Urban apathy can only be addressed if we change our approach towards city administration and have the political will to change for the better
Tikender Singh Panwar The state of Himachal Pradesh got full statehood in 1971; it followed a development path that was “left of center” until the 1990s. After the introduction of neo-liberal reforms and the signing of the FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility…
The union territory administration of Jammu and Kashmir notified rules for levying property tax in towns and cities in the region. The Lieutenant Governor and the officers of urban development are leaving no stone unturned in convincing the people that this is a ‘progressive tax’, and the values are abysmally low and hence there will be hardly any burden on the people.
Splintering urbanism is a reality that has roots in the neo-liberal paradigm of urbanisation, which started nearly three decades back in India. Cities have suffered from the fragmentation of access, control, and pricing of network infrastructure, including water supply. The fragmentation is due to political-economic processes-neoliberalism-that have changed the ways cities are governed and services provided.
The Himalayas are the youngest range of mountains in the world and are still in the formative stage. The plate movements between the Indian and Eurasian plates continue to keep the entire region from Kashmir to North East in seismic zone IV and V. This means that the entire Himalayas are extremely vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquakes and landslides.
This year’s budget is a bag of misplaced government spending priorities and misses some crucial challenges facing urban development.
The last full Union budget of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government continues to be plagued with the idea that “the private capital will ameliorate some of the basic problems of India and that large capital-intensive technologies will usher in development, including inclusive development.”
How fallacious is this argument? We have seen this in the past three decades. The structural difference brought in by Manmohan Singh’s budget in 1991 was to “shift India’s economy away from the hands of the government to the hands of private enterprise, and embraced free trade.