From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Dharavi
Mains level : Slum rehabilitation
The Maharashtra government gave the go-ahead for fresh tenders in the Dharavi redevelopment project, almost two decades after it was first proposed.
- Dharavi, infamous as one of the world’s largest slums, is located in the heart of India’s financial capital – Mumbai.
- A city within a city, it is one unending stretch of narrow dirty lanes, open sewers and cramped huts.
- While the land (area of 535 acres) is owned by the government, the houses are maintained by individuals.
- The Dharavi slum came into being in 1884. It was originally inhibited by fisherfolk when the area was still creeks, swamps.
- It became attractive to migrant workers from South Mumbai and others when the swamp began to fill in due to natural and artificial causes.
- The area grew as poor rural Indians migrated to urban Mumbai.
- Today, an estimated 600,000 to 1 million people live crammed in Dharavi.
Economic significance of Dharavi
- Dharavi stands near to India’s richest business district, the Bandra-Kurla Complex, where commercial office premiums are among the highest in the country.
- The slum sprawl, spread over 2.8 sq.km. is home to an informal leather and pottery industry which employs over a lakh people.
What is the Dharavi Redevelopment Project all about?
- The state had envisaged this sprawl be transformed into a cluster of high-rises with improved urban infrastructure.
- It entailed resettling 68,000 people, including slum dwellers and those with commercial establishments.
- The state was to provide 300-sqft houses for free to residents with proof that their slum structure was in existence before January 1, 2000.
- The project was initially mooted in 2004, but never got off the ground due to various reasons.
When redevelopment was first proposed?
- In 1999, the government first proposed to redevelop Dharavi.
- Thereafter, the government of Maharashtra in the year 2003-04 decided to redevelop Dharavi as an integrated planned township.
- An action plan for redevelopment was approved by issuing a government resolution.
- It was decided to develop Dharavi by using land as a resource to cross-subsidie the cost of development through a sale component on the basis of the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme.
- The government also decided to notify the whole of Dharavi as an undeveloped area and to appoint a Special Planning Authority for its development.
- In 2011, the government cancelled all tenders and drew up a master plan.