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Govt plans remote mapping to get accurate figure of slum dwellers February 14, 2010

Posted by Bahadir Sahin in English, Haber (News).
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Aiming to meet ambitious target of making India slum-free, the government has embarked on a plan of remote mapping to get a “reliable figure” of people living in slums by collecting foolproof data on both notified and non-notified slums across the country.

While the current estimate of slum dwellers is based mostly on surveys of notified slums, most non-notified slums have been left out. Maps of cities prepared through remote sensing would give a clearer and more authentic picture of slums in a city and would also include non-notified slums.

Housing minister Kumari Selja said: “Most of the time the plans are based on projections rather than hard data. We plan to map the entire country so that we know about slums in each town and city. This would also include non-notified slums which are usually not accounted for.”

The ministry, which has set a target of making India slum-free in the coming five years with the launch of the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), expects to get the exact figure by GIS mapping and including non-notified slums too.

With the involvement of ISRO in this project, the land-mapping and slum surveys are being done through remote sensing with GIS-enabled software.

The ministry has also asked states to develop a Slum Information System and the Centre has provided them funds for the purpose.

“We want the mapping to be completed in two years,” Selja said.

However, the ministry says it is facing delays in implementing its plans due to slow response from the states to its draft guidelines for which their opinion has been sought.

The ministry has sanctioned more than 1.4 million houses for the poor. As many as 1,327 projects of affordable housing and basic amenities to the urban poor with an outlay of more than Rs 34,791 crore have been approved.

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