In tackling population challenges, empowering slum dwellers holds a key role. By granting land rights, improving living conditions, and providing access to essential services, this approach uplifts marginalized communities. Enhanced living standards promote sustainable urban development while mitigating population pressures through inclusive policies and equitable opportunities.
The Jaga Mission, launched in October 2018, holds the ambitious objective of bestowing land and property rights upon urban slum inhabitants in Odisha. This extensive undertaking is set to benefit an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 families dwelling in over 1,200 slums scattered across 114 towns and cities within the state. The utilization of geospatial technology stands as a linchpin in the project's pursuit of completion by the fiscal year 2023-24. The state government has recognized that, without the support of this technical framework, the realization of this project would have stretched across several decades.
What distinguishes the Jaga Mission are its innovative components. The process commences with an all-encompassing survey of urban slums, aimed at identifying eligible beneficiaries. Trained surveyors amass data concerning household numbers, dwelling dimensions, and the characteristics of the land upon which these dwellings are erected. In partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), SPARC Pvt. Ltd. embarked on a geospatial technology-driven profiling and evaluation of slums within the purview of the Bhubaneswar Municipality Corporation (BMC) areas. This comprehensive study encompasses an assessment of urban amenities, land ownership, and habitability with respect to safety, health, public utilities, and environmental factors.
Following the identification of viable slums, SPARC proceeds to conduct meticulous examinations of specific clusters. To illustrate, the Rangamatia slum cluster, encompassing six sub-slums, with five possessing land ownership, underwent a thorough evaluation. High-resolution satellite images (HRSI) coupled with a Differential GPS-based control surveys were harnessed to formulate an extensive land-use map of the cluster and its environs. The deployment of an Electronic Total Station facilitated layout design, contouring, and in-situ surveys of the slum land. The outcomes of this survey provide invaluable insights for the planning and development of slum infrastructure, housing, and communal facilities.
Upon the completion of surveys, eligible slum residents are bestowed with a certificate of land ownership, recognized by the government as valid evidence of ownership. Remarkably, these certificates are issued in the name of the female head of the household, championing gender equality and empowerment.
The Jaga Mission places considerable emphasis on community involvement within the realm of land ownership. Each slum is assigned Community Resource Persons (CRPs) responsible for mobilizing and engaging with the community, raising awareness about the mission's objectives, and the advantages of land ownership. CRPs actively support surveyors in data collection and the identification of beneficiaries.
The Jaga Mission furnishes manifold benefits to slum dwellers in Odisha. Foremost, it imparts a sense of security and stability as residents secure ownership rights over the land on which their homes are situated. This, in turn, motivates investments in their residences and overall enhancements in living standards.
The certificate of land ownership functions as a form of identity, enabling slum inhabitants to access diverse government services and programs. This proves especially advantageous for marginalized communities that often confront barriers in accessing essential services like healthcare and education.
Ultimately, the Jaga Mission has the potential to foster comprehensive and sustainable urban development in Odisha. By formalizing informal settlements through the establishment of land ownership, the mission contributes to refined urban planning and the evolution of infrastructure.
In summation, the collaborative efforts of the Jaga Mission and SPARC Pvt. Ltd. stand as a significant stride towards the empowerment of slum inhabitants, the promotion of equitable land rights, and the cultivation of sustainable urban progress in Odisha. Geospatial technology plays an integral role in the triumph of this mission, enabling precise mapping, spatial analysis, and data-driven insights that underpin effective slum management and the allocation of resources. Through these concerted endeavors, the Jaga Mission aspires to elevate the lives of slum residents, create inclusive urban environments, and pave a brighter path forward for Odisha.