Pune: Seven years after announcement, Aundh slum rehabilitation project yet to take off

August 1, 2023

PUNE: The slum rehabilitation project for the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Vasahat slum in Aundh remains a distant dream, seven years after its announcement.

Ramesh Thosar, a dweller of the slum pocket, told TOI, “We wanted our misery of living in the slum to end and were hopeful for the chance to live in a ‘smart house’ when the announcement of slum rehabilitation was made in 2016. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched this scheme under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA). It was a part of the Smart City projects. But nothing has changed in seven years.”

Thosar is one of the many waiting for the plan to fruition. He said he had written to the PM’s office in June 2022 and urged that a 500sqft house be provided to each family.

Modi had announced the slum rehabilitation project during the national launch of the Smart City Mission projects in Balewadi in 2016. SRA of Aundh was among the 14 projects announced for Pune.

The Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSCDCL), which had organised PM Modi’s event in 2016, said the project had been handed over to the SRA. “The SRA is looking after the project now,” said Sanjay Kolte, the CEO of PSCDCL.

SRA officials said the process to carry out the rehabilitation was underway.

The objective of the project was to “make the chosen area slum-free by rehabilitating all eligible dwellers.” The project envisaged “creating an environment for a thriving society by putting together social infrastructure.”

According to PSCDCL data, the project will be executed covering a population of approximately 1,982 people, staying in 412 households over 8,994sqm. The option to execute the project on a public private partnership was also being explored.

“It will leverage renewable energy and the project team will help form a society and assist with finances for operations and maintenance to ensure sustainability of the initiative,” said the proposal.

“We were promised homes matching high-class housing societies. It is to have all facilities that a decent residential complex should have,” said Gajendra Chaudhari, another resident of the area.

A lot of progress has been made over the last six months. “We have carried out meetings with authorities like Pune Municipal Corporation, to provide transit to slum dwellers. Once all the residents are shifted, the project work can start,” said Nilesh Gatne, the CEO of SRA Pune.

  • Published On Aug 1, 2023 at 03:00 PM IST

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