Chandigarh bagged the award for Best City for Planned Habitat for Urban Poor at a function in New Delhi on Tuesday. The awards are handed out by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation for outstanding performance in different flagship schemes over the last year. Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil and senior officials of the UT Administration were present at the ceremony, where President Pranab Mukherjee handed the award.
The UT Administration has been undertaking slum rehabilitation under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) with more than 25,000 houses having been constructed for the slum dwellers. The Chandigarh Housing Board is the nodal agency for the construction and the one-room tenements have been constructed at several sectors in the city. Recently, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh handed over the keys of 8448 houses at Dhanas to beneficiaries.
UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar said that the Ministry has recognised the administration’s endeavours in this regard and added that with more houses to be constructed, the city was heading towards becoming slum-free soon.
The scheme has won the city a host of awards. In 2010, the Chandigarh Housing Board, the nodal agency, received the Best City award from Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation for implementation of planned habitat for urban poor under JNNURM. A year before that CHB had bagged PM’s trophy and Rs 3 lakh for implementation of its slum rehabilitation scheme.
Critics, however, slammed the design of the houses as there is no separate kitchen. Following this, the Administration is now going to construct two-room flats, the design for which has been approved.