Ethics Case Study – 61

As the Housing society in Shivaji Nagar, an older community in Pune, is in a dilapidated state, the Municipal Corporation of Pune (MCP) has declared the area appropriate for redevelopment appointing you as project director.

You have a team of two specialists, Ganesh and Dhananjay, and the mandate is to determine which of the houses should be rehabilitated and which must be demolished.

Ganesh and Dhananjay, report to you about Mrs. Waghmaare, who has lived in project area 1 for thirty years.

Mrs. Waghmaare is now eighty-five years old, her husband is deceased and the little money her husband left her with has been so battered by inflation that it barely meets her basic living expenses.

She has been neglecting the repairs on her home, which is now in a pretty bad shape.

They sum up the condition of the house by admitting that according to the standards they have been applying elsewhere in the first project area, Mrs. Waghmaare’s home should be demolished and she be relocated somewhere else.

However, Ganesh cannot bring himself to recommend the destruction of the old woman’s home.

He tells you that he knows what the law requires and what the MCP project guidelines specify, but it seems wrong.

He argues that “Elderly people, when relocated often lapse into senility and sometimes death.

We should not treat decent people who have worked hard all their lives as though they were disposable trash just because they do not fit in certain guidelines.”

But, Dhananjay does not agree. He feels as strongly as Ganesh but not in the same way.

“It is too bad about Mrs. Waghmaare, and all the Mrs. Waghmaares’ who get caught in her predicament, but there is nothing we can do about it,” says Dhananjay.

He tells you that MCP’s job is to rehabilitate the houses when it can and demolish when it cannot, and there are laws and rules and standards that must govern those decisions.

He insists that we cannot go around making exceptions; we have to be fair with everyone and that means treating everyone equally.

There must be no special favours, or everyone will demand an exception, and nothing will get done. The only way is to follow the rules.

What would be your objective responsibility in this case? Also, clarify what is your subjective responsibility?

What would be your future course of action? Is there any other essential information that you would need in order to arrive at a suitable decision? If yes, what could be this information?

20 marks / 250 words.

Please write the answer in comments section

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