To meet growing exigencies of migration on the urban landscape, the Centre has ordered the setting up of a first-of-its-kind inter-ministerial task force that will study the impact of migration on housing, infrastructure and livelihoods.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) has issued orders to set up a panel with members from ministries of Rural Development, Labour and Employment, Statistics and Programme Implementation, Home Affairs and HUPA. The panel, headed by Partho Mukhopadhyay from the Centre for Policy Research, will also include a representative from the NITI Aayog in addition to housing and migration experts.The panel is expected to submit its report by the end of the year.
National Sample Survey data shows that one in three households in urban areas are migrant households with intra-state migration accounting for a large majority and employment-related reasons being the prominent factor in most cases.
The panel will study causes, forms and patterns of external and internal migration, its fallout across various economic groups and impact of remittances on receiving and remitting regions. It will also examine the effectiveness of existing legislation such as Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act of 1979.
“The biggest factor in tackling the paucity of urban housing is understanding rural to urban migration trends. For that it is important to study, with the help of a inter-ministerial panel, whether policies such as National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme have succeeded in stemming exodus from villages to cities. This will help estimate the future housing requirement for the changing demography,” said a senior government official. According to data available with the government, 10 states account for 82 per cent of the slum population.
In terms of housing, the panel is expected to study the current socio-spatial supply of housing, both rental and ownership, for migrant population from different income segments. It will also look at the impact of floating population and migrants on infrastructure and services. On livelihood, it will examine the opportunities for migrants across skill-sets in terms of wages.