Opinion


Home ‘ownership’ is not enough: Documenting spatial variations in how slum households in India access basic amenities

By and on October 8th 2020

By examining access to a bundle of basic amenities – electricity, piped water and in-house latrines – by homeowners in slum (and non-slum) households and documenting how this varies across states and cities in India, the authors of this data-centric piece offer insights into how the quality of housing structures need to urgently be seen alongside access and quality of basic amenities to ensure improved quality of life in Indian cities. In a post-CoVID moment, these data points urge us to reflect on how inflexible land regulations and services delivery mechanisms have historically disadvantaged slum households in terms of public provision of, as well as private investment in, basic amenities.

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Assessing Shelters Across South Delhi’s Changing Spaces and Moving People

By on September 24th 2020

About half of Delhi’s homeless shelters operate at full capacity to overcrowded conditions, providing less space than the norm of 50 sq.ft. per resident. This is a planning problem since policymakers have treated critical questions of where shelters should be built, how many residents shelters should accommodate, and how much space to allot for each shelter as separate issues at various times, and independent of the actual demographics that the various shelters in different parts of the city cater to.

This piece focuses on two neighboring, identically-sized porta-cabin shelters in South Delhi’s Nehru Place, which cater to two different groups of homeless people. It juxtaposes narratives of the two sets of residents with an analysis of the official data to reveal why, over the last eighteen months (March 2019-August 2020), one of them was constantly overcrowded and the other was, by official standards, modestly but consistently utilized.

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The unfairness of the Supreme Court order on slum evictions along railway tracks in Delhi: an explainer

By on September 9th 2020

The Supreme Court of India on 31.08.2020 passed an order, in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) relating to pollution and waste management in Delhi, directing the eviction of “encroachments” – primarily jhuggi-jhopri (JJ) bastis, or slums – on Railway land in the capital. Coming in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the order has been subject to legal criticism and has received wide coverage in the media. In this series of Q&A, we deconstruct what exactly the order says, the extent of the displacement it is likely to cause, the legally prescribed procedure for eviction and relocation, and what would be a fair approach going forward.

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A new report fills critical gaps in what we know about workers living at worksites: Some reflections

By on August 10th 2020

A new report by CLRA, authored by Renu Desai, offers extraordinary insights on-site construction worker housing in Ahmedabad, revealing gaps and opportunities for policy intervention.

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How the pandemic is reshaping real estate: In conversation with Pankaj Kapoor

By on July 13th 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has badly affected the real estate sector in India, which was already struggling with a number of issues including sluggish sales. To get an understanding of what this means for the housing market, the IHR team spoke to Pankaj Kapoor, Managing Director, Liases Foras, which conducts data-driven market research on the real estate sector in India. We asked him about the effects of the pandemic and future prospects for the sector, which is an important supplier of housing in India.

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Regularisation as electoral strategy: Insights from Uttam Nagar

By on June 19th 2020

Regularising Delhi’s 1639 unauthorised colonies has been a regular issue in Delhi’s assembly elections for many years now. Based on field research carried out in the Uttam Nagar area of west Delhi during the months of January and February 2020, this piece helps to understand what the promise and process of regularisation has involved, and how it has played out for the residents before the Delhi elections of 2020?

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Segregated minds, segregated markets: The nature of rental discrimination against Muslims in Delhi and Mumbai

By on June 12th 2020

Caste and religion crisscross the geographies of our cities. Housing discrimination, systemic and deeply interwoven with market processes, is perhaps the most constant reminder of the divisions and discriminations that citizens face.

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The fallacy of the affordable housing rental package

By on June 7th 2020

A commentary on the government’s proposed affordable rental housing solutions for migrant workers

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Covid crisis has exposed gaps in urban Swachh Bharat Mission. It must be revamped

By , and on April 28th 2020

The Swachh Bharat Mission won’t work in Covid times unless it is equipped with wastewater management, better infrastructure and protects sanitation workers better.

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Job loss, rent and exodus — Covid-19 crisis tells us migrants need housing security

By on April 27th 2020

Practising social distancing and staying home to fight the coronavirus is not possible for migrant workers without housing security.

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