Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Poor Planning for Urban Poor ?

Mumbai Mirror ( 14 May 2016 ) carries a report with following headline :

" Over 2 lakh homes built for urban poor lying vacant "

According to this report :

#   10.32 lakh low cost houses were built under JNNURM / Rajiv Awas Yojna

#   Of these, 2.38 lakh flats found no takers  !


#  As per Shri Vankiah Naidu ,

   " Allotment could not be made because of the reluctance of slum dwellers
    or beneficiaries to shift , incomplete basic infrastructure and lack of
    livelihood sources "

#  As per town planning experts ,

   "  The problem is that most of these houses are constructed in the outer
    limits of the cities , making it inconvenient for the poor to travel and the
    installment can go up to Rs 4,000 / - per month , which is beyond the
    reach of many of the poor "

Though not an expert , either on housing or on town planning or on earning
 / installment paying capacities of the Urban Poor , I had made some simple
suggestion in my following blog ( dt  05 June 2014 ) :


Thursday, 5 June 2014

Urban Renewal ?

An important aspect of urban renewal is to get rid of slums , by resettling slum-dwellers in better houses

Then convert those vacated slum areas into gardens

But slum-dwellers are unwilling to vacate their huts .

Why  ?

Over the past 25 / 30 years , the standard method was to move the slum-dwellers into some temporary , make-shift transit camps , pending permanent rehabilitation

But that promised " permanent rehabilitation " never came  !

Those who agreed to get shifted into those transit camps , continue to live there for generations - without any hope of ever moving into multi-story concrete buildings with running water / electricity / toilets

Given this broken promises , who would agree to shift out  ?

Second problem is availability of jobs nearby where they are forced to move - even if these buildings happen to be well-built , modern and permanent multi-storied buildings

Who would want to move to a better / permanent house , if it is 30 Km away from a work-place  ?

No one wants to spend 4 hours on the road every day , commuting to a place of work in dense traffic , riding a crowded bus / train  !

But most slum-dwellers would happily vacate their slums and move 150 Km away , if ,

*  It is a well built building with all amenities

*  It is a  permanent home ( - and not a transit facility  )

*  It is given FREE , on ownership basis

*  There is a job within 1 Km of the new home

This is exactly what China is doing , by building ONE brand new Mega City , EVERY 20 DAYS  !

And moving 250 million slum-dwellers into those cities over the next 20 years ( - nearly ONE MILLION people , EVERY MONTH  !  )

May be this is what NaMo was thinking when he dreamt of constructing 100 Mega Cities in next 5 years - at the rate of ONE city EVERY 18 DAYS  !

OLD  cities cannot " Re-new " themselves , until well-planned NEW cities are built first and ready to receive those old city slum-dwellers and offer them jobs

Only problem :

* Mega City of Dholera ( in Gujarat ) is under construction for over last 3
 years and expected to cost , Rs 70,000 Crores

* Central Government has neither the money needed to construct 100 cities,
nor the administrative / technical competence for such a project

*  Democratic Institutions are un-suited for taking bold / harsh /
 controversial decisions - then bulldoze !

It seems urban renewal will remain a mirage  !


25  May   2016

www.hemenparekh.in / Blogs


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