In 2010, British TV show host Kevin McCloud chose to live in Dharavi for two weeks to understand why many urban planners and Prince Charles had declared the fetid slum a model for Western cities.
The show begins with a horrified McCloud focusing the viewers' attention on children playing amidst toxic waste and shanties located near a river of human excrement.
Mumbai can grow only vertically, not horizontally. Given this simple truth, the Maharashtra government cannot be faulted for asking the ministry of environment and forests to ease the restrictions on construction in the metropolis. Many building plans in the city have been delayed, some for years, because of their non-clearance. It is ironic that a ministry, which is responsible for protecting forests, is also entrusted with clearing building plans in a city bursting at its seams.
Undoubtedly we all are participants of the urbanising India which is growing in massive scale and pace and is developing to be the main contributor towards India’s GDP. However, the unpleasant dimension of this phenomenon is the ‘urbanisation of poverty’ hitting our cities and developing small and medium towns. Poverty has become synonym with deprived right to shelter, social and physical infrastructure, livelihood, security and even dignity of life.
Before the Mahalaxmi racecourse was established at its present site, industrialist Cusrow N Wadia went by ship to Australia to study a famous Melbourne racecourse.
He returned armed with blueprints and the required know-how to set up a world-class racing facility.
He even advanced a substantial, interest-free loan to facilitate the process.
Shri Kamal Nath, Minister for Urban Development & Parliamentary Affairs, and Ms Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Minister for Infrastructure and
The Coimbatore Corporation will soon prepare and issue a questionnaire for seeking inputs from members of the public, non government organisations, trade and industry bodies, councillors and others for drafting the City Development Plan (CDP).
Even focus groups like architects’ association would be part of the exercise.
According to sources in the Corporation, the civic body had sometime ago asked the agency preparing the CDP to come out with the questionnaire.