Sep 02, 2011
Re-visioning Indian Cities published by SAGE traces the journey of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission of India since its inception to its current form. The book elaborates upon India's scaling urban problems amidst its fast growing economy.
Author: K.C. Sivaramakrishnan
Publisher: SAGE, New Delhi, India
Year: May 2011
A recent offering from the SAGE Publications stable, Re-visioning Indian Cities- The Urban Renewal Mission presents a comprehensive study of India’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) from its birth to future aspects. In its course, it throws light on India’s urban history and its demographic and economic realities which have been neglected since decades.
The book is authored by K.C. Sivaramakrishnan, whose long association with the government as member of the Technical Advisory Group of JNNURM, has helped to bring together many development planning documents of this city-based programme.
Urban slums in India were earlier seen as ‘disgrace to the country’. During the Emergency of 1975, thousands of people living in slums were forcefully displaced from Delhi in the guise of rehabilitation.
This attempt to slum-free cities was followed by other many efforts but the result was, writes Sivaramakrishnan, "visually unattractive, financially unrewarding and politically of limited value."
The failure of several city development programmes such as the Correa Commission, the Mega City Scheme and the Urban Reforms Incentive Fund, and urban policies led to the advent of JNNURM that currently encapsulates 65 major cities of the country.
In the process of explaining JNNURM, the author discusses policy challenges of finance and that of changing slum dwellers’ attitudes towards development. While it offers a factual account of the programme’s effectiveness and drawbacks, it examines it as both a project and policy response that deals with the urban complex issues of India.
The language of the book is clear and comprehensible even to readers not well versed in public policy or urban reforms, even as it aims to provoke insight into scholars, administrative professionals, civil society groups and government officials who sit at the forefront of framing urban policies and projects.
The book is recommended for all those who want to know about JNNURM in detail and understand the journey of this urban mission since its inception.
(Editing by Swati Sahi)