URBANISATION AND SETTLEMENTS THE SCOPE FOR AN INCLUSIVE CITY
Urban settlements have become the only asylum for poverty-stricken vulnerable people to survive in today's cities. The state had demonstrated its commitment in the past through policies such as the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission's 'Basic Services for the Urban Poor' (BSUP), 2005, with the mandate to 'improve living conditions of the urban poor in their existing locations'.
The state uses disaster as an extenuating circumstance to displace people from urban settlements and relocate them in the city's peripheries. The houses allotted by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board post Tsunami 2004 to relocation sites like Kannagi Nagar, Ezhil Nagar, Semmencherry and Perumbakkam are surviving models. Such unconstitutional relocation has isolated people from their sources of livelihood, education, health and assorted amenities.
This article analyses the state of Tamil Nadu's agenda on urban planning for an inclusive city, which falls short of fulfilling the Government of India's commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
It elaborates on the negative impact on poor people living in the new relocation sites, and forecasts major problems that might accrue in case of emergencies. The article ends with recommendations for zero eviction and implementing a housing policy in tune with a human rights approach.
Keywords: Urbanization, eviction, relocation, inclusive city, housing,