Urban poverty a major challenge,India should be slum-free: Pranab Mukherjee
New Delhi: Voicing concern that cities are struggling to keep pace with spurt in population, President Pranab Mukherjee today said the challenges on urban poverty front are daunting but not insurmountable and hoped that steps being taken will lead to a slum-free India.
Mukherjee said in the next 40 years, India is projected to witness the highest rise in urban population in the world and it is "worrisome" that our city structures are struggling to keep pace.
As visible sign of systemic inadequacies, slums and homelessness pose considerable challenges for policymakers, Mukherjee said.
He said there are an estimated 93 million slum dwellers in our country, with an urban housing shortage of nearly 18 million. But he added that the challenges confronting our cities are daunting, yet surmountable.
The President was speaking at an event where he presented awards for year 2012-13 to states and cities for their performance in different categories under the flagship schemes of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) ministry.
Mukherjee said that the traditional income and consumption parameters are inadequate to fully capture the nature of deprivation and called for a vulnerability-based approach spanning the three key areas - residential, occupational and social - to combat poverty.
He appreciated the work done under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY), the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) and Rajiv Awas Yojana is geared to address residential, occupational and social vulnerabilities.
He said that between 2000 and 2010, nearly 200 million people have been lifted out of slums, of which India accounts for thirty percent. He hoped that measures being taken will enable us to move towards a slum free India.
In her speech HUPA minister Girija Vyas highlighted the work done by her ministry.
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