Smart cities: Here's how illegal construction is a dampener for PM Modi's pet project
For Prime Minister
“This has been a global phenomenon, crippling cities and compromising their logical growth. Urban development is not just about high rise constructions but a painstaking planning. Open spaces and revised construction are a part of this planning and thus countries like India have been investing in demolitions as a planning tool,” said Kishore Pate, chairman and managing director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.
AdvertisementHe added that illegal construction in the country continues to adversely impact the sustainable model of cities that the government aims to have. “Illegal constructions continue to cripple roads, public spaces and other amenities. Successful urban planning in India will only have a future when it is complemented by efforts to educate the masses about its importance.
Time and again, industry experts have addressed the issue and suggested a greater emphasis on creating awareness among the residents of the city about the dangers of illegal construction. “More awareness would lead to greater due diligence at a consumer level. We have nation-wide campaigns about the evils of tobacco use – can such efforts not be put into creating greater awareness about this social evil?” questioned Pate.
Arvind Jain of Pride Group also noted that education around urban planning is also extremely important for developers. “However, if we look at the problem of illegal construction in India, it is evident that the root cause is developers who just couldn’t care less,” he asserted.
Industry players attribute the rising cases of illegal constructions to the fact that unscrupulous developers stand to benefit from such unauthroised projects. “Where illegal constructions grow alongside legal constructions, urban areas soon become wastelands of mismanagement and pollution,” stated Jain.
Some of the major problems arising out of illegal construction includes absence of housing-related public services such as water and sanitation, which is also key to PM Modi’s Smart City project.
“The haphazard distribution of such illegal structures makes it extremely costly for municipalities to provide water, sewage facilities and roads even if they are ‘regularized’. The residents of such areas and buildings are not eligible for loans improve their homes or to expand business that they run from them, since banks will not accept illegal structures as collateral. In the case of multi-level residential buildings, buyers can lose their entire investments – often their life savings -if the building is found to be illegal and demolished,” noted Pate.
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