Building Cities

By: | Published: October 6, 2015 12:44 AM

App-based monitoring of slum rehabilitation in Mumbai can be a template for India’s urbanisation

With Mumbai’s Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) going digital, developers and beneficiaries of rehabilitation are both going to vastly gain from increased transparency. The authority has already archived 1.17 crore documents submitted by slum dwellers and its app will enable real-time tracking of the projects. For app-based monitoring, each beneficiary will get a quick response (QR ) code that will act as her unique ID with SRA. Thus, it will ensure that  a beneficiary’s rights are not usurped or come under question. At the same time, it will help developers by ensuring that non-eligible people (those without documents) don’t manipulate the rehabilitation scheme and pose additional burden or cause hassles.

The complete digitisation would also mean that all approvals and details—from the eligibility lists to project timelines—can be accessed by the beneficiaries at all times, and therefore pressure to meet deadlines and space commitments will ensure that slum dwellers get what is rightfully theirs. Given India’s urbanisation needs—as per the McKinsey Global Institute, 590 million people will be living in Indian cities by 2030, with 70% of all employment in the country generated in cities—such digitisation represents a giant leap towards sustainable urbanisation. With 700-900 million sq metres of new commercial and residential space required to meet urbanisation demands, a Mumbai, which gets millions of migrants every year, benefits from such digitisation that facilitates slum-free expansion.

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