Authorisation of illegal colonies and slums is destroying our cities. This is vote bank politics taking us backward not forward on the road of development

Authorisation of Illegal Colonies Is Killing Our Citiesdelhi slum ONLY YOUR VOTE MATTERS

  1. It is election season in Delhi yet again and the major political parties are falling over themselves to offer sops to vote banks. Yet again. Political parties may otherwise be at loggerheads; but when it comes to regularising unauthorised colonies they tend to fall in line and agree with each other.
  2. The bill is to be passed in the Rajya Sabha and is seen to be a key issue for the soon to be held Delhi Assembly Elections. The proposed action of passing this bill is that of political expediency. Nothing more, nothing less. It avoids existing problems and wants to paper over the cracks in our infrastructure.
  3. Our cities have various problems that have led to congestion, overcrowding and poor quality of life. Some of the reasons for this are the growth of slums, encroachment upon public land, large scale commercialisation of residential areas, unauthorised constructions and inadequacy of housing. How will the regularlisation solve any of these problems?
  4. What about development? It is not classist to say that we need to do something about our ubiquitous urban slums. Not only are they a hideous eye sore, they represent poor sanitation, a lack of proper health care, abject poverty and a public apathy to the plight of our city’s economically weak strata.
  5. Clean, well developed, properly orgasnised cities are something we all want, but the regularisation of slums takes us in the opposite direction from this. It proves that the government has no plans to better the lot of slum dwellers and is content to let a significant proportion of the population languish in squalor.
  6. Such actions by the government also send out a signal to those who guilty of illegal constructions: far from being punished, they may actually be rewarded by the fact of their structures being legalised. Such regularisations actually act as a spur rather than a deterrent to other unauthorised constructions.
  7. Allowing illegal colonies is a terrible decision right now and in the long run as well. The government says its working for the development of the country and the upliftment of the underprivileged. How does regularisation do this? It only consigns a certain segment of society to a life lived terrible living conditions with little or no hope of being able to rise above their lot.
  8. Many of our cities, including Delhi are already unliveable because they are too crowded, the roads too congested, the civil infrastructure too disorganized. So what is the government thinking by authorising this regularisation – let’s all get together and make it worse?

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