A dossier (news items, reports, posts, etc, about the initiatives going on in delhi since 2000)

22/01/2001: [news item] Development of Bawana progressing very slowly

DSIDC submitted the proposed scheme for development of Bawana industrial area to DUAC in the last week of April 2000… DUAC sent their observations… on September 27, 2000… “physical plan for relocation at Bawana must elaborate how the human element has been taken care of. Like provisions made for relocated worker population, that is expected to be in the range of seven to seven-and-half lakh. Provision of night shelters…” But till date the DSIDC has not submitted the detailed structural plan. … DDA's total structural plan for Bawana and Narela is for 2,366 hectares… “…The migration of workers will put further strain on the already inadequate infrastructure,” a government official said on condition of anonymity. …”Now even the Yamuna riverbed is being reclaimed to generate urban activities and lakhs of jobs in the formal and informal sectors,” the official said…  With the Capital experiencing a shortage of almost all essential services, the urban planners wonder how the additional will people be accommodated

Development of Bawana progressing very slowly

By Saurabh Sinha

NEW DELHI: Industrialists who are looking forward to the development of Bawana so that they can shift and start work there as soon as possible have a long wait ahead of them. "The Delhi government is trudging along very slowly and giving the plans at the last minute so that the concerned agencies can give their approval hurriedly due to court-set deadline," an official of one of the clearing agencies said on condition of anonymity.

Consider this: The Delhi Small- Scale Industries Development Corporation (DSIDC) submitted the proposed scheme for development of Bawana industrial area to the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) in the last week of April 2000, at the "conceptual stage". After deliberations, the DUAC sent their observations to the DSIDC on September 27, 2000.

Some of the points raised by the DUAC were: The "physical plan for relocation at Bawana must elaborate how the human element has been taken care of. Like provisions made for relocated worker population, that is expected to be in the range of seven to seven-and-half lakh. Provision of night shelters. Public conveniences. Indicate scheme for solid waste disposal/recycling. Provision for environmental audit for monitoring impact of the project on the environment of the area."

But till date the DSIDC has not submitted the detailed structural plan. "We have not asked them to make any major changes. Two months should have been adequate grounds to resubmit the plan for formal approval through the concerned local body," a DUAC official said.

The DUAC sent a reminder in November also "in view of the importance of the matter."

On their part, DSIDC chief engineer R K Gupta said, "The plan is with the MCD. They further sent it to various agencies for clearance, which have been received. Only the MCD's clearance for stormwater drains has not come as yet."

He assured that the detailed plotted plan would be submitted to the DUAC by Friday. "1,880 acres have been acquired in Bawana. Our aim is to give the plots by May this year with temporary water and electricity connections so that the allottees can start construction. The laying of roads has started and we hope to develop the area by September 2002," Gupta said.

"But this will be possible only if the DSIDC submits the plan, that is if at all they do, at the earliest," a DUAC official remarked. His fears are not baseless as various flyovers and several other constructions that would have an important bearing on the Capital are on in full swing without the DUAC's approval.

Adding to the pressure

NEW DELHI: The DDA's total structural plan for Bawana and Narela is for 2,366 hectares, ie over a whopping 5,800 acres. "Instead of the National Capital Region, such a large development will add to the population pressure here. The migration of workers will put further strain on the already inadequate infrastructure," a government official said on condition of anonymity. 
Even the master plan of 1962 spoke of developing Ring towns to "deflect population there so that the population of Delhi can be kept to a manageable limit." It further proposed to "deflect four lakh population from Delhi to the Ring towns."

"Now even the Yamuna riverbed is being reclaimed to generate urban activities and lakhs of jobs in the formal and informal sectors," the official said. 
There are a lot of contradictions between the master plan for 2001 and the Regional Plan-2001. The former wants to earmark land for extensive industry within Delhi urban area and make space for more offices in Delhi only. The latter envisages relocation to the NCR - neighbouring areas of Haryana, UP and Rajasthan.

With the Capital experiencing a shortage of almost all essential services, the urban planners wonder how the additional will people be accommodated

05/07/2000: [mpisg milestone] start of MPISG pursuit of statutory Delhi Master Plan solution to the problem of housing the poor

With demolition without notice in rangpuri pahari, possibly the oldest mcd listed jj cluster in delhi, stopped by citizens with legitimate demand for lawful relocation according to master plan (explicit citywide target of 4.25 lakh cheap plots of minimum 25 sqm, to be integrated in each residential community of 100,000 to extent of 25%, in addition to 20% small units) and challenging legality, in terms of the plan, of high-income housing project requiring the eviction

20/07/2000: [news item] For whom the streets are their home

… more than 100,000 homeless roaming the streets of Delhi; begging, providing cheap labour, taking drugs… around 34,000 are children… rapid assessment by Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan… 52,765 people were found… "The head count of the shelterless would be three fold the existing statistics" said Director …Indu Prakash Singh. …victims of a "push factor" …sell their organs or are professional blood donors… suffering from post traumatic stress disorder… destitution, depression and disillusionment… other mental ailments… suicidal tendency… rapid assessment operation was carried out with the help of NGOs like Prayas, Sahara, Mukti Aashram, Pravah and Navjyoti Foundation… would go in for a detailed study. The first step then would be sensitisation of the society … as demonstration models… Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan would … run a night shelter, which will be renamed as "Vishram Griha" …has decided to provide the health care …separate room for women and children. 

For whom the streets are their home, Daily Pioneer, 20.07.2000

Devesh K Pandey/New Delhi

There are more than 100,000 homeless roaming the streets of Delhi; begging, providing cheap labour, taking drugs, and sleeping under the open sky.

Of these around 34,000 are children. These people are deprived of good health care, nutritious food, sympathy; often painted as anti-socials by police.

According to a rapid assessment by "Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan", a Non-governmental organisation, 52,765 people were found sleeping on the streets, during a survey conducted between midnight to morning (6:00 a.m.) from June 5 to June 16. However, "The head count of the shelterless would be three fold the existing statistics," said Director of "Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan," Indu Prakash Singh.

He said that Delhi was divided into seven zones for rapid assessment of the shelterless. "The operation, which commenced on June 5 was started in the walled City where our surveyors encountered around 15,595, the maximum number of such people. Second after that with the maximum count was in the North Delhi area (8,391)," he said.

While elaborating on the kind of people the survey team met, Mr Singh said that these people could be classified into three sections. The first section is the "most visible" section. It was mainly spotted around the Walled city and Old Delhi areas. This section consists of shelterless who have migrated to the states like West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

These people, he added, live in groups and are employed by the shop keepers who want a round-the-clock worker and chowkidar. "They spend their nights on shop verandas, simultaneously, keeping an eye on the shop. And these people can start their work early in the morning to the comfort of shop keepers," he said.

Mr Bhardwaje, Consultant with the organisation said that the other section constituted the migrants - victims of a "push factor". He said that in Delhi most of the migrant-shelterless had come to escape the problems in their area, which should not be thought merely to be a pull factor of the capital city. These people sell their organs or are professional blood donors. A large chunk of this section is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

"Running away from one's family and then facing destitution, depression and disillusionment, these people take to drugs. This follows other mental ailments as well," he added. Mr Singh said that they also develop a suicidal tendency. "Besides, being looked upon as criminals by the police also brings them down in the eyes of the society," he added.

The third section, which are not-so-visible, constitute abandoned children, run away, and the human-seed taking shape in mother's womb and mothers who have been deserted or who were born on the streets themselves. "This section and the second section poses a real threat to the validity of the demographic statistics of the city. And owing to this the welfare programs are unable to cover the desired population," Mr Bhardwaje said.

He said that after rapid assessment, the organisation would go in for a detailed study. The first step then would be sensitisation of the society through interactive meetings, audio-visual and print media and street plays - to make them understand the problems faced by the shelterless. The procedure will also include running two shelters as demonstration models.

Mr Singh informed that soon "Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan" would be given the responsibility to run a night shelter, which will be renamed as "Vishram Griha." There, the organisation has decided to provide the health care facility and a separate room for women and children.

He informed that this rapid assessment operation was carried out with the help of the Non-governmental organisations like Prayas, Sahara, Mukti Aashram, Pravah and Navjyoti Foundation, constituting 38 survey members.

2001-2002: [report] Action Aid India Annual Report

…in 2001, we made significant progress in our attempts to address the immediate needs of homeless people through varied interventions such as health outreach, providing shelter and hospital facilities and giving blankets on cold winter nights. building the capacities of this vulnerable section and facilitating the collectivisation of the homeless are integral to the mission of aai. this would also mean imparting to them various skills on concerns like community health, legal literacy and management of shelters. aai’s mission also endeavours to bring about changes in macro-level policies and law to protect and promote the rights of the homeless. we studied the law and policy framework of the state, which impinges on the rights of this section. our interventions in the policy of night shelter and the law related to beggary are examples of our efforts in this direction. to enable the homeless in delhi to exercise their right to a life of dignity, aai attempts to sensitise the privileged citizens of delhi to their concerns…

13/02/2001: [news item] Tell truth to census takers: CM

Dikshit said it was vital that the citizens cooperated with the census enumerators and gave them the correct data. …in order to enumerate homeless people living in Delhi, enumerators will go all over the city on the night of February 28. “Since these people move around in the day time, the only way we can get them without the chance of duplication is in the night”…  Officials are already on the job identifying the areas where the homeless spent their nights. “We have spotted night shelters, railway platforms, footpaths, temples and other areas where most of these people sleep. Besides, there are some flyovers under which a lot of people spend their night. Our enumerators will go to all these places”

Tell truth to census takers: CM

By A Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Now we will know how many married couples have a bedroom to themselves, whether they have western or Indian toilets and whether they use LPG or kerosene for cooking meals.

Census is not just about population. It is a lot more. Though the population enumeration is currently going on, in May last year “house-listing operations” were carried out.

And for the first time, in this operation, detailed questions on the standard of living were posed. Residents were asked whether they had a vehicle and telephone connection. Details on the availability of drainage, bathing and cooking facilities were taken. Also if a family had a bank account or not was asked.

Questions are there but whether the data that is collected is correct would largely depend on the residents of the city. And to make sure that the information was true, chief minister Sheila Dikshit sent out an appeal to all Delhiites on Monday.

Addressing a press conference Dikshit said it was vital that the citizens cooperated with the census enumerators and gave them the correct data. She reiterated that as per the law the information that was given to the census officials would not be permissible in the court of law and nobody could be prosecuted for it.

“The job of the enumerators is quite tough. And if a family is not visited by one of them by February 28, this should be brought to the notice of the government. Very soon, a helpline telephone number will be announced on which people can leave their names and addresses if they are not enumerated,” she said.

She said though government school teachers have been involved in the process of enumeration, this would not cause a problem for the students. “The teachers have been clearly instructed that the enumeration work has to be done in addition to their routine work,” she said.

Director of Census operations Bimla Jindgar said, “We conduct the census every ten years and only in the month of February. Besides, every time we take the help of school teachers.”

She said in order to enumerate homeless people living in Delhi, enumerators will go all over the city on the night of February 28. “Since these people move around in the day time, the only way we can get them without the chance of duplication is in the night,” Jindgar said.

Officials are already on the job identifying the areas where the homeless spent their nights. “We have spotted night shelters, railway platforms, footpaths, temples and other areas where most of these people sleep. Besides, there are some flyovers under which a lot of people spend their night. Our enumerators will go to all these places,” she said.

Since it could be a security risk women enumerators will probably not be put on this job. “In case we have to depute some women, we will make sure they are not alone and their supervisors accompany them,” she said

05/07/2001: [mpisg milestone] “Protest” in support of the Master Plan

Outside dda master plan office, started to mark the “anniversary” of the demolition in rangpuri pahari and start of efforts to secure plan entitlements, joined by other slum and non-slum communities, hawkers, students, etc, suspended two months later after the area’s elected representatives came to assure support

06-07/2001: [journal]: Workers on the pavement (special issue, Labour File vol.6&7)

(bi-monthly journal of labour annd economic affairs by centre for education and communication): “this issue of labour file affirms the identity of pavement dwellers as workers. we acknowledge the assistance provided by aashray adhikar abhiyan (aaa) in bringing out this issue; and for sensitising us to the rights of houseless workers”. (includes an aaa-like special report (erroneously saying also that “first master plan for delhi … formulated in 1962… is still the basis for future planning of delhi, ignoring the fact that the population in delhi has grown manifold without ensuring commensurate civic facilities); a report by arbind singh / sewa-nasvi about street vendors (“the push-cart pullers of patna are one such homeless people who make a home under the sky”); interviews of manjit singh / addnl commissioner mcd slum wing (“i sincerely feel that the services provided for the workers are not satisfactory. i think …ngos should come up and share the responsibility”) and indu prakash singh / director aaa (“it was a challenge to work on an issue, which nobody had addressed. in 1995, while working with voluntary health association of india (vhai), i had done a study on delhi … in may 2000… aaa) was launched with the help of actionaid …rapid assessment survey was done in 10 nights …our vision is to empower and mobilise the homeless, to form a body of their own in order to assert their rights and take up their issues at all levels”)…