Report No. 138
8.2. Slum clearance and slum improvement-The trends.-
A study of action relating to slums in India shows that there has been a transition from slum clearance to slum improvement. This is also apparent from the course that various Five Year Plans took. As has been pointed out,1 the change was occasioned by several factors. Not only the financial outlays were likely to have fallen short of requirements if the slum clearance programme was implemented on a national scale, but also, there was resistance on the part of the population to shifting.
The new units were far away from their work places and were beyond their range of availability. Land acquisition near the place of work invited intervention at the instance of interested parties, with the result that the progress was baulked. Gradually, there arose the minimum needs programme (MNP), whose object was to maintain basic levels of social consumption of goods to all citizens and to level up regional imbalances in the distribution of basic social services. This embraced,2 inter alia, environmental improvement programmes.
1. Paper on Urban Poverty in India: Policies and programmes, by the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad, printed in National Commission on Urbanisation Report (August 1988), Vol. V, Part II, p. 44.
2. National Commission on Urbanisation Report (August 1988), Vol. V, Part II, pp. 46-47 (Paper on Urban Poverty in India: Policies and Programmes, by the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad).
8.3. The existing legislations are essentially aimed at protecting the tenants of privately owned structures or chawls which are in uninhabitable conditions. The legislations have presumably been necessitated by reason of the fact that the owners or landlords of such structures are not interested even in maintaining these properties in a habitable condition as it is either unprofitable or unpractical to do so inter alia in the context of the rent-restriction legislations.