A new ray of hope for poor women

HYDERABAD: Imagine this. A typical Indian family of four and the usual pet, sharing space with a number of steel utensils, a coir cot, numerous sentimental objects, and a narrow footlong bathr

Published: 07th March 2012 12:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:30 PM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD: Imagine this. A typical Indian family of four and the usual pet, sharing space with a number of steel utensils, a coir cot, numerous sentimental objects, and a narrow footlong bathroom. All within a 10x12 sq ft single room having no windows. And worst of all, asbestos/tin sheet roofing for company, while outside temperatures hover between 35-40 degrees celsius.

Sweating already? Well, that’s just what the average Hyderabadi slum dweller, is being subjected to this early summer, even as the first phase of the promised Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) programme for slum rehabilitation, fails to take shape.

“Those with concrete roofs above their head can atleast take refuge under them during peak noon hours. But with the tin sheet over our head, we just choose to sit outside than face the extreme heat inside,” said Gauzia, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar Hussain Sagar slum. The 100-odd families in her slum are struggling to stay cool due to the heat accumulation, and according to her, “once June starts, the monsoons cause a flooding of the nearby naala, leading to further sanitation isues. The RAY programme is expected to settle all these problems, but why this delay?”

Incidentally, the Rs 308-crore first phase of GHMC’s proposed RAY project, is getting delayed due to a lag in budget clearance, said a project officer with the Secunderabad corporation.

That and the fact that the list of beneficiary slums under the first phase are yet to be finalised, is taking a toll on the target time. Even the pilot project of the same which is expected to be launched in Keshav Nagar, Serilingampally is yet to take off constructively.

Any wonder then that women from over 100 slums in the city, who had come to attend the Women’s Day celebrations at the GHMC office here on Tuesday, were seen hoping that the RAY project lives upto its promises as soon as possible. MT Krishna Babu, Commissioner, GHMC didn’t disappoint them. He promised building pucca houses (estimated cost of `3-3.5 lakh/single floor house), and also ensured faster action by the 732 slum level federations under the ambit of the GHMC, keeping in mind the approaching summer and monsoon months.

“Once RAY takes off, the project will enable building houses based on the dweller’s needs, like ground plus one floor/two floors/three floors. It will thus provide for flexibility unlike the JNNURM housing scheme,” he said.

Slum dwellers from Old Alwal and Kukatpally who live under tin roofs as well, hoped the project would atleast help set up pucca roofs before the summer sets in with full force and most importantly, before the monsoons arrive.

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