Redevelopment pits Mumbai Slum dwellers against each other.
About the video: Since 2006 dwellers of Sathenagar and surrounding slum areas in Mumbai have raised hopes for proper housing as the slum rehabilitation scheme was introduced to the area. Six years later people are still waiting for their new homes. The problems related to the scheme are manifold.
The Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) was set into place to guarantee slum dwellers alternative housing in slum areas in Mumbai. The main prerequisite is the slum inhabitants must have lived in the same slum prior to the year 1995. In addition they need to have all the official papers to proof their residency.
When the scheme is implemented in a slum area, the local residents are supposed to vote a representative committee from within their community. The task of the committee is to search for a suitable construction company. Once the building society is found and accepted by the SRA the construction site will be divided into two equally sized areas. One part will contain residential buildings, the other commercial ones.
After construction has finished, the original residents of the slum will be allocated flats which are free of cost to them. The remaining space and buildings can be used by the company for their own commercial purposes.
The scheme that in exchange for redevelopment, the residential space for the original inhabitants will be reduced to half. In the case of Sathenagar and the surrounding slum areas which comprised of 4 acres, the slum dwellers received 2 acres. The solution is to build upwards and stack the houses.
Without outside guidance from the SRA, the situation in Sathenagar and its surroundings has spiralled out of control. Instead of one, two separate committees were formed because of a rift within the community. Each had their own construction company to pursue the planning for the area. The construction plan has come to a halt and six years later, nothing has changed for the slum dwellers.
Our Community Correspondent says: Our Correspondent Amol Lalzare lives in the slum area and has observed the on goings over the years. When Amol Lazare approached the construction company and the committees to find out what the situation is he was refused any information on the current situation. He explains: “People here feel unsure about their lives. In the beginning people were excited about the idea of a proper houses, but now some feel apprehensive. The severe lack of information has added to their insecurity. The SRA, committees and the building associations need to come forward to discuss the future with the residents. Free and transparent information is the first step to find a suitable solution to this lock down.”