ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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designs. The concept of low cost housing seems to be to tinker with the house while maintaining the overall system of profiteering in the housing business. Very little money is spent by the government on public housing out of which only a fraction actually benefits the working class. The Manifesto suggests an immediate solution whereby all the 5 million slum and pavement dwellers can be housed This is by way of the 'sites and services' scheme. Out of the 5 million slum and pavement dwellers, it is estimated that about 2.5 million comprising all the pavement dwellers, construction workers and slum dwellers who will be displaced from areas with extremely high population densities and unhealthy living conditions, will need to be housed. The remaining 2.5 million are already settled in slums that only need improvement but don't require additional land. Assuming that the 2 5 million people are to be settled at a population density of 500 persons per acre, only 5,000 acres of vacant land will be required It is estimated that at present there are 50,000 acres of vacant land in the city of Bombay. 5,000 acres of vacant land would be required to be taken over by the government under the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act and divided into thousands of small plots. Water supply, sewage, drainage and electricity would have to be provided to each plot. Each household allotted a plot would be required to build a house for which technical know how and skills, interest free loans and building materials at subsidised rates would have to be provided by the government Depending on the financial capacity of each household, cither galvanised steel sheet and/or brick houses can be built. The minimum budget required should be around Rs 2,000 In this way 2.5 million people can be housed without an increase in the financial outlay for public housing. The scheme is not a new one. It has been proposed to the government in the past but the governmnent, under the influence of the builders' lobby, has not released land for the purpose PHARMACEUTICALS Dangerous Drugs THE drug industry has always insisted that the manufacturers are so responsible to public opinion that they 'voluntarily' withdraw drugs which are harmful or dangerous. Yet another illustration of such 'voluntary' action comes from West Germany In an apparently magnanimous move, Hoechst has Voluntarily' withdrawn dipyrone combination analgesics from the West German markets Dipyrone (also known as analgin), it may be recalled, has been causing a great deal of controversy because of extensive reports that it increases the risk of agranulocytis (severe loss or white blood cells) and aggravates the tendency to bleed. Hoechst has in the last couple of years mounted a massive campaign to counter these findings, including a sponsored study popularly known as the 'Boston study' to promote which the company has been seeking the cooperation of medical associations In 1983-84 nearly five per cent ($ 75 million) of Hoechst's worldwide drug sales were accounted for by its two dipyrone products, Novalgin and Baralgan. (In India analgin drugs are among the largest selling analgesics.) It is surprising, therefore, that it should choose to withdraw the drug even in this-limited sense, from the home country market Or is it ?

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