Urban Slums in India: Improving Redevelopment and Relocation Policies

Overall 6.5 crore of India’s urban population resides in slums. Notably, the majority of the slum population comprises the informal sector labor force who are employed in low-paying jobs. Due to the migration of people to urban areas in search of employment, slums spring up in Indian cities within a matter of days. With an increase in population from the 1990s, growth in the slum areas is registered which implies that the proportion of slums is directly related to the population. According to the latest data, while the distribution of the slum dwellers in different States vary, 35.2 percent of India’s urban population live in slums. (more…)

Roshni Act: Understanding the Contours of the Land Development Scheme of J&K

The Jammu and Kashmir State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 was enacted to vest the ownership rights to the occupants of the State Land with an ambitious objective of meeting the chronic power crisis of Jammu and Kashmir. Since the object of the Act was to use the proceeds of the transaction to fund the hydroelectric projects in J&K, it popularly came to be known as the Roshni (Light) Act. The author, in this paper, has analyzed and elucidated the provisions that are relevant for understanding the Roshni Act along with the various amendments. (more…)

Need for rehabilitation & alternate livelihood options for population displaced under the Yamuna Rejuvenation Project

Information about the issue

The Yamuna Rejuvenation Project was launched by the Union Government in collaboration with the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and the University of Virginia. It is a research based project aimed at rejuvenating the river in the NCR of Delhi by way of redevelopment of the drains, particularly the Najafgarh drains, which flow into the Yamuna river and account for the majority of pollution in the river. Through engaging government agencies, experts and environmental activists, in India and internationally, the YRP engages with the multidimensional challenges in the recovery of the river. Addressing concerns in areas like public health, urban design, architecture, governance etc., it has recommended working plans in planned urban development projects on the banks of the river, the replacement of drainage systems of the British era among others. However, these urban development projects have resulted in eviction drives and demolition of the dwellings on the floodplains and this has been severely affecting the rights of a large number of slum dwelling communities who reside in the floodplains. (more…)

Need for Proper Water Supply Policies for the Slums & JJ clusters of the NCT of Delhi

Information about the Issue

The Delhi Jal Board in the the Eleventh Plan had charted out plans for the supply of drinking water services for all slum localities mainly with the help of two schemes viz., Grant in Aid for Augmentation of Water Supply in JJ Clusters & the Water Supply in Resettlement Colonies. The Delhi government’s policy however, did not suggest anything specific to JJ Clusters but envisioned provisions for water for all and public education and awareness regarding efficient water usage as proposed by the policy statements. In the same year, the State government of Delhi announced the Jal Adhikar Connection Policy for residents of JJ colonies. It aimed at providing legally recognised water connections to people living in the slums, along with a 100 percent waiver with respect to late payment surcharge for commercial consumptions amounting to Rs. 1,100 crores. However, there is a significant dependency in functions of governance with respect to the multiple institutions mainly the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and other State agencies across the city which affect the supply of water to the slums and JJ colonies of Delhi. For example, the MCD as well as the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) are in charge of local sanitation, which is crucial to the supply and safe utilisation of water. This means there is a multiplicity of authorities responsible for water supply procedure for the slums areas of Delhi, which can result in non delivery or failure of clean and effective water supply in Delhi’s densely populated and unregularised slum areas. (more…)

Support the Slum Dwellers Project

What is the issue?

As per a senior government official, there are 750 slum clusters in Delhi, of which around 52 prominent ones are located close to railway tracks. The Supreme Court, on 31st August 2020, passed an Order in connection with the piling up of the waste along the railway tracks, wherein the Court has ordered for the removal of 48000 clusters that are located along the 70 km route length of the track. The Northern Railway, alongside the Government of Delhi, has started the work of identifying the slums along railway tracks and the ones lying within 15 meters of the tracks will be removed. (more…)

The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection, and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018: Rescued or Victimized into Rehabilitation?

Human trafficking has plagued society for ages. It is the usage of force and exploitation of individuals for purposes such as slavery, sex work, and other illegal activities translating into an infringement on an individual’s human rights, with women and children being those at the highest risk of being victims of trafficking. Every country that acts as an origin, intermediary, or final place of the process is considered as one that harbors this socio-economic evil. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has stressed the importance of legislation as a means to curb the practice of human trafficking. It has stated the need for member countries to implement domestic laws. It also recommends that these laws be flexible in nature and comprehensive in definition to aid their efficiency. (more…)

Housing Migrant Workers: The Biggest Ambiguity in Labour Policies Framework?

According to the 2011 Census, India has 5.6 crore inter-state migrants, which is 33% less than the number that was observed in the previous census conducted in 2001. This population is mainly employed by the unorganised/informal sector and plays a significant role in the accelerated growth story of India’s urban infrastructure. The current policies have not been successful in equipping the migrant labour workforce with crucial amenities like housing in the cities they have migrated to, which added to their quandary during the COVID pandemic. Provision for habitation for the migrant workforce has only now been brought to the forefront for discussion, which reflects the failure of the government and detachment from the transformative constitutionalism mechanism. (more…)