Dabua Visit: 8th September 2022
Visit By: Team Sathi Members
Work Done: Visited the Dabua flats and did follow up on the repair work, which was promised to the 25 people who were living there and it was signed by the MCF official (Sandeep) that it would be done in two weeks. We met people who are living there and analysed the status of the houses. Also visited the MCF office in Dabua.
1. Interaction with a security guard: He stated that this is the third time the renovation is happening in Dabua. The last time when it happened, they took away all wiring and other materials. There are instances of theft for which when he complained, no one listened (police), and hence he stopped meddling as he was threatened by the troublemakers. Some people have come and visited flats and went back after putting a lock on the door. There is no electricity as the meter has not been fitted yet.
Observations: A kid was telling the guard about spotting a group of children abusing substances in an empty building. The guard and the child already knew the children intoxicating the substance, and the guard asked that make sure they did not steal anything.
2. Interaction with Contractor Yashveer Tewatia: He is in charge of tiling work for roads and lanes outside the building. His contract is only for tiles. There is another contractor named Harveer who is in charge of renovation (plumbing, electricity, interior work etc.).
- There is no coordination between the different people working. They are doing the tiles on roads, but the floor is breaking at many points because of overloaded vehicles moving for the work related to the repair and removal of debris dumped on the grounds. The debris should have been removed first, and then the tiling work should have started. He informed us that he was told to keep doing work and let it be.
- He said in 2 months, the tiling work should be over.
- He has been given the responsibility for 3 bores. A ground quality check was done 4 days ago, and the reports will take time to come.
- Payments from MCF have not been given to the contractors and labourers.
- Follow up: He will send the documents of the contract.
They are directly placing the tiles on sand without any concrete layer. This is why the ground is sinking because of weight, and it is making the grunt uneven.
These tiles were laid down recently and already sinking.
3. Visiting different blocks:
Interaction with a person who was here for a visit and has not shifted yet :
Complaints: He came just to check the conditions before making payment. He was concerned about the lack of basic facilities like electricity, water, piping, doors in the room, broken windows etc. He has received half the solatium amount. The wife was concerned about where will she go to use the washroom? The pipes are blocked or have not been fixed yet. The window glasses will come off from wind, rain or storm. They are been fixed temporarily with clay.
- Windows have no mesh. A child can fall off if the window is open. Some residents are paying from their own pocket to get it fixed.
- Most of the windows are broken. In one house, only the left door of the window opens, and the right is permanently closed.
Interaction with a resident in Block 22:
-The drains (nanhi trap/jali) on the floor in the kitchen and washroom are open (no cover/mesh). She has been covering it with brick or a bucket. Rats come out from there often.
-Her husband fell into the open sewage drain and got injured while cleaning the debris (which is the responsibility of MCF).
- The sewage pipeline is not finished. If someone living on a floor above them uses their toilets, it all falls down in the back of the house of a person living on the ground floor.
- No water tankers are coming as promised by the MCF and there is no electricity. How will the children bathe?
- The cement from the toilet floor is running down with water, and the toilet seat is sinking into the ground as it is not fixed properly.
Interaction with a resident in block 29:
They paid the initial deposit and applied for an electricity meter also. Have been living with children with no electricity, water and functioning washrooms. They shifted one week ago. The mother complained that she does not feel secure with regard to her children. There is a fear of monkeys and dogs. There is no electricity, and they have to sit outside in day time. Children can not be left alone.
Meeting with the Supervisor Arvind in charge of Repair work :
There were labours coating cement on the floor in an uneven manner. They were just filling spots where there had been some breakage or gaps. Any child or elderly who will walk on this can fall, or any table or object kept will topple easily. On confronting labour, they gave the information of the supervisor and called him.
Labours also complained about not getting payments. Many labours have left work also.
- Piping tender has not been released yet.
- He will send the agreement that he reviewed from MCF (have to take a follow up).
- Have ordered for meter and maybe this week they will come.
- The supervisor (Arvind) initially refused his responsibility for repair and maintenance and later agreed when confronted.
- The labours who were doing the floor, when asked about the faulty job, said they were just following orders.
- The living conditions of older buildings are also inhabitable with open sewage and uneven tiling on the road where the water gets clogged, leading to the breeding ground of mosquitoes.
- There was a 3 months old baby who was bitten by mosquitoes all over his body.
1. In JNNURM scheme under the Basic Services to Urban Poor (BSUP) guidelines (2005)
(Integrated Housing & Slum Development Programme )
- Minimum Floor Area of Dwelling Unit should not be less than 25 sq. mtrs. Area and preferably two room accommodation plus kitchen and toilet should be constructed.
2. According to PMAY The minimum size of houses constructed under the Mission under each component should conform to the standards provided in National Building. Code (NBC).
- The area of habitable room shall not be less than 9.5 m2, where there is only one room with a minimum width of 2.4 m. Where there are two rooms, one of these shall not be less than 9.5 m2 and the other not less than 7.5 m2, with a minimum width of 2.1 m. (NCC, 12.2.2)
- For Cluster houses: ( NBC, E-2.1 )Plot SizeThe minimum plot size permissible shall be 15 m2 with 100 percent ground coverage and an FSI of two. Hundred percent ground coverage and FSI of 2 will be applicable up to plot size of 25 m2. For plot sizes beyond 25 m2, provision in accordance with good practice [3(1)] shall be applicable.
The JNNURM scheme has been criticised for the poor quality of the houses; in some instances, they have been worse than their habitation in the slums, even in size. Moreover, the housing projects have been located in areas lacking trunk infrastructure. Many beneficiaries face lack of electricity, water supply, sewerage and solid waste management in their new residence. Often, open spaces around the newly constructed houses are reduced to serving as garbage dumps. Houses have structural defects as well (e.g. damp indoor walls, leaky ceilings). In some cases, houses have been constructed in areas distant from livelihood and income earning opportunities with inadequate provision of public transport. As a result, much of the housing stock created under the government schemes remains vacant.
The implementation of the policy has failed to realise the promise of delivering basic services to all.
(Reference: Sukanya Bhattacharyya and Indiaspend.org, “Govt building homes that poor do not want”, Sify news (website), 24 June 2016, accessed 23 October 2018; “96% of the houses constructedfor the urbanpoor are vacant in Delhi”, The website of Saddahaq, 12 May 2016, accessed 16 November 2018; Sheela Patel, “Upgrade, rehouse or resettle? An assessment of the Indian government’s Basic Services for the Urban Poor (BSUP) programme”, Environment and Urbanisation, Volume 25, no.1, (April 2013): 177-188.)
People do not want to shift to an unsafe place with no basic services required for living a life with dignity.
If there is no electricity, people can not use any appliances. They are exposed to extreme weather conditions. It is the fundamental right under Article 21 that not only is electricity supply a basic human requirement, but it is also a means to livelihood. Electricity is an integral part of life.
There are no Water, Sanitation and Hygiene facilities (WASH). It has an impact on the education of children also.
Thefts are common, and it is very easy to break into someone’s house as one can easily just break the window glass (which anyway is just temporarily fixed by m-seal). It makes children vulnerable, especially young children. Women or one family member will have to stay at home. This means that person can not go to work and their livelihood opportunity is being taken away.
With uncovered sewage pits, it is a breeding ground for insects. Due to no electricity, people spend most of their time outdoors and everyone complains about mosquitoes and rats. This has an impact on the health of family members. This is an added cost that they will have to bear if someone gets sick. Many houses did not have functional sewage pipeline and blocked toilets. They have no place to go for their toilet and sanitation needs. There are no street lights and no electricity in houses. They are not secure physically and socially also.
These are not habitable conditions.
Report by : Team Saathi & Ankita