WSF ‘Housing Rights Event’ – please clarify, especially, intent about court judgements

In continuation of e-mail request of 15.01.2004, we
seek response to our statement protesting the above
event and calling for public debate about its position
on housing rights and city planning in India.
(The e-mail request is posted at
The statement, print copies of which were delivered at
offices of World Social Forum and Mumbai Resistance on
17.01.2004, is posted at

In particular, we seek urgent clarification about
?event? plans to burn court judgements. (These are
mentioned in e-mails circulated by the ?event?
organisers and posted at:

We are aware that, among others, Ms Arundhati Roy and
Ms Shabana Azmi have lately endorsed in Delhi the
?endowment? position of (and criticism of our courts
by) organisers of this ?event?. We hope the similarity
with ?endowment? of Rs 500 crores, announced by our
Prime Minister on the same day as the opening of WSF,
for ?endowment? interventions (lately endorsed by
Prince Charles) in Dharavi in Mumbai has not
altogether escaped notice and that at least some also
recall ?endowment? in similar spirit of Rs 3000 crores
in Mumbai in early 90s by then Prime Minister. We also
hope that at least some have also noticed the
significance of yesterday?s reports of call by Delhi
Chief Minister for Delhi Statehood and Cooperative
Bills to be rushed through in the weeklong Parliament
session beginning on 29.01.2004. Both these Bills,
consistent with recommendations of a recent World Bank
?study? for Delhi, are in conflict with city planning
law and our ?entitlements? position.

As some of the best minds in the world exchange ideas
in Mumbai about what is going on around us, we
reiterate our request for support for our call for
those exchanging ideas there on city planning and
development in India to defend their worldview in a
public debate at the earliest after WSF.

Gita Dewan Verma / Planner
New Delhi, 19.01.2004

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