How Do We Tackle Slums?

Almost half of our urban population lives in slums. Urban population and slums grow due to rural migration. The poor come down to the cities because the land is unable to sustain them, or because the prospects of life there are brighter.

Economic theory tells us that the root of prosperity is productivity and that productivity depends on the division of labour and knowledge. The scope for this division and specialisation is far higher in cities. Cities therefore are prosperous. But can cities exist without slums?

It’s just the basic But NEP has little to empower communities in resource use

The draft National Environment Policy (nep) released by the Union ministry of environment and forest emphasises ‘polluter pays’, ‘cost-minimisation’ and market-based incentives for pollution control. A logical follow up should be to vest stewardship of natural resources with communities that are directly dependent on them. nep, however, falls short here. This lacuna is glaring because most common resources in India degenerate into open resources — over which local communities have very little control.

Missing the Woods

Tigers vs Tribals: This is how the debate on the Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill 2005 has been framed. If you are for tigers, you shouldn’t recognize forest rights of tribals. And if you are for tribals, then it ipso facto means that tigers are not important to you. This is a completely false dichotomy.