Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Bombay's Billion Dollar Slum

Dharavi, in India's commercial capital Bombay (Mumbai), is Asia's largest slum.
Made up of ramshackle corrugated tin sheds it is home to more than 600,000 people.

But it is a unique shanty town.

Thanks to a thriving crafts industry, Dharavi generates business worth nearly $1bn a year.

Local workshops turn out leather goods, pottery, and jewellery, much of it destined for shop shelves in the West.

Now, the authorities want to harness Dharavi's business potential with an ambitious plan to turn it into one of Asia's best neighbourhoods.

A massive re-development plan, costing some $1.3bn, is in prospect.


A billion dollars among 600,000 people is only $1,667 each, but then again I wonder what the average income is in Bombay.