Almost two years after it was announced, Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) — one of the most ambitious schemes announced by UPA-II to make India slum free and provide home to millions of people living in unsanitary condition — is finally set to take off.
The flagship programme is coming up for approval before the Union Cabinet on Thursday.
The scheme has been hit by a series of delays ever since President Pratibha Patil, while addressing the joint session of Parliament in June 2009, announced the government’s ambition vision to make India slum free in five years.
From an estimated 75.2 million in 2001, India’s urban slum population is expected to touch 93.06 million in 2011.
Presently, an estimated R9 lakh crore would be required to rid India of its slums.
Sources said that once the cabinet clears RAY, work will finally start on the ground. In the first phase, the ministry will take up 250 cities across India where RAY would be implemented.
RAY would be funded by the Centre, states, urban local bodies and the beneficiaries.
While 50% of the funding would come from the Centre subject to states implementing mandatory reforms like according property rights to slum dwellers, 20% would come from the states and another 30% would be jointly borne by the urban local bodies and the beneficiaries.
According property rights to slum dwellers is one of the most important features of RAY. The ministry has recently finalised the Model Property Rights to Slum Dwellers Act, 2011 which, once enacted by states, would for the first time give every landless slum-dweller living in an urban area ownership rights to a “dwelling place.”
Besides it has also proposed a multi-pronged approach like involving private players in slum redevelopment and upgradation. A budget of R1270 crore was allocated for RAY in the 2010-2011 budget.