Massive Human Displacement in Mumbai
While flying into Mumbai at 3 o'clock in the morning, the first thing I noticed was the absurd amount of activity going on within the city. The number of cars on the road rivaled most US cities during rush hour. While looking through the window at the slums pushed up against the runway walls and florescent bulbs illuminating only portions of the weathered streets, I remember thinking, "I wonder how people can move in such a crowded place."
All of Mumbai is densely populated. It is also a city undergoing major development projects, especially in South Mumbai. In order for these projects to take place, the government has relocated more than 55,100 people. Of these, only 40,640 were rehabilitated.
The term rehabilitation is very loosely defined in India. One would think that a "rehabilitated" family would be given housing of equal or greater value. This is not the case in Mumbai, nor should people being compensated complain about their situations.
Compared to the 15,000 plus people who have received no financial help after being evicted, the 40,640 "rehabilitated" families are living the good life.
But does the good life include not being able to send your children to school, or becoming unemployed because of job shortages in North Mumbai? And if these people keep their previous jobs, they will surely arrive late to work each morning.
A lack of jobs and homes is just one of the many problems being faced in Mumbai. The entire city is slowing down due to an uneven distribution of people all trying to move at the same time.
To learn more about Mumbai's corrupt development programs, and to observe interviews conducted of people living in North Mumbai, watch this short video.