Citizen groups and not-for-profits from across the city on Saturday protested against the exclusion of slums from the development plan (DP) for the next 20 years. The omission from the plan means the already poor quality of life of the slum dwellers will deteriorate further.
Activists from various wards, along with organisations like Yuva, Kamla Raheja Institute of Architecture, committee for right to housing and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) were present at the meeting. The organisations plan to list out their five major demands and launch an agitation to reach out to more people across the city and get them to object to the exclusion.
HT had reported how the plan doesn’t consider the city’s slums and has put off planning for them by claiming each major slum cluster will have local area plans prepared for them later.
The primary demand of the activists is the land occupied by the slums be reserved for affordable housing. “This will ensure the land is not diverted for any other purpose. We have also demanded that instead of incentivising builder-driven redevelopment of slums, the plan should focus on improving the living conditions and allow slum communities to carry out their redevelopment,” said Aravind Unni, member of Yuva.
Other members said the plan seemed to favour the builders, and not the poor. “The plan doesn’t say anything about how the city’s slums will be improved, but it is very detailed in its recommendations on the use of floor space index (FSI). It has, in the process, left out over 40% of the city’s population. Why not just rename it to developers’ plan, instead of development plan,” asked Haider Imam from Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao.