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Last updateSat, 22 Jul 2017 6am

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Urban tinder-box

By Anoo Bhuyan

On December 19, 90 homes were destroyed in a fire in Delhi’s Dasratpuri-Naseerpur slum. The paper and plastic these waste-pickers collect are a fire hazard in many slums, but the state refuses to give them a separate sorting space

Delhi, Dasratpuri-Naseerpur slum


Trains instead of planes

By Bholenath Vishwakarma

India is the fastest-growing aviation market in the world. But only 2% of people travel by air. High-speed rail networks for distances upto 600 km could cut emissions by 90%, while also being more efficient and affordable to the common man

Urban transport systems affordable to the common man


Living on the periphery

By Rashmi Singh and Kriti Budhiraja

Six thousand migrants who have been living in Delhi’s Jai Hind Camp for the last 15 years are struggling to retain their dwellings, kiosks and livelihoods as waste-pickers as land sharks try to oust them to cash in on the spiralling value of land. This story of callous displacement is being played out all over urban India today


The law of the land is the law of the realtor

By Javed Iqbal

The ongoing battle of the slumdwellers of Golibar, Mumbai, is not just a battle against big builders, but against a system that is loaded against them. It is a battle that is playing out in many different parts of the country


The commercialisation and dehumanisation of the city

By Anosh Malekar

The Yamuna River is the site for spanking new stadia, sports villages, malls and multiplexes. Around 22 lakh people reside in the extended floodplains of east Delhi. Can this population withstand the new colonisation that is threatening to invade the floodplains? An interview with Dunu Roy of the Delhi-based Hazards Centre


The role of cities in climate change

By Darryl D'Monte

The danger of treating climate change only as a man-made phenomenon that impacts nature's systems is that it posits the problem in some distant remoteness and absolves all of us of immediate responsibility. The facts tell us that three-quarters of the carbon dioxide in the world, which is the biggest greenhouse gas, is emitted by cities


Dilli hamari bhi hai

By Madhu Gurung

There are over 100,000 homeless people living in Delhi. Only 7,000 of them can be accommodated at the capital's shelters for the homeless. Of the 19 shelters in the city, nine are operated by Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan


Kolkata has the highest number of lung cancer cases worldwide

By Rashme Sehgal

Seventy per cent of Kolkata's citizens suffer some form of respiratory disease. Delhi is not far behind at 68%, reports a new study on air pollution by the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, West Bengal's department of environment and the Central Pollution Board, Delhi


Bangalore's contract municipal cleaners battle for minimum wage

By Laxmi Murthy

Despite a Karnataka High Court order, that contract municipal cleaners in Bangalore be given the minimum wage of Rs 1,800 per month, corrupt contractors and Bangalore Mahanagara Palike officials continue to flout the laws


`Squatters are the largest builders of housing in the world'

By Meena Menon

Journalist Robert Neuwirth quit his job to study squatter communities around the world and try and change people's perceptions about squatters. At present, he is in Mumbai where five to six million people live in slums


Scrap-collectors fight for and win a new legitimacy

By Sheba Tejani

The scrap-collectors union of Pune in Maharashtra has given waste-collectors who scoured garbage bins and collected old newspapers and bottles a new respectability and access. The municipal corporation now issues identity cards to them and offers a limited health insurance plan, recognising their contribution to recycling waste in the city