Gujarat announces Rs 13-crore scheme for state's poor

By Minti Jain
Published: Thursday 31 May 2007

gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on March 29, 2007, announced a Rs 13-crore scheme for the state's urban poor. The programme, called Garib Samriddhi Scheme, envisages, among other things, setting up 175,000 private toilets and 5,000 pay-and-use-toilets in slums over the next five years. It also plans to construct 250,000 houses for its urban poor under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission at a cost of Rs 2,200 crore. The timing of the announcement, with elections due at the end of the year, raises doubts.

"None of the components are new. These are stand-alone schemes that are being bunched," says an ngo member. Raising doubts over the scheme and not wanting to be named, he says workability depends on urban local bodies and whether it can be implemented.

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (amc), meanwhile, received the Dubai international award for Parivartan, a slum-networking project, on March 28. Experts on slum development, however, say the project fails to address the issue of security of tenure. But an amc official says "The slum dwellers have no 'patta' and have been given assurance that they will not be removed for 10 years. If amc requires the same land, alternative arrangement will be made."

Kirti Shah, director, Ahmedabad Study Action Group, an ngo, adds that the project's pace was too slow.

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