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

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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