R&R Colonies: Suggestions & Objections on the Proposed Draft DP

A decade has passed since R&R colonies began to grow at an unprecedented rate across the city. Meant for Project Affected Persons (PAPs) of urban infrastructure projects, it is a known fact today that a large percentage of homes in these colonies have been given on lease and many have been sold. Many PAPs who have rented or sold the houses allotted to them, have gone back to living in slums thereby negating the very reason for which the policy was initiated. Nearness to livelihood, schools and other essential services have pulled them back; while lack of services, high cost of living and increased expenses in R&R sites have pushed them away from these colonies. Though the failure of this R&R model implemented by the MMRDA is evident and widely reported, the MCGM draft DP (2014-34) has provisioned land for many more such colonies with many more people to be affected by infrastructure projects. The tussle between the MCGM and MMRDA over the maintenance and service provisioning of R& R colonies is well known. However, since the draft PLU has allocated reservations in many existing R&R colonies we are glad that the MCGM is taking ownership in the development these large colonies. With regards to the draft DP, we suggest the following be incorporated with regard to existing R&R colonies:

1. Existing areas often face overcrowding of basic amenities when hundreds are shifted into an area. The new population influx must be accounted for within the ward through provision of basic amenity reservations. In this regard there has to be provisioning of government educational institutions within each R&R colony in proportion to the population and tenements constructed. Merely provisioning one educational reservation is not enough.

2. There has to be a reservation for a government hospital and health post with each R&R colony.

3. There must be provision of natural markets/ hawking zones within each R&R colony. There has been massive loss of livelihood in case of resettlement and most PAPs find it extremely difficult to sustain livelihoods post resettlement. Hawking within the colony to cater to the needs of residents thus becomes a major livelihood option. A secure livelihood space is thus a necessity.

4. There must be livelihood centres earmarked within each R&R colony. As stated above, livelihood is one of the major concerns of people displaced from their homes. Livelihood regeneration must be an integral part of R&R and a spatial reservation must be made for the same.

5. There must be solid waste sorting sheds. The waste generated from large colonies should be sorted at source – at present the condition of waste management in these colonies is appalling.

6. There has to be adequate provisioning of open spaces. Open spaces must be provisioned with the colony in proportion to the population and tenements constructed.

7. Community spaces must be provided. R&R colonies are places where communities from various parts of the city are made to live together – there is a need to reserve public community spaces to provide for community programmes and festivals.

For proposed R&R:

8. Incentive FSI and TDR that leads to creation of high density R&R housing must be scrapped. Resettlement, if necessary must be provisioned for within a 5 km radius from the original site of habitat.

9. DCRs on light, ventilation, fire safety and space between buildings must not be compromised on within R&R colonies. These compromises have lead to R&R colonies being unsafe, inhabitable spaces. Women’s safety is at stake within these colonies.

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