Sprawling slums

Nearly 35 per cent of the urban population live in slums. More than 50 per cent of Covid cases have been traced to slums in 12 major cities where physical distance is a far cry and containment is a huge challenge. The Government of India's provision of Rs 70,000 crore for rental housing in PPP looks like a single pony trick which achieves very little with underlying factors not being addressed. Slums have come up not because of poverty and encroachments alone, but because of lack of affordable housing on the one hand and failed policies on the other. The Town Planning Act of 1947 does not factor in the urban poor, workmen and migrant labour.

A Tughlaqian idea

In Tamil Nadu, the Secretariat functions from Fort St George in Chennai, which belongs to the Army.