February 10, 2009 12:36:35 am
Planners and architects of the city believe that some decisions taken without giving much thought to its future prospects are responsible for the haphazard growth in the city. Temporary measures instead of planned development are now causing chaos.
Former professor of Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) and author of Documenting Chandigarh,Dr Kiran Joshi attributes the present situation to a number of factors. There is a lack of political will. There is no one who is willing to take a decision,so issues just linger on. There is no vision when it comes to planning for the future. The Administration staff should be increased and a special cell should be dedicated towards managing the heritage of the city, she says.
Dr Joshi adds that there is no developed city in the world where slums do not exist. When City Beautiful was developed,the aim was to provide housing to the poorest of the poor. This has not been fulfilled. There needs to be a difference between need and greed, she maintains.
Former principal of CCA Professor Rajneesh Wattas feels that springing up of slums is a deep rooted socio-economic and political situation. He says,Our city is an island of prosperity surrounded by poverty. It is like a dream city that people flock to for opportunities. In the coming years,a similar problem would be visible in Mohali with the kind of projects coming up there.
The planners,however,do not negate the fact that people from slums constitute a major workforce.
H S Johal,president of the Manimajra Farmers Association,says that encroachers should not be allowed to come up in the first place. The current plan of rehabilitation is not very practical. Since these people have to be settled,it should be done near the areas that they are presently staying in. Putting them at a place far away would not solve the problem as they would come back to the slums, he suggests.
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