According to a report released by the Information and Resource Center for the Deprived Urban Communities (IRCDUC) of the 37 projects that have so far been completed, only seven have a direct impact on vulnerable sections, under the Smart Cities Mission in Chennai.
Based on the information available at the Smart Cities Mission web portal, the report examined the expenditure and impact of the Smart Cities Mission in Tamil Nadu as of June 2021.
Among the seven projects having a direct impact on vulnerable sections, four projects directly benefit persons with disabilities Public Work Department (PwDs). While One reaches out to resettled slum dwellers in Kannagi Nagar, one serves children studying in corporation schools, and another to set up a tele-counseling center for Covid, as per the report.
As per the report, only Rs 3.89 crore has benefited vulnerable sections directly, out of the Rs 184.21 crore expenditure. Only Rs 77 lakh is spent for a low-income settlement directly, of the total Rs 3.89 crore project benefiting the vulnerable sections.
According to the report, the projects mostly benefit the middle class and upper-class urban residents and do not concentrate on regions like North Chennai.
The report further added that the analysis also shows that projects like Smart Bikes were introduced in the most prosperous areas of the city serving the rich groups. Most parts in the non-motorised transport and walkability sector served only T-Nagar people.
Of the four programs for PwDs, three were located in T-Nagar. Therefore, PwDs across the city were not included in such projects.
Corporation officials said that Area Based Development (ABD) was a common idea in Smart Cities where an area is determined, and a large portion of projects take place in the region.
Under the area-development project of the Smart Cities Mission for holistic development, the IRCDUC suggests that the Slum Clearance Board’s plans on housing for the urban poor include, public or public-private or public-community-private or public-community models to be connected.