Slum Rehabilitation Re-Launched: Noida Authority to Give Interest-Free Loans to Slum Dwellers

On Tuesday, 1 July, a meeting between Noida Authority and Association of Slum Dwellers made headlines as the authorities finally took the decision to waiver the 4 per cent interest rate in order to revamp their slum rehabilitation scheme. The decision came as a relief to thousands of slum-dwellers who will now receive long term interest-free loans to help them purchase economically weaker section (EWS) flats, bringing back the project from the dead.

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The JJ Dwellers Resettlement Scheme was initiated in 2011 in which four-level, two-room units were constructed by the authorities in Sector 122. Priced at Rs. 4.5 to R.s 5.15 lakhs, these housing units were supposed to rehabilitate around 11,000 EWS families, the cost of which could be paid in installments spanning over 20 years. Nevertheless, the EWS members avowed that the scheme only targeted to benefit a handful of individuals. Owing to the persisting sour mood of the slum-dwellers, the Authority on Tuesday finally took the decision to drop the 4 per cent interest rate on installments. The first phase of the scheme will commence in July and is hoped to house around 3,400 EWS families.

Akhilesh Singh, Additional CEO of Noida Authority, expressed his hopes saying, “Now, the members have agreed to participate in the scheme, which will be through a draw of lots.” He further added that “with the rehabilitation scheme, which is to accommodate about 11,565 families, we will be able to free land in Sectors 8, 9 and 10 in the heart of Noida. This allotment will be done block-wise and the possession of the vacated land will be taken by us. This land will then be put to various uses, including building parks, parking lots, roads, etc.”This could mean good tidings for both the slum-dwellers and real estate industry.

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