Business, Economics and Jobs

Mumbai's Dharavi no longer Asia's largest slum


Residents hunt for usable items from the burnt remains of a slum area in Mumbai on March 5, 2011. A major fire gutted a large slum settlement, home to hundreds of residents, next to Bandra station in Mumbai's suburbs. No casualties were reported.



Immortalized in Slumdog Millionaire, Mumbai's sprawling Dharavi is no longer Asia's largest slum. 

Nope, it's not gentrification, or even the bulldozer brutality of so-called "relocation" that tipped the tide. It's just that Mumbai's other slum neighborhoods have grown so fast that they're now contiguous and eclipse even the mammoth warren that is Dharavi, reports the Times of India.

Spread over 557 acres, Dharavi is home to nearly 300,000 people, says TOI. But several other Mumbai slums are now at least three times that size.

The paper reports:

The erstwhile smaller slums in the suburbs have metamorphosed into contiguous, larger slums. The Kurla-Ghatkopar belt, the Mankhurd-Govandi belt, the Yogi and Yeoor hill slopes stretching from Bhandup to Mulund flanking the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) on the east and Dindoshi on the western flank of the National Park have all eclipsed Dharavi. 

Conditions here are far worse than in Dharavi, where small-scale factories provide jobs and steady income, despite sanitation and safety standards.

The Mankhurd-Govandi slums that have sprung up at the base of the Deonar dumping ground are known as a "dumping ground" for the city's poor. It has the lowest human development index in the city and is constantly in the news for malnutrition deaths.