Terming the COVID-19 crisis as a wake-up call, Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Group, on Monday slammed the housing policies under which slums are moved from one location to the other.
Speaking at a webinar, Tata said, “For the first time, the close proximity and low-value structures that we have built are the cause of new problems. The last few months have taught us that we’re suffering from close proximity”.
“The corona issue is a wake-up call of what beholds us and what our concern is as it turns around us and holds us back. I think there should be a re-examination of what we consider to have acceptable standards in terms of quality of life. Perhaps there ought to be a revision in terms of the fact that we are dealing with communities, we’re dealing with populations that need to be a part of new India,” he underlined.
On the issue of slums being relocated, Ratan Tata said, “We just go to affordable housing, slum elimination. We’re trying to remove slums by moving them to another location, high-value housing is being put over there. Slums are the residue; we’re building a vertical slum.
“For the first time, the close proximity, low-value structures that we have built are the cause of new problems. The last few months have taught us that we’re suffering from close proximity. We have the image we want to protect ourselves and there’s a part we want to hide. We have social responsibilities as architects and builders.”
He further said: “We are creating a community which we’re ashamed of. We should be really driven by the desire of creating, it creates a world culture.
“I think the happenings of the last few months have should have been a wake-up call for us. We have been humbled to realize that a disease could run across the globe, totally changing the dimension of how we are and what we do.”
“I think we have to consider this issue as being our problem, and not their problem. We need to concern ourselves with the quality of lives everywhere. We need to ask ourselves, ï¿½are we ashamed of what we see or proud of what we see’. We need to consider urban communities as one,” he said.