Forgotten Territory- Story of Thoughtlessness

by Dr. Suman Bhanoo, PRIA

So story goes like this… finally government took an action and built houses under IHSDP schemes. Purpose of IHSDP scheme was to provide shelter to slum dwellers of Bilaspur. As usual city’s urban poor were delighted and overwhelmed to see Emli Bhatta’s name as one of the slum under IHSDP scheme. Before proceeding towards ironic tale…. lets see what is IHSDP scheme;

Integrated Housing &Slum Development Programme (IHSDP)aims at combining the existing schemes of VAMBAY and NSDP  under the  new IHSDP Scheme  for having an integrated approach in upgrading the conditions of the urban slum dwellers who do not possess adequate shelter and reside in dilapidated conditions.The scheme is applicable to all cities and towns as per 2001. Census except cities/townscovered under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The scheme seeks to enhance public and private investments in housing and infrastructural development in urban areas.

The basic objective of the scheme is to strive for holistic slum development with a healthy and enabling urban environment by providing adequate shelter and basic infrastructure facilities to the slum dwellers of the identified urban areas.

Coverage area of scheme

  • The scheme will apply to all cities/towns,excepting cities/towns covered under JNNURM. The target group under the scheme is slum dwellers from all sections of the community through a cluster approach.
  • Allocation of funds among states will be on the basis of the states’ urban slum population to total urban slum population in the country.
  • States may allocate funds to towns/cities basing on similar formula. However, funds would be provided to only those towns and cities where elections to local bodies have been held and elected bodies are in position.
  • The state governments may prioritize towns and cities on the basis of their felt-need. While prioritizing towns, States would take into account existing infrastructure, economically and socially disadvantaged sections of the slum population and difficult areas.


According to scheme it should be implemented through a designated state level nodal agency. During informal discussion with residents of Emli Bhatta they said-  “no doubt very soon government had completed 48 single room accomodation for slum dwellers under this scheme and that’s how barren land turned into IHSDP residential complex.  But due to government’s careless attitude after four years of its completion, rooms were not alloted to urban poor. Complete four years of gap broke patiene of slum dwellers and they satrted living their without any allotment”. A resident of IHSDP complex said,  “I cant see my family dying on roads. Many times we have requested government regarding allotment of houses but they didn’t bother to take any action. Finally we shifted here”.

Regarding quality of material used in constuction another resident said, “houses are really very small. One room and one small kitchen& bathroom. Materials used are of very poor quality.Though its newly built building but its showing many problems like likage, cracks on wall and floor. Poverty is forcing us to live here”.


As per IHSDP guidelines there are special provison for monitoring which are;

  • Ministry of Urban Employment & Poverty Alleviation will periodically monitor the scheme through designated Officer of the Ministry for each State/UT.
  • State level nodal agency would send quarterly progress report to the Ministry of MoHUPA.
  • SLCC/CSC would ensure quarterly monitoring of various projects recommended/sanctioned under the programme.

But after visiting there one can not see any aspect of monitoring functioning over there. Despite of having all beautiful schemes just because of negligence of government authorituies and lack of proper monitoring &functioning all programmes ending up in this way. This the reason, that we are still considered as third world nation !!!!




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