At a time when India's growing slum population is giving sleepless nights to policy makers, Pimpri-Chinchwad, a small industrial hub located 22 km from Pune has shown the way on how to successfully rehabilitate slum dwellers in low cost housing units.
Through a pilot slum rehabilitation project — under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) — the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) is building 18,032 low cost houses, which will help rehabilitate almost 50% of the town’s total slum population.
Pimpri-Chinchwad has a population of 17 lakh of which 1.36 lakh are slum dwellers.
“We are providing slum dwellers a hygienic surrounding to live in. The one room tenements have a kitchen and an attached bathroom. We have already completed 6,612 houses and handed over their possession,” said Prakash Kadam, additional commissioner, PCMC.
According to Kadam, the R591 crore in-situ slum rehabilitation project is vastly different from similar schemes undertaken in the past. “Not only are we providing affordable housing but for the first time we are also giving the ownership right to the slum dweller. This will check mushrooming of new slums,” he said.
Bapu Kadale, 50, is on of the 6,000 beneficiaries of PCMC's slum rehabilitation project. Till a month back, Kadale who sells locally made soft drinks in trains used to live in a dingy one room in a nearby slum surrounding by filth and overflowing drains. “But life has changed completely for me ever since I shifted here. There are no foul odours, no fight for water… After a long time, I actually feel like coming back home after a hard day's work,” he says.
PCMC has already bagged the best city prize for implementing cost effective building technology under JNNURM in 2010 for its slum rehabilitation project.