Reported By: Ms.Sukanya Chatterjee, Manager East and Mr .Proshin Ghosh, Sr. Programme Officer
Urban Slum Civil Society Organisation (CSO) successfully advocates for pucca (concrete) houses for 264 evicted families in Cuttack
Cuttack, Odisha: ‘We are relieved to hear the construction of pucca houses for us in our slum’- said the women of Tanla Sahi slum, Cuttack Municipal Corporation. The demolition drive by the CMC rendered around 264 families homeless in peak winter of January 2014. Most of the residents work as daily wagers and cannot afford to take house on rent on their paltry earnings. Since then, the residents including men, women, children, aged and disabled have been living in temporary polythene structures exposed to cold, heat wave and rains along Mahanadi Ring Road. There is no provision for drinking water, toilet and garbage disposal. Open defecation is rampant on the embankment of river Mahanadi.
The local collective Tanla Sahi Slum Development Committee formed through the Samaveshi Sheher Project support, in May 2015, took the initiative for advocating with the line department on this issue with support from IGSSS’s implementing partner IIEC.
The repeated interface meetings and follow up, resulted in an announcement by the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) on December 2015 about the construction of pucca houses at Tanla Sahi for 264 affected families, under Integrated Housing and Slum Development program at an estimated cost of Rs 17 crore. The CMC has roped in Odisha State Police Housing Welfare Corporation (OSPHW) to construct the houses
This is a major achievement for the urban slums and the Tanla Sahi Slum Development Committee are understandably proud of their success. IIEC have been facilitating the collectivization of families of unorganized sector workers residing in urban slums. The collectives’ capacities are being built to engage with local administration to claim their social, residential and occupational rights.