Urban Local Bodies (ULB’s) of four Districts in the State has been selected under Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) by Government of India and has released first installment of Rs. 63.84 lakh for city mapping and survey work for slum free city planning scheme under RAY. This was stated by Mahender Singh Thakur, Transport, UD, TCP and Housing Minister while presiding over inaugural session of the workshop on preparation of slum free city plan under Rajiv Awas Yojna organized by Urban Development Department, here today.

He said that four districts including Shimla, Mandi, Solan and Sirmaur had been selected for slum survey and slum-free city planning. Mandi, Sundernagar, Sarkaghat, Riwalsar and Jogindernagar in Mandi district, Nalagarh, Baddi, parwanoo, Arki in Solan district, Nahan, Paonta Sahib, Rajgarh in Sirmaur district and Rampur, Theog, Rohru, Kotkhai, Narkanda, Sunni, Jubbal and Chopal in Shimla district had been included under the scheme. The integrated Housing and slum development programme (IHSDP) was being implemented in Dharamshala and Hamirpur towns under which adequate shelter and basic infrastructure to the slum dwellers will be provided. In addition to Urban Local Bodies of four districts, slum survey had also been proposed for Dharamshala and Hamirpur towns.

Mahender Singh directed the concerned authorities to prepare feasibility and detailed project reports in accordance with the guidelines issued by Government of India so that more and more funds could be obtained. He also directed to complete the work of DPRs in stipulated time period so that the Rajiv Awas Yojna could be implemented well in time. This was a new initiative for the speedy development of urban poor, he added. He said that RAY envisages slum free cities in a time bound manner and aims at providing basic amenities including housing to the urban poor.

The Minister said that with the continuously increasing pressure on urban land due to shifting of large number of population from rural areas, various problems were being faced by the cities and major towns which needed to be addressed effectively. State Government had been laying emphasis to provide better housing, livelihood and employment opportunities to the urban poor. Besides, steps were being taken to provide better health, water, sanitation and other amenities in such areas under various schemes.

Dr. P.C Dhiman, Principal Secretary, Urban Development said that the ground survey work had been completed in some Urban Local Bodies under RAY and the survey work in rest ULB’s was under process. He said that TCP department was procuring spatial data on requisite specifications for preparations of development plans from National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad for which Rs. 35 lakh had been released.

Dr. Khatibullah Sheikh, Regional Programme Coordinator, SNPUPR, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHPUA) gave the detailed presentation on RAY and also held open discussion on current status in RAY cities. Dr. Rayanna Dasari and Dr. SP Shorey and Shri B. Datta of SNPUPR, MoHUPA, Shri A.N Gautam, State Town Planner also highlighted on the various aspects of the scheme. Deva Singh Negi Additional Director, Urban Development proposed vote of thanks. Senior officers of Urban Development and TCP Department, Municipal Corporation Shimla and representatives of various Urban Local Bodies were present in the workshop.