Saturday, February 24, 2007

Risk to squatters around the Mumbai airport

As the Hindustan Times reports, 60,000 families are fearing for their future now that the Mumbai Airport Authority plans to evict them from their communities to make way for an expansion plan.


Information Junkie said...

Slums around Mumbai airports are causing large bird population around the airport. This poses tremendous risks to the aircrafts taking off. Slums are the places where "avian bird flu" like epidemics will hit hard. Clearing the slums is necessary. More than 50% of the Mumbai population lives in the slums. There are plans to provide free housing to those affected.

But just like all well laid plans this plan also has been tainted by the corruption.

rn said...

OK, Infojunkie. But consider:

1. Why not work with the squatters to address the issue of whatever is drawing the birds.

2. The big issue described in the article is whether the replacement housing will be adequate and reasonably close to people's work. And whether people even know what's going on. If the airport authority truly wants to make this work, they must form a partnership with the squatters. Only those living there can truly assess the compromises they will make as this process moves forward.

3. Though infectious disease is certainly a risk in high density environments, I have seen no evidence that bird flu has hit squatter communities in a disproportionate way.