Ratan Tata says redesign slums for poor; moving them away not a solution, better quality of life needed

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Updated: Apr 20, 2020 6:08 PM

Ratan Tata suggested that the people living in slums must be accepted as much a part of the new India as anyone else, rather than being ashamed of their living.

tata, ratan tata, slums, affordable housing, slums in indiaSlums in India is like keeping garbage together and calling it a community, making it hard to survive, said Ratan Tata. (Bloomberg image)

Tata Group’s Chairman – Emeritus Ratan Tata said that redevelopment policies should be revisited to provide a better quality of life to the poor, rather than just displacing slums to make big houses, creating another set of slums. Slums in India is like keeping garbage together and calling it a community, making it hard to survive, he said at a video conference event today. Instead, Ratan Tata suggested that the people living in slums must be accepted as much a part of the new India as anyone else, rather than being ashamed of their living. He also called coronavirus as a wakeup call to show us the new concerns, such as that arising from living in close proximity. Ratan Tata was speaking at a virtual panel discussion on the ‘Future of Design and Construction’ organised by CorpGini.

Considering the miserable standard of living in slums with lack of fresh air, hygiene, open space, and close proximity,  he suggested re-examining the acceptable standards in terms of quality of life. Usually, when a real estate project is approved and comes under construction, the slums in the area are displaced to another place, without any improvement in their stands of living. This also solidifies the gap that exists between slums and other sects of the country. 

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Living in too close proximity was hardly a concern for India before coronavirus showed its impact and close proximity became the reason for the new problems. Slamming the creation of low-value houses with lesser living space, Ratan Tata said that we need to rethink the entire house landscape and create a world culture.

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