Events of ADRI (Patna - Ranchi)
A workshop titled “Urban Housing Policy for Urban Poor” was held in Hotel Maurya, Patna on January 8th, 2018. The University of Florida, Asian Development Research Institute, and Institute for Human Development, with support from International Growth Centre organized this Important workshop. TheInaugural Session was chaired by Dr. Shaibal Gupta, Member-Secretary Asian Development Research Institute. The Welcome address was give by Dr Abhinav Alakshendra, from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning University of Florida. Dr Amitabh Kundu, former professor from Jawahar Lal Nehru University gave the keynote address. He argued that inthe four verticals under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, those wherein there is great possibility of mistargeting have made marginal progress. While those initiatives where the benefits can directly go to the slum dwellers have not taken off. Instead of opening the window for middle class to take benefits,the government should focus on in-situ development. It is necessary that land titles be given with legislative and administrative intervention. The inaugural address was given by Shri Chaitanya Prasad, Principal secretary Department of Urban Development and Housing, Government of Bihar. He conceded that progress has been tardy in respect to providing housing to the urban poor. There is a need to understand the constraints faced by the slum dwellers in accessing benefits in slums and he appreciated the study undertaken by Dr. Alakshendra. He was very optimistic about 2017 policy, that they will be able to achieve targets. The Inaugural address was followed by the remarks by the Mayor of Patna, Ms. Sita Sahu, who argued that there is mistargeting and the benefits should not be taken away by the better off.
Abhinav Alakshendra presented the findings of the study. He highlighted the need for planned urban development in Bihar keeping in mind its potential to urbanize.
The Thematic Presentation session was chaired by Professor N.K. Chaudhry, former Principal, Patna College, Patna. Shri Arbind Singh of NASVI, highlighted the need to link housing and livelihood. Sister Dorthy Fernandes of Ashray Abhiyan highlighted the lack of accountability in the government. Slum Dwellers are unheard, and unseen contributors of the city. Free housing for the poor is not desired.
Dr. P.P Ghosh, Director, ADRI,pointed that there is need for targeted housing subsidy. Beneficiaries should be identified using Aadhar. It must be kept in mind that government need not have enough resources.
The session was concluded with an engaging question and answer session where many different aspects of urban housing were discussed. Many new initiatives such as Swatcch Bharat Abhiyan, PM Away Yojna, and Jan Dhan Yojna were also discussed in detail.