BRIKS lays brick for database to plan housing for urban poor

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New Delhi, Sep 18 (UNI) The National Building Organisation, a department of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, has launched its new online Management Information System (MIS) tool--Building Related Information and Knowledge System (BRIKS) -- to collect, collate and compile building-related statistics.

''This data will really empower authorities, local bodies, planners and policy makers both in the public private sector,'' Secretray, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation H S Anand told reporters here.

He was briefing about the outcome of the National Consultation on Database and MIS on urban poverty, slum and housing at which a new scheme of the National Building Organisation (NBO) was launched yesterday.

The scheme 'Urban Statistics for HR and Assessments (USHA)' will address the issues 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.

Under the scheme, a National Knowledge Resource Centre for urban poverty and slums will also be set up to help the policymakers and implementers.

Mr Anand said using BRIKS, the e-unit in NBO will be uplinked to state governments, departments, bureau of economics and statistics, municipal bodies and research and training institutions.

This centralised system will help NBO overcome the constraints of data collection and ensure timeliness of data, completeness accessibility and data visibility to multiple stakeholders, he said.

A three-tier system will be followed for online transmission of data: Users from municipalities or development authorities can enter, edit and modify data pertaining to their units only and the user from other states can view these data but cannot modify them.

The state-level user can enter, delete, edit and modify data pertaining to municipalities in their respective states, but they cannot do so in respect of data of other states.

The administrative user of NBO can enter, delete and modify any data pertaining to any municipality or state.

The Secretray quoting the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) figures said the number of urban poor had increased in recent years and there was a shortage of 24.7 million homes in urban areas.

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

The data collected through BRIKS would go a long way in planning interventions to ovecome the issues of urban poverty, he said.

Under USHA, NBO will give one-time grants-in-aid to the state governments for procurement of hardware, software, statistical and electronic tools for collecting and collating the data.

''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,'' Minister of State for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviaion Selja said yesterday while inaugurating the National Consulation.

UNI

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