25 November, 2020

High-Rise Solutions

How feasible are Ram Jethmalani's radical plans to create more space for the urban dweller?

High-Rise Solutions

SHOULD politicians and top bureaucrats occupy sprawling 1-2 acre bungalows in the capital's best areas while the rest of the city's citizens are pushed to misery? Union Urban Development and Employment Minister Ram Jethmalani believes they don't. This wastage of prime real estate, he says, is a luxury the government cannot afford. Jethmalani's prescription: demolish these palaces and build high-rise apartments, some of which can be occupied by the erstwhile inhabitants of the bungalows.

This proposal forms part of a series of radical recommendations and decisions announced by the Urban Development Ministry last week. Housing and construction is one of the priority areas spelt out by the government in its National Agenda and Prime Minister Vajpayee's reform call at the CII annual session late last month. In fact,Jethmalani's proposals have come ahead of the 60-day deadline set by the PM for a National Housing Policy. The government sees boosting housing as one of the best ways of energising the economy, since construction will have ripple...



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