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RE: Rajeev



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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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Rajeev,

Just some comments on Urbanisation:

1) The huge problem of Urban decay results from the serious strain the
infrastructure of big cities have to endure due to massive influx of
migrants. As a city grows it attracts people from the villages seeking
employment ( for e.g. Delhi gets approx. 500,000 people every year)
these people use the city's infrastructure but do not contribute an
equal amount for maintaining and improving the facilities, this then in
addition to other problems creates the urban squalor that we see today.
In a manner of speaking in India the village comes to the city unlike in
most other parts of the world where the city comes into the village. It
is not uncommon to find cattle being reared and other rural lifestyles
being pursued in many communities right in the heart of bustling
metropolises in India.

2) The fundamental problem is our total inability to understand
urbanisation. It is a fact that eventually urbanisation is bound to
happen. The growth of big centres of trade is a historical fact. Cities
have emerged and thrived and will continue to do so. Their growth and
proliferation if pursued aggressively and without preconceived notions
of cities somehow being BAD we could minimise the urban decay
substantially.

3) Your own suggestion of decongesting the existing four metros implies
that there should be EIGHT metros in India. For that is the only way to
decongest them. Infact there should be many more metros and many mini
metros. The rules that govern cities should take into account the
realities of cities instead of trying to impose some romantic ideas of
idyllic rural living like restrictions on the height of
buldings,property rules, Squatting regulations, rent control, taxation &
regulations pertaining to keeping livestock etc.

4) India desperately needs to urbanise. For years we have had the luxury
of having enough land and growth opportunities in our existing major
cities. This is fast disappearing and if we do not fix this problem soon
we will end up like Rio where parts of the city are outside of
government control.

5) A good example of Positive Urbanisation is Hong Kong which despite
its size limitations and tight density still provides all its citizens a
standard of life far superior to the Best Indian city.

6) Even Mexico city with its 23 million people is far better managed
because its planners continue to see it as a city. What is needed is a
different set of rules that govern designated metros, identification of
potential metros and government investment in infrastructure to develop
them as metros as soon as possible But above all we need a frame of mind
that views urbanisation as a progressive step and actively promotes to
urbanisation.

Regards,
Bhuwan

-----Original Message-----
From: Tiwari, Umesh K [mailto:UKTiwari@pcgb.com]
Sent: Friday, May 21, 1999 3:01 PM
To: 'debate@indiapolicy.org'
Subject: FW: Rajeev


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