Delhi govt’s biggest survey to begin from October, will cover at least 3.8 million households
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Delhi govt’s biggest survey to begin from October, will cover at least 3.8 million households

The survey, the first pan-Delhi data collection project to be carried out by the state government, will cover at least 3.8 million households.

delhi Updated: Aug 19, 2018 11:41 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi govt survey,Delhi survey,Delhi government
The survey will include an assessment of families based on employment, income, health, education, social security and transport. It is budgeted to cost Rs 10 crore.(HT File Photo)

The Delhi government will conduct a socio-economic survey of all households in the capital from October to December, an exercise aimed at determining the infrastructure requirements of the city and the extent to which social welfare programmes are able to meet the needs of the disadvantaged.

The survey, the first pan-Delhi data collection project to be carried out by the state government, will cover at least 3.8 million households, and will include an assessment of families based on employment, income, health, education, social security and transport. The survey is budgeted to cost Rs 10 crore

“The survey is going to be the Delhi government’s biggest study till date. It will give in-depth data on Delhi’s need for basic infrastructure and amenities such as the number of schools, colleges and hospitals required. More importantly, it will also give us a proper idea about the network of social welfare schemes,” said deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia.

Social welfare schemes include the public distribution system through which foodgrains are supplied to low-income families, scholarships and pensions as well as Anganwadi centres, or women and child development homes.

The move comes after three sisters – aged eight, four and two years —of a poor family died in East Delhi’s Mandawali area because of malnutrition. One of the girls was on the rolls of a government social welfare scheme, but its benefits never reached her despite an anganwadi centre being located just over 300 metres away from where they lived. The deaths shocked Delhi, and brought home to citizens and authorities the toll taken by poverty in the city.

The planning department has already received more than 2,000 applications from potential field surveyors who would go door-to-door to interview people. “At least 25% of the applicants so far are women. The survey will be paperless and a mobile application is being built to make the database available in a cloud-based system instantly,” an official privy to the development said on condition of anonymity.

Experts said the initiative was the need of the hour because Delhi, although it’s the national capital, still relies on surveys sanctioned by the Central government.

“Whatever little data collection that happens at the state level has always been a sample survey in Delhi till now. So, this is a great step. However, I would suggest the Delhi government to also include migration,” said Debolina Kundu, associate professor at the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA).

“There is no such data point available as of now regarding where they are coming from and more importantly, whether they are able to anchor a permanent foothold in Delhi instead of coming in some seasons. All other parameters being considered by the Delhi government are good to go for me,” she said.

While 7,000 surveyors are going to be hired to conduct the survey, the planning department has already selected PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as the consultant for the project. The company will prepare the RFP (request for proposal, or invitations to potential bidders) for the survey after which the work will begin.

The last such survey was the 2015 socio-economic caste survey. which was sanctioned by the government of India. The ground work for that exercise was, however, carried out in 2013.

“Delhi has around 11,000 anganwadi centres; the survey will help us find out the exact requirement of such centres in Delhi and also how many women and children are actually availing of it regularly. Besides, the aim is also to identify those who need to brought under the social welfare network but currently are out of it. These include pension, rations, education and so on,” the official cited above said.

According to the 2011 census, Delhi’s population is 16.7 million, but the planning department has revised this and is estimating it to be 18.1 million. “The survey will also act as an assessment of every family living in the city. Its results would include the count of children in different age groups living in a particular area,” the official said.

The planning department has prepared a draft schedule for the survey and circulated it to the departments of development, revenue, social welfare, women and children, education, technical education and higher education for their comments. It will then be modified and a final format prepared.

First Published: Aug 19, 2018 08:44 IST