Chennai: In a bid to make the state slum-free, the Tamil Nadu government has selected nine urban agglomerations under the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) for preparing proper rehabilitation plans.
Official sources told Express that the likely nine cities are Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Erode, Tiruppur, Tiruchy, Tirunelveli, Salem and Vellore.
Sources said RAY may be extended to all 25 urban agglomerations with more than 1,00,000 population based on the 2011 census and subsequently to all urban areas.
According to State government estimates, about 13.96 lakh families (59 lakh persons) are living in urban slums in Tamil Nadu. Similarly, a report by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation estimates the slum population in Tamil Nadu at 86.44 lakh in 2011.
Rajiv Awas Yojana, which was formulated by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, envisages that each State should prepare a plan of action that includes preparation of legislation for assignment of property rights to slum-dwellers, upgradation of existing slums and action to prevent new slums.
Preparation of the slum-free city plan will broadly involve slum redevelopment or rehabilitation plans based on a survey of all slums—notified and non-notified —mapping of slums using state-of-art technology, integration of geo-spatial and socio-economic data and identification of development model proposed for each slum, according to Rajiv Awas Yojana Guidelines for Slum-free City Planning.
Sources said that focus would be accorded to rehabilitation of slums in objectionable areas in Chennai and top 10 urban agglomerations initially, followed by slum rehabilitation in other cities. Interestingly, civil society has welcomed Rajiv Awas Yojana and said it will bridge the gap in housing. Vanessa of Citizen Rights Forum said that the housing process under RAY should ensure inclusiveness of the cities, adequate community consultations and mapping of urban land.