On Friday we were criss crossing the Delhi Cantt area and found this “jhuggi” or “tent” colony right next to one of the MES offices.
It worries me that such temporary dwelling has come up inside a cantonment area, because of security reasons. The next point is, this will soon become a “regular” settlement.
The decision made by the Central Government to regularize more than 1,700 unauthorized colonies across the national capital benefitted approximately four million residents, belonging to low income groups. It set the ball rolling for the registration of properties for the residents of these colonies. I have mixed feelings about the regularization as Delhi NCR constantly has an influx of migrants.
The unaccounted for migration from villages and smaller towns to the larger metro cities is a huge challenge as it puts the metro city under strain. Look at the situation in Bangalore, its bursting at its seams literally.
Here are some of my suggestions to address this issue –
- Create several colonies across the city for the migrants to come and stay for 90 days – atleast we will know the quantum of migration and where it is happening from.
- Just like Lajpat Nagar is primarily made up of refugees from Pakistan create designated areas where these migrants can settle within the city. Create high-rise one-room tenements that they can occupy once they find work in that area. Allow them to stay six months in these one-room tenements for free and then charge a nominal rent.
- Only allow a certain number of migrants into a city in a year. This way the city can be better prepared for additional influx. The migrants can be any economic strata. If companies find that their people are unable to get transferred into the city because the limit has been reached for the year, they can let them live in hotels or guest houses !
It may sound a little far fetched that we plan so much in India, but this is new India. Why shouldn’t we be better organised ? This way, it will make it easier to design the cityscape and how every city looks. Also it helps the low income migrants as they set foot into a mega city.