Sunday, August 14, 2005

Making Bombay into Shanghai just means driving the poor out of the city.

The Voice of America offers a sensible and sensitive take on Mumbai's slum demolitions. As the article suggests, when authorities demolish a shanty, they seldom realize that they are wiping out a major investment. "A demolished slum dwelling ... might only represent a $2,000 investment, but that is a huge amount to a working-class family that cannot afford housing elsewhere," the article notes.

As one squatter busy rebuilding a kindergarten that had been wiped out in the monsoon said: "Have you ever heard of the government trying to take over the property of the rich? It's only ever the poor who have been evicted, whose houses have been demolished."

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