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No RAY of hope for slum plan

Over a year after Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) - the UPA government's flagship project to make India slum free - was announced, confusion over the scheme's funding pattern is set to further delay its implementation. Moushumi Das Gupta reports.

delhi Updated: Nov 21, 2010 23:55 IST
Moushumi Das Gupta

Over a year after Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) - the UPA government's flagship project to make India slum free - was announced, confusion over the scheme's funding pattern is set to further delay its implementation.

The government's Expenditure and Finance Committee (EFC) where the scheme was sent for approval last month, while approving Rs 5,000 crore for RAY in the 11th Plan (till 2012) has failed to specify the financing pattern - the quantum of contribution of the center and the state in the scheme.

The Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ministry (HUPA) - the nodal ministry to implement the programme - had recommended a 50:50 funding model.

As part of it while 50% of the cost would be borne by the Centre subject to states implementing mandatory reforms like according property rights to slum dwellers, the remaining 50% cost was to be borne by the state and private players involved in the project.

"The EFC has approved the project but it has remained silent on the quantum of fund to be borne between the Centre and state. There is a bit of uncertainty and we have written to the EFC asking for clarification. Once we get the clarification, we will put up a cabinet note," said a source.

Its only after the Cabinet's go ahead that the housing ministry can start implementing the project on the ground.

India's urban slum population is expected to touch 93.06 million by 2011 from 75.26 million in 2001.

Among other things, RAY has proposed a multi-pronged approach like according property rights to slum dwellers and involving private players in slum redevelopment and upgradation.

It is for the first time that a programme to address the slum issue has talked about according property rights to slum dwellers.

RAY was sanctioned Rs 1270 crore in this year's budget.