Reported By : Arpita Macwan, Officer – Partnership Management
Rafi Malek, Centre for Development, spoke about his concern for the displaced communities in the city, who were victims of riots or infrastructural development initiatives undertaken in the state. He shared that a large number of families are yet to be rehabilitated. Consequently, a large number of the family members are staying in separate shelters leading to forced fragmentation.
Darshini Mahadeviya,professor from CEPT, laid emphasis on inclusive urbanization. She shared that discussions need to be directed towards reallocation instead of displacement. Meetings can be organized at area level and development planning should be conceived keeping in mind the livelihood need of the community. Similarly, her colleague, Rutul Joshi, another professor from CEPT, shared his views on “Development and Urban Governance”. He opined that local ward committees need to be active in its functioning and should take significant strides in spreading awareness on rights and responsibilities. Further, the problems regarding access to basic amenities need to be addressed.
Mahendra Jethmalani from Pathey organization focused on budget allocation. He shared that in the financial year 2015 -16, a high proportion of the budget is allocated for urbanization which stands to be around 13% which reflects the priority of the state government.
The discussion ended with the release of the findings of a study Renu Desai from CEPT, on “Inclusive Cities in India.” A striking highlight of the study includes that from 2006 to 2015, out of 115 slums, 1, 80,000 people and 35000 families were displaced. She also shared that the resettlement policy is ambiguous and the government need to focus on improving the standard of living of the poorest of the poor.