Rethinking Indian cities

In an interesting article, by writer Varun Gandhi has highlighted major potentials and ways of approaching our in-equipped urbanising cities. Some of the proposed solutions mentioned by him are:

– Re- skilling the urban poor with provision of basic public services and financial inclusion.

– An independent utility regulator is needed, to monitor and adjudicate disputes on public service quality and pricing, with a published Citizens’ Charter containing comprehensive information on guaranteed public service quality levels

– An elected and empowered mayor and a metropolitan system with single-point accountability for all urban localities is needed, providing unified authorities for transport, water supply and sanitation

– Municipal finance needs to be strengthened, with access to land monetisation and municipal bonds ring-fenced with city development funds

– FSI indexes need to be increased, leading to greater land revenue and less environmental pressure

– Dedicated municipal civil service, focussed on relevant technical skills, offering lateral entry

– At least 25% of new development area should be mandated for affordable housing, with appropriate monitoring. Slum redevelopment can be triggered through partial rezoning, capital grants and interest rate subsidies. A national mortgage fund, akin to Fannie Mae, must be created to spur lending to low-income groups

– The overhyped industrial corridors between our metros must be aligned with local urban planning to ensure sustainable development. Inner city transport could be revolutionised using straddling buses (demonstrated in China), cycle rent schemes and elevated monorails

Read the list of solutions he has offered and see if they resonate with you at :


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