Restoring Hope, Regaining Dignity: The In-situ slum redevelopment project, Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, is one of the country’s-and the world’s-fastest growing urban areas. This capital of Gujarat state has a population of nearly 5.5 million and is the seventh largest city in India. Ahmedabad city has grown from 1.58 million in 1971 to over 5.5 million in 2011. Its area has increased from 90 sq. Km. to 466 sq. Km. The city is experiencing many of the same issues as other mega-cities in the country, including the issues like large spread of slum settlements with dismal housing condition. In Ahmedabad, slum population is growing from about 450,000 (Census 2001) to 750,000 (Slum survey, 2010), which account for 13% of the total cities population and speeded over to 691 slum settlements as per Socio-economic survey conducted by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. Post 1995, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has implemented pro-poor programme and policies for slum updradation like Slum Networking Project, Nirmal Gujarat Abhiyan etc. This resulted has reached doorstep level basic amenities to almost 68% of its slum residents. However, the majority of housing is still made up of temporary materials in poor and dilapidated condition with narrow street and lack of ventilation. Majority of slum settlements do not have access to play ground or access to open space within settlements. In addition to this, slum dwellers are not having an access to legal rights either on land or dwelling units. Thus, slum dwellers are constantly living under fear of eviction. Majority of the slum dwellers belongs to poor and most vulnerable section of societies. Financial constraints and access to land bank are found to be one of the major barriers to address the above mentioned issue. To address the above mentioned issues, AMC under the “The Regulation for the Rehabilitation and Redevelopment of the Slums, 2010” has launched the initiative to provide Housing for All for slum dwellers by providing extra Floor Space Index/ transfer of developmental rights to the private developer.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
• In-situ slum redevelopment through public-private partnership with key principle of minimum displacement and maximum in-situ rehabilitation • Provision of legal housing with universal access to basic service package to slum dwellers • Optimum utilization of urban land resources

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
About 700,000 families reside in slums in the urban areas of state of Gujarat, out which about one fourth families (162,000 families) reside in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation in alignment of Government of Gujarat’s aims to accord priority to redevelop rehabilitate these slum dweller families in -situ. Eligible slum dwellers families will be provided houses of minimum 25 sq. mtr. Carpet area with basic civic amenities free of cost. Government aims to achieve the following objectives by this Policy: 1. In-situ rehabilitation of the slums situated on public land in urban areas 2. Provision of structurally safe houses against the natural disaster with universal access to basic amenities having two rooms, kitchen, bath room and latrine for slum dwellers families 3. Legal (Ownership) rights of the house to the beneficiaries 4. Provision of hygienic and healthy life style for urban poor 5. Qualitative improvement in socio-economic and environmental conditions of slums 6. Attracting private investment by public-private partnership for slum redevelopment 7. Simple and transparent policy framework to rehabilitate slums in-situ on public land through public private partnership Under this policy, the beneficiaries in slums will be given a structurally safe house free of cost with minimum 25 sqmt carpet area with two rooms, kitchen, bath-room and latrine in lieu of the existing hutments. The beneficiaries will be provided basic civic facilities of drinking water, sewerage line, electricity connections at household level. The beneficiaries will be responsible for payment of operational and maintenance cost, property tax and any other tax levied by urban local Self-government bodies. Education and health facility for each 500 houses will be provided as per norms. The beneficiaries will be initially granted lease-hold rights for the houses allotted to them for first 15 years and thereafter will be granted ownership rights. However, the ownership of the land will remain with the Local Self government or Authorities or implementing agencies. Slum settlement located on public lands will be eligible under the programme. The beneficiaries must reside in the slum settlement before 2010 to become eligible under the programme.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation took up the challenge of implementing the revolutionary Slum Rehabilitation Policy 2010 and 2013. The crux of the policy was SUSTAINABILITY in every form – Financial, Social & Environmental which helps Ahmedabad city to achieve the key Sustainable Development Goals of ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable and achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. To become the partner of change, AMC invited prominent developers from private sector. They were entrusted with the task of transforming the slums into residential apartment with all amenities. AMC roped in NGOs to strengthen the process of reaching out to the people. The outcome was that every slum dwellers is having access the legal house with equal legal rights to women. The universal access to water, satiation and electricity facilities are provided at household level. Owing to the robust support of the NGOs involved, other socio-cultural & economic issues of gender inequality, unemployment, lack of education facilities etc. are also addressed effectively. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has become an instrument of change in transforming the living conditions of the slum dwellers; Rebuilding Hope, Restoring Dignity.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The initiative is jointly implemented by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Private developer and NGO. Three prominent private developers are engaged in implementation of slum redevelopment project. A prominent NGO called Mahila Housing Trust – SEWA is engaged for this initiative. Till date, eight slum settlements are in-situ redeveloped under which 2544 dwelling units with population of about 12,500 were benefitted under slum redevelopment policy 2010. Under Slum redevelopment policy 2013, nine in-situ slums redevelopment work is under construction in which 11,532 dwelling with population of about 60,000 will be benefited. Procurement process is underway for 13 slums for redevelopment under which 7325 dwelling units with population of about 35,000 will be benefitted.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The process was initiated by conducting a socio economic survey of the existing slums in the city: 691 slums with 162,000 slum dwellers were enlisted in the socio economic survey, complete with total station maps and final plots delineated, following which builders were invited to put proposals for specific slum pockets. They were also encouraged to collaborate with NGO’s for facilitating a minimum consent of seventy-five percent of the resident’s of each individual pocket. Once preliminary written consent was available; a validation of the socio economic survey was undertaken jointly by the AMC and the NGO, to freeze upon the slum households. The developer entered into an agreement with each individual slum household, which was notarized by the Government. Photo Identity cards were issued to every household which were authorized by AMC and the builder jointly. The slum pockets for the development were then jointly demarcated by the slum representatives, NGO and the AMC to arrive to a consensus. The slum dwellers then registered a housing cooperative and passed a resolution to appoint the developer for their particular slum. These processes were facilitated by the NGO partner, ensuring a presence of women representatives on the committee. The developer then, drew up the plan, as per the relaxed development control regulation, subsequent to which clearance was sought from the Slum Rehabilitation Committee to begin project implementation. After the clearance, the residents were either provided transit housing or were facilitated to find alternative rental housing, the monthly rent for which is paid to the households by the developer for the entire period of transit. Private developer allotted houses to slum dwellers and hand over the society to cooperative account for lifetime maintenance. This initiative is implemented on public-private partnership basis. Project is funded by private developer. Private developer will receive transferable development rights equivalent to project fund.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The Slum Rehabilitation committee constituted at Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) was responsible for notifying the slum areas, evaluating the proposals and assigning the fair value to the value of the plots under consideration. It also coordinated with all other concerned departments at AMC and the State Government. The Housing Department at AMC worked out the modalities of the implementation of the programme, on ground after discussion with the selected private developers, communities and NGOs. To become the partner of change, AMC also invited prominent private developers from private sector. They were entrusted with the task of transforming the slums into residential apartment with all amenities. To strengthen the process of reaching out to the people in need, AMC roped in Mahila Sewa Trust recognized for its efforts in making the needy realize the dreams for shelter & dignity and enhance their living standards.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
• Eight slum settlements were successfully in-situ redeveloped. 2544 dwelling units with population of about 12,500 were benefitted under slum redevelopment policy 2010 in these eight locations. • Universal access to water and sanitation facilities to all at doorstep level in all eight slum redevelopment locations which help to achieve the SDG indicators of 6.1 and 6.2 of SDG goal 6. • Social security: Allotment of housing on joint ownership of woman – these would help in achieving the indicator of gender equality and empower all women and girls as per SDG indicator of 5a. • In-situ slum redevelopment and providing access to safe house with no cost helps to achieve the SDG indicator of 11.1 of ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums • Land area of 65,550 sqmt were redeveloped in eight locations • Private developers had mobilised about 47 USD funds for slum redevelopment in these eight locations.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Challenges Faced & Addressed Most of the slums were reluctant towards the rehabilitation dwellers. Many of them also practiced illegal hooch business and resisted strongly to shift to step- up housing. It were the NGOs who took up the challenging task of taking forth the Social and Economic initiative- of getting consent of a minimum 75% households to initiate the program. Consent letters were collected, signed, photography and videography done and the process of internal document verification began. This stage observed yet another impediment for the project and that was the lack of identity & resident proofs of the owners. Hence an alternate list of additional documentary proof was prepared like – jewelry bills, birth, and death certificates, School leaving certificates, etc. to ensure that the documentation could run through smoothly. The developer entered into agreement with each individual slum household, which was notarized by the Government. Photo Identity cards were issued to every household which were authorized by AMC and the builder jointly. Negotiations were done to determine the transit rental amount in presence of the NGO (Mahila Sewa Trust in this case) in order to ensure that the dwellers were not exploited by the builders.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Improvement in living conditions The households which lived in the slums before the upgradation have now been provided with ground + 3 apartments, with a minimum built-up area of 36 sq. meters, for each unit. It is a two room kitchen housing unit, complete with bath and water closets. Since the redevelopment of the slum was an insitu approach, the livelihoods of the residents were preserved. Women Empowerment “I became more intelligent, I learnt how to make application and earlier I could not go out anywhere, now I can go to Gujarat College (MHT's office) and come back all alone”, says Ms. Domniben Sokhilal Yadav, Odhav, Ahmedabad”. Yet another unique aspect has been WOMEN EMPOWERMENT…thanks to efforts of the NGOs, in majority of housing complexes, women have become the trustees and managers of their housing management committees. Dignified lifestyles of the households “My son used to tell me we would have a proper house one day and a dignified lifestyle. It was his dream. I never imagined that could really happen”, says Ms. Thakore. Not only were the slum dwellers able to enjoy and relish improved living conditions but were also viewed with dignity and not with disgust amongst various social groups. It brought a welcome social transformation in their lives. Improved schooling & enhanced employment opportunities Owing to the establishment of schools, the children got access to quality education. The employable age groups now are being perceived to belong to decent socio-economic background which has led to higher income generating opportunities. Increased the transparency and accountability At the city level a multi stake holder process, which includes the AMC, the developer, NGO and the community has been set up, thus increasing accountability of the Government as well as the private sector. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is at the forefront of implementing the public private partnership model in Gujarat. It has influenced the corporation's ability to negotiate with different acts and coordinate with them. It has also institutionalized the partnerships and modalities for bringing about transparency and accountability for slum dwellers in the programme. Revenue Generation for the Government This programme has proved to be an opportunity for settlements on Government lands which will be an advantage as it will be profiting by cashing on the extra available floor space index. Influencing positive changes in Government Policies. AMC along with the NGOs identify the key recommendation to ensure a smoother transformation during implementation which were positively considered by the Government when it framed the revised policy.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
AMC has vigilance department to address the issues related to corruption in the public service provision. In addition to this, independent institutions exist like Anti corruption beuro where any citizen may file complaints related to corruption

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
The proposed initiative covers entire section of population including woman and girls and poorest and most vulnerable communities within slum settlement. This initiate ensure equal property rights on dwelling units for women.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation
Institution Type:   Local Government  
Contact Person:   Mukesh Kumar
Title:   Municipal Commissioner  
Telephone/ Fax:   +91-79-25350926
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Sardar Patel Bhavan, Danapith
Postal Code:   380001
City:   Ahmedabad
State/Province:   Gujarat

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