Slum-free city: Elected reps air divergent opinions

Slum-free city: Elected reps air divergent opinions

Decide to address shortcomings; learn lessons from past failures

Slum-free city: Elected reps air divergent opinions

With many failures in the past, elected representatives were dubious about making Mysuru slum free. However, it was eventually decided to address the shortcomings and learn lessons from the past, in reaching the goal under Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY).

Expressing his opinion during the stakeholder meet on Slum Free City Plan of Action, here on Tuesday, Revenue and District in-charge Minister V Srinivas Prasad directed the officials to work responsibly by judiciously using the funds sanctioned under the said programme.

Recalling the allegations pertaining to the utilisation of funds under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNurm) and, Jamshedpur Utilities and Supplies Company (JUSCO), Prasad said there were complaints about diverting the funds sanctioned under JnNurm, and that the city authorities had failed to accomplish the given task under JUSCO.

“Despite having water sources in Cauvery and Kapila rivers, we haven’t been able to tap the same successfully,” he added.

Chamaraja MLA Vasu said that the findings during the survey should be incorporated in the City Development Plan (CDP). The survey should be based on the physical verification, with the thrust on identifying the actual beneficiaries.

However, he questioned the veracity of the studies conducted by NGOs in general, as an organisation had identified the first main of Saraswatipuram under Chamaraja as a slum. 

Narasimharaja MLA Tanveer Sait said that it would be better to constitute a city or local coordination committee involving both the elected representatives, officials and other authorities concerned in going ahead with the programme.

“The study should not be confined to the city corporation limits alone. The State government should also bring out a vision document with regard to the development of slums,” he added.

Corporator T Girish Prasad expressed doubts over achieving success under RAY as a similar such project under Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP) under JnNurm had been a failure in his ward.

“In all, 196 houses were sanctioned under BSUP at an estimated cost of Rs 1.8 lakh for each house. Though the beneficiaries evinced interest in the initial stage, they backed off when they were asked to pay 10 per cent (Rs 18,000) of the total cost,” he said.

The Corporator said that until and unless the government devised a scheme taking care of the funding, RAY could not be a success.

Another Corporator K T Chaluvegowda argued that it was difficult to build houses under the prevailing market rate. Else, quality would take a hit, he said.

Corporator Satish (Sandesh Swamy) said that identifying lands for building the houses could prove a hurdle, as most of the existing slums were located either on government or private lands.

“While it may not be difficult to convince the other departments to part with their lands, it may be an arduous task in case of private parties,” he added.

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