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NGOs voice concern on JNNURM plan

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Apr 18 (UNI) The ''Committee for the Right to Housing'' and ''Hazards Centre'' today released a comprehensive critique on the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) which states that it was planned in a completly undemocratic and unconstitutonal manner.

Residents of targeted cities were not consulted, while multilateral funding agencies and corporate consultancy firms were given a free hand in shaping the mission, according to the report which was released at a press conference here today by the two civil society organisations which are working on the issues of shelter, livelihood and urban services.

Dr Uday Mehta of the Committee for the Right to Housing informed that the comprehensive critique was developed through a consultation workshop held in Goregoan on April 15-16, attended by hundred participants from 16 cities.

The JNNURM, he said, was designed to exclusively benefit local and international investors, while attempting to roll out a completly market-driven urban development.

Lalit Batra of Hazards Centre stated that the mission is in line with policies of liberalisation and globalisation. The JNNURM states that urban bodies should provide basic services to the urban poor. But the fact is it would increase displacement of the poor from their homes, he said, adding it will pave way for vast clearance programs to open up commercial use of prime lands.

Launched on December 3, 2005 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, JNNURM is the single largest intiative of the Central Goverment for urban renewal covering 63 cities.

Administered by the Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, funds are released only if state governments and urban local bodies undertake a set of urban sector reforms marked as mandatory and optional under the mission criteria.

UNI GVS MAZ PM2210

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