• December 4, 2021

AFFORDABLE HOUSING SOLUTION FOR GARBAGE WORKERS – Summary of Research Paper By Sanjana Runwal

Background:

Ms. Sanjana Runwal, a 17-year-old student from Mumbai established the NGO – Clean Up Foundation, in 2016. This NGO strives to improve the life of garbage workers and rag pickers in Mumbai. Solid waste workers are the important economic players who contribute to physical well-being of the society through waste management.

Research Objective:

 While conducting various activities for garbage workers, it was observed that one of the major challenges in improving the quality of life of garbage workers is affordable housing. Mumbai, being the commercial capital of India, has attracted a large population causing the increased demand for housing. However, the land available for residential construction is limited due to several reasons such as Coastal Regulation Zones and so on. This shortage of affordable housing majorly affects the living conditions of lower income groups like solid waste workers. Therefore, the research was conducted while considering following objectives:

  • To study the housing conditions of waste management workers in Mumbai and to address the problem of housing ownership.

  • To examine the impact of providing affordable houses to solid waste workers on sustainable development.

  • To provide recommendations for providing affordable housing for waste management workers.

The Study:

For analyzing the above objectives, researchers collected primary data through surveying solid waste workers in Mumbai and secondary data from government websites to analyze the performance of affordable housing schemes provided by the Government of India under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U). The data collected was then analyzed using statistical tools such as One-way ANOVA as well as F-test, and data visualization was carried out through various charts.

Inference:

 According to the data analysis, the dwelling conditions of solid waste workers are deplorable; the buildings are extremely old, and the sanitation facilities are inadequate. Only 39% of the overall sample owns their own home, while the rest live in rented or government-provided housing. One of the major constraints to house ownership among solid waste workers is financial problems. In most of the cases, people are unaware of the government programmes, financial schemes and benefits available to them, i.e., lack of financial literacy.

Recommendations:

The government should promote financial literacy among solid waste workers, as well as housing literacy programmes.

Furthermore, the government should increase the number of affordable housing complexes by incentivizing private developers through the provision of housing tax credits, unlimited floor space index (FSI), no GST on cost of construction, etc.

Measures such as abolition of coastal regulation zones, land reclamation, utilization of salt-pan land for residential constructions, etc. can solve the supply shortage of land for residential construction of affordable housing.

Lastly, the government can finance affordable housing projects by allocating green development funds for this purpose, because improved living conditions of solid waste workers will enhance their productivity in waste management, thereby improving the living conditions of people in the city and promoting sustainable development.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, affordable housing for solid waste workers will contribute to the welfare of society by uplifting underprivileged sections, as well as to the city’s long-term development by improving solid waste workers’ efficiency in managing municipal solid waste.

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