Civic body to develop slum areas of Surat

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Surat, Oct 17 (UNI) In a bid to provide basic infrastructure, Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has decided to rebuild all slum pockets in the city in a phased manner.

D M Patel, head of up-gradation cell, said the Civic body has come-up with ''Slum Model'' in which, three floored apartments will be built in place of shanties having facilities like UCD centre, anganwadi and medical dispensary.

The Civic body has proposed the model to develop slum areas within the city and will kick-start the project from Limbayat, he said.

He said the project will help in providing all infrastructure facilities to these pockets, which were needed till date. Besides this, it will also help in accommodating more families with amenities involved in less space than what can be provided in slums.

''It is the first experiment for SMC for developing slums. There are 406 slum pockets in the city and it will definitely take quite some time for developing all pockets. SMC can't develop all this pockets on its own so we have to seek aids and we are trying for it.

It is sure that residents will be benefited from the scheme and it will also be helpful in reducing illegal shanties,'' Mr Patel said.

The slum up-gradation cell will monitor the entire project, which will be implemented as per population mass of each area. For initiating the project, centre officials have chosen Bhimnagar slum pocket at Limbayat, which has more than 1,100 shanties.

The project costing Rs 30 crore, has been kept under JNNURM scheme and it has been forwarded to State Government for its nod, he added.

But the main question is that how will civic authorities develop pockets, which are either located at bank of Tapi river bank or beside busy roads. SMC sources said plan is successful for only those areas where everything is approved and as per plan.

''More than 30 per cent slums are encroachments and are built either at civic or government land. How will SMC justify providing facilities in these areas and will it be successful in getting nod under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme is a big question. Even though if, SMC decides to provide facilities it will prove more costly,'' a top civic official seeking anonymity said.

UNI XR/PVN SR SY HS1756

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