The government is considering issuing biometric identification cards to slum dwellers who will need to produce it for all transactions involving government housing, in a bid to prevent the resale or unscrupulous use of proposed rehabilitation units.
The cards will help the government in authenticating the identity of the rehabilitated slum residents who will get the biometric cards when they are handed over low-cost government housing.
It will also ensure that the housing and the rights to it are handed over only to genuine slum dwellers.
“This will partially address the problem of non-slum dwellers buying flats meant for slum dwellers,” said M. Ramachandran, secretary, ministry of urban development.
Biometric identification, now used in passports by some countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, involves use of technologies to measure and analyse human physical and behavioural characteristics for authentication purposes. That could include fingerprints, eye retinas and irises, facial patterns and hand measurements, or typing patterns which are unique to each individual.
As part of the Delhi Master Plan 2021, that was announced on 7 February, the government plans to rehabilitate the city’s slum dwellers in low-cost housing. The slum dwellers have to provide affidavits and other documents to prove their eligibility.
According to the master plan, meant to help with an orderly urbanization of the city, the proposal is for housing slum dwellers in multi-storeyed buildings which will be built on the land where the slum dwellers currently live. The buildings will have a maximum height of 15m and an area of 25 sq. m.
The government has not decided who will build and create the infrastructure for this housing plan. Currently it is estimated that there are 600,000 households residing in shanty towns, or slums.
To prevent further growth of slums, the master plan has a mandatory provision of “economically weaker section” housing in all group housing to the extent of 15% of permissible Floor Area Ratio or 35% of dwelling units on the plot. This housing plan however, applies to the low-income earners and not slum dwellers.
Delhi’s population is expected to increase from 13.8 million in 2001 to 23 million in 2021.