Government launches Rajiv Awas Yojana to house urban poor; Centre to fund Rs50,000 per unit
Scheme aims to cover about 250 cities and towns. A couple of programmes initiated over the past three years have reported little progress
The ministry for housing and urban poverty alleviation has launched a new scheme 'Rajiv Awas Yojana' (RAY) with a vision to 'create a slum-free India'. The first phase of this project, which will be undertaken over two years, has a budget of Rs5,000 crore.
Under the scheme, central support will provide Rs50,000 per unit, or about 25% of the cost of civic infrastructure (external and internal), whichever is lower.
The scheme is expected to be implemented in nearly 250 cities and towns by the end of the 12th Plan (2017). The selection of the location will be done by states in consultation with the Centre.
The states would be required to include all the cities already under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) programme, those with a population of more than 3 lakh in the 2001 census, and some other smaller cities.
A list of 157 cities, for which funds have been released for preparatory work under the Slum Free City Planning Scheme, contains names of metros and upcoming centres like Visakhapatnam, Ahmedabad, Shillong, Bhubaneswar and Varanasi.
Union minister of state for urban employment and poverty alleviation, Kumari Selja, informed parliament on Tuesday that 50% of in-city costs will be borne by the Centre. In the case of north-east and special category states, the share of the Centre would be 90%, which would also include the cost of land acquisition, if necessary.
The existing schemes for the urban poor, Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) and Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP), have not progressed in the last three years.
IHSDP has failed to come up with any dwelling units in Gujarat since the launch of the programme in 2008, though 10,019 units have been approved. Under BSUP, which was launched in 2005, 2,624 dwelling units have been completed and 2,040 are under construction. The figures haven't changed since 2008.
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