National Data Centre and MIS on Urban Poverty soon:Selja

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New Delhi, Sep 17 (UNI) The findings from the National Sample Survey Organisation(NSSO) about urban poverty are alarming.

There are 70 million urban poor, with many of them living in sub-human conditions. In some cities slum dwellers are about 50 per cent of the population.In fact, one fourth of the country's urban dwellers live in slums.

Marshalling out these facts, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ms Selja announced that a National data Centre and Management Information System (MIS) on urban poverty was going to be created.

No plan, no scheme can achieve its target unless it has adequate and correct data, she said inaugurating a National Consultation on Database and MIS on Urban Poverty, Slum and Housing here.

So, the National Building Organisation (NBO) was initiating a new scehme-'Urban Statistics for HR and Assessments(USHA)' which will address the issus of database, MIS, action research and capacity building in the context of the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission and urban poverty alleviation programme like Swarn Jayanti Shari Rozgar Yojna and Skill Development Mission.

The NBO will establish a National Data Centre and MIS, and it will give one-time grants-in-aid to the state governments for procurement of hardware, software, statistical and electronic tools, she said.

''As the country is rapidly urbanising, the issues of urban poverty, slums, housing, civic amenities and employment of urban poor are assuming critical proportions. A strong database and MIS on urban poverty are very essential for effective policy making, planning, implementation and monitoring,'' the Minister added.

According to NSSO, not only the absolute number of urban poor had increased in the country, but the rate of reduction of urban poverty was almost half of that of rural poverty. Besides unemployment rate among urban women, especially women in slums and small and medium towns was unacceptably high, she said.

Sharing Ms Selja's concern, Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation GK Wasan, who delivered the keynote address, said that collection of data for urban poor was key to the formulation and success of any housing plan.

Stressing that there was an urgent need to evolve a database both on urban and rural poor, he assured his Ministry's help in the task.

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