Equipping our cities to cope with urbanisation and related issues, many developmental schemes with support from the Centre and State have been floated in the recent past. The onus of the development work that is supported by the ‘funds’ by the centre is on the urban local bodies. Though decentralisation of urban governance has been in place since many years, dissolution and capacity of the urban local bodies is still debatable. The result has been two fold – one most of these schemes are lacking behind with a very poor understanding by the urban local bodies on how to proceed towards the larger objective of these schemes. The result is even though there is surplus of funds available to the urban local bodies, the ULBs are unable to adequately utilise the same. The second associated issue is community participation in these schemes. The development schemes continue to be top down irrespective of directives of community participation. One of the common complaints is lack of awareness seen in the community of various schemes and development rights of the community.
Read the news item below which clearly states the scenario in the Nagar Panchayat of Bodhgaya, Bihar wherein the total funding of 222.10 crore allocated under JNNURM scheme fails to be utilized It is clear from this situation that immediate attention needs to be given to capacity building of the ULBs.
Society for Participatory Research in Asia, under its project of strengthening civil society voices on urban poverty, is working in the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jaipur extensively along with other small and medium cities in various states towards generating awareness among the community and civil society about various urban development schemes. One such awareness and capacity building exercise for the civil society are the Slum Improvement Committee initiated in cities of Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jaipur.
Read the news item below which covers the important aspects of how the Slum improvement committee institutionalized with help of PRIA are one step forward towards creating awareness about slum developmental schemes such as Rajiv Awas Yojna and JNNURM.