On the17th and 18th December 2012 Shelter Associates attended the Sumpurna Slum Seminar in Balgandhrav (a theatre in Shivaji Nagar, Pune) and Yashada (a government training institution in Pune). Shelter Associates short film ‘Shelter Associates: Inclusive Planning for the Urban Poor’ was played at the event and was followed by a speech by one of Shelter Associates community workers, Mrs. Noorjahan Kaladagi. This community worker has been associated with Shelter Associates since 2001 and presented to the United Nations Women in Delhi last year (December 2011). During her speech Mrs. Noorjahan Kaladagi spoke about her experience of working with the government to implement projects in slums in her peri-urban area and highlighted the importance of monitoring (such as regular progress meetings) being an integral part of the implementation process.
During October 2012 Shelter Associates and a community (who are currently living in a temporary transition camp while their new homes are being built under the IHSDP) engaged in a design process to prepare a scheme for the community centre that will be built as part of the slum rehabilitation process. To read more about this process view the attached flyer: Inclusive Design: Sanjay Nagar Community Centre.
The contractor who has been engaged to carryout construction on two sites (Sanjay Nagar Miraj, and Phase 1 of Indira Nagar Gharkul) as part of the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Program (IHSDP) in Sangli & Miraj has decided to revert back to Shelter Associates original design. Even though Shelter Associates had prepared a complete set of detailed structural drawings, the contractor had commissioned another design team to prepare structural drawings for these contracts.
Shelter Associates observed that the contractors design team had altered the structural design and highlighted this to the Sangli, Miraj & Kupwad Municipal Corporation (SMKMC) and the contractor; which prompted the contractor to conduct a cost comparison.
The contractor found that the Shelter Associates design is much more cost effective, provides more flexible residnetial units, provides a more efficient parking area, and is quicker to construct. This is all because the Shelter Associates design requires fewer columns, meaning fewer foundations, less excavation work, less concrete, less steel, and less labor; Shelter Associates design requires 40 columns per building (approximately 7 columns per residential unit) as opposed to the 56 columns (9 columns per residential unit) which were proposed by the contractors design team. The Shelter Associates design also provides a more flexible plan for the beneficiaries as it does not require the contractor to form a column in the middle of the residential unit.
Unfortunatly, the contractor had already started 10 of the 14 buildings at Sanjay Nagar Miraj before conducting the cost comparison. This means that 10 of the 14 buildings are being built using the less cost effective design which takes longer to construct.
On 28th May 2012 the Municipal Commissioner of the Sangli, Miraj and Kupwad Municipal Corporation (SMKMC) visited the Sanjay Nagar construction site in Miraj. During this site visit issues associated with the site were discussed. Several beneficiaries who were present on this visit, requested the commissioner to stick to the original DPR that has sanctioned an accessible terrace which they require for several activities like drying clothes, pickle and papad making, social functions, compost bio degradable waste etc.
At the behest of the SMKMC, the contractor’s design team modified the Shelter Associate’s design of providing an accessible terrace as per the approved DPR (sanctioned by the Government of India) and switched to an inaccessible sloping slab instead.
Shelter Associates have been providing detailed cost comparison to the Sangli, Miraj, & Kupwad Municipal Corporation (SMKMC) since April 2011 informing them of the reasons why the beneficiaries require an accessible terrace; proving that an accessible terrace is actually cheaper than a sloping slab; and requesting them to instruct the contractor to revert back to the approved design. In the review meeting on site, the beneficiaries reiterated that they wanted a terrace and not a sloping slab. Shelter Associates also brought it to the notice of the SMKMC that the GOI had sanctioned Rs. 15,000 per family as a full subsidy for common infrastructure like staircase, verandahs and parapet walls which was not part of the costing for the tenement.
On 22nd May 2012 members of the Sanjay Nagar (Miraj) community visited the ‘Sample Apartment’ which has been formed on site.
The Sanjay Nagar community are currently residing within a transition camp 1 kilometer from the land which previously accommodated their slum and is now being redeveloped under the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Program (IHSDP).
The beneficiaries visited the ‘Sample Apartment’ as an ongoing process of community participation, so that they could experience the houses that will be provided to them (on a
90% subsidized basis) under the IHSDP and, most importantly, to provide their feed back.
Recently (May 2012) a ‘Sample Apartment’ has been formed on the Sanjay Nagar construction site in Miraj.
The contractor and the Sangli, Miraj & Kupwad Municipal Corporation (SMKMC) were requested by Shelter Associates to accelerate the block work, windows and doors for one residential unit on this construction site so that it could be used as a ‘Sample Apartment’ to demonstrate the homes that the beneficiaries of the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Program (IHSDP) will get, on a 90% subsidized basis, under the scheme.
The residents of the Sanjay Nagar slum, in Miraj, moved to a transition camp in October 2011 to allow the slum to be demolished (please refer to ‘Peaceful relocation of Sanjaynagar Miraj to a transit camp’ within the ‘Downloads’ section of this website for more detail). Once the slum was cleared the Sangli, Miraj & Kupwad Municipal Corporation (SMKMC) was able to hand the site over to a contractor whose services had been engaged to carry out the construction of 14 buildings, which will accommodate a total of 434 residential units, on the site as part of the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Program (IHSDP).
In addition to the essential service provided for the transition camp by the SMKMC (potable water, toilets, electricity and public lighting) the residents have established their own social services to suit their own specific requirements; the beneficiaries have established their own school (for the small children of the camp) and two shops. The beneficiaries have also started to use much of the land immediately outside of their transit house and land around the transition camp for producing their own vegetables. This local production of food reduces the beneficiaries’ expenses and reduces the requirement to bring vegetables into the community from outside.
On 13th May 2012 Shelter Associates delivered the last of the 23 ‘Smokeless Chullahs’ that had been given, free of charge, to the 23 poorest families of the Sanjay Nagar community (who are currently all residing within the Sanjay Nagar transition camp).
‘Smokeless Chullahs’ are a method of cooking (and heating water) which produce less noxious gases than traditional chullahs and open stoves; this means that they are better for the health of the cook, and the people (especially children) in the proximity. The ‘Smokeless Chullahs’ also make cooking quicker, as they burn bio fuel more efficiently, and cheaper, as less bio fuel is required (please refer to ‘Shelter Associates: Smokeless Chullahs’ within the ‘Videos’ section of this website for more detail).
On 22nd January 2012 residents of the Vijay Nagar slum visited the construction site at Sanjay Nagar Miraj to observe the progress of the work on site and to gain a greater understanding of the residential units that they will move into under the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Program (IHSDP).