Centre nod to Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation’s concrete plans for Rangamatia slum

The dingy Rangamatia slum in Bhubaneswar will soon be replaced by impressive concrete houses, as part of a 44-crore project of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC). The Centre has approved the plan and would release funds under its Rajiv Awas Yojna (RAY) scheme.

“The ministry of housing & urban poverty alleviation of the central government has approved our project report and would release funds soon,” BMC commissioner Vishal Dev said.

The Rajiv Awas Yojna envisages provision of concrete houses and other basic urban facilities to slum dwellers. The government would build concrete houses, roads, drinking water lines, toilets, community schools and bus stands.

Around 400 households would get the benefits of the scheme in five slum clusters of Rangamatia, sources said. However, more than 500 households exist in the area, sources added.

Rangamatia would be the first slum in Odisha to see development under RAY. A total of six cities have been identified to be covered under the echeme in the state. Those are Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Berhampur, Rourkela and Sambalpur, sources said.

Rangamatia corporator (ward no. 7) Madan Majhi said living standard of the poor would definitely improve. “But I doubt whether actual beneficiaries have been included in the list. The surveyors did not take me into confidence while identifying the beneficiaries,” he added.

All the slum clusters of the area were studied with the help of satellite data to discern the exact use of land and the type of houses, including the members of each family. After profiling the slum clusters, a baseline data was generated to find out about the probable requirement of the residents.

The BMC commissioner said around 143 volunteers have been selected to help BMC carry out community mobilization programmes in slum clusters of Rangamatia. “BMC was the first urban local body in the country that submitted a draft slum-free city plan of action to the Centre,” Dev added.

The city has 377 slums in all, including 99 authorised ones. The centre-sponsored scheme would be implemented in all the 377 slums. Sources said the Bhubaneswar Development Authority had recently sent detailed project reports for Mahisakhal and Patharbandha slums. Likewise, BMC is waiting for Centre’s approval for projects relating Panda Kudia slum, Jalimunda sahi and Mandap slum.

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