Environmental perceptions of low income urban migrants and community participation in development planning of Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Project Scope:

  • To prepare a baseline inventory highlighting the trends in urban squatter settlements vis a vis –number, population and typology, livelihood patterns and general lifestyles
  • To assess the provision of basic infrastructure and such as shelter, water, sanitation and transport.
  • To analyse the positive and negative impacts of the emerging squatter settlements on the physical and natural environment.
  • To build a community based network or a forum.

Client: Environment, Equity & Justice Partnership, New Delhi

Project Brief: Shimla has seen an unprecedented growth in the recent past and become from a small British settlement to one of the chief mountain cities of the world. However, there is no doubt that because of its unique ecologically sensitive geographical situation the area needs to be treated with respect, care and caution in development planning so as to prevent fallouts from natural and man-made disasters in future. As a result of increasing urban population of Shimla that is settling here in need for jobs, businesses, education and health facilities; the physical and economic growth of the city that has occurred recently would not have happened without the contribution of its migrant labour, construction workers and migrant communities. Often such communities fail to establish a sense of ownership of the place where they choose to live and work because of the temporary nature of their livelihoods. On the hand the rent population fails to recognise their basic human needs for decent shelter, water and sanitation and usually look at them as encroachers and a burden on the infrastructure and facilities such as public transport, water etc.

Because of lack of awareness, sanitation and waste disposal facilities - squatter settlements have resulted, adding them as a threat to the preservation of natural environment and the existing social fabric.

Project Cost: EEJP Individual Research Fellowship = Rs 86,000 + Pria = Rs 40,000 Total = Rs 1, 26,000

Project duration: 1st April 2007 To 31st March 2008 and Six Months Extension

Project Status:Completed