HYDERABAD: Despite the GHMC announcing major slum rehabilitation schemes under its RAY (Rajiv Awas Yojana) Project, migrant dwellers of the Old City slums do not expect much shine coming their way. Lying on their sides, adjacent to an open area that is overflowing with filth, garbage and drain water, a herd of pigs enjoy a noon time siesta under the hot sun.
And right in the midst of the animals, reside more than 15 families, in makeshift huts, squatting under their aluminium roofs.
In a city which houses more than 1400 slums, mostly semi-developed with well laid paths, water and electricity connections, it is the migrant poor who, even in places designated for people like them, get no benefit from society or government.
“Its been almost a year since I moved to Hyderabad. My wife and I do odd labour jobs and survive in this rented makeshift dwelling owned by a resident of the nearby slum,” says Bhaskar, an immigrant from neighbouring Mahaboobnagar district, as he points around the 15 cents of land on the outskirts of the Indira Nagar slum in Old City, where he currently lives.
“But nothing here is anything close to what we can call home,” he said rather pensively.
Like most other Hyderabadi slums, this too is much advanced when compared to slums in other metros like Mumbai and Delhi. Despite being a government notified area, Old City slums remain out of bounds for migrants who haven’t been part of the city for too long. Admitting that migrant residing in slums needed more rehabilitation than native slum dwellers, field officials in the Old City circle of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation felt that the RAY programme instead of looking to rehabilitate entire slums, needed to focus more on the needs of the marginalised sections.
“Most slums in this area are adequately developed and do not necessarily need further development. It is the migrants who need to be provided shelter and basic amenities, and hopefully the RAY programme will address that need,“ said a field volunteer.
But as Rangapandu, a 20 something migrant in a nearby slum said: “Even if RAY comes up, we doubt it will benefit us. The government doesn’t even know we exist, as we live on the fringe of the slums they plan to develop.”
The ray project
Under the RAY project, a total of 1476 slums will be rehabilitated. The maximum number of slums (528) lie in Central Zone (Abids, Khairatabad), while South Zone, comprising Old City and Charminar, houses 364. Under first phase of RAY, 290 slums will be rehabilitated, of which 50 lie in Charminar ward alone. Most are well maintained and the migrants who have
settled here face a raw deal. Project director RAY, P Vishwanath,
a specialist on slum development with the GHM C said that the RAY programme will surely take into account the problems of the migrant. Currently the list of slums to be developed under first phase is yet to be finalised.