When Dharavi grows up, it does not want to be Shanghai


These neighbourhoods are hives of building activity. The houses here have long passed the hutment stage and are now as pucca as your own homes, albeit in constrained conditions. Unlike most flat owners (this means you), these homes occupy a plot on the ground and rise to a height that will not get them in trouble with the BMC. They are built in RCC and brick masonry, finished with ceramic tiles, both inside and outside, are clean and largely maintenance-free. They have electricity and piped water running to their kitchens and toilets. This is clearly seen by the miles of running pipes over ground, on both sides of the streets. The roads outside their homes are paved with interlocking tiles, just like any other part of the city.

Despite this, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) chooses to name these localities as ‘difficult’ areas, and damn them to the eternal hell of rehabilitation.

Managing cities is often more about understanding how people that live in them use the spaces where they work and live rather than imposing an outsider view of how cities should be.

[Link to FirstPost.Mumbai]