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Shame! India’s Financial Capital Continues To Retain The Tag Of Slumbai

The tag of Slumbai for India’s financial capital seems difficult to shrug off as slums continue to occupy over 8000 acres of the city. While responding to questions raised at the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly recently, deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis informed that 8333 acres of Mumbai was occupied by slums. This included 3620 acres of private land, 2140 acres of state government’s land, 856 acres of land belonging to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), 272 acres of land belonging to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and about 673 acres of Union government land. With the BJP, back in the saddle in Maharashtra, Fadnavis has promised to help get Centre’s clearances to rehabilitate the slum dwellers. About 48.35% of Mumbaikars continue to live in slums occupying 24% of the total Mumbai’s habitable area of 34,000 acres, according to the Slum Redevelopment Authority, which was set up in 1995 and tasked with making Mumbai slum-free. Far from wiping slums off Mumbai, the SRA scheme led to the slummification of Mumbai thanks to its builder-centric approach of bundling and warehousing people into 25-30 storied, highly congested buildings (6500 people per hectare in 1300 tenements) without proper amenities like open space, light, air and privacy say claim urban planners like PK Das.