A delegation from Brazil visited New Delhi, India from 29 September to 1 October 2009 to attend a meeting of the High Powered Experts Committee (HPEC). The government of India set up the HPEC to estimate national investment requirements for urban infrastructure services.
The mission was organised by the World Bank and the Cities Alliance in order to support the government of India on the development of urban policies and programmes. The main objective was to share information of Brazilian experience in terms of urban development, fiscal and budgetary systems, and recent trends on housing policies with Indian government officials and members of the HPEC.
The Brazilian delegation comprised of Dr. Prof. Ermínia Maricato (University of São Paulo, former Secretary for Housing and Urban Development in São Paulo and Vice-Minister of Cities of Brazil); Renato Villela (Deputy Secretary of Finance of the State of Rio de Janeiro); and Anaclaudia Rossbach (Regional Advisor for Latin America and Caribbean of the Cities Alliance).
The visitors attended a Workshop on Brazilian Cities facilitated by the World Bank and held at the National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi. At the workshop, Ms. Rossbach made a presentation titled “Slum upgrading: Lessons from Brazilian cities”. She explained that slum upgrading and low income housing is a priority for the government of Brazil not only as a social policy but also for stimulating investments and creating employment opportunities. She highlighted the key role played by local governments in identifying settlements to be upgraded as well as locations and demand for low income housing projects.
The Brazilian delegation concluded their mission by conducting site visits. One of these was to the Savda Ghevra resettlement colony - a slum upgrading project in Delhi. Currently, more than 20,000 families who used to live in various slums of Delhi have been relocated to Savda Ghevra.
Another site visit was to Baprola Village. The delegation was able to see new houses being constructed there by the Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council and Delhi Municipal Corporation. Once construction is complete, Baprola will be home to 6,000 families.
The visits were facilitated by Ajay Suri, Regional Advisor for Cities Alliance in South Asia.
High Powered Expert Committee (HPEC) on Urban Infrastructure
The Government of India formed the HPEC on Urban Infrastructure in May 2008 to consider the physical and financial norms of urban infrastructure services, estimate the investment needs for these services, and suggest a model for financing them. It is chaired by Isher Ahluwalia, chairperson of Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). Other members of the committee include academics and researchers in the urban field, public officials, and members of private sector stakeholder organisations.