Report of the Regional Level Consultation held in Erode on 31st January 2007

This was the third Regional Consultation held on the National Rural Habitat Policy by ISED in Erode Hotel OXFORD, the first and the second being in Madurai and Nagapattinam Districts respectively.

 Shirley Rebello

NGOs from Erode, Coimbatore, Salem, Dharmapuri & Krishnagiri, participated as well as the Secretary of Govt. Employees Union of Erode and a Gram Panchayat President.

This consultation was divided into four sessions and the main points of the discussion were :

First Session :

Mr. K. Loganathan of ISED /TALM briefly shared the habitat situation in the rural areas and the need for pressurising the policy makers to adopt the Draft National Rural Habitat Policy which has already been submitted to the Govt. of India.

Second Session :

Mr. K. Senthilraja, Regional Coordinator of ISED, Pudukkottai Action Group, briefed everyone on the process of the formulation of the draft policy by basin-DA by Development Alternatives [ DA ] New Delhi.

Third Session :

The participants shared their experiences on the housing schemes implemented in rural areas. They specifically pointed out the loopholes in the various housing projects implemented by the State Govt. with Central Aid, an example being the beneficiaries were not consulted in all these housing projects specially meant for SCs [ Dalits ] and Tribals. The Gram Panchayats had very little role in the housing projects implemented by the B.D.O.

Forth Session

The fourth session was a group discussion in which topics like infrastructure in rural areas - reinforcing the concept of Habitat , Land- access and management, access to finance, employment opportunities in the Habitat Sector, capacity building of rural workers and effective monitoring and easy access to information were discussed.

Concluding Session :

In the concluding session, Mr. K. Loganathan spoke about the outcome of the groups presentations which would outline the pre-requisites for the effective implementation of the proposed National Rural Habitat Policy.