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Slum-free city project picks pace

If all goes well, a slum-free Jamshedpur will become a reality in 2013.

Satellite mapping of Jamshedpur Urban Agglomeration (JUA) is over and details of urban slums will be available next month, after which a pilot project under the Centre’s flagship Rajiv Awas Yojana, which aims to make urban areas free of slums and relocate the dwellers to proper, concrete, houses, will start.

Mapping work under the yojana is being done by Jharkhand Space Application Centre, a body under the state IT department, for 10 cities of Jharkhand, namely JUA, Ranchi, Chas (which also looks after Bokaro), Dhanbad, Chaibasa, Daltonganj, Giridih, Dumka, Deoghar and Hazaribagh. On Tuesday, a meeting of special officers of the urban bodies was held at a hotel in Ranchi, where in the urban development department directed them to start spadework for implementing the scheme at the earliest.

JUA has multiple municipal authorities — Jugsalai Municipality, three notified area committees of Jamshedpur, Adityapur and Mango, and eight village panchayats, which include Parsudih, Ghorabandha, Chhota Govindpur, Gadra, Haludbani, Sarjamda, Kitadih and Bagbera.

Speaking to The Telegraph, JUA nodal officer and special officer Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC) R.N. Dwiwedi said they had already completed groundwork with the help of newly recruited Geographical Information System specialists.

“We were told at the meeting that satellite mapping of JUA was almost complete and we would get the details in December. Thereafter, we will begin a pilot project in which we will visit the slums to verify findings of the satellite mapping. The report will be submitted to the state urban development department,” said Dwivedi.

He further said that before the survey, they would try to make urban slum dwellers aware of the benefits they would get under the Rajiv Awas Yojana and persuade them to shift out of their settlements for a temporary period next year. New places for relocation will be also identified based on satellite data related to land use and topography.

“There are nearly 116 slums under JUA with a population of almost 3.5 lakh. However, satellite mapping will make the picture clearer,” Dwivedi said.

State urban development department’s principal secretary Nitin Madan Kulkarni said: “All local urban bodies will have to conduct surveys for the pilot project. The reports will be then sent to the state urban development department after which the main project will kick off,” he said.

Under Rajiv Awas Yojana, the Union government will dole out 50 per cent of the project cost to redevelop existing slums and create new affordable housing blocks while the remaining 50 per cent expenses will be borne by states, municipalities and the beneficiaries.

Apart from dwelling units, the beneficiaries will have access to good infrastructure like proper roads and provisions of electricity and drinking water facilities. They will also get self-employment opportunities.