Tag Archives: Andhra Pradesh

Vijayawada – Housing for the poor- on farmer’s land- Innovation?!

Shared by: Prakash Kumar Pathak, PRIA

Source: Nav Bharat Times/ The Economic Times


 Vijayawada urban agglomeration is characterized by a very significant presence of the urban poor, with a growing poverty profile. The commercial capital of Andhra Pradesh has a population of 11.8 lakh with a large percentage (over 25%) living in over 111 slums. It is estimated that many slums are located on private lands without access to basic services. The poor, not only habitate the slums of the city but are spread in squatters and informal settlements in small groups on the hillocks,  river  beds,  etc.,  deprived  of  basic  services.

 Another feature is that the Vijayawada urban agglomeration consists of out growths which are presently not part of the corporation area but inextricably linked with the city both spatially and economically. In all these areas the poor population is very high and all these areas can be considered to be slums without basic infrastructure – physical and social.  

 The slum population as per 2001 census is over 30,851 and has  gone  up substantially over the last few years and as per the 2005 survey it stands at 42,554, an increase of about 38 per cent which is very high. 

 Under JnNURM scheme, Vijayawada Municipal Corporation undertook EWS housing on the periphery of the city at Jakkampudi village. entire land at Jakkampudi was acquired from farmers on 40:60 development basis in which the land owners were provided with best infrastructure including roads, water, electricity and drainage facilities. In this arrangement,VMC got 40% of the farmers land share (on which it builds houses for urban poor) and the farmers retain 60% but benefit from infrastructure development that the government undertakes.

The project is being executed in two phases. Phase I covers an area of 226 acres with 8,000 houses that have been built already. Phase II will cover 787 acres. All together, the project is expected to build 25,000 houses. With the completion of the first phase, the area has now been connected to the main city with 40-ft wide all-weather BT roads. VMC has built a flyover over a railway crossing that alone has reduced the distance by 4 km. It has also built an inner ring road, integrating the area to the main city. The colony is now just 5-8 km away from the central business district. The state governments bus service has begun and the work on bus shelters,street lights,water supply etc is being smoothened.
Within the colony the government has built a school,a hospital,a community hall,a park and one fair price shop. Going forward,32 flats,or a block, has been organized into a owners RWA association where they will take charge of maintenance of the building and other common issues even as the government will take care of the infrastructure issues.

 Already, 3,000 families have moved. The work on the second phase will begin by the middle of this year.

 Deepti Gaur Mukherjee, Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) director had visited 8,000 housing units for the poor in Jakkampudi villageand Gollapudi village where another housing project has been proposed for 25,000 families under the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) to shift the slum dwellers. Each housing unit will cost `3 lakh and `one lakh will be spent for infrastructure development.

 Municipal commissioner, G. Ravi Babu, said 25,000 houses will be built in Gollapudi for which the farmers had already given consent to hand over 300 acres of land. Farmers are ready to hand over another 470 acres. He said a detailed project report on Gollapudi housing project was to be sent to the central government by May for approval. He said `130 crore is required to develop the land in Gollapudi and 50 acres will be given to the Uda as part of the agreement. Babu said efforts are on to shift the slum dwellers to safer places after the completion of the projects in the coming years.


Right to be included – Before Right to Shelter!! – Vizag

Shared by Nidhi Singh nee Batra, PRIA

Slum-Free India Conference – Andhra Pradesh

Amid preventive custody of nearly 50 agitators including slum residents, leaders and activists of the CPM, a two-day international conference on Slum Free Urban India (SFUI) was held on 14-15 May in Vizag. The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) hosted the meet that was organised by the Union ministry of housing and urban poverty to discuss constructive measures to make India a slum free country. Delegates from slum-affected countries like Brazil, South Africa, Australia, the Philippines and Nepal, etc. attended the convention.

Local organisations representing slum-dwellers and working on their behalf have taken exception to their not being involved in an international convention on “Slum-free urban India”

Secretary of ARTD (Urban) Pragada Vasu in a statement took exception to local stakeholders not being involved in the ‘consultation process.’ He said the organisation had approached the GVMC seeking involvement of local stake-holders. He said the slum development programmes of the government insisted on involving the stake-holders at every stage right from planning.

Slum dwellers joined by activists of Left parties staged a dharna at GVMC premises. The GVMC committee had prepared a report and planned to shift all slum dwellers far away from the city by constructing new residential colonies.

Protesting the workshop and GVMC’s proposals, slum residents in large numbers led by CPM and CPI leaders rushed to the spot and raised slogans. Observing the sensitivity of the situation, a huge number of police personnel cordoned off the hotel. The organisers tried hard to pacify the agitators, but in vein.

Followed by heated arguments between officials and activists, the police cleared mob using lathis. When the police started clearing the protestors, tension prevailed for some time and then there was the use of lathis. The arrested persons were shifted to Two Town police station.Later, hundreds of slum residents rushed to the GVMC administration building and sat on a 48-hour-long hunger strike.

However, sources in the GVMC said the in-camera meeting was on policy-making and hence no stake-holders were involved.