etc , compromise is made  on  locations , size and cost even where government schemes are implemented, when in fact the issue of ‘affordability’, especially for the poor is closely linked with these indicators. From being homeless to accommodating a family of six members in a single room in the slums are part of the realities in an urban poor’s life. Therefore, addressing the issue of affordable and decent housing in totality becomes crucial while addressing the needs of the urban poor.

According to Montfort Social Institute :

The major demands put forward by Montfort Social Institute and others is that the urban poor as workers who are the major producers of the wealth of the cities have a claim to the city and hence has to be accepted as such in policy and governance. We claim that they have a right not only to the resources of the city, but also as equal participants in the planning of the city and its environs. We claim that there is ‘zero evictions’ of the urban working classes; in situ development of houses so that their livelihoods are not affected; that the exclusion of the poor working classes a majority of whom are dalits, tribals and minorities from exclusive housing zones of the elite in the name of gated communities, caste based housed based housing projects, etc. are stopped herewith.

Some Social Movements

  • MONTFORT SOCIAL INSTITUTE =
  • PROUD =

 

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