Sunday, October 01, 2006

Asia's largest slum -- or real estate gold?

Another article on the massive redevelopment planned for Dharavi, this one from the Indian Express. It may well be, as Bryan Finoki suggests on archinect 'the world's most ambitious urban renewal plan.' [thanks to Bryan for the link.]

Still, when I hear "plush housing, malls, multiplexes, pottery institutes, leather designing centres, a proposed cricket museum and stadium, gardens, parks and world class public transport" in an area ten times the size of the Nariman Point office zone in downtown Mumbai, I can't help but hear the ugly footfalls of gentrification.

A sidebar on life in Dharavi makes the point: "Builders get 535 acres of prime land, in return for providing free housing to 52,000 families—-plus hospitals, schools, international craft villages, peace parks, art galleries, an experimental theatre and a cricket museum! But since the 'apartments' need be no more than 225 sq ft each, and the minimum distance between two buildings no more than five metres, there will be quite a bit of surplus land. A cool two crore sq ft, to be exact [that's 20 million square feet, for those not initiated in Indian numerology], which builders may sell in the commercial market. In addition, the Government has granted an unprecedented Floor Space Index (the ratio of total floor area to the plot size) of four—-considerably higher than Mumbai’s standard 1.3—-as a 'bait' to potential developers. No wonder the sharks can’t wait to bite. And with Rs 2,700 crore [$574 million] expected to land in the official kitty, neither can the state government."

Sounds like the only people getting maximum value here are the big real estate moguls of the Maximum City.


Anonymous said...

Yes, that true. Dharavi, and all the other desirable slum(lands) havebecome real estate goldmine for the hungry beasts. Now that Mukesh Mehta has hired agents(pimps) from the civil society, govt and even the local community to advocate for the redevelopment. This redevelopment will be a reality soon.
Slum dwellers will be beenfitting with spacious(?) 225 sq.ft tenement, clean houses and ofcourse attached toilets,all this for free! what a mean propsition for the toilers who developed this marshy land into a goldmine!

Manish Mishra said...

it seems inevitable. definitely we'll criticize all this but who has the solution and patience for the poor in most rich city of the country.
what everybody is doing, why anybody who has money and power thinks only in one direction.

we all are the same, cashing in situation, its not new it happened in gujrat, now delhi, mumbai.
it'll happen. And in the end we'll be shown the rosy pictures of all what government has done.

no tears will shown. and someday they will win award.