M'lore too has 21 slums!

M'lore too has 21 slums!

A notified slum located in the heart of the city in Kodialguthu.

It is a fact that Mangalore is growing at a rapid pace. However, the city is still not been devoid of slums. If few of the slum dwellers are the residents of this city for a decade or so and are comparatively in a better off condition, it is the labour camps and other small makeshift structures which are actually a matter of concern.

Call it a failure of the town planning section of the Mangalore City Corporation or the ignorance of the authorities concerned, there are quite a few slums in the City which need the attention at the earliest. As per the directions of the Central government, all the cities in the country have been asked to carry out “Slum Mapping” a year ago.
Following the directions, the MCC too took up the task of surveying the slums in the City, six months back and it holds the credit of completing the mapping work at a short span of time.

As per the information collected during the survey, the City shelters 21 slums out of which eight are notified and 13 are non-notified slums. The notified slums are existing in the city for a long time and are recognised by the local bodies, where as non-notified slums are the slums which lack basic infrastructure and sanitation and are not recognised by the local bodies. The total population in the Mangalore slums is 11,024. If as many as 2,225 people belong to SC category, 913 members belong to Scheduled Tribe. Slum populations of 3,160 belong to OBC, 2,206 belonging to minority category and 2,520 belongs to general category.

Lack of infrastructure

Among the 21 slums in the City, the slums located in the private land lack basic infrastructure. Among the eight notified slums, two slums are located in the land belonging to the State government and six slums are in private owned land. Whereas in the 13 non-notified slums, three are located in the government owned land and rest of them are in the private land. The possession of title deed is one of the issues of concern.
Though the notified slums located in the government land possess title deeds, the problem is with the non-notified slums located in the private land. They mostly lack title deeds and also the basic infrastructure facilities to lead a happy life.

It could be recalled that the then Mayor Shankar Bhat during his tenure had made an ideal announcement in the 2009 budget session of building flats for slum dwellers in various places of the City. The decision was much lauded as it aimed at improving the condition of slum dwellers. He had planned for constructing the flats in the vacant vast lands which are inhibited by a few families. However, no development took place thereafter. And the statement was recorded in the documents which must have been covered with dust.

Recently, Housing Minister V Somanna too announced of building high rise complexes for the slum dwellers in the State. In the month of April, speaking at a public programme, he also promised of distributing title deeds to the slum dwellers across the State within a month. He had said that the government even wished to offer Transferable Development Rights (TDR) to slum dwellers in the private land, so that the government could use the land for the developmental work. However, none of the work related to his promises has been initiated so far.   Speaking to City Herald, Lakshmi, a slum dweller from Hampankatta, said: “We slum dwellers don’t expect the government to build complexes and offer us, but all we need is a simple neat house where we can take shelter during sun and rain.” The slum dwellers, mostly the civic workers in Vivekanagara, Kodialguthu slum are living a normal life. One of the civic workers said they are quite content about their life. “We have small houses built under Rajiv Awas Yojana and we own title deeds too. We are living a peaceful life here and don’t have any expectations,” he said.

MCC’s plan

Informing about the MCC’s future plans to improve the condition of slums, Commissioner Dr K N Vijayprakash said the MCC has intended to spend Rs 10 lakh for capacity building of the slum dwellers which includes training initiatives like occasional and professional training.

“As we have submitted the detailed slum mapping to the Central government, the government would allot us the fund as per the requirement. The indicators for the slums will be fixed by Urban Statistics for Human Resources and Assessment (USHA) and the ranking will be done.

Along with improving the housing conditions, the Mangalore City Corporation would thrust on the overall development of the slums including, bringing awareness about sanitation, food and nutrition, health issues, postnatal and prenatal care among others.
“The integrated development of slums would include, the infrastructure development, improving the basic services and convergence with health, education and social security scheme,” he said.

He stressed that the MCC does not hold the objective to eradicate slums, but it aims at the rehabilitation of slum dwellers.

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