Author: terraurban

TerraUrban – February Digest

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For all the ardent readers, here is a quick look on the month gone by at the Terra Urban domain! Have a look below or download the digest by clicking here: Terra urban-monthly digest feb 2014

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शहरी गरीबी एवं शहरी अभिशासन, संभाग स्तरीय परिचर्चा -छत्तीसगढ

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दिनंाकः26/02/2014

2011 की जनगणना के अनुसार भारत में 31.16 प्रतिशत आबादी शहरो में निवास करती है, अगर छत्तीसगढ की बात करे तो राज्य की कुल जनसंख्या का 23.24 प्रतिशत हिस्सा शहरी जनसंख्या है, परंतु आज भी राजनैतिक इच्छा शक्ति के अभाव में उस आबादी को गुणवत्तापूर्ण सुविधाऐं नही मिल रही।राजनैतिक पार्टीया अपने चुनावी एजेण्डे में ज्यादातर ग्रामीण क्षेत्रो के विकास पर ज्यादा बल देते है परंतु शहरी विकास का जिक्र भी उनके घोषणापत्रो में नही होता। राजनितिक पार्टीयों का “शहरी अभिशासन एवं शहरी गरीबी” से संबधित मुद्दे पर ध्यान आकृष्ठ करने एवं उन मुद्दे को पार्टीयो के घोषणापत्रो में शामिल करवाने कि दिशा में प्रिया एवं अन्य सहभागी संस्थाओं द्वारा देश एवं राज्य के विभिन्न शहरों मे ंचुनाव-पूर्व राजनितिक जागरूकता अभियान चलाया जा रहा है।

इसी अभियान के तहत प्रिया-रायपुर एवं शिखर युवा मंच, बिलासपुर के संयुक्त तत्वाधान में ‘‘शहरी अभिशासन एवं शहरी गरीबी’’ विषय पर एक दिवसीय संभाग स्तरीय परिचर्चा का आयोजन बिलासपुर के उद्योग भवन में किया गया जिसमें विभिन्न राजनितिक दलों के साथ साथ स्वयंसेवी संस्थाओं से जांजगीर-चांपा, कोरबा, रायगढ़ व बिलासपुर के प्रतिनिधियों ने भी भाग लिये।

परिचर्चा के शुरूवात में शिखर युवा मंच के भूपेश वैष्णव ने सभी प्रतिभागियो का स्वागत किया। प्रिया के राज्य प्रभारी महेश धांडोले ने अभियान की रूपरेखा एवं अभियान के संचालन के बारे मे ंविस्तार से बताया। तत्पश्चात प्रिया की दिपिका तिवारी द्वारा अपने प्रस्तुतीकरण में छत्तीसगढ़ राज्य में शहरी परिदृश्य पर प्रकाश डालते हुए बताया कि 2001 में छत्तीसगढ़ राज्य की कुल जनसंख्या 2.08 करोड़ थी जो 2011 में बढ़कर 2.5 करोड़ हो गई लगभग 59.3 लाख की आबादी शहरी क्षेत्र में निवासर्त है जो राज्य की कुल जनसंख्या का 23.24 प्रतिशत है। पिछले 10 वर्षों में राज्य की जनसंख्या 41.83 प्रतिशत की दर से बढ़ी है। छत्तीसगढ़ राज्य में शहर में निवासरत कुल परिवार में से 31.9 प्रतिशत परिवार झुग्गी बस्ती में निवासर्त है। साथ हि उन्होने शहरी गरीबो कि आवाज को सशक्त करने कि दिशा मे किये जा रहे प्रयास एवं उससे संबधित मुद्दे पर भी जानकारी दि।

परिचर्चा में उपस्थित काॅंग्रेस के जिला अध्यक्ष रविन्द्र सिंह ने अपने उद्बोधन में स्वास्थ्य, शिक्षा के मुद्दे को शहरी गरीबी से जोड़ते हुए सभी स्वयंसेवी संस्थाओं को अपनी भूमिका सुनिश्चित करने की बात कही। उन्होंने शहरी गरीबी के मुद्दों को पार्टी के घोषणा पत्र में शामिल कराने कि बात कही एवं सभी लोगो ंसे इस तरह के मुद्दों को अवगत कराते रहने कि बात कही।

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भाजपा के मंडल महामंत्री धीरेन्द्र केशरवानी ने योजनाओं की क्रियान्वयन पर जोर देते हुए कहा कि शहरी युवाओं का ेभी कौशल उन्नयन कार्यक्रम में शामिल कराने हेतु जागरूकता लाने कि बात कही।आम आदमी पार्टी के जिला सचिव सुनील चिपड़े ने बजट पर चर्चा करते हुए कहा कि आज युवाओं को स्वरोजगार एवं ऐसे रोजगार से जोड़ा जाना चाहिये जो निरंतर उस रोजगार की उत्पादकता में वृद्धि करे। साथा ही उन्होंने आश्वस्त किया कि पार्टी के घोषणापत्र में मोहल्ला सभा को सशक्त करने की दिशा में सुझाव सम्मिलित करने कि बात कही।

कांग्रेस के व्यापारी प्रकोष्ठ के अध्यक्ष राजीव अग्रवाल ने युवाओं को स्वरोजगार से जोड़कर कुशल छत्तीसगढ़ बनाने की बात कही। उन्होंने समस्या का समाधान यदि हमारे एजेण्डे में शामिल करने से लाभ होगा तो निश्चित ही शामिल करेंगे। सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता नमिता घोष ने गरीबी उन्मूलन के मुद्दों को गंभीरता से रखी। कार्यक्रम का आभार प्रदर्शन शिखर युवा मंच के सचिव धनंजय अनुपम द्वारा किया गया।

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बस्ती से उपस्थित बस्ती विकास समिति के सदस्यों ने भी अपने मुद्दों पर राजनितिक पार्टि से आयें अतिथियों का ध्यान अकृष्ट करते हुए अपनी मागों को घेाषणापत्र में शामिल करने कि मागॅ की। अन्ततः यह सभी राजनितिक दलों के प्रतिनिधियों द्वारा आश्वासन दिया गया की ज्ञापन के रुप में सभी मुद्दों को सुचिबद्द कर उन्हे सौंपा जाऐं ताकि वे अपनी पार्टि के समक्ष शहरी गरीबी के मुददों को एक पृथक ऐजेंडे के रुप में शामिल करने की मागॅ कर सकें।

शेहरी गरीबी एंव शेहरी अभिशासन पर परिचर्चा, चुनाव के पूर्व राजनीतिक जागरूकता अभियान – गया बिहार

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गया! 21 फरवरी 2014
देश मे पिछले तीन दशको मे तेजी से बढ़ते हुए शहरीकरण और उससे संबंधित शहरी गरीबी और शहरी अभिशासन के मुददो पर आगामी लोक-सभा चुनाव के पूर्व राजनैतिक जागरूकता अभियान के अन्तर्गत दलित विकास अभियान समिति एवं प्रिया, निदान, आई.जी.एस.एस के द्वारा परिचर्चा का आयोजन किया गया।
प्रतिभागियो का स्वागत करते हुए दलित विकास अभियान समिति के निदेशक धर्मेन्द्र कुमार ने कहा की योजना आयोग के कार्य समूह के अनुसार देश का 70 प्रतिशत सकल घरेलु उत्पाद शहरो से होता है। इसमे 65 प्रतिशत योगदान सेवा क्षेत्र से आता है जिसमे अनौपचारिक क्षेत्र मे काम करने वाले असंगठित कामगारो का महत्वूपर्ण योगदान है। आज देश मे 2001-11 तक जहाॅ शहरी आवादी का विकास दर लगभग 32 प्रतिशत वही ग्रामीण आवादी की वृ़िद्व मात्र 12 प्रतिशत है। पिछले दस वर्षो मे बिहार के शहरी आवादी का दसकीय वृद्वि दर 34 प्रतिशत के लगभग रहा है। ये सारी बाते इस ओर इशारा करती है कि शहरी जनसंख्या मे तेजी से बढ़ोतरी हुई है, और फलस्वरूप मुलभूत सुविधाओ के मुददे भी उभरकर सामने आए है, जिनका समय रहते निदान आवश्यक है, और इसके लिए जरूरी है की राजनैतिक दल इन मुददो को देश के हित मे राष्टीªय एजेण्डा बनाए।
भाजपा जिलाध्यक्ष जयनंदर सिंह ने प्रतिभागियो को सम्बोधित करते हुए कहा की यदपि पार्टी मेनोफेस्टो राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर बनाया जाता है। किन्तु इस गतिविधि मे क्षेत्रीय स्तर के कार्यकत्र्ताओ की भूमिका होती है,अपने पार्टी के स्टैण्ड को स्पष्ट करते हुए की भाजपा शहरी क्षेत्रो मे शिक्षा और स्वास्थ्य पर बल देगी।
आप पार्टी के जिला संयोजक सुमन ने कहा आप पार्टी की शुरूआत ही स्लम क्षेत्र से हुई है। और पार्टी शहरी गरीबो के हित मे चाहे वे मूलभुत सुविधाओ का आभाव हो या अन्य कोई मुददा शहरी गरीब और शहरी लोगो के बीच कार्य करेगी।
राजद के बिजय यादव ने कहा कि उनकी पार्टी जब सत्ता मे थी तो उसने सामाजिक न्याय के तहत शहर और गाॅव दोनो मे वंचित वर्ग के सुविधाओ और माान-सम्मान पर कार्य किया। उनकी पार्टी गरीबो के मुददो को प्राथमिकता के तौर पर उठाती रहेगी।
अनुसूचित जाति मोर्चा के सबीर मंडल ने प्रतिभागियो को सम्बोधित करते हुए कहा की
प्रिया के राज्य समन्वयक अभिताभ भूषण ने अपनी प्रस्तुती मे कहा की आज देश की 38 करोड़ आवादी शहरी क्षेत्रो मे रहती है, और राष्ट्र के सकल घरेलु उत्पाद मे 60 प्रतिशत से ज्यादा योगदान करती है, फिर भी अगर हम आज देखे तो योजनाएॅ और परियोजनाओ की संख्या शहरी विकास के वनीसपत ग्रामीण विकास के क्षेत्र मे ज्यादा है। गौरतलब है की शहरी क्षेत्रो मे गरीब और गैर गरीब के बीच का अन्तर दिनोदिन बढ़ता ही जा रहा है। बढ़ती आवादी के साथ शहरो का बुनियादी ढांचा और शहरी अभिशासन जनसंख्या की जरूरतों को पुरा करने में अक्षम हो रहा है। वही दूसरी ओर ग्रामीण क्षेत्रों में शहरी क्षेत्रों से अधिक विकास के लिए परिव्यय करने की परम्परा देश में रही है। ऐसी स्थितियों में जब तक राजनैतिक पार्टियाॅं शहरी क्षेत्रों के लिए स्पष्ट नितियों और कार्यक्रम नहीं लाते हैं, तब तक विकास दर को बढ़ाने में गतिरोध हो सकता है। इसके लिए राजनैतिक स्तर पर सोच और नितियों में परिवर्तन की आवश्यकता है।
इस परिचर्चा में प्रमुख रूप से राजीव कुमार कन्हैया, जय कुमार, मांझी, मंजू कुमारी एवं प्रिया के प्रोग्राम पदाधिकारी अभिषेक झा के अतिरिक्त वार्ड पार्षद, विकास मित्र, सामाजिक संगठन, स्लम विकास समिति के कैडर उपस्थित होकर विचार रखा।
पुरे परिचर्चा के दौरान ये बात सामने आई की राजनैतिक प्रतिनिधि शहरी मुद्दा पर अपने पार्टी के स्टैण्ड को स्पष्ट रूप से नहीं रख पाते हैं जिसका एक कारण यह भी है कि शहरी मुद्दे अभि तक राजनैतिक ऐजेण्डा के केन्द्रविन्दु के बाहर है। ऐसी स्थिति में ऐसे कार्यक्रम से ना सिर्फ शहरी मतदाता के बीच राजनैतिक चेतना बढ्रेगी बल्कि, साथ ही साथ प्रतिनिधियों के बीच भी इन मुद्दों की जानकारी बढ़ेगी और साथ ही साथ वो इन मुद्दों को हल करने के लिए सकारात्मक पहल करेंगें।

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Pre-Election Political Awareness Campaign (PEPAC) -a national campaign to put urban on nation’s political agenda

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Source: PRIA

The soul of India lives in its villages, said Gandhi Ji in the very beginning of twentieth century. So, rightly independent India embarked upon planned, ambitious and modestly successful rural development and rural governance initiatives. Indian political parties and national policy makers emphasized on need to bring positive changes in rural India.  But India has changed over the time. The India of twenty -first century is significantly urban and if the trends from Census 2011 and other contemporary population projection are indicators, India would be majority urban around 2030-2040.

But it seems our politicians and policy makers knowingly or unknowingly ignore urbanization trends and urban problems. The faster growth in urban is not limited to economy and geography of cities only. For the first in Indian Census history, absolute increase in urban Indian population was more than rural Indian population in Census 2011. The infrastructures and governance of our cities have not been able to adapt to growing population and its needs in the cities. Urban planning is at best no planning- a free for all in theory but land mafia-politician-bureaucrat nexus driven in practice. City authorities don’t have basic updated data about demography and geography of city. Urban departments lack appropriate capacities to handle urban issues. Capacity needs (skill-sets) and aspirations of individuals in cities are different from their counterparts in rural areas. But Indian bureaucracy is predominately trained for rural development and rural ethos. So, our bureaucrats find heterogeneity and informalities in urban areas beyond their appreciation and understanding.

Separate Section on Urban in Political Manifestos of                                             National and State Ruling Political Parties

National Party Yes/No Ruling Party

(State)

Yes/No Ruling Party

(State

Yes/No
BSP No AAP- Delhi Yes J&KNC – J&K No
BJP Yes AIIDMK – Tamil Nadu No NPF – Nagaland No
CPI No AINRC- Pondicherry No SAD – Punjab No
CPI (M) No ATC- W.B. No SDF- Sikkim Yes
INC Yes BJD – Odisha No SP – U.P. No
NCP No JD(U) – Bihar No

Source: Information from Copies of Manifestos for 2009 Lok Sabha Election

It is in the interest of not only cities but country as whole that political leaders and policy makers should provide due priorities to Urban by coming up with clear-cut vision and action plans for bringing better changes in lives in the cities. So, ‘urban is due’ in political manifestos and national polices! 

As a part of its Pre- Election Political Awareness Campaign (PEPAC) for urban governance and urban poverty PRIA along with partner organization organized a Commisionerate level consultation on 21st February 2014 at Gandhi Ashram, Gaya Bihar. The consultation witnessed a participation of representatives from various political parties’ viz. BJP, RJD, AAP, JD(U) ,  Anushuchit Jati Morcha along with elected representatives from Urban Local Bodies, representatives from CSOs, Academia, SIC members and representatives from media houses. The discussion and deliberation during the consultation revolved around the initiatives being taken by the political parties in their manifestos for highlighting and addressing the issues of urban poverty and urban governance for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

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Here is a news clipping of the event:

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Strings of the Katputhli Colony – Delhi

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By Nidhi Batra

Katputhli colony in Delhi is set to become one of the first redevelopment of a ‘slum precint’, following the famous SRA Model of Mumbai where  a private developer builds high rise apartments for the slum dwellers and other commercial and residential development on the same plot from which he extracts his costs and profits and makes this project of redevelopment through private players a profitable one.

However, does the profit reach equally to the real residents and the new developer?! Residents of Katputhly colony do not call their settlement a slum – infact in many circles it is identified as ‘living heritage’. This colony is atleast 40 years old and is house to the mystic of the Delhi city - puppeteers, magicians, folk singers, painters, dancers, acrobats, jugglers and storytellers etc.

Located near the Najafgarh Industrial Area which is seeing commercial revamp, this ‘slum’ becomes a prime area that needs to be resettled. Raheja Developers was awarded a 5.22ha project at Kathputli Colony near Shadipur Depot for Rs 6.11 crore in 2009 for in-situ redevelopment of this settlement. Now, the surveys are done, new plans are made and residents learnt that they have to be shifted to a transit camp in Anand Parbat area of Delhi.

To oppose such a move, representatives from the colony along with area MLA R.P. Singh met Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung on Friday.According to the plans that were drawn , the vibrant community of puppeteers and performers that are residents of the colony, will be shifted to transit camps temporarily, until private developer Raheja builds multi-storey flats at the current location to accommodate the 3,200 or more families residing there.

“If we are shifted into flats then how will all the wood workers, singers who practice their skills, idol makers, puppeteers who make 15 feet tall puppets, those of us who walk on 15-foot tall stilts, rickshaw pullers, weavers, tailors, painters, construction workers, rope makers, toy makers, magicians, sanitation workers, drummers who play dhols that weigh 50-60 kgs and many others workers and artisans who live here be able to sustain our work and livelihood,” the letter to the L-G stated. “It seems like our lives and all the traditions of our country that we have preserved over the years will cease to exist if this project is implemented,” added the letter.

Dalip Pardhan from the Bhatt Samaj, who resides in the area and makes Kathputlis and pagdis for marriages, said the residents will prefer to be allotted plots instead of being given flats in the area. “We came to know that our land has been sold off to Rahejas and they plan to build malls and multi-storey luxury apartments,” he said. “Why isn’t the land, which belongs to the DDA, retained and given to us to continue practising our art and crafts?”

Residents such as Subedar Verma and magician Aziz Khan said that there has been no notification on the eviction date and moving 5-6 kilometres away will also be a problem for their children, who have to commute to schools. “A few days ago, we received calls from the builder and we were told that our Kathputli Colony would be shifted to a transit camp in Anand Parbat within the next two weeks. Newspaper articles have said that DDA will set up a five-day camp and provide them with allotment letters,” further stated the letter.

The letter also questioned the method by which DDA has conducted a survey to review the number of families residing in the area and has pointed out anomalies in the “PPP contract” between DDA and the private builder.

Here are the conflicting ‘opinions’ about the resettlement and the authenticity of the ‘participatory process’ followed in this resettlement programme:

DDA Website: http://kathputlicolonydda.com/index.asp

And voices of the people of Kathputhli Colony: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-Kathputli-Colony-Delhi/604606192938523

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This page on facebook states the description as follows:

This page is an online platform to document and share stories of the residents of Kathputli Colony, Shadipur Depot, New Delhi.
This is an attempt to not just raise awareness on their present stature but also to unearth and share their history, trace their lives in a humble attempt to go closer, to let go of that invisible apathy we at times get enveloped by.

A colony that is an eclectic mix of artists from various parts of India as well as non-artists, Kathputli Colony might be “rehabilitated” to give way to a development project. However the uncertainty that hovers around the rehabilitation scheme as well as their supposed return once the project is over, is most stark. For instance, the current number of households in DDA Survey are more than the number of flats being provided during rehabilitation; also, since the colony has not been allowed to view the list of people receiving a flat, they still don’t know who have been excluded. There is no written affirmation to the colony.It is orally claimed that once construction is over, the colony would be allowed to come back and stay next to gated communities with the spirit of harmony and inclusion which we so rarely hear of in this country.

But this is not a protest page to be brimming with biases (at least we will sincerely try not to do so), we would attempt at bringing different perspectives at one place in all sincerity and request to you all to contribute.

But! This is not just about social media dialogue, this si to inspire initiatives offline.

This issue which has been in news for quite some time, asks us to reflect on two aspects of our society which strongly emerge from it:

1. What is the space of art in our society? What is the identity of these artists who have preserved their tradition for long, have represented India in multiple international festivals and platforms, yet have not even been provided the dignity of profession, dignity of life.

Why is art celebrated selectively in our country? Where is a public policy in art to assist these artists? to ensure sustenance, to ensure that there is a reason for their children to respect what their parents do for a living.

2. What is our society’s concept of justice? So you remove a person from a house he built as per his requirement and say you are doing justice by putting him in a flat where you did not even care to discuss the plan with any recipient?

These are people whose lifestyle demands a certain kind of housing which flats will not allow, be it lakdi ka chulha or access to audience, the flats devoid them of even their most basic needs, money to get food, ability to cook food.

They ask, if they will be living in flats, in a certain society, how will they then perform on streets? How will they practice in a building as they do in their low lying spaces? How will they manage to survive since they are not fit for other professions, they are not literate, they are performers. What would then a flat get them if their context is not even considered in the design? Why is their context not considered? Because this is a favor in your eyes? What do you expect they should do? What about those who dont get a flat? Where do they go? What if they end up being scattered? What if their art is lost…forever?

One hint: Why can the artists not be provided an experiential space like an artist colony designed and built as per their contextual needs and serving as a performance and entertainment center? All they want is to make sure that their art continues to live through them with dignity and gets an audience that has now been unfortunately reduced to birthday parties and random shows. Won’t it be great for tourism, great for culture within the city?

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Here are some lingering thoughts:

Development process seems to be in a fix – How does one ensure social equity through private means. Is PPP really a mode of development for projects that require ‘social justice’ or better how does one mould the PPP mode such that it is able to fulfill the needs and desire of both parties – the residents and the developer. Haus Khas village, once just a lal dora urban village of Delhi has now transformed in to an upmarket gentrified locale – could that be a solution to Katputhli colony – is going 15 storeys high really feasible in this area and for these residents – could the developer not figure a high density but low rise development for this area? Has the process of planning and survey really been participatory…. and so many more…

Street Vendors Bill Passed in Rajya Sabha- Finally!!

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The upper house of the Indian Parliament passed the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2013. The bill was already passed by the lower house on 6th Sept. 2013. The bill aims at creating a conducive atmosphere where street vendors, are able to carry out their business in a fair and transparent manner, without the fear of harassment and eviction.

 Main features of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2013 are as follows:

 The Provisions of the Bill are aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere where street vendors, are able to carry out their business in a fair and transparent manner, without the fear of harassment and eviction.

  • The Bill provides for constitution of a Town Vending Authority in each Local Authority, which is the fulcrum of the Bill, for implementing the provisions of the Bill.
  • In order to ensure participatory decision making for aspects relating to street vending activities like determination of natural market, identification of vending zones, preparation of street vending plan, survey of street vendors etc. the TVC is required to have representation of officials and non-officials and street vendors, including women vendors with due representation from SC, ST, OBC, Minorities and persons with disabilities. It has been provided that 40% members of the TVC will be from amongst street vendors to be selected through election, of which one-third shall be women.
  • To avoid arbitrariness of authorities, the Bill provides for a survey of all existing street vendors, and subsequent survey at-least once in every five years, and issue of certificate of vending to all the street vendors identified in the survey, with preference to SC, ST, OBC, women, persons with disabilities, minorities etc.
  • All existing street vendors, identified in the survey, will be accommodated in the vending zones subject to a norm conforming to 2.5% of the population of the ward or zone or town or city.
  • Where the number of street vendors identified is more than the holding capacity of the vending zone, the Town Vending Committee (TVC) is required to carry out a draw of lots for issuing the certificate of vending for that vending zone and the remaining persons will be accommodated in any adjoining vending zone to avoid relocation.
  • Those street vendors who have been issued a certificate of vending/license etc. before the commencement of this Act, they will be deemed to be a street vendor for that category and for the period for which he/she has been issued such certificate of vending/license.
  • It has been provided that no street vendor will be evicted until the survey has been completed and certificate of vending issued to the street vendors.
  • It has also been provided that in case a street vendor, to whom a certificate of vending is issued, dies or suffers from any permanent disability or is ill, one of his family member i.e. spouse or dependent child can vend in his place, till the validity of the certificate of vending.
  • Thus the mechanism is to provide universal coverage, by protecting the street vendors from harassment and promoting their livelihoods.
  • Procedure for relocation, eviction and confiscation of goods has been specified and made street vendor friendly. It is proposed to provide for recommendation of the TVC, as a necessary condition for relocation being carried out by the local authority.
  • Relocation of street vendors should be exercised as a last resort. Accordingly, a set of principles to be followed for ‘relocation’ is proposed to be provided for in the second Schedule of the Bill, which states that (i) relocation should be avoided as far as possible, unless there is clear and urgent need for the land in question; (ii) affected vendors or their representatives shall be involved in planning and implementation of the rehabilitation project; (iii) affected vendors shall be relocated so as to improve their livelihoods and standards of living or at least to restore them, in real terms to pre-evicted levels (iv) natural markets where street vendors have conducted business for over fifty years shall be declared as heritage markets, and the street vendors in such markets shall not be relocated.
  • The Local authority is required to make out a plan once in every 5 years, on the recommendation of TVC, to promote a supportive environment and adequate space for urban street vendors to carry out their vocation. It specifically provides that declaration of no-vending zone shall be carried subject to the specified principles namely; any existing natural market, or an existing market as identified under the survey shall not be declared as a no-vending zone; declaration of no-vending zone shall be done in a manner which displaces the minimum percentage of street vendors; no zone will be declared as a no-vending zone till such time as the survey has not been carried out and the plan for street vending has not been formulated. Thus the Bill provides for enough safeguards to protect street vendors interests.
  • The thrust of the Bill is on “natural market”, which has been defined under the Bill. The entire planning exercise has to ensure that the provision of space or area for street vending is reasonable and consistent with existing natural markets. Thus, natural locations where there is a constant congregation of buyers and sellers will be protected under the Bill.
  • There is a provision for establishment of an independent dispute redressal mechanism under the chairmanship of retired judicial officers to maintain impartiality towards grievance redressal of street vendors.
  • The Bill provides for time period for release of seized goods, for both perishable and non-perishable goods. In case of non-perishable goods, the local authority is required to release the goods within two working days and incase of perishable goods, the goods shall be released the same day, of the claim being made.
  • The Bill also provides for promotional measures to be undertaken by the Government, towards availability of credit, insurance and other welfare schemes of social security, capacity building programmes, research, education and training programme etc. for street vendors.
  • Section 29 of the Bill provides for protection of street vendors from harassment by police and other authorities and provides for an overriding clause to ensure they carry on their business without the fear of harassment by the authorities under any other law.
  • The Bill specifically provides that the Rules under the Bill have to be notified within one year of its commencement, and Scheme has to be notified within six months of its commencement to prevent delay in implementation.

Inclusive city building and the promise of ‘freedom’

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Originally posted on Incremental Cities:

The Indian capital city of Delhi, with an approximate population of 22 million, has long attracted migrants seeking employment, healthcare, education etc. Most of Delhi’s urban poor live in over-crowded and insanitary settlements, commonly known as slums [1] or squatter settlements (locally JJ for jhuggi jhompri ), and usually do not have access to safe and secure shelter and basic infrastructure and services. They live in illegal and informal settlements because they cannot afford formal shelter, and are consequently excluded from the formal housing market. Like many cities of the global South urbanization in Delhi is characterised by rapid growth paralleled by and accommodating for an exponential population increase. This growth is predominantly driven by rural to urban migration motivated by an aspiration to gain access to the benefits of the city: education, healthcare, jobs and housing. However these migrants find it hard to make a claim, participate in, or…

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Sharp hike in budgetary allocation for HUPA Ministry

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source: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-02-17/news/47412175_1_budget-allocation-interim-budget-budgetary-allocation

With a budget allocation of Rs 6008.62 for the year 2014-15, the Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) Ministry has seen a manifold jump in the amount earmarked for it in the interim budget presented by Finance Minister P Chidambaram here today.

In contrast, the revised estimates for the ministry for 2013-14 show the total amount to be Rs 1207.72 crore.

The increase in the budget is accounted for by schemes such as National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM), Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), Rajiv Awas Yodana (RAY) and Rajiv Rin Yojana (RRY).

As per the interim budget, the amount allocated for RAY is Rs 2400 crore while that for JNNURM Rs 1630 crore.

The budget allots Rs 698.98 crore for Rajiv Rin Yojana whereas it allocates Rs 1003 for the National Urban Livelihood Mission.

Urban Poor Women and Children in Slums are Unsafe

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By Shivani Singh, PRIA

Today, more than one billion people in the world live in slums. In the developing world, one out of every three people living in cities lives in a slum. The word “slum” is often used to describe informal settlements within cities that have inadequate housing and squalid, miserable living conditions. They are often overcrowded, with many people crammed into very small living spaces. These settlements lack basic municipal services such as water, sanitation, waste collection, storm drainage, street lighting, paved sidewalks and roads for emergency access. Most also do not have easy access to schools, hospitals or public places for the community to gather. Many slums have been unserviced and unrecognised for long periods, over 20 years in some cities. Like all informal settlements, housing in slums is built on land that the occupant does not have a legal claim to and without any urban planning or adherence to zoning regulations. In addition, slums are often areas where many social indicators are on a downward slide; for example, crime and unemployment are on the rise. (Cities alliance, 2014)

One of the downward slides of social indicators is seen how women and children living in slums often get victimized living in such unsafe and insecure environment. This was best narrated by Ms Purnima Gupta, a leader, social activist and change maker of Bihari Basti, New Delhi.

I met Ms Purnima Gupta Vice President of Jugghi Jhopari Ekta Manch in Gandhi Peace Foundation while attending the Media Meet on 12th February for putting forth the demands of urban informal sector workers in front of media person. She reached 15 minutes before the scheduled time. This gave me enough time to talk to her and get to know about her. Our conversation started with general introduction about each other. She was looking very enthusiastic for the meeting and kept looking at the watch. She said, “We all should come for any meeting a bit early so that the meeting starts on time.” I then realized that time is money and who knows it best than the people from informal sector.

Purnima lives in Bihari Basti (Slum) near Shastri Park Metro Station since 1985. The settlement is resided by around 2000-3000 people mostly working as vegetable sellers, rickshaw pullers, vendors, hawkers on daily basis. The ‘slum’ is inhabited in majority by both Hindus and Muslims. Like many slums it also lack basic infrastructure. Which is a cause of concern for Purnima.

When told to share about the problems they face in slums she raised the issue of women safety as something that requires immediate attention. She said, “Women in Delhi are unsafe but women slums are at greater risk.” While they are victims of domestic abuse, women also experience harassment, rape and violence outside of the home. Men go out for work but many women stay back home in Bihari Basti. They are victim of many social problems. Thus economic empowerment is important. They are not mentally prepared to go out and work. So best would be to provide them vocational trainings and home based jobs.

Ms Poornima disclosed that the situation of women and children is pitiable in slums. They are exposed to various social problems such as prostitution, drug addiction, rape, murder, theft, gambling to name a few and when we complain to the police they also support the wrong doer. She said, “we understand that education for our children and we do send them to school but in government school there are lots of other problems to which the children become prey.”

When asked what is your prioritized demand as the vice president she said “Both women and children residing in slums are not safe. Safety for both of them is our priority.” Enlisting certain demands for their slums she demanded for:

a. education for our children,

b. home based employment for women,

c. orphan home,

d. old age pension,

e. land tenure rights.

In the enlisting land rights are put at the end her first and foremost demand was safety for women and children.

Not that Ms Purnima is only advocating for change she has formed an organization named Sharda Foundation to work on the above mentioned demands. She has opened a Sewing Machine Centre for women in her Basti. She is actively filing complaints against the anti-social elements in her slums along with the other members of her foundation.

I feel that Ms Purnima is an aware citizen, she has knowledge about the place she residing, she is aware about her rights and especially those rights which are denied to them, she is a leader and advocates about the cause of other people in her area, she within her capacity is trying to make change in the lives of urban poor women of her area.

MEDIA MEET: LOK SABHA MANIFESTO 2014 -PRIA and FIUPW

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The objective of the media meet was to share the manifesto prepared by the FIUPW and PRIA with the Media people. So that the issues of urban poor gets enough coverage and importance in the political parties manifestos. Which otherwise is not a phenomenon. The media meet was attended by total 37 participants from various trades that represent in the FIUPW. Also media persons from Rajya Sabha Television, Sahara, and Outlook came for the event and spoke in favour of urban poor and the need to shift the attention to urban poor who are going to play a decisive role in the upcoming Lok Sabha Election 2014.

The event started with Mr Manoj Rai, Director, Urban Governance, PRIA began the session by sharing about some pertinent facts with regards to the contribution of urban poor in economic terms. Talking about the economic contribution of informal settlers he said that, “As per National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector (NCEUS) estimates that informal sector contributes about 50% to country’s economy also 44% of Indian voters are urban and Google India survey claims that 94% of urban voters would vote in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Political parties cannot afford to ignore the issues of urban poor.” He further added that, “Any person who gets elected should be sensitive to the issues of urban poor.”

Later Dr Suman Bhanoo, Programme Officer, PRIA gave presentation on National Campaign on Addressing Urban Poverty and Urban Governance. Dr Bhanoo said that in India the urban population is about 377 million and urban poor are 37 million. Almost 40 cores live in urban area and it is estimate that by 2026 40% population will live in urban areas. Moreover the contribution of urban poor cannot be ignored as they contribute 63% into the GDP of the cities and 65% of GDP is contributed by the service sector which mainly comprise of informal sector people. Later in the session PRIA’s study on economic contribution of urban poor was shared in which it was found out the urban poor contribute more than 7.5% to the urban GDP.

Taking this forward Dr Bhanoo said that at national level there were only two parties: Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) (Urban housing and urban services) and Indian National Congress (INC) (Urban homeless issues) who thought about the issues of urban poor. Many parties have not considered the issues of urban poor such as Bahujan Samajwadi Party, Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Same scenario prevails at the state level even.

The basic minimum demands that were put forth were:

a

After the presentation the Mr Urmilesh Ex Chief Editor, Rajya Sabha Television shared about his thoughts on the urban poor issue. He said that, “I think the major gap is lack of communication between the urban rich and urban poor. There should be bridging between the two.” Talking about the similarity in the condition of both rural poor and urban poor he said that, “The major sprawl in urban poor happened due to two major historical migration events, first India Pakistan Partition and after the economic liberalization. So urban poverty is a phenomenon our work is to put pressure on the government to raise the issues of urban poor and in doing this media can play an important role.”

The participants in the event gave following suggestions:

  • Crèches: Apart from providing free and compulsory education to 6-14 years age group children there should also be provision for crèches for children between the age group of 0-6 years.
  • Further decentralization: In 74th Amendment ward level decentralization is present but to know about the issue of urban poor further decentralization is required. As the officials in municipalities are not accessible to the common people.
  • Sectoral Tripartite Board: Tripartite boards should be formed sector wise the way it is for the construction workers.
  • Social Security for NGO staff:  For providing social security there should be involvement of NGOs staff also in the informal sector. Social Security provisions should not be only be for the urban poor but should be extended to NGO personnel even.
  • Labour laws for informal sector: The labour laws and the welfare need to be extended to informal sector also.
  • Defining urban poor: To come up with an operation and clear definition of urban poor.