A news report in Mumbai Mirror ( 16 June ) reads :
“ 50,000 affordable homes up for sale in Mahul and Trombay “
It adds :
“ However these have been lying vacant for five years , as PAPs ( Project Affected Persons ) have refused to move into them for various reasons – issues like,
· THE HOUSE IS FAR AWAY FROM THEIR PLACE OF LIVELIHOOD
· THERE IS LITTLE OR NO RAILWAY AND BEST CONNECTIVITY OR BUS ROUTES
· NO SCHOOL AND HEALTHCARE FACILITIES IN THE VICINITY
Thursday, 5 June 2014
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 .
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 !
02 July 2017
www.hemenparekh.in / blogs