In Delhi, reports Inter Press Service News Agency, "there seems to be no place for the poor."
In preparation for the 2010 commonwealth games, at least 70,000 homes have been razed. In October, the Nagla Maci squatter neighborhood was bulldozed and relocated 45 km away in north-west Delhi.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Development Authority has handed 350 acres of land earmarked for slum re-housing to private developers. "Newspaper reports have revealed that the builders plan to build 750 luxury flats on the land while the housing for the poor will be in high-rise towers with no lifts or private toilets," IPS says, while pointing out that this inequality actually institutionalizes slums. "In February 2002, Motia Khan, a 40-year-old slum in the heart of Delhi, was demolished, and relocated to the Rohini area in blocks spread over five floors. Flat owners are still paying monthly installments of 2,000 rupees (roughly 45 dollars, which is more than half their monthly income) for flats without lifts, water supply and choked drains."
With characteristic understatement, the IPS dispatch concludes, "In-situ upgradation for slum improvement can happen only if people force governments to keep their election promises."
In other words, progress is possible only with tough, take-no-prisoners community organizing.