PM Awas Yojna of no help to migrants in slums

City Karnataka

Migrants living in the slums still wait for a concrete place to reside.

Migrants living in the slums of Thubrahalli for years are still struggling to find a stable place to stay in. Although the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) assures economically weaker sections (EWS)and migrants a place to reside, people living in the slums on a privately owned land have no security of home. Sathi Saddar, a slum dweller from Thubrahalli said, “It is not easy to stay here, I have been living here for  four years and seven of us stay in this house. We are living here as we have no other option.  We do not even have bathrooms and have to defecate in the open.”

The PM Awas Yojana is a centrally sponsored scheme that was rolled out in 2015 to help the EWS, Lower Income Groups (LIG) and Middle Income Groups (MIL) with affordable housing. An official from the City Level Technical Cell (CLTC) of the Karnataka Slum Development Board (KSDB) said, “People who have been residing in the same slum since 10 or more years are eligible to avail the houses under the scheme. We have constructed around 15,000 houses till now and the target is 1,80,258 houses by 2024.”

Rashida Khatun, a migrant who came from Behrampor, West Bengal, living in the slums of Thubarahalli said, “It has been 10 years now that I have been living here at the same place. We do not have proper water supply or electricity; there are only four toilets for over 400 families living in this area. It would be helpful if the government would support us by giving a place to stay.”

  • Seven to eight people reside inside one hut.

Another migrant Samsun Bibi, who stays in the same slum for 10 years said, “Whenever it rains, the slum gets flooded and water enters into our rooms. We have to pay Rs. 3000 as rent every month to the owner which becomes difficult for us with a meager salary.”

The official from the KSDB said that they only carry on the development project in a slum under the PM Awas scheme if it is a government-declared slum. She added,“If the land in which the slum is built is owned by a person, we can only carry out development projects if the government buys the area.” Although the PM Awas Scheme states that its objective is to achieve the mission of ‘housing for all’  by 2022, the project is still in progress. The KSDB official said, “The project has been extended till 2024 as many development projects are still left due to financial crunches.”

Another official, Prakash, from the Revenue department of (KSDB) said, “There are 509 declared slums in Bengaluru out of which 58 have been developed till now”. He added that Thubrahalli slum is an identified slum, but it is yet to be declared for development.It takes six months for an identified slum to get declared for development.

The official from the City Level Technical Cell of KSDB further said, “The central government is providing Rs 1.5 lakhs for each beneficiary. The state government, on the other hand, is Rs 2 lakhs for the Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes and Rs 1.2 lakhs for others for the project. The remaining balance has to be borne by the beneficiary, which they might find difficult to pay, so we help them avail loan to pay their share in installments.”

Dr. Srinivasa V. Chakragiri, Director and Chief Research Officer of Street Matrix said, “It is a good scheme by the government, as the constructed unit will provide utilities like electricity water and sanitation.” He added that the government should consider including migrants living in the private owned slums with reduced subsidy on pro-rata basis.