In-situ Upgradation of Delhi’s Jhuggi Jhopri Clusters

In-situ Upgradation of Delhi’s Jhuggi Jhopri Clusters

12 December 2014

The jhuggi jhopri clusters (JJC), a squatter settlements located on public land, is one of seven government-designated categories of unplanned settlements in Delhi. In 2011, JJCs were estimated to include nearly 420,000 households, about 15 per cent of the city’s population. As calls to transform Delhi into a ‘world-class’ and ‘slum-free’ city have mounted in recent decades, Delhi’s JJCs have been affected by waves of eviction and demolition, their residents left homeless or relocated to distant resettlement colonies. But the city has also undertaken a range of approaches for improving JJCs ‘in-situ’, policies that, in theory, allow residents to remain in the same place. Of these, the method known as ‘in-situ upgradation’—which involves modifying the layout of a settlement and improving the level of basic services—is considered by many to be the most promising and least disruptive to residents. Yet, since its inception in the 1980s, the policy has been implemented in only four JJCs in Delhi, and none of these upgradations has happened in the past decade. In exploring what in-situ upgradation means on the ground, this report elaborates the policy’s successes and failures, questioning why it is not a more common intervention in Delhi’s JJCs.