CHARGE 1: A LITANY OF PROMISES BETRAYED
- According to the 2011 Census, nearly 29.97 per cent of the population is landless – close to half (45.15 per cent) of whom are Dalits while 29.84 per cent are tribal people. Of the 170.92 million rural households across the country, 100.08 million (or 56 per cent) do not own any agricultural land.
- The prompt government measures to bring in ‘capital’ and ‘reforms’ in the housing sector have only been nominally successful, and mostly to the benefit of middle and high-income After all the thrust on housing in the last few years, we have managed to construct only 18 lakh houses of the original 1.8 crore housing shortage. That is less than a mere 10% of the total urban housing need.
- This contrasts with the pompous announcement made on 9 June, 2014, assuring that “by the time nation completes 75 years of its independence every family will have a pucca house with water connection, toilet facilities, 24*7 electricity supply and access” under housing for All (PMAY 2022).
- Until March 2018, PMAY Urban hardly met 8 per cent of its target while only 21 per cent of the total allocated funds have been used over last four years.
CHARGE 2: SMART CITIES TURN QUAGMIRE
- The Smart Cities program, though embellished by the right choice of words likes ‘inclusivity, walkability and IT-centric solutions’, has seen little success: a mere83 percent of the funds have been utilised until 2018.
- As of 2019, the programme with ambiguous definitions of smart cities had resulted in the forced removal of slums and workers from the Area Based Development of the smart city program that has morphed into a scheme for exclusive enclave developments, exacerbating the existing inequalities. This has taken place in slums of Indore and Bhubaneswar and has displaced street vendors of NDMC in the country’s capital city, New Delhi, and houses on the ghats of the Prime Minister’s constituency, Varanasi.
- In Indore, for instance, 112 homes belonging to the poorest of the city’s population were demolished because these houses did not have a toilet. The demolishment was a necessity in order to declare the city “open defecation free” as promised in Swacch Bharat Mission.
- According to Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN 2018) report nearly 2.6 lakh people (both in rural and urban areas) were displaced because of various projects. This means that nearly 150 homes were destroyed daily.
CHARGE 3: AT THE EXPENSE OF URBAN LOCAL BODIES
- All urban schemes in their design are re-centralizing and grabbing power away from the Urban Local Bodies. The introduction of Special Purpose Vehicle has been at the expense of the letter and spirit of the 74th Constitutional Amendment.
- With the introduction of the GST and other ‘reforms’ Urban Local Bodies have become increasingly dependent on State and Central support. Thus the fundamentals of democratic, participatory planning and right to city for all citizen across class, caste, gender has been brought under attack.