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Tuesday, Aug 07, 2007
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It will be implemented under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission
Construction of houses for urban poor expected to begin by September-end
COIMBATORE: “Make Coimbatore a liveable city for the urban poor too,” Minister of State for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja said on Monday.
She was speaking after inaugurating the Coimbatore Corporation’s scheme to provide houses to slum dwellers. The scheme will be implemented under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, being run by the Union Ministry of Urban Development. Ms. Selja’s Ministry plays a role in the mission, in providing houses to the urban poor.
The city must ensure that every slum dweller or poor person had access to all basic services, including land and affordable housing by 2005-2012, the duration of the mission, she said.
Of the Rs.50,000 crore earmarked as assistance for 63 cities, Rs.20,000 crore had been committed to providing houses and basic amenities for the urban poor.
Totally, 414 projects had been approved under the Basic Services to the Urban Poor and Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme components. “We have approved close to seven lakh dwelling units for the urban poor. For Tamil Nadu, my ministry has sanctioned 51,447 housing units. In Coimbatore, 16,470 houses have been sanctioned for the poor,” she said.
The Centre’s share, earmarked by her ministry for schemes, across the country was Rs.6,943 crore. Of this, Rs.514 crore was for Tamil Nadu, including Rs.161 crore for Coimbatore. “We are waiting for more project reports from Tamil Nadu. My Ministry will sanction these very quickly.”
State Rural Industries Minister Pongalur N. Palanisamy called upon the Union Minister to allot another Rs.250 crore for providing houses to the urban poor in the city, under the Corporation’s project.
(The Corporation has already drawn up two phases of a scheme at around Rs.250 crore to provide houses and basic amenities to the poor in 80 of the 173 slums in the city. The rest will be covered in the third phase that requires a similar amount as the first two phases.)
Referring to the slums encroaching water bodies, the Minister said these people had insisted on continuing to live there as they did not have faith in the assurance that they would be provided alternative sites for houses. “This is because promises made earlier by politicians had not been kept. But, we are implementing this programme this time,” he said.
Joint Commissioner of Municipal Administration Hitesh Kumar S. Makhwana said the Centre had cleared schemes worth Rs.3,500 crore for Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai, the highest for any State.
As for slum development, he said the Government would give pattas to the poromboke lands occupied by the slum dwellers. Land would be identified to provide houses for those settled on waterbodies. The construction of houses for the urban poor was expected to begin by September-end.
Mayor R. Venkatachalam said while the first phase of providing the houses involved a cost of Rs.58 crore, the second would cost Rs.199 crore.
As for providing alternative site in the third phase, the Corporation would allot 50 acres to relocate people.
Corporation Commissioner P. Muthuveeran made a presentation on the housing scheme to explain the kind of facilities that would be provided for the slum dwellers and to make the city slum-free.
Joint Secretary of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation P.K. Mohanty, State Municipal Administration and Water Supply Secretary K. Deenabandhu and Coimbatore Collector Neeraj Mittal were present at the inauguration of the scheme.
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