Urban planning and Politics of Slum Demolition in Metropolitan Mumbai

by Sanchayeeta Adhikari

M.Phil. Student, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences ; Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay


Till now urban planning has been seen only as the means of land development by the state for various space using functions of the city. As far as the housing is concerned state intervenes through its different policies of urban planning, as the private production of these is frequently disturbed due to the profit motives of the private enterprises. However, in the third world countries, the state is unable to undertake long term rational plans for the development of the city and for controlling the urban chaos because of lack of adequate resources and due to the general contradiction that exists between rational planning and interest group politics.
Thus in most of the third world countries, in the name of urban renewal programme, one of the most sort after solutions by the policy makers, for making the urban areas a better living place, is an increase in the slum demolition activities. This in turn leads to a continuous struggle for survival of the slum dwellers who have to wage a daily war to hold on to their tenements, which are often unauthorized settlements on government or private lands. Their presence also offends the middle-class residential blocks whose residents have their own notions of sanitation and hygiene. Thus this paper critically analyses urban planning process, which results in slum demolition, and its implications focussing mainly on metropolitan Mumbai.