Urban October is a month of exciting meetings, discussions and events focusing the world’s attention on urban issues and sustainable development. National, regional and local government bodies, along with NGO’s, communities and individuals are encouraged to participate and organise events to promote urban sustainability.
In this regard, the panel discussion and capacity building session on Affordable housing or adequate housing was held on 30 October 2019 by Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA) at Patrakar (Press) Club of Civil Lines, Nagpur. The mentors in the discussion session were Mr. Sanjay Bhimnwar, Chief Officer, MHADA, Mr. Milind Meshram, NMC, Mr. Nitin Meshram of Yuva, Architect Parul Tiwari and Mr.Anil Wasnik of Shehar Vikas Manch.
Due to non-availability of affordable housing in the city, the poor had to build their own housing which constitutes “Slums”. For this reason, the slums increased, the views were expressed by Mr. Milind Meshram, Assistant Commissioner of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and head of the Jhopadpatti Bhadepatta vatap cell, in the discussion session held at Press club, Nagpur.
Right to Adequate Housing is one of the 30 Human Rights stated by Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. It was further elaborated in article 11.1 of United Nations Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, 1966 (UNCESCR) to have seven core elements of adequacy. The Constitution of India also provides every citizen the right to a dignified life (Article 21) this is interpreted to include the right to housing. At present 31.6% of Indian population lives in cities of which around 18% lives in informal settlements. With a forecasted increase in urban population, housing needs in urban India is expected to increase manifold.
The question of adequacy and right to housing becomes crucial in this scenario. Moreover, with the implementation of different centrally sponsored urban schemes like PMAY and Smart city Mission the issue of right to adequate housing gains much importance the views were expressed by Nitin Meshram (YUVA).
Mr Sanjay Bhimanwar, Chief Officer expressed their views on PMAY, affordable housing and MHADA’s status in Vidarbha. Mr Anil Wasnik said Nagpur is one of the first cities in the country to take a positive step towards ensuring the right to adequate housing through the land mark decision by the Government of Maharashtra through the provision of land titles (malki patta) for slum residents in Nagpur. However, it is important to discuss various aspects of adequate housing to ensure people are aware of their right to adequate housing, prevent forced evictions and resultant homelessness.
Proceedings and Vote of thanks were proposed by Mr. Shailendra Wasnik. A large number of participants were present in the discussion along with Ramdas Uike, Urmila Badge, Dr. Tambatkar, Rajkumar Vanjari, Rihana Bazi, Rupali dhole, Vimal Bulbule, Lata Waghmare, Seema Ramteke and others.
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