- In the run-up to Habitat III, India has opposed the inclusion of the Right to the City in the draft New Urban Agenda that will define the way cities world-wide are shaped over the next two decades.
[stextbox id=”info” bgcolor=”FFD9AD”]
About Right to City (RTC)
- The Right to the City (RTC) recognises equal access to urban life as a basic human right for all including migrants, slum dwellers and the homeless.
- The term Right to the City has its origin in the writings of French philosopher Henri Lefebvre in his 1968 book Le Droit à la ville.
- It prioritises collective right over the individual right to urban space. It gives every inhabitant, and not just the legal citizens, the right to not just occupy a pre-existing urban space but also to produce spaces according to their needs.
- India has opposed not only RTC but the inclusion of any new rights including the Right to Adequate Housing in the agenda.
- India’s opposition to the Right to the City stems from the fact that admitting to such a right would mean that it would have to adhere to the principle of social justice for all urban inhabitants and not merely the legally-recognised citizens.
- Pointed out how in most Indian cities, instead of the State providing shelter and other services as a right to one and all, the most marginalised of urban poor are confined to unauthorised slums that thrive on political patronage.
- EU’s official stated position is that RTC is not an agreed human right recognised by international human rights instruments. India’s position too was that managing migrants and refugees should be left to the individual nations and should not be dictated by the New Urban Agenda.
The 4-point agenda in India Habitat III National Report
Economic Growth and Productivity
* Fully planned and sustainable human settlements
* High travel speed, above 30 kmph peak time
* Well-distributed business district centres
* Intensive use of technology/innovations
* Smart grid
* Normative norms/self-declaration/ approvals of buildings/ town layouts
* Composite living representing socio-economic population dynamics—inclusive development
* Adequate and affordable housing for urban poor and senior citizens
Sustainability and Issues of Climate Change
* 60–90 per cent population to travel by public transport
* Dominant mode of travel does not emit pollution in immediate environment
* Local travel, E-rickshaw, walking, etc. for last mile connectivity
* Street light LED with dimmer, low consumption, almanac micro-processor controlled
* Rainwater harvesting in all roads, streets and buildings
* Barrier-free pedestrian pathways and bicycle-ways
* Natural drainage pattern, climate change, cloud burst
* Waste-water treatment, on-site and re-use in immediate surroundings for gardening, sprinklers for dust control, etc.
* Reclaiming water bodies
* Bringing water use to half from standard use
* Cut down electricity consumption to 50 per cent level than normal use and 50 per cent generation from non conventional sources
* Waste (collection 100 per cent) to electricity
* RCC roads, supported by pipes, integrated with future expansion plans, no digging
* Disaster preparedness
Improving Quality of Life
* 100 per cent sanitation
* Well-developed public facilities
* Easy access to public utilities and services
* High-security streets and buildings by CCTV
* Crime-free society and access to social justice and gender equity
* Full of greenery/ plantation, bamboo and other suitable trees
* Green and barrier-free buildings