Whom are the houses for under the Kanshiram Urban Poor Housing Scheme?
By Bobby Ramakant, CNS
May 3, 2010
The author is a World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General’s WNTD Awardee 2008, and writes extensively on health and development for Thailand-based Citizen News Service – CNS. Website: www.citizen-news.org, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(CNS): In the list of those who were alloted houses under the Kanshiram Urban Poor Housing Scheme last month, not a single urban poor figures from the two slum dwellings that were bulldozed last year in state capital Lucknow of Uttar Pradesh (UP).
The urban-poor people, who were living on the banks of river Gomti beneath the Daliganj bridge, close to Mankameshwar temple, were forcibly removed and their dwellings bulldozed on 19 February 2009. Since the district administration said that these urban-poor people will get houses allotted under the Central government’s scheme to provide basic amenities for urban-poor people, these homeless people went to Dubagga where houses were being constructed under the aforesaid scheme. The construction work of these houses is lying incomplete because of the demand from the farmers who are getting displaced for a higher compensation. These people who were displaced from Daliganj, began to live in the houses constructed under the Homeless Housing Scheme of Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) in Peer Nagar, Vasant Kunj, that were lying vacant. The quality of construction of these houses is so bad that the people who were allotted these houses earlier don’t want to live in them. From this community, 180 people have submitted their applications for allotment of houses under the Kanshiram Urban Poor Housing Scheme.
Those urban-poor people who were living on the land of Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) in new Gandhi Nagar ward, behind Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Vibhuti Khand Gomti Nagar, had to face the bulldozer on 29 September 2009. We were told that the reason for bulldozing these dwellings was that the UP state Governor was to pass through the road alongside which these people were living, to inaugurate the building of State Human Rights Commission (SHRC). However, these people are still residing at the same place, and the Vice Chairman of Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) Mukesh Meshram had written a letter to the District Magistrate of Lucknow requesting him to consider these people for allotment of houses under the urban poor housing scheme. 150 people from this dwelling in Gomti Nagar have submitted their applications for allotment of houses under the Kanshiram Urban Poor Housing Scheme.
Last month when the list of those who were allotted houses under the Kanshiram Urban Poor Housing Scheme was released then it was found that not a single person from both these groups of urban poor in Lucknow figured in the list. People of both these communities are extremely poor. Most people living in Dubagga are stone cutters or do other daily wage labour, and in Gomti Nagar area, most people are either ‘dholak’ makers or do other daily wage labour to sustain themselves and their families.
The question that arises is that if poor families like in these two communities will not get the houses under the Kanshiram Urban Poor Housing Scheme, then who will get the houses? Also we want to know the background of the people who were allotted the houses under this scheme.
Urban poor people from both these communities will stage an indefinite demonstration from 4th May 2010 onwards at the Shaheed Smarak, Lucknow. /CNS
Posted on: May 03, 2010 08:35 PM IST