Monday, October 4, 2010

It is estimated that more than 55% of Mumbai's population stays in slums.To ameliorate the problems of slums dwellers the Government of Maharashtra appointed a comittee chaired by the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra , Shri Dinesh Afzalpurkar  in 1995 to devise a scheme to rehabilitate slum dwellers in slums existent as of 01/01/1995.

      The Afzulpurkar Committee estimated that for close to 80% of the slum settlements, in-situ rehabilitation should be feasible. The study group stated: "The slums and hutment dwellers of unauthorised structures form an integral part of this vibrant metropolis. All of them undoubtedly have a share in the growth, status and prosperity of this great city. They have had and continue to have a share in building up and maintaining the commercial, industrial and economic importance of Brihan Mumbai. A large percentage of them belong to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. We cannot be oblivious of the fact that slum-dwellers have not willingly chosen their shanty structures and unhygienic environment but have been driven to this option due to compelling circumstances as they were thrown out of the formal housing sector, the latter being unaffordable and much beyond their income levels. It is imperative to enhance their standard of living and for which an authorized dwelling unit is a first step in the right direction. This, in turn, will bring about a marked improvement in their hygiene and health as well as raise the level of public hygiene which has fallen to very low ebb. For lifting them from their present levels, cross-subsidisation of the cost of their dwelling units and allotting them free of charge, though not supported by housing philosophy, had become a necessity and a cure in the given situation. The slum-dwellers deserve this preferential- probably unequal treatment to bring them into the mainstream of social, cultural and economic fabric of this pulsating City. The study group has relied heavily on this philosophy."

" if inequality has to be removed, there have to be unequal laws". "

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