In-situ slum upgradation under JNNURM

Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) followed a participatory approach to implement an in-situ slum upgradation project under BSUP scheme of JNNURM to provide an alternative housing solution in high density slum areas of Yerwada region.

Source: Prasanna Desai Architects Blog (

The government of India has been implementing a range of schemes for slum improvement over the years. Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) was launched in 2005 with the aim of creating economically productive, efficient, equitable and responsive cities by a strategy of upgrading the social and economic infrastructure in cities. Various schemes such as Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) 2005-06, Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) 2005, and National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy 2007 etc are launched subsequently to improve the overall standard of living in Indian cities.

However, recent studies have pointed out the drawback of these policies in recognising the right of the poor to live in a city. The poor are pushed outside the peripheries of the urban space from where they need to commute daily to the city for availing livelihood opportunities. As the commutation expenses grow the importance and utility of housing facilities diminishes, leading to the selling of these houses by the beneficiaries and returning to some other slum inside the city.

Keeping this in mind, PMC came up with this progressive and people-centric in-situ model of slum upgradation which enables the locals to have houses with all the basic amenities in their own settlements without being uprooted to a government imposed resettlement colony in the outskirts of the city. Civil society organisations with strong community presence were involved in implementing the project. The Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC) in association with Mahila Milan, National Slum Dwellers Federation (NSDF) and CHF-International undertook the responsibility of conducting biometric and socioeconomic survey of the slums, appointing architects, monitoring construction process, and devising financial strategies and ensuring effective community participation and equitable distribution of resources. Prassana Desai Architects designed houses under the project.

Before the project started ranges of surveys such as plane table survey, biometric survey and socio economic survey were conducted. Information obtained helped in listing the beneficiaries and in identifying kuccha and pucca structures for project estimates. Unlike in other conventional programmes, this project doesn’t seek to demolish the entire slum area for rebuilding, but focuses largely on upgrading existing kuccha houses only. Suitable houses were designed keeping in mind the requirement and exiting fabric of the community. Special emphasis was given on incorporating sanitation, water supply, ventilation and lighting facilities. The project envisages providing security of tenure to residents living in the constant fear of eviction.

Fifty percent of funds for this project come from the central government, 20 per cent comes from the state government and another 20 per cent from the municipalities. The community has to contribute 10 per cent of the cost for the project, as per the guidelines under the JNNURM.

This project of PMC is emerging as a distinguished effort that is receiving national and international accolades. . Recently this project was selected by Smitsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, New York to display its model at an exhibition titled Design with Other 90 % Cities, which explores design solutions addressing challenges created by rapid acceleration in urban informal settlements.

This case study was published in January 2012.

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