ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Making Indian Cities Slum-Free

Vision and Operationalisation

The plan of making urban India slum-free faced serious diffi culties in the Eleventh Plan period and it looks like these will persist in the Twelfth Plan period as well. This article points out that the schemes in operation lack a reliable framework for identifying non-tenable slums and legitimate slum households that are entitled to get dwelling units. Further, the design of the Rajiv Awas Yojana betrays a big-city bias to attract global capital, and there is no clear road map for its time-bound implementation.

The Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) is a major flagship programme of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, designed to build on the groundwork carried out during the Eleventh Plan period and launched on a national scale during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012-17). It projects the vision of a slum-free India, its primary objective being enabling poor urban families to realise their dream of owning a house that has a proper land title and access to basic amenities. The initial years of its operation have, however, created diverse expectations in different quarters. The real estate and builder’s lobby, which apprehends that the housing bubble is about to burst, wants it to give a boost to construction activity. The banking-cum-financing sector, uncertain of the demand for housing loans and their recovery, believes there will be a substantial increase in interest subsidies and a streamlining of the mortgage market. The upper and middle classes hope that their cities will be “sanitised” when the programme is implemented, with slums disappearing either through upgradation or eviction.

The Large City Bias

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