Saturday, October 20, 2007

gentrifying Dharavi

The plan to demolish and resurrect Dharavi as a fully developed upper class zone is moving forward. But some recent newspaper articles put forth some interesting stories.

1. livemint reports that the Maharastra government's take from redeveloping Dharavi could be 500 percent higher than anticipated (as much as $2.5 billion), due to steeply rising land values. A hut in Dharavi today commands between Rs4,500 and Rs5,000 (approx. $125) a sq. ft while industrial and commercial sheds rent for up to Rs10,000-12,000 (close to $300) per sq. ft. This means a simple shanty, 10 feet wide and ten feet deep would cost $12,500 -- a fortune for the average squatter.

2. Meanwhile, Express India reports that the government still doesn't know how many people will be uprooted or will qualify for new housing under the Dharavi plan.

3. Twenty-five teenage girls in Dharavi have made short films about life in the community. Read a brief article about their efforts in Zee news.

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