By A T Bureau
The Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja has said that in pursuance of the Government’s vision of creating a Slum-free India, a new scheme ‘Rajiv Awas Yojana’ (RAY) has been launched on 02.06.2011. The Scheme is expected to cover about 250 cities, across the entire country by the end of 12th Plan (2017). The selection of the cities will be done in consultation with the Centre. The States would be required to include all the mission cities of JNNURM, preferably cities with more than 3 lakh population as per 2001 Census; and other smaller cities, with due consideration to the pace of growth of the city, of slums, predominance of minority population, and areas where property rights are assigned. The scheme will progress at the pace set by the States.
In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today she said, the Phase I of Rajiv Awas Yojana is for a period of two years from the date of approval of the scheme with a budget of Rs. 5,000 crores. Under the Scheme, Fifty percent (50 %) of the cost of provision of basic civic and social infrastructure and amenities and of housing, including rental housing, and transit housing for in-situ redevelopment – in slums would be borne by the Centre, including operation & maintenance of assets created under this scheme. For the North Eastern and Special Category States the share of the Centre would be 90% including the cost of land acquisition, if required.
She said, the Affordable Housing in Partnership Scheme, which is intended to encourage public private partnerships for the creation of affordable housing stock is dovetailed into RAY. Under this scheme central support will provided at the rate of Rs 50,000 per unit of affordable dwelling unit or 25% of the cost of civic infrastructure (external and internal), whichever is lower.
The Minister said, under the scheme financial assistance will be provided to the States that are willing to assign property rights to slum dwellers. Rajiv Awas Yojana envisages inclusive and equitable cities in which every citizen has access to basic civic and social services and decent shelter. It proposes to create the enabling conditions that will encourage States to tackle the problem of slums in a definitive way, by bringing existing slums within the formal system and enabling them to avail of the same amenities as the rest of the town; redressing the failures of the formal system that lie behind the creation of slums; and tackling the shortages of urban land and housing that keep shelter and housing out of reach of the poor and force them to resort to extralegal solutions in a bid to retain their sources of livelihood.