In its pursuit to make City Beautiful a slum-free city, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to conduct a fresh biometric survey of slum dwellers, who were found ineligible or left out for rehabilitation during the survey conducted in 2006.
A total of 18 colonies have been identified by the administration, whose inhabitants are to be rehabilitated in flats constructed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
The rehabilitation scheme is being executed by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) and so far, 12,736 tenements have been constructed and handed over against 23,974 identified slum dwellers on the basis of the biometric survey done in 2006. CHB is constructing around 25,000 flats in eight different parts of the city such as sectors 49, 38 (West), Ramdarbar, Maloya, Mauli Jagran and Dhanas.
The biometric survey of 18 colonies spread over 200 acres was carried out by a total of 13 teams of estate office and Haryana State Electronics Development Corporation
Ltd (HARTRON) in a phased manner. The process was started on March 3, 2006, and concluded on March 31 the same year.
The survey included thumb impressions, photographs, physical verification and voter identity card of residents seeking rehabilitation. During the survey, a large number of residents were declared ineligible on the grounds that their names were not on voters’ list while many residents were not present during physical verification.
CHB chairman Maninder Singh asserts that the decision of conducting a fresh biometric survey has been taken as the administration aims at making the city slum-free by 2017.
“Making city slum-free by 2017 is also one of the goals under smart city project,” he said, adding that all the left-out eligible dwellers of slums would be covered.
Deen Dayal, 45, who had been residing in recently razed Ambedkar Colony in Hallomajra for 20 years, was among many who were left out of the survey. “I was left out despite having all the required documents,” he said.
Shashi Shankar Tiwari, Colonies Cell president of Congress, maintains that there are around 5,000 eligible families which were not covered in the survey conducted by the estate office in 2006. He demands that all the eligible families should be rehabilitated under the scheme.
In keeping with the administration’s plan of making Chandigarh free of slums, the estate office has managed to get around 200 acres of land from encroachers in the last two years. It has managed to raze Colony Number 5, Mazdoor Colony, Kuldeep Colony, Pandit Colony, Nehru Colony, Ambedkar Colony, Kajheri Colony and Madrasi Colony.
In 2014, Chandigarh got the National Award for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and the National Award on Slum Rehabilitation Programme.