Slumming it out in the metros

Terra Urban टेरा अर्बन

A fast urbanising India poses a huge challenge to town planners who must figure out how to provide basic amenities to the thousands everyday that pour into cities which are already bursting at the seams

As India moves towards becoming a developed nation, one of its biggest challenges will be its fast expanding urban spaces. While some consider this to be boon, others realise that this is a major problem in the making due to limited resources andlack of urban planning. The state has frequently sought to address this problem but no concrete outcome has surfaced yet. Meanwhile, urban residents struggle to sustain themselves as prices of essential items and house rents skyrocket amidst poor sanitation facilities, power-cuts and poor infrastructure. Will increased urbanisation help us solve the problem or will it add to the crisis?

Urbanisation in India is currently following the distributed pattern with a diverse range of large and small urban centres emerging around the country. This will…

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Squatting Rights!

Terra Urban टेरा अर्बन

In India, 1,600 children die every day before reaching their fifth birthday, 24% of girls drop out of school and more than 30% of marginalized women are violently assaulted every year as the lack of basic sanitation forces them to travel long distances to meet their needs. Above all, lack of sanitation is not a symptom of poverty but a major contributing factor.

Adequate sanitation is a basic human right. Its lack is related to, and exacerbates, other burdens of inequity experienced by marginalized urban households, deepening the cycle of poverty. The lack of sanitation increases living costs, decreases spend on education and nutrition, lowers income earning potential, and threatens safety and welfare. This is especially true for urban India.

A parliamentary panel set up by the Ministry of Urban Development recently revealed that cities across India severely lack accessible sanitation facilities and necessary connections across the sanitation chain. Several…

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SOME MYTHS AND REALITIES ABOUT SLUM UPGRADING

Terra Urban टेरा अर्बन

MYTH

REALITY

The poor are better off in rural areas than in slums, so their migration to urban areas can and should be stopped. Rural to urban migration is a natural, inevitable and irreversible process. Many governments have tried to slow it down, divert it or stop it – all have failed. The rural poor move to urban areas primarily to improve their economic and social opportunities. With good policies, urban growth is essential to reducing rural poverty.
Slums should be demolished to stop their formation. Slum demolitions fail. Governments that use mass, forced evictions and demolition only made matters worse and, in every case, do not stop new slums from forming
Relocating slum residents to housing projects on the outskirts of the city solves the slum “problem.” Resettling slum residents far from their original homes, even if they are to apartment blocks, is not usually viable. The economic and social…

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