As the population of rural India transitions towards the urban sectors, the cities are finding it difficult to provide basic infrastructure to these migrants. The JAGA Mission in the East- Indian state of Odisha has taken up the initiative to provide proper housing to the numerous slum dwellers in the state. The Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission or JAGA falls under the Housing and Urban Development department of the Government of Odisha.
For a long time, the urban immigrants had been suffering from the lack of basic facilities owing to the lack of land rights. In a historic announcement, the Government of Odisha, under Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, declared the implementation of Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Act in 2017. The Act not only ensures the provision of basic services and infrastructure to these slum dwellers but also helps them in identifying themselves as proper citizens of the state.
Before the Act, the slum dwellers in the area were repeatedly threatened to leave their residence. The Act has provided them with registration certificates. The registered residents have been provided with proper sanitation, electricity, transportation, roads and other facilities.
“Slums are nothing but humans living in inhumane conditions. We want to eliminate that. Our ambition is to transform slums into livable habitats. Now, we are working towards giving the land rights, giving them financial assistance to build their homes, improving their living conditions and infrastructure.” - Shri G. Maithi Vathanan, IAS, Principal Secretary, Government of India
In the initial stage of the JAGA mission, the authorities realized that there over 2,00,000 households living in 2,000 slums which are spread across 114 towns of Odisha. The mission utilized the chain-based survey, drones, GIS mapping and household databases to map the areas and identify slums. The use of such technology helped in a faster implementation of the mission.
The mission faced a major challenge in rehabilitating the slum dwellers as 50% of the land was untenable. These lands could not have a proper infrastructure as these come under public property or are based on sweet water zones. Hence, the government had to shift the residents to new habitats, in lands that can have the required infrastructure.
Today, over 51,000 households have been awarded with the land rights certificate. The JAGA mission has been an initiative that is for the people fighting for recognition. However, it is only developed through the active participation of the public.
Watch to know more about the JAGA mission and its initiative to change lives.