By Rohit Lahoti on February 23rd 2021
This essay is the housing story of Ahmed (pseudonym) and his family, as it parallels housing-policy shifts in India, particularly in Mumbai. The timeframe for this story intersects with the three decades of economic liberalization and policy deregulation in India. As this personal trajectory unfolds in Dharavi, one of the biggest slums in Asia, it raises simultaneous questions and issues when linked to the social-housing evolution at the municipal and national scale. The story is broadly divided into three phases from 1990s to 2020, toggling between Ahmed’s personal journey and the political transformations occurring at different scales.
By Manish on December 7th 2020
This post features highlights from a conversation between Gautam Bhan and Arkaja Singh at the 128th CPR-CSH monthly talk series, on September 29th, 2020. The discussion was held in the backdrop of a Supreme Court order directing the eviction of bastis adjoining railway tracks in Delhi. The discussion centred around how government policy around ‘slums,’ both at central and Delhi state level was changed, and how these changes came about, considering local and national, bureaucratic and political dimensions of these changes.
By examining access to a bundle of basic amenities – electricity, piped water and in-house latrines – by homeowners in slum (and non-slum) households and documenting how this varies across states and cities in India, the authors of this data-centric piece offer insights into how the quality of housing structures need to urgently be seen alongside access and quality of basic amenities to ensure improved quality of life in Indian cities. In a post-CoVID moment, these data points urge us to reflect on how inflexible land regulations and services delivery mechanisms have historically disadvantaged slum households in terms of public provision of, as well as private investment in, basic amenities.
By IHR Team on September 28th 2020
In continuation to the Government of Odisha’s landmark initiative of the Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission, also known as the JAGA Mission, launched in 2018, and the successful implementation of the Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Act 2017, basic infrastructure upgradation and delisting of slums emerge as the next critical steps. Towards this end the Scaling City Institutions for India (SCI-FI) initiative at the Centre for Policy Research as knowledge partner supported Housing and Urban Development Department, Government of Odisha, to prepare a ‘Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Participatory Slum Upgradation and Delisting’. The SOP intends to benefit the key stakeholders by laying down the procedure and benchmarks for undertaking participatory integrated slum level infrastructure upgradation and establishing procedure and documentation for delisting of the slum, to integrate it to the rest of the urban area.
By Manish on September 9th 2020
The Supreme Court of India on 31.08.2020 passed an order, in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) relating to pollution and waste management in Delhi, directing the eviction of “encroachments” – primarily jhuggi-jhopri (JJ) bastis, or slums – on Railway land in the capital. Coming in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the order has been subject to legal criticism and has received wide coverage in the media. In this series of Q&A, we deconstruct what exactly the order says, the extent of the displacement it is likely to cause, the legally prescribed procedure for eviction and relocation, and what would be a fair approach going forward.
Water and sanitation concerns of Indian slums need to be addressed in the fight against coronavirus, otherwise it can have a nationwide impact.
This paper analyses the weight of overlapping burdens of precarity on the urban poor through the story of the demolition of an informal settlement and homeless shelter in Delhi.
In this paper, the authors bring a challenging perspective to slum studies in Delhi, India, by contrasting
the attempts at ‘slum-free city planning’ (referring to housing programmes for the urban poor) with the ‘durability’ of certain slum settlements. They examine national and local factors that temper the impact of macro-forces of neoliberalism and globalisation on slum clearance in Delhi, including institutional fragmentation, political networks, and social mobilisation. Based on two settlements selected by the Delhi Development Authority to implement its strategy of slum redevelopment under public-private partnership, we show how space-specific configurations and the interplay of actors may contribute instead to the entrenchment of slums. At the settlement level however, ‘durable’ does not mean permanent. Yet, at the city level, slum rehabilitation in partnership with private developers presents serious limits, questioning the emphasis put on this strategy to provide sustainable housing for the urban poor.