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The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), India organized a two-day consultative workshop on 'Towards a Sustainable and Inclusive Development Policy for Informal Settlement (Slums) in Bihar'.

More than 10 per cent of the total urban population in Bihar, constituting 1.2 million people , reside in its urban slums. Recognizing the need to frame a holistic, sustainable and inclusive policy for informal settlements in the State, the workshop brought together civil society organizations, institutions, and experts from the fields of urban land rights, law, gender, health, informal labor, urban governance and climate crisis. Effective ways to address the needs of Bihar’s urban poor population were intensively discussed.

During the workshop, a policy framework was developed covering a wide range of subjects such as homelessness, housing, health, livelihood, education, urban governance, infrastructure planning, disaster preparedness, and municipal budgets. Concerns of women, the transgender community, children, youth, informal workers, the homeless, and other socially marginalized communities formed the mainstay. The workshop: 1) identified the state's urbanization trajectory; 2) took a historical perspective on informal settlements in the city of Patna; 3) and acted as a platform to discuss the long-term implications and requirements of this policy, given the everchanging needs and social security issues of the growing slum and homeless populations in Bihar.

The Chief Guest for the event, Shri Sunil Kumar Singh, IAS (Retd.), Member (Administrative/Technical) Real Estate Appellate Tribunal, Bihar, in his keynote address, acknowledged the importance of participation by slum dwellers and stated that "slum dwellers are the primary stakeholders in this very important policy formulation process". While recognizing the need to design an inclusive policy, he also emphasized the need to work on the '7 Pillars' of urbanization - tenure security, affordable housing and pricing, health, education, water, sanitation and economic and social growth for the slum population. He also added that there is a need to allocate land for resettlement and slum upgradation to ensure proper support and safety for slum dwellers. 

The workshop witnessed the esteemed presence of Mr. Tikender Singh Panwar, Former Deputy Mayor of Shimla, who emphasized that "the state's contribution to safe housing provisions for marginalized groups is critical and its primary responsibility. It cannot be left only in the hands of private players".

Mr. Sriram Haridass, Deputy Representative UNFPA India on the guiding factors for organizing this workshop - “6.7 billion people the world over will be urban dwellers by 2050. By the same year, India is projected to witness 876 million urban dwellers. Therefore, how the world including India meets the challenge of sustainable development will be intimately tied to the urbanization process. With this workshop, we have prioritized alignment with international frameworks such as the New Urban Agenda, COP26, and SDGs to guide this policy and to promote social inclusion and the realization of human rights in the context of urbanization to ensure that the urban poor in Patna are not left behind."

The workshop saw 80 representatives and experts from UN-Habitat, Population Foundation of India, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Centre for Policy Research who shared best practices on policy research and urban development. Under the leadership of Shri S.K. Singh IAS (Retd.), decentralized discussions with communities and stakeholders will be undertaken across Bihar to further frame the policy.

UNFPA India Contact:

  • For Bihar, please contact: Ms. Keerti, 9031839373;
  • For Media, please contact: Ms. Pinky Pradhan, 9810788435;
  • Photos of the Workshop linked here.
    • Photos used must be accredited to UNFPA India.


UNFPA is the United Nations’ sexual and reproductive health agency. UNFPA's mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA calls for the realization of reproductive rights for all and supports access to a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services, including voluntary family planning, quality maternal health care and comprehensive sexuality education. 

About PMC:

The Patna Municipal Corporation is the civic body that governs Patna, the capital city of Bihar in India. The Patna Municipal Corporation comprises of democratically elected members, is headed by a mayor, and administers the city's infrastructure, public services, and supplies. Members from the state's leading political parties hold elected offices in the corporation.