- 07/27/2019 at 9:51 pm #1526389EduGorillaKeymasterSelect Question Language :
Direction: Read the given passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.
A recent report released by the Housing and Land Rights Network (HRLN) on the Smart Cities Mission poses the question: “Smart for whom?” It also states that in 2017, forced evictions and demolitions of homes were documented in 32 of the cities participating in the Smart Cities Mission. While many of those evictions were related to the mission, demolishing slums so that cities conform to the aesthetic norms of a “world-class” city, without taking into account the paucity of formal housing that cities offer, has been a long-standing practice. At least six homes are destroyed and 30 people forcibly evicted each hour in India as authorities modernise cities and build highways.
The “smart city” idea is extremely attractive, especially to the middle and upper classes who experience Indian cities as being anything but smart. It is a concept frequently thrown about but lacking a clear definition, though at heart it has emerged mainly as an instrument to make cities more competitive in economic terms. The Smart Cities Mission focuses on smart grids and devices to generate economic growth, create wealth and sizeable demand for rural and agricultural products, thereby enabling the shift from subsistence to commercial agriculture.
The future is becoming dangerous because increasingly, government policies and investors are driving the grand concept of a country awaiting the Big Bang take-off by turning the existing multinodal urban sector into centralised industrial corridors punctuated with lumps of smart macro cities and satellites. This is assumed to be one way of beating a modern identity into shape. By investing the international currency of debt in new urban infrastructure, the government hopes that national income will rise and a smart, supranational identity will emerge to show off to the developed world. It seems difficult for the planners to realise that since the beginning of the last century, despite the spectacular growth of urban populations, the poorest half of the world has received just 1% of the total increase in global wealth. Simply complying with investor directives and accelerating urbanisation to zoom ahead seems to be illusory and dangerous because that is the way to debt slavery.
Over the last two decades, the state-led production of space, as part of worlding cities, has introduced new structural violence into the lives of poor groups. The three main mechanisms have been adopted to produce space—infrastructure and mega-projects, redevelopment, and creating exception regimes for “slums” are applicable to the implementation of the Mission. The state that enacts structural violence through worlding processes is strong in its bid to open up new spaces for capital accumulation that integrate specific economic circuits, classes and groups “globally,” while weak in its responsibility to protect and strengthen the life chances and claims of poor groups/spaces, is also one that can be used as a framework to understand how Smart Cities might not translate into inclusion. In fact, it does exactly the opposite. The urban local bodies (ULBs) seem to have been severely compromised by the Smart City Mission.
Which of the following statements cannot be inferred from the passage?
I. Infrastructure and mega-projects and revitalisation are the main mechanisms that the Smart Cities Mission claim for its implementation.
II. The state-led production of space bids to open up new spaces for capital accumulation.
III. Urbanisation has introduced new structural violence into the lives of poor groups.
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