Rural development not ignored
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.