Advocating housing for the urban poor of Patna
To improve living standards.
The central government scheme to improve the living standards of the urban poor by providing not only basic amenities but also housing was most welcomed and brought in a ray of hope for those thrown on the margins all these years.
It was a matter of great joy when the GOI identified Patna and Bodhgaya and earmarked 711 crore 81 lakhs sanctioning 8 projects
The recently launched Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) supports 63 cities( 7mega cities, 28 metro cities and 28 capital cities and towns of historical/religious importance) across the country in terms of perspective plans called City Development Plans (CDPs) for specifying infrastructure gaps relating to water, sanitation, sewerage, drainage and roads on the one hand and deficiencies in housing and basic services on the other hand.
We at Aashray Abhiyan Patna since years have tried our best to get familiar with the scheme and have educated the poor about their rights. The struggle of getting housing has been long drawn, one continual visit for years to the department of urban and housing and the minister.
In January 2011 we visited the site where houses were built under this scheme. Since then there has been a positive response from the ministry and a number of meetings have taken place.
We have had the opportunity to undertake a survey and to present the findings to the minister – Dr. Prem Kumar Singh (Minister for Urban development and housing – Government of Bihar).
There has been a good rapport built and the honbl’e minister is now convinced that the poor need to benefit from the scheme. Unfortunately, the bureaucrats do not wish that houses be built for the poor.
On the 04.04.12, the honb’le minister along with the Executive engineer of the Kankarbagh zone visited four sites where the homeless are in dire need of housing.
This initiative was taken by Aashray Abhiyan who along with the minister and the bureaucrats visited the sites where people are living. This opportunity was also taken to identify the vacant land that belongs to the various departments of the government.
After visiting the four sites, the honb’le minister decided that he will call for a meeting with the concerned officers and will gather information about the availability of the land.
For us at Aashray Abhiyan, this has been very positive. We hope and pray that our efforts to make the government sensitive to the issue of housing will become a reality.
We also are committed to the cause and will leave no stone unturned until we achieve this.
Source: CRI, Dorothy Fernandes pbvm