ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Allocation of Urban Space Rhetoric and Reality-Evidence from Recent Jurisprudence

Allocation of Urban Space: Rhetoric and Reality Evidence from Recent Jurisprudence Meera Bapat FORMAL Town Planning as we know it today was introduced by the British in India three-quarters of a century ago. During these years the basic tenets of Town Planning have undergone very little change. As towns and cities began to grow rapidly, however, problems started to become acute in a number of areas of urban life. New legislation was introduced to support the existing Town Planning laws in order to deal with some of the critical problems. And yet none of these efforts have brought relief in the ever worsening urban situation. Housing which is one of the most vivid indicators of life in cities is characterised by increasing polarisation in living conditions of the rich and the poor. In order to explain this pattern of urban development it is necessary to review the existing legislation which impinges on the question of access to homing; it is also essential to examine its implementation and interpretation. This will serve as a guide to an effective design of a People's Bill of Housing Rights. I intend to do this by using examples from Maharashtra. I will review legislation pertaining to Town Planning and housing, and analyse some recent cases of public interest litigation which throw light on the underlying processes which lead to this iniquitous development.

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