To curb the proliferation of slums in the city, the Delhi government has decided to construct holding areas that would house construction labourers.
Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit said on Friday the city has been witnessing huge infrastructure development due to which construction labourers camp in Delhi. “This results in coming up of jhuggi jhophri (JJ) clusters. The government has decided to construct huge holding areas to house construction labourers on rent in order to cut the number of new jhuggis coming up,” said Dikshit at a seminar organised by industry chamber Assocham called ‘Dilli Kal Aaj Aur Kal’.
Dikshit said that vested interests were involved in new jhuggis coming up in the city. The city has approximately 860 JJ slum clusters that are home to about 4,20,000 people. One of the major relocation of slum clusters was carried out from trans-Yamuna (low-lying areas near Yamuna) to northwest Delhi’s Bawana.
“Noida and extension of Gurgaon were set up to decongest Delhi but the city is getting more and more congested. Around 5,00,000 people visit the city daily for work,” Dikshit said.
"Due to large number of employment opportunities, Delhi continues to be an attraction for rest of the country. One may come to the conclusion that the concept of NCR has not served the needs of Delhi,” she added.
However, experts are not convinced of Dikshit’s logic.
“Before looking at the viability of the proposal, we should look at the veracity of the data given by the chief minister," said Dunu Roy, social scientist and political ecologist. "While she is saying that more and more people are coming to the city, the population growth rate is decreasing as the census data of 2011 shows. Migration is surely not the source of increase in slum clusters, which have only come down in the past few years. Even for the Commonwealth Games 2010, most construction was mechanised. The CM is creating a myth so that the corporate sector can enter the arena.”