Ru­ral de­vel­op­ment not ig­nored

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE -

Man­i­festos have not com­pletely stopped fo­cussing on t he is­sue of hous­ing for the poor. Amitabh Be­har, na­tional cam­paign con­veyor of WadaNaTodo Ab­hiyan In­dia, an or­gan­i­sa­tion that has brought out a peo­ple’s man­i­festo, is of the opin­ion that they do ad­dress is­sues of land ti­tles, the ques­tion of home­stead (The dwelling house and its ad­join­ing land where a fam­ily re­sides) land. Of late, sev­eral in­con­sis­ten­cies have been seen in these doc­u­ments.

Indu Prakash Singh of the Indo- Global So­cial Ser­vice So­ci­ety and na­tional con­venor for Na­tional Fo­rum for Hous­ing Rights, says that hous­ing had not been an elec­tion plank for some par­ties un­til re­cently. In one man­i­festo the prom­ise of hous­ing for all seems to be in di­rect con­flict with the con­cept of smart cities. If the govern­ment has to build 2.5 crore houses by 2022, then it has to build 8,500 houses per day for the units to be ready by that time. The em­pha­sis is mis­placed be­cause evic­tion of fam­i­lies is hap­pen­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ously. Hous­ing ought to be linked to liveli­hood and treated as a ba­sic fun­da­men­tal right. Also, the buzz that has ac­com­pa­nied smart cities in the last few months has not been repli­cated for the hous­ing for all cam­paign. The smart cities con­cept seems to be in di­rect con­tra­dic­tion to un­de­vel­oped cities where the poor have no place. These are en­claves for the rich, the fo­cus should have been on hous­ing for all, Singh adds.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION: JAYANTO

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