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Academia denounces Dharavi redevelopment

Dharavi offers one of the cheapest and affordable housing options for every immigrant Mumbai, where house rents are among the highest in the world. Considered to be the largest slum area in Asia, Dharavi is now the eye of a storm that has caused a flutter

Apnaloan.com Research Bureau

10 Aug 2007

Dharavi offers one of the cheapest and affordable housing options for every immigrant Mumbai, where house rents are among the highest in the world. Considered to be the largest slum area in Asia, Dharavi is now the eye of a storm that has caused a flutter globally.

Leading academicians from universities in the US, UK and South Africa have written a letter in protest against the Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP) to Prime Minster Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Maharashtra state chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

The letter points out that there has been no proper survey of Dharavi, no suggestions were invited and no environmental assessment done. The government had not followed the legal procedure of publishing a plan and inviting objections and suggestions. The Rs 9,300 crore Dharavi redevelopment project proposed by the government to build 57,000 houses in the area has brought about a profound sense of disquiet among artists, researchers and professionals from across the globe.

The letter has been signed by respected intellectuals like professors Arjun Appadurai of New School, Homi Bhabha of Harvard University, Richard Burdette of the London School of Economics, Dipesh Chakrabarty and Saskia Sassen of the University of Chicago. Writer-diplomat Shashi Tharoor and writer activists Jianying Zha from China have also signed the letter. The report refers to a report by Mumbai civic activists D M Sukhtankar, Shirish Patel and others, which pointed out that there were no studies projecting the increased population of Dharavi after redevelopment.

 

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