Saturday, 1 July 2017

No Takers for Brand New Homes ?



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




If we are serious about renewal of our crowded / congested / crumbling / corroding cities , it is time our Town Planners take a few minutes to read my following blog ( sent as email to Central ministers and State Chief Ministers ) :



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  !



02  July  2017


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