City development should focus on poor
City development should focus on poor.Telangana JAC chairman Prof. Kodandaram emphasised the need to plan development of cities from the view point of majority people, particularly the poor and the middle classes.
Telangana JAC chairman Prof. Kodandaram emphasised the need to plan development of cities from the view point of majority people, particularly the poor and the middle classes. Prof. Kodandram was speaking at a round table conference on ‘Inclusive, Just and Sustainable Cities’. The conference was held at the Montfort Social Institute (MSI) at Uppal on Wednesday. MSI director Bro. Varghese Theckanath chaired the proceedings.
Prof. Kodandram said, “The city has to be people oriented and all developmental activities in the city should address the needs of the working classes who form the backbone of our cities. New terminology such as ‘Smart City’,’ Techno Park’, ‘IT Corridor’ are often vices used in the market to transfer public assets into private hands. They serve the interests of the corporate sectors and consultancies than the common dwellers of the city.”
Fifty one participants from the major cities of the two states were unanimous in their opinion that the present cities and the way the cities are being planned now do not accommodate the urban poor and their needs. They called for a redefining of the city from the view point of the marginalised.
Prof. C Ramachandraiah of the Centre for Economic and Social Studies said that the concept of smart cities promoted global competition of corporate companies rather than the real needs and aspirations of a majority of city dwellers.
Social activist K Sajaya pointed out that the State government’s allocation of Rs 830 crore would not be sufficient for development of slumps in the State and mentioned that the government has to initiate strict measures to ensure women safety.
D Gopi, a senior journalist from Vijayawada, said, “The Andhra Pradesh government is working towards developing hut less/slum less cities but have no allocations in the 2015-16 budgets to provide housing for the urban poor and develop existing slums. Cities are not just made of roads, flyover bridges and skyscrapers, but people. Providing housing, health and education and well-being of the people is what the government needs to concentrate on.”
A committee consisting Bro Varghese Theckanath, Prof. Kodandaram Reddy, Sajaya, D Gopi, ApnaWatan convenor Prof. Fatima Ali Khan and Prof. Ramachandriah was formed to promote planning for just, inclusive and sustainable cities.