JCBs Not The Answer – on destruction of unauthorised colonies

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Source: This post is created based on the article “JCBs Not The Answer”, published in Times of India on 3rd May 2023.

Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 1 – Urbanisation and associated issues

News: Recently, unauthorised houses were demolished around Tughlaqabad forte area. This demolition depicts the failure of urban governance in Indian cities.

Corruption of urban governance enable residents to obtain government identification and voting rights but not legal property titles.

However, this is not the issue of Delhi alone, urban centers, including Mumbai and Bengaluru are also facing the same issue.

What are the issues in urban governance of Delhi and other cities?

Although India’s first urban master plan was designed for Delhi in 1962, it has failed to check the unauthorised proliferation of the “silent sprawl”.

Master plans of Delhi, and other big cities were Unrealistic. Today, the Delhi Development Authority estimates that at least 5 million live in unauthorised colonies spread over 175 sq. km.

Despite drives to regularise the unauthorised colonies in cities, they face regular threat of clearance drives by municipal authorities.

Inhabitants of these colonies are integral to the city’s economic and social life. Relocating them miles from their workplace is cruel when Indian cities have a poor public transport system.

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