Urban India 2012 | Jan - Jun

Submitted by nanda on 14 July 2014 - 3:50pm
Civic Amenities in Slums of Mumbai

Millennium Development Goal targets to halve the proportion of population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015 and aims to achieve a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers. The large size of slum population has posed several challenges to the policy makers and program planners in the developing countries. This paper presents the living conditions of slum dwellers in Mumbai. Most of the slum dwellers in Mumbai lack the basic necessities of life. In spite of many slums got notified by the government, one tap is shared by more than thousand persons in some of the slum compared to an average of 52 persons per tap. One third of the household have no access to electricity and most of the households share community toilets. This shows that lots of work still to be done to improve the lives in slums. In spite of several government policies there is a need to improve the life of slum dwellers through community participation.

Grace B. Mundu and R.B. Bhagat
Beyond the Stereotype of 'Slum': A Sociological Perspective of a Slum in Amritsar

The slum in a city is considered as a poor area and it is assumed that all slum dwellers are alike. The present paper is an attempt to study the micro level discourse related to the issue of inequality within a slum. Inequality has been studied at various levels: such as national, regional and city, but not within a slum. A slum, like a city, is a heterogeneous entity, in which various categories of poor people share the same space and dwellings. The findings suggest that there are clear-cut inequalities among the slum dwellers as evident in their built environment and social, economic and political spheres.

Jagsir Singh
The Urgent Need for Low-Income Rental Housing in Urban India

Housing policy in India has traditionally been skewed towards ownership based solutions at the expense of rental markets. We argue that this has led to sub-optimal economic outcomes for low income households. The argument is based on a detailed theoretical assessment of the nature of low income households, especially their income volatility, wealth allocation and need for mobility, and it is concluded that ownership housing is unsuited to the risk profile of such households. The analysis reveals that rental housing minimises the risk of undesirable wealth fluctuations of the households and therefore, is a much needed housing solution for low-income households. Consequently, the policy environment must incentivise the creation of rental housing stock to meet the latent housing needs of low-income households. Considering the anticipated increase in urban population over the next thirty years, the promotion of rental housing will also be critical in solving the larger urban shelter problem. There is a dire need for low-income rental housing in Indian cities today.

Anand Sahasranaman
Non-formal Water-mining in Urban Sprawl: A case of Susuwahi, Varanasi

The unmonitored individual water-mining poses threat to environment. Further, in urban sprawl poor sanitation results in contamination of groundwater. The both processes together have an adverse impact on the vulnerable section of society, who are not extracting resource (water), because of incapability to invest and they only will be victims, when the quality deteriorate to the extent of unusable resource because of high expected price of rare commodity. Based on the survey of 240 households in Susuwahi, the paper discusses household's adaptation strategies in meeting the demand of water in light of the two outlined conditions. The existing private arrangement for water in the sprawl driven by multiple factors: availability of water; almost zero operational cost and the issue of identity. In such situation, political ecology approach can be of vital use to analyze the systems of political and economic control over environmental resources, existing power relation that define such control and also socio-political and environmental implications in water-rich region.

Bikramaditya K Choudhary
Initiatives in Participatory Governance: Recent experiments in Mumbai

This paper discusses some of the recent e xperiments in participatory governance being carried out in the megacity context of Mumbai. The examples of Local Area Citizens' Groups, Area Sabha and Area Committee are examples in the long trajectory of citizens' participation in local governance under the rubric of participation/ partnership that began in the 1990s as a result of changes in governance and emphasis on greater involvement of citizens and their associations. Government programmes like the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) stress on governance reforms like the Community Participation Law in a big way. In this backdrop citizens and their associations of various hues are busy experimenting various models of participation. A deeper probe however reflects that most of these initiatives are experiments of middle class elite citizens that exclude the poor and bypass constitutionally given spaces for participation like Ward Committees and also elected representatives. Notwithstanding this, the paper concludes with the help of the initiatives in Mumbai that such experiments expand political space and carry the promise of bringing better governance in the future.

Binti Singh
Maximizing Non-tax Revenues: Property Assets as revenue sources of ULBs

Municipal property assets are a relatively under-researched and under-utilized source of income among the various income sources of local governments in India. The non-tax revenue arising from these property assets, though significant, barely begins to reflect the considerable financial worth of this asset base held by local and state governments. This paper underscores the untapped revenue potential of these assets among the various income sources of state and local governments in India. It also highlights a few benchmark land management practices across the world to understand their relevance and applicability within the Indian context. Building on this data and related literature review, the paper presents a fundamental framework for maximizing revenue generation through property asset sources.

Sujatha Srinivasan
Information and Communication Technology for Green and Sustainable Cities

Majority of world's population now lives in urban areas and this will increase to 60% by the year 2030. In India this figure has crossed 30% and is increasing rapidly putting immense pressure on city resources. Urban areas not only consume more than three fourth of world's energy but are also responsible for 80% of total green gas emissions. The use of energy and other resources can be optimized by innovative use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Successful cities will do this by making use of ICT in diverse fields like transportation, healthcare, education, building control, entertainment, safety and security etc, all built on ubiquitous broadband connecting all information sources and enabling sharing of information in real time. Broadband is the next utility after electricity, road and water and city planners and city administrators need to take note of this.

Prakash Kumar
Development of Competency Framework for Implementation of Urban PPP Projects

In India, Public private partnership (PPP) model has been gaining a prominent place in policy initiatives for improving provision of urban services. The weak competencies in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) for implementing PPP projects is recognized as a major hurdle in uptake of PPP model. This highlights the need for a systematic process for addressing the weak competencies in ULBs in the context of PPP projects. The first step in that direction is identification of competencies to meet requirements of urban PPP project lifecycle. The competencies were identified by the two pronged research strategy with extensive literature review and semi structure interviews with stakeholders associated with urban PPP projects. The identified competencies are represented in the form of a framework which consists of twelve competencies, grouped under four categories based on the phases of urban PPP projects. The competency framework can assist the policy makers in shaping strategies for competency development in ULBs.

Ganesh A. Devkar and Satyanarayana N. Kalidindi
Public Private Partnership in the Delivery of Serviced Land to Urban Poor in Delhi

National Housing & Habitat Policy (NHHP) reaffirms that the Public Private Partnership (PPP) is essential to expedite supply of affordable housing in the overall context of inclusive and sustainable growth of cities and towns, huge backlog for urban housing & facilitator role of public sector agencies and institutions. A low-income housing had been an integral part of these PPP approaches. The paper analysed the different models that have emerged among various states of India and analysed modalities, implementation and constraints and suggested a PPP approach for affordable housing and delivery of the serviced land to poor in Delhi. The paper also outlines the various central and state government initiatives undertaken in this regard.

V.K. Dhar
Urbanscape: Access to Basic Amenities Across Towns In North Eastern India

The paper analysed data on basic amenities in the North-eastern states of India from the latest available Census of India at urban level. The complex physiographic conditions, annual flooding, problems of social and political unrest, long international borders are areas of concern in the region. It remained in shadow for a long period of time and started rapidly urbanizing only recently. The paper analysed the availability of urban basic services (UBS), namely water, sanitation and electricity, across different size class of towns. It also tried to understand the relationship of availability with socio-economic and demographic parameters. The study infers that geographical uniqueness determines to certain extent, the availability of UBS. The relationship of UBS with socio-economic and demographic parameters is not as evident as suggested by other scholars.

Bhaswati Das and Dimpee Nipun