An offer of partnership or a promise of conflict in Dharavi, Mumbai?
-Dharavi in Mumbai, often said to be one of Asia’s largest slums, is to be redeveloped once more
-this is the second time in 25 years that the state govt. of Maharashtra has sought to redevelop Dharavi
-The current redevelopment plan is much the most ambitious
-it divides Dharavi into sectors and is to be implemented by international companies who will
bid for the right to develop each sector.
- For those who live and work in Mumbai, the manner in which this redevelopment is organized
has great significance because it is likely to set a precedent for future redevelopment of other major
slums in Mumbai and is also being projected as the “Dharavi model” for redevelopment of large
settlements in other major Indian cities.
-Past struggles by those whose homes and settlements were bulldozed to make way for new city
developments or highways have established that the government has to ensure some provision for
those who have to move
-termed in India “project-affected persons”.
-But being classified as a project-affected person does not mean that they are
automatically consulted in any way on what provisions are made for them and about where
they are to be relocated – or on when they have to leave their homes.
-There are also many ways in which the government or the developer can reduce the number of project-
affected persons to cheapen the costs
-for instance, by only providing this entitlement to those who have lived there for a number of
years, or demanding proof of residence, which many residents cannot produce.
-It is only when communities of those affected by such developments get organized and
develop a capacity to negotiate what they want that some critical elements to ensure
participation emerge in the process.
-Unfortunately, such organized communities and those who can support them
are few, while the kind of sustained organizational processes that need to be in
place have not yet become common practice in cities.
-other slums watching carefully because what happens in Dharavi will affect them as well
-the state has to develop a framework that arbitrates between the interests of the private developers
and the residents. This is a deeply political process and needs mature political leadership that the city
can invoke if the state moves in that direction
- at the present little sign of such
-In theory, all the residents will be re-housed within Dharavi – but state and city governments in India
have a very poor record in actually meeting their promises for serving project-affected persons
-press play an important role. Currently they just report, but they need formulate opinions and
An offer of partnership or a promise of confluct. Slum Dwellers’ views on development plans for Dharavi
and for Mumbai International Airport
-slum dwellers do not oppose redevelopment. Everyone in Dharavi wants improvements. They
themselves have invested in improvements that they could afford and manage and they have high
expectations that the state should also make similar investments.
-Those who live closest to the airport runways recognize that they will have to move but they want to be
consulted and involved in the design and implementation of the redevelopment and resettlement plans
-This is not asking much. Offi cial plans for developing Dharavi and the international airport acknowledge
that they must re-house or resettle the slum dwellers. So the issue is how this re-housing is organized – and for those who have to be resettled, the chosen location.
-Slum dweller organizations have shown how they can be good partners in the design and management
of such redevelopments.
-The federation of slum dwellers living alongside the railway tracks in Mumbai worked with the
Railway Authorities and the state government of Maharashtra to move 20,000 households in order to
allow improvements in the railway – without any conflict.
-The households who moved did not have to be forced off their land; they packed up
their belongings and moved on the designated day.
-The key here was that they had been involved in all aspects of the
redevelopment – in deciding who was entitled to be included, how the process would
be designed, help