PPP scheme to provide houses to slum dwellers

Berhampur: In a bid to make this south Odisha city slum free, Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BMC) is set to implement the centrally-sponsored Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) through public private partnership (PPP) to provide houses and infrastructure facilities in slum pockets.

Around 400 housing units are proposed to be constructed in two selected slum pockets at Chandi Sahi and Jhilimili Nagar on a pilot basis, says BMC commissioner A K Mohanty.

The detail project report (DPR) for the pilot project, which is being prepared by a private agency is likely to be completed next month, he said.

The DPR will be sent for approval by the Central Monitoring and Sanctioning Committee for sanction. We have decided to develop all slums in the city through this project as it has components for development of infrastructure facilities in the area involving slum dwellers, he added.

There are 256 recognised and unrecognised slum pockets in Berhampur, the biggest commercial town in southern Odisha.

Around 1.20 lakh, comprising about one third population of the city are the slum dwellers. While several of them have their own houses without having basic facilities in their areas, several others leave the pockets encroaching on government land.

The BMC, however, has no record of the families living in slum pockets without land rights. We have to ascertain their number, Mohanty said.

Additional Commissioner and slum improvement officer (SIO), BMC Sangram Sekhar Panda however, said the property rights would be assigned to the slum dwellers under the scheme. The state government is likely to enact legislation for this purpose, he said.

In the funding pattern, 20 per cent of the funds have to be raised by the corporation from beneficiaries, while 50 and 30 per cent of the cost of the project would be borne by Central and state governments respectively, the commissioner said asking the corporators to convince the beneficiaries to take the opportunity under the scheme.

Several corporators, however, said the beneficiary share (20 percent) should be borne by the state government as most of the slum dwellers were not in a position to provide their share due to abject poverty.