Low-cost housing sites in Indore paint a sorry picture

  • Vinit, Indore
  • Updated: Dec 09, 2015 20:04 IST
Devoid of drinking water connections, people are forced to fill water from a common water pump. (Shankar Mourya/ HT photo)

The Indore district administration and the Indore Municipal Corporation are mulling to construct about 2.5 lakh low-cost housing units by 2022, but those already standing paint a sorry picture.

Prevailing conditions of the low-cost housing sites already constructed in different parts of the city under the Centre’s Housing for All project do not uplift the quality of life of the displaced.

Basic amenities such as water, electricity, hygiene, school for children, employment opportunities elude in most of these settlements.

Women and children filling up water from a common municipal tap near filthy sites in these localities is a regular sight. “We hace to quarrel every day to win a single vessel of water,” said a woman in Nainod.

In the name of rehabilitation and providing better living conditions, in the last couple of years thousands of families have been displaced from heart of the city and shifted to city suburbs to live in misery.

The quality of material used for construction of these buildings is also questionable, as the buildings that were constructed about 3 - 5 years back have already started showing signs of crumbling. This further puts a big question mark on upcoming projects.

When asked about the poor quality of construction of the buildings, the Indore municipal commissioner said, “There can be no structural discrepancies in the buildings; but there might be some complaints related to withering of plastering.”

Over 4,400 families resettled

So far, under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission’s (JNNURM) Basic Services for Urban Poor policy, the civic body has constructed 4,904 low-cost houses in six different corners of the city and resettled as many as 4,403 families.

Recently, under similar schemes, the corporation shifted people from the slums in CP Shekhar Nagar and Phool Mandi to low cost houses in Bada Bangarda and Nainod areas.

Many of these oustees, both men and women, have either lost their livelihoods, or ended up spending a significant amount of their earnings on commuting between work and home.

This has also left a dent on education of the poor kids, after resettlement, many kids are out of school now, said Rachna Bakshi, a primary school teacher.

Classes of a primary school in Bada Bangarda locality are taking place in an incomplete community hall, which is devoid of toilets.

Govt promised us better living conditions but we’re living under worse conditions, says a resident

The situation in Panchsheel Nagar is no different. “The governments have sent us here promising us better living conditions, but we are living under worse conditions now,” said Suresh Ingle, a resident of Panchsheel Nagar.

About 250 houses in Panchsheel Nagar and more than 800 houses in Bangarda are not being provided electricity connection, forcing people to snap electricity directly from poles.

While those who have been given electricity connections complain about hefty bills and express their inability to pay the bills.

We’ll look into complaints, says mayor

Responding to queries over phone, city mayor Malini Gaud said, “We had ensured supply of drinking water and electricity in those areas. However, if such complaints exist, we shall look into it.”

Recently, the Indore Municipal Corporation has written to the district administration for identifying land to start construction process. Sources revealed that the corporation has requested district administration to give information about availability of government land in eleven villages adjoining Indore, which include Nayata Mundla, Bada Bangarda, Tejpur Gadbadi, Rewati, Palda among others.

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