Social Scientist. v 6, no. 66-67 (Jan-Feb 1978) p. 14.


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SUNIL MUNSHI

Calcutta : Classes and Class Policies in Metropolitan Development

THE LARGEST metropolis in India has been gasping for life. Three million people within the Calcutta Corporation limits and nearly eight million in the Metropolitan District, are much beyond the existing civic capacities to be served with the very minimum amenities of life of the modest Third World standards. The one hundred and odd square kilometres of the Corporation area and nearly five hundred and seventy of the Metropolitan District (CMD), are enveloped in unbelievable poverty and squalor in which an average of over thirty thousand people per square kilometre in the former and twelve thousand in the latter desperately jostle with each other every day just to exist. This battle for daily existence of millions living within the congested space of a metropolis had, in the past, often turned into furious political battles unnerving the rulers of the country. The awesome fury of all these earned for the city many names and numerous publications—from belle letters to serious treatises on the socio-economics of metropolitan explosion. Since about the last fifteen years the city had witnessed the functioning of a large planning organisation advised and financed liberally by foreign agencies, to draw up a master plan for the renewal of the city. A number of widened and straightened roads, a few flyovers, a huge and complicated system of subterranean passage ways at



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