CHENNAI: Soon, the State government is expected to put in place a new policy for rehabilitation and resettlement of slum dwellers. The policy annexure is being drafted as a part of the Tamil Nadu Urban Housing and Habitat Policy.
In 2014, the government made an assurance to implement such a policy in the near future. Experts say the policy will have a significant impact as around 16 per cent of urban households, according to the 2011 census, are in slums across the State – a whopping 1.46 million households.
Of these, 0.3 units are to be replaced, benefitting 2 per cent living in dilapidated houses, 10 per cent living in temporary houses and 9 per cent living in congested conditions. Currently, those resettled from the city at Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery have been lamenting the lack of even basic social amenities.
To overcome these issues, the new draft policy stresses following a citywide, comprehensive approach to slum rehabilitation. This includes slum mapping using GIS technology, micro-planning for last-mile connectivity and socio-economic amenities. After mapping, the slums will be categorised as tenable and untenable.
It will help the State identify the exact needs of each slum and accommodate them in the citywide approach, says the policy draft. “This is a welcome move, but the policy is being drafted without community participation,” pointed out researcher Vanessa Peter.
The document is still in the draft stage and all stakeholders must be consulted in the process, she added. “The policy was promised in 2014, in writing, by the then municipal administration secretary K Phanindra Reddy. It’s strange that it took the government five years to draft it,” says Vannessa Peter.