Slum Bombay: Interview with Manjit Singh (Delhi)
Director: Ralli Jacob, Rafeeq Ellias, P.K. Das; Cinematographer: Rafeeq Ellias
Duration: 00:21:41; Aspect Ratio: 1.366:1; Hue: 37.412; Saturation: 0.239; Lightness: 0.180; Volume: 0.094; Cuts per Minute: 0.369; Words per Minute: 105.434
Summary: Interview with Manjit Singh (Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Delhi)
Interview with Additional Commissioner, Manjit Singh, from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi
Manjit Singh: Secondly, we need land at the soonest for all the new policies that we implemented in the 8th Five Years plan and Action plan in 1991. In Delhi land has become a very big constraint -there is no land to give, complicating the re-settlement situation. Recently DDA gave The Slum Department around 200 acres land for rehabilitation of the slum dwellers, in development areas like Papankala, Rohini etc where we have given land according these plans.
Manjit Singh: And this planning we do for slums dwellers,... earlier we (ineffectively) allotted plots in a line, now they are not allotted in a line but in groups - by cluster court concept on which this plan is based, according to which their living should be in groups. And some facilities are very effectively utilised when we give them in groups or at community level. In Rohini where we just implemented this plan, the people we shifted there have appreciated it a lot. And other people who went to see also liked it a lot. And ultimately people who are going to live there should like the plan and benefit from it.
Manji Singh: The magnitude of the work in Delhi has become so large that the government alone wouldn't be able to do re-settlement operations, and whatever welfare scheme for slums dwellers to build their houses. Whenever we made these policies the difficulties we faced made it clear that the department force should increased. But if you keep increasing department force, then its becomes difficult to control and to ensure effective utilisation of manpower.
Manjit Singh: So instead of us keeping on with proliferation of democratisation within the department, we've tried to...
Manjit Singh: The problem of slum rehabilitation has expanded in the capital to such an extent that the government alone cannot solve it all. One way could be to increase the departments and thus expend bureaucracy to handle rehabilitation of lakhs of people, onsite upgradation and to implement other schemes. Also, in a city like Delhi there are numerous voluntary agencies, non governmental organisations, charitable trusts and when I spoke with them I was encouraged to consider that they join forces with The Slum Department, and thus they would share responsibility and help us tremendously.
Manjit Singh: When we held gatherings for them in the city, I was really happy that they came to us in large numbers. I presented to them all the government policies and they agreed to join us in implementing them. We wanted to cooperative-ise all slums. We decided to give all co-operativisation work to the NGO's. You will be surprised to know that Delhi's NGO's and voluntary organisations have taken over the work of co-operativisation. Self-help organisations have taken over co-operativisation work in about 60 slums areas.
Manjit Singh: Once these slum neighbourhoods form their co-operative societies they can help with land allotment, procuring loan for rehabilitation and acquiring other amenities - this will speed up things it would also raise awareness in the people about co-operative societies and their functions - much rather than slum dwellers keep coming to Slum Department to meet with officers with no results. So we made the cooperative societies themselves the main purpose, while also providing them with some financial support - we've got them to cooperativise the slum areas. These NGO's are helping rehabilitate the cooperative societies. Other amenities for women and children like forming Mahila Mandal, primary and pre-nursery schools for kids, dispensary and income generating activities - the NGO's are supporting us in all these activities. We made a policy by which all of Delhi's slum improvement or rehabilitation work can be undertaken by the NGO's, who would receive financial support from Slum Department for these expenses.
Q: How much help you do like this?
Manjit Sing: About 20 rupees per family to make co-operativise if each areas has 1000 families than expenditure is about 20,000 to makes co-operative societies. And this will takes 2 to 2 & half months where we needs do (?), theirs affidavits, documentations all the times visiting in registration co-operative society so, including all these per family expenditure is around 20 rs to 2200. We agreed expenditure details from them and will give them this expenditure and numbers and slums clusters to makes theirs co-operatives society.
Manjit Singh: Working with NGO's sectors that things so courageous to us. And these work was impossible for government, but now I am full in hope next 2,3 years will make all slums co-operative society and whatever target is 16,000, on site up-gradation, shifting to 16,000 peoples for relocation these all we would do with the help of NGO's. This experience has make us so courageous other than that we assumed in other working schemes get involves to more voluntary agencies in Slum Department.
Manjit Singh: We have to make about 1200 co-operative societies for slums dwellers in Delhi. And in huge areas where we make each co-operative society for 200 houses. If you understand there is 1200 families are living so it will become 6 co-operative societies. This is how 200 co-operative societies or to make multiples in all over Delhi around 1200 co-operative society have to make. So that they can in on site up-gradation or re-location the facilities should reach them through co-operative socialites.
Q: Why did you demolish the place before rehabilitation?
Manjit Singh: If you demolished so simultaneously demolition and rehabilitation are going together.
Q; But why demolished?
Manjit Singh: Demolishing for rehabilitating for them
Q: It is fine, but why demolishing?
Manjit Singh: Either you let them settled there, if you cannot make them settle there. Those families migrated and living in city, who has become financial part of our city. Because need to empty land for government project there have to build school, college, hospital, some government building, some other types of centre so that need to removed people from there these all land in Delhi is government. In Bombay there is private land, in Delhi most of government lands so in government land should create government schemes. They encroachment in this schemes land and settled there because they came in the city and living here and become part of financial our city. So this is our responsibility to rehabilitate them while removing from there when we removed them then will rehabilitate them.
Manjit Singh: Will make co-operative, give them plot, give them loan to build house and will shift them from here. By empty project plots the government can do other project complete and who were encroachment-ed and lived and was in very pathetic situation so theirs rehabilitation can be in a good way so that shifting and rehabilitation are going simultaneously.
Q: So in Bombay the private lands goes to builders in very rare case like you saying build hospital, college etc. But most of the lands gets empty for builders so here is the same situation?
Manjit Singh: When I was saw slums area in Bombay there is 55% of slums area in private lands whereas is totally opposite in Delhi. In Delhi 98% lands are government lands where encroachment-ed and in master plan, zonal plan are some project land. Because of the government land we give them proper re-settlements than removing.
Q: Do you have an example of re-settlement ?
Manjit Singh: We did in Papankala, South Delhi.. There was a one big plot in Chanakyapuri in diplomatic enclave there was Nigeria Embassy land in that around 1000 families. Nigeria plot was been emptied which was in encroachment because the plot supposed to give embassy. As soon we got instruction from the government that plot should be gets empty and have to give embassy so that they all got resettlement-ed in Papankala who was in plot.
Manjit Singh: There is place in Matiala, Papankala in south Delhi from we resettlement-ed the families from there. This is how in Tilak Nagar who was in slums area we settled them in Rohini north Delhi.
Q: Did you rehabilitated all of them to whom you removed?
Manjit Singh: I have already said before we had made co-operative when we removing them when we them, means moving all co-operative not like this tonight you ready plan and early morning you are displacing them.
Q: In Bombay exactly happening like this.
Manjit Singh: We are making proper plan to evicts them and taking peoples together whichever project we are going to launch.
Q: What is people response?
Manjit Singh: People are so happy and ready to help us this type of scheme because they know the government has providing them plot for re-settlement, loan for build home.
Q: In Bombay government rehabilitating in very far areas so people cannot run theirs livelihood so what yo doing for this? By rehabilitating people gets home but not livelihood?
Manjit Singh: As I told you the earlier the system was to re-locate them far from the city. And we are trying our level best to re-locate them where they are living with cut the plot proper plan. But here is the pilot size is 15 or 14 sq yard as where they can turn into huts to good rooms we provided them loan, plot pieces so that they can make their home better than hut.
Q: Can't you provide larger land for say 100 people... ?
Manjit Singh: It is impossible to get... if land was already huge then that place would've already been encroached, more people would be living there. So we have to distribute the land amongst as many people that are already living there. We rationalise and make plans for that land - it is nothing but a kind of socialistic distribution of encroached land. Families already living on a piece of encroached land are re-allotted homes on the same land, after new plans are made. This is called onsite up-gradation, as-is where-is. You'll see that huts are replaced with properly planned...
Anjana: Manjit Singhji
, as we are seeing already a lot of plans are being drawn out and say this year we plan to relocate 16,000 families and... re-align 16,000 families. But the problem seems to be never-ending in Delhi. One is because of continued migration, people who are here, people bring their families. The second point also as I am noticing now is the fact that people have come to know - if you set up a jhuggi
(hut) in Delhi, you are going to get a house or you are going to get land. How do you cope with this demand?
Manjit Singh: Madame,...Anjanaji
see... These migrations will continue as far as Delhi metropolitan is concerned. If we could try our level best to stop them, but this would not be possible. Everyone has equal right in this capital city. They can come here to make their livelihood from anywhere in India. Many people speak about stopping migrations to the city. As long as there are no employment opportunities in villages, we can try to stop migrations, but people will continue migrating to the metropolitan cities. As you know development in Delhi is going very fast. I think the highest per-capita development expenditure is happening in Delhi. Once people reach Delhi they can get any work for survival here or nearby which they could not find in village. I feel there's also this problem in the city that thousands of people are living on pavements, footpaths, despite us having provided them a lot of night shelters. You'll see in Delhi where we have provided many night shelters thousands of people come to sleep at night. I don't see any end to this problem at any stage. People will keep coming and going.
Manjit Singh: But yes, in Delhi the relation it (migration) has with their settlement... you're right, in that the rate of migrations neutralises the work that we do completely or down to half, at the end of a year. Recently we collected information about this from areas - every year 18,000 to 20,000 hutments and slums are built, and every year slum population keeps increasing by 1 lakh. In Delhi between 2-2.5 lakhs people come from outside and half of them go into slums.
Manjit Singh: This is the reason if you see in 1977 all of Delhi's slums were rehabilitated. But now, today we've got around 2.75 lakh slums, into which 13-14 lakh people came and settled, whom we are rehabilitating through 8th scheme. Ultimately I don't see any final solution for this. But still, as much as is possible... until this cut-off point could be reached, either people should start getting employment in villages, and they should know that in Delhi employment has reached its saturation point - after that automatically people should stop coming here. Till that there is no solution and these migrations in the urban centres can not stop.
Manjit Singh: And this rehabilitation we're doing in slum areas through a co-operative or like where we worked - HUDCO, Minister Urban Development Centre and Slum Department together built Building Technology Centre in Delhi, Nizamuddin, where innovative low cost material is being researched and produced. We are making model dwelling units and presenting in front of community people - this is how we can also do. We are trying to make housing activity in poor slums an income generating proposition. Because basically these are the people who will work - labourers, construction workers, masons, so we can give them all facilities. Whereby they are working in their community so that they can make building blocks, and whatever they need support Building Centre NIzamuddin should provide. And slum dwellers should contribute in their own construction work so that it can also become a self help housing programme, And they can capitalise their own labour component for improvement of their conditions in these slums. Together with Building Centre Nizamuddin we're working on some such experimental projects.