http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/30/arts/design/30grad.html?pagewanted=all&position=

A Building Is an Eyesore and Must Go? Grade it X


This X-rating is good. Can also be extended to media quotes, policy ideas,
reformist moves and sundry other chaos.

Here's one from Asian Age today, eminently suggesting (besides that
architect, planner, urban designer, etc, are all the same and good and
builder-politician-government is different and bad) that law should be
different for rich and poor since hawkers are good and arcades are bad and
pushta is good and sainik farms is bad, etc, and, a new one that all the
reform-walas will love, Delhi is under planning system of MCD!

Delhi on way to becoming a big urban slum, say town planners

- By Our Correspondent

New Delhi, Sept. 5: For the residents of the capital the proliferating
illegal and unauthorised construction is a menace impinging on their
public space, but for the MCD they are "money spinners."
If this alleged nexus of the MCD with the builder-politician-police chain
facilitating these constructions is not halted in time, Delhi would soon
turn into an "urban slum," contend town planners.
"Blame it on the lack of enforcement by the civic authorities or the lack
of alternatives available to the people who are forced to make these
illegal yet need-based constructions. But, we have to make a distinction
between the illegal and unauthorised constructions on the roads and in
residential premises," said Prof. K.T. Ravindran, eminent architect and
the head of the department of urban design at the School of Planning and
Architecture .
"Somehow we need to salvage the public space to make people’s life in the
city amiable and joyful. In the absence of a visual culture not factored
in the planning system of the civic agencies, the compulsion to abandon
Delhi would not remain a far-fetched option for the city dwellers. The
illegal constructions on the roads must be stopped with an iron hand.
Though here again, we would have to distinguish between the hawkers who
cater to the low-end group and the shopping arcades who cater to the
higher ends of the society," said Prof. Ravindran.
The planning system of the MCD has not catered to either the poorest or
the richest, which can be substantiated from the treatment it has meted
out to Yamuna pushta and the Sainik Farm dwellers. The civic agency has
been addressing only to the middle or upper-middle or the lower-middle
classes. Consequently, a large section of people comprising the poor and
the super rich have not been able to bargain in the production process,"
he said.
"The MCD architects are a determining factor in the building plans being
passed, but they have very little role to play as the engineers have
overriding powers and are invariably in collusion with the beneficiaries
of illegal and unauthorised construction," said a town planner on the
condition of anonymity.
Illegal construction on public land has become the mainstay for the MCD
authorities concerned in extracting money through contractors in league
with the local police, a councillor said, adding that South Delhi offers
the maximum scope and money in this regard.
"In Delhi, not more than one to two per cent dwelling units could claim to
have adhered to its approved designs and the enforcers of the MCD exploit
this fact to their advantage," he added