Towards ‘Inclusive cities’ with poor and non-poor- Bihar

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A city needs to be developed at social, economic and aesthetic levels. Ideally in a developed city the poor,non-poor and government should work in tandem. However, in India, poor are left out in the planning process, the non-poor do not act and government is shackled in its own bureaucratic structure.

To address this felt problem and need as expressed by the poor and non-poor a multi-stakeholder dialogue was organized by PRIA Bihar on 15th September 2014 in SBC Hall, Patna. The objectives of the consultation were:
1. To sensitize the people on common problems faced by urban poor, non-poor and government,
2. To provide a platform for interface and dialogue between the poor, non-poor and government

The consultation saw enthusiastic participation from various stakeholders such as Mr. Samrat Choudhary, Ms. Pinki Kumari, Ward 21, Counsellor, Minster for Urban Development, Govt. of Bihar, Amrita Bhushan, President Patna Favorite Lion’s Club, Govind Kumar Bansal, BJP former Chairperson, Jhuggi Jhopari Manch, Dr. C. P Tahkur, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, Gazaffar Nawab, Member, AITUC Patna, Mr. Johagar, Mr. Ranjan Sinha, Chief Functionary, Nidan, Mr. Nikhal Ranjan, WASH, Mr. Vishwa Ranjan, PPP Expert, Plan India, the community members and PRIA and its partner NGO.

Mr. Choudhary and Ms. Pinki, representing the service providers of the city and the State, gave an insight on the ground realities. Mr. Choudhary, a futuristic and visionary officer, has the hope that Patna should one day be compared to Sweden which re-uses 90% of its waste. He highlighted that we need to focus on four aspects in Bihar:
• Political Democracy
• Efficient Bureaucracy
• City Planning
• Single window clearing system

Mr. Ranjan Sinha of NIDAN, discussed at length the fate of various programmes and schemes for urban poor in Bihar such as the un-successful JnNURM and RAY. Land allotment to slum dwellers was and is a major issue in the state and the city. It is obvious that the voices of the poor are not being recognized fully in the current planning and policy environment. However, there have been some initiates such as the pioneering slum policy, vendor policy and upcoming builders act which are positive ray of hope in including the poor. He stressed on the need to have many more of these initiatives to integrate the poor and non-poor in developing an inclusive city.

The ground reality and issues of the urban poor and unrecognized informal workers was raised by many speakers including Bansalji, Nawabji, Johagarji. Other speakers and participants also highlighted how the need of the hour is to concentrate on schemes for water, sanitation, housing and employment for the poor.

The community members also raised many of their concerns such as:
Prakash stated: “Settlement improvement committee has been formed in our slum settlement. We all got collectivized and even mapped our area. However, the maps that we uploaded are not being recognized by the government. The government says that schemes like Rajiv Awas Yojana are not redundant. But they haven’t given us any alternative!’

Shankar Dev Mehato articulated that ‘traditionally the work of cleaning toilets is done by Mehtar caste in Bihar. Today people from other castes are doing this work. We do not have work which is why we are not able to educate our children. Other caste people are given jobs by the government. Today the work done by us is taken over by others. We are not able to do traditional work. We are deprived of our traditional work. The government deprived us of government job. Today in the government we have people from upper class also cleaning the toilets mainly due to corruption. The poor should be asked about the poverty not the rich’

The dialogue led to an exhaustive discussion and concluded with few recommendations for ‘inclusive city building’. Some of these are as follows:

From Poor:
• Availability of basic amenities in slums, water and sanitation facilities as priority needs
• Eviction shared as huge cause of concern and source of insecurity by poor
• Generate avenues of gainful employment in the city for urban poor

From Non-Poor:
• More initiatives from non-poor to be taken up to work for and with poor
• Micro-financing for urban poor to start their own small scale businesses
• Right to land as the basic rights for poor, other needs as house, employment, water, and sanitation will come into picture once the land is allotted to poor in their name
• Computer Literacy Programs for urban poor
• Evaluation of schemes that failed to achieve their objectives like RAY, JNNURUM, slum development programs etc.
• Awareness programme on newly emerged concepts like ‘smart city’
• Conducting survey and researches on issues of urban poverty and urban governance. PRIA conducted a path breaking study to find economic contribution of urban poor has dissolved many myths such as poor spend majority of money on liquor. Instead they spend majority of their income on food.

From Government:
• Need to develop a skilled labour force
• Training need to be identified by the NGOs and logical plans needs to be prepared
• Political Democracy, Efficient Bureaucracy, City Planning and Single Window clearance shared as pillars to achieve city development objective.

Inclusive Cities:Role of Poor, Non-Poor and Government: Rajasthan consultation

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PRIA with its local partner Nahru Yuva Mandal is organising a state level consultation in Rajasthan addressing the issue of Inclusive cities on 19 September 2014 at Jaipur, Rajasthan

Rajasthan is the largest state of India in terms of area and 8th in terms of population. The population of state, as per Census 2011, was about 7 crores. About 25% of Rajasthan population reside 184 Urban Local Bodies in the state, including the 6 large municipal corporations. The 23% of urban population in Rajasthan are slum-dwellers. Jaipur city, the state capital, has a population of 31 lakh and accounts for 17% of total urban population of Rajasthan. The decadal population growth of Jaipur city was 32% during 2001 – 11. About 10% of the city population is officially under below poverty line while about 5 lakh populations live in 238 ‘listed’ slums of city. Despite several slum improvement programmes andsocial welfare development schemes, poverty persists unabated and the gap between rich and poor is growing extensively.Urban Poverty is visibly present and perpetuating the state, as reflected by table below.

Status of basic services in slums of Rajasthan and Jaipur (Census, 2011)
Slum Household Characteristics               Rajasthan                                         Jaipur
Total Number                                            3,83,134                                         60,222
Not owning House                                      17 %                                                 16 %
Without Water Source                                31 %                                                 33%
Without Electricity                                        2 %                                                   5%
Without Toilets                                            78%                                                  46 %

All the data and population estimates suggest that India is on the brink of becoming a highly urbanized country. But the country lacks appropriate urban policies and programmes to make cities inclusive and happy place to live in. Available infrastructures in cities are over-stretched and all residents have difficulties of different degrees and orders. As the findings and experiences from different works and studies suggest, cities seems to be fragmented into different social and economic pieces- pulling each other apart rather than joining hands together to march ahead. Urban poor live in pathetic situations, middle class struggle with erratic urban services available to it, and rich and powerful have growing concerns about their safety and securities. Cities have turned into webs of difficult informalities and so, a varying sense of exclusion is felt by all categories of inhabitants. The problem is compounded by the fact that large numbers of people live in cities but very few have sense of ownership for their cities. Unless all residents of a city care for their city, it would be difficult to think of an inclusive city, which ensures minimum basic amenities and social securities to one and all.

Rationale for Collaboration:
• Do people belong to cities and are cities ‘owned by’ people? Society is web of relationship existing in ‘rural’ and ‘urban’ localities. In rural areas the relationships are straightforward, rooted, age old and binding. There is a sense of belongingness among the people. Whereas the relationships in urban areas are individualistic, specific and service oriented. The diaspora of population in urban areas belong to different geographically roots and there is no sense of belongingness towards the city among the urban population.
• Who facilitates relationship between poor and non-poor? A city is inhabited by poor and non-poor. Poor are the service providers and non-poor are manifested as middle class, clubs (lion, sports, rotary) media, academia, business, CSOs etc. The relationships among poor and non-poor are largely defined by services offered by the poor and received by the non-poor section of the society. The emotional part of relationship which is reflected in trust and dependency is often undermined. The mutual service based relationship among poor and non-poor however remains informal and unorganized. Therefore the pertinent question here is who facilitates this exchange of service? Ideally municipality of the city should facilitate this exchange of service but in reality no such facilitation happens. This should get institutionalized in order to develop the city.
• Institutionalized mechanism to promote relationship: A first step to building inclusive institutions is to ensure that the poor are representative of and accountable to all parts of society, and most notably to the middle class. Institutionalization of service exchange between the service provider (poor) and service seekers (non-poor) will lead to healthy functioning of the city. This will benefit both the poor and non-poor. Example: Public health, sanitation, conservancy and solid waste management etc.
An ‘inclusive city’ is a place where everyone, regardless of their economic means, gender, race, ethnicity or religion, is enabled and empowered to fully participate in the social, economic and political opportunities that cities have to offer. (i) the urban non-poor – mainly the urban middle class, civil society and other urban non-poor groups (resident welfare associations, rotary club members, youth groups and so on) should become sensitised towards the problems of urban poor and contribute in making lives of urban poor better. (ii) The urban local bodies are strengthened with appropriate powers and authorities so that they could deliver to the expectation of their people, especially the urban poor. (iii) Converging all the city voices on one platform for collective actions towards inclusive city development.

Aims of the State Consultation:

PRIA works for betterments of living-conditions of urban poor through reforming and strengthening urban local governance and promoting citizens’ participation. With the aim to bring all stakeholders together and evolve a collective thinking and action on urban issue, this state level consultation on “Collaborative Actions for Inclusive Cities: Roles of Poor, Non-Poor and the Governments” is being organized. The purpose of the consultation is to (i) facilitate collaborative actions for improvement in urban services and (ii) promote inclusive city development jointly led by Poor, Non-Poor and the Governments.

Programme Schedule of the Consultation
राज्य स्तरीय चर्चा
‘समावेशी शहरों के लिए साझा सहयोग‘ शहरी गरीब ,गैर-गरीब और सरकार की भूमिका पर
आयोजकः-प्रिया, राजस्थानएवंनेहरू युवा मंडल
दिनंाकः-19सितम्बर , 2014 स्थानः- आई.डी.एस. जयपुर, राजस्थान

समय                                                          विषय                                                                           संदर्भ व्यक्ति
10:00 – 10:30 am                                    पंजीकरण                                                                       प्रिया, जयपुर
10:30 – 10:35 am                                     स्वागत                                                                       श्री प्रणव प्रवीण
वरिष्ठ कार्यक्रम अधिकारी
प्रिया, जयपुर

10:35 – 10:55 am                        राजस्थान में शहरी लोगों की समस्याऐं                                           प्रोफेसर वी.एस.व्यास
सेवानिर्वित, विकास अध्ययन संस्थान, जयपुर

10:55 -11:05 am              राजस्थान में शहरी गरीबी और शहरी प्रशासन पर प्रस्तुतीकरण                          डाॅ. अंशु सिंह
कार्यक्रम अधिकारी, प्रिया, जयपुर
11:05 -12:00 pm                                           लोगों की आवाज                                                कार्यक्रम प्रबंधक, प्रिया, जयपुर

प्रतिनिधि -कच्ची बस्ती सुधर समिति
गैर-सरकारी संस्था -उन्नति और एस.आर.के.पी.एस.
शैक्षिणक समुदाय, निवासी सुधार संस्था, व्यापार मंडल

लाइन्स क्लब डा. रणवीर सिंह (सूत्रधार)

श्री मनोज राय (सह सूत्रधार)
निदेशक, प्रिया, नई दिल्ली
12:00 -12: 45pm                                         विचार प्रस्तुतीकरण

1. श्रीमती ज्योती खण्डेलवाल                                                    श्री मनोज राय
महापौर, जयपुर नगर निगम
2. डा. रतना जैन
महापौर, कोटा नगर निगम

12:45 -13:15 hrs                                           चर्चा                                                                       श्री मनोज राय

13:15:-  13:40 hrs                                        भावी दिशा                                                                श्री मनोज राय

13:40 -13:55 hrs                                         उद्वोधन                                                                  डा. अरून चतुर्वेदी
माननीय राज्य मंत्री
सामाजिक न्याय एवं अधिकारिता विभाग
13:55 -14:00 hrs                                       धन्यवाद ज्ञापन                                                         सुश्री स्वातिसुब्रमण्यम
कार्यक्रम अधिकारी, प्रिया दिल्ली

14: 00 hrs                                                   वदूंतके भोजन

Collaborative action for Inclusive cities: Role of Poor, Non-Poor and Government Bihar

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By PRIA Bihar and National Urban Team

PRIA held a State Level Consultation on ‘Collaborative Action for Inclusive Cities’ in Patna, Bihar today. The consultation gave an overview of the existing situation in Patna, the deprivation it is faced with and the urgency of developing an inclusive society through collaborative actions of all stakeholders- poor and non poor.
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Find below the key points of discussions in this consultation:

Bihar
Bihar is located in the eastern side of India, entirely land locked by West Bengal, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal. It has total area of 94,163 sqkm, with 98% of area being rural this means urban population resides in the 2% of remaining area. The state comprises 38 Districts in 9 divisions. It has 14 urban agglomerations and 199 towns. Bihar has an overall population of 10.41 crores, with sex ratio of 918 per thousand males. Literacy rate is 73% among males and 53% among females. The decadal population growth has been 25%. Population growth in rural area is 24%, and in urban area 35%. Bihar occupies a place second from the bottom with respect to the level of urbanization which is only 11% compared to the national average of 28%. As against this, urban poverty is as high as 44% against the national average of 24%.
Urban Poverty in Bihar and Patna
Census-2011 has for the first time attempted to enumerate socio-economy data also at household level such as quality of housing, water, electricity, literacy, access to education etc. Bihar state share of slum population to total slum population of India is 1.9%. The status of basic services in Slums of Bihar as a whole and Patna is illustrated below:

Table 1: Status of Basic Services in Slums of Bihar and Patna (Census 2011)
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Rationale for Collaboration:
• Do people belong to cities and are cities ‘owned by’ people?Society is web of relationship and is bifurcated into two ‘rural’ and ‘urban’. In rural areas the relationships are straightforward, rooted, age old and binding. There is a sense of belongingness among the people. Whereas the relationships in urban areas are individualistic, specific and service oriented. The diaspora of population in urban areas belong to different geographically roots and there is no sense of belongingness towards the city among the urban population.

• Who facilitates relationship between poor and non-poor?A city is inhabited by poor and non-poor. Poor are the service providers and non-poor are manifested as middle class, clubs (lion, sports, rotary) media, CSOs etc. The relationships among poor and non-poor are largely defined by services offered by the poor and received by the non-poor section of the society. This mutual service based relationship among poor and non-poor remains informal and unorganized. Therefore the pertinent question here is who facilitates this exchange of service? Ideally municipality of the city should facilitate this exchange of service but in reality no such facilitation happens. This should get institutionalized in order to develop the city.To illustrate an example of informal relation between poor and non-poor in society we see that domestic workers who earn their living by working in rich and middle class households. The tangible economic relationship is visible when in lieu of proving services like cleaning, sweeping, cooking she gets paid in cash. But the immaterial relationship established with the homemakers, children and working couples goes unnoticed and unaccounted. Another example is of waste pickers who provide door to door services and segregates the household and city’s waste without any protective gears in low cost manner.
• Institutionalized mechanism to promote relationship: Institutionalization of service exchange between the service provider (poor) and service seekers (non-poor) will lead to healthy functioning of the city. This will benefit both the poor and non-poor. Example:Public health, sanitation, conservancy and solid waste management etc.

Basing our conversation on above examples we can say that urban poor workers play a pivotal role in making the city. Yet the bigger questions are:
1. Does the poor feel included and respected in the city?
2. Does the non-poor feel included in the city?
3. Does the city belong to them?
4. What are the provisions, platforms and services available with the government for bridging the gap between poor and non-poor?

How this can be done:
1. By identifying the key stakeholders in city:
• Poor (service providers) and people living in informal settlements
• Non-Poor (middle class, clubs (lion, sports, rotary) media, CSOs etc.)
• Local Government
• NGOs
• Media
• Academia
2. What should be their roles and how can it help in institutionalizing relationship of poor and non-poor for developing an inclusive cities?

A Working Model for Slum Rehabilitation

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How innovative regulation is enabling private capital to deliver social impact and realize attractive returns in Mumbai. Read more at: http://www.ssireview.org/blog/entry/a_working_model_for_slum_rehabilitation

August – Monthly Digest

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Here is a quick view of all the action on Terraurban in the month of August:
Terraurban- Aug digest
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Terraurban- Aug digest2 copy

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When ‘City’ becomes ‘Slum’

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by Prakash Pathak, PRIA

We all are talking about Slum free City/India. But are we really serious to achieve this dream in our reality, in our own cities? I don’t think so. May be I’m wrong but last day very harsh statement given by Patna High Court on the status of Patna Capital “There is two type of Town; VVIP Area with all amenities and facilities and Public area as Dustbins” also stated that “Capital look likes as a Slum. Outsider doesn’t want to come here (for business, tourism)”. This reveals that the dream to see slum free India is still beyond our reach.

When Governments talk about utopian ideas such as slum free cities and equitable development, all these visions appear to me like unachievable and unrealistic dreams, very similar to “Mungeri Lal ke Haseen Sapne”.

If these utopian visions are like dreams, then what is the reality?

Reality is that healthy cities are turning into slums primarily due to poor service implementation by civic bodies. To this process the Government, sadly sits as a silent spectator. Patna is no different than this reality!

In Patna, it’s not just the ‘poor’ who are residing in the slums. Even the rich and middle class find an abode there. (See the picture below). When Capital Patna is in such a horrific situation then how will be the scenarios of civic amenities in other cities of Bihar like Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Bhagalpur, Gaya, Darbhanga?

We all have to change this situation with the help (cumulative effort) of Government, Civic Bodies, RWAs, Locals, NGOs, CSOs, Corporates and Businessman in order to achieve the Slum Free India.
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Urbanization with informal settlements in mind

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How can we ensure that all urban inhabitants have the necessary rights and conditions for a dignified and secure existence in the city? As the world rapidly urbanizes, the livelihoods, health, and safety of residents living in informal settlements remain at risk. These residents lack formal property rights and access to vital infrastructure and services. Recognizing informal property rights and improving the quality of housing in informal settlements are important steps toward meeting the basic needs of these most vulnerable urban populations.

Read more below:

Urbanization with informal settlements in mind.