The state of Maharashtra has tried to find any number of excuses to avoid doing the needful. The money issue is understandable. What is harder for me to comprehend is the population density they are talking about implementing in the hypothetically legalized and rebuilt slum-city. Take the following chart on Indian Express:
Rehabilitation needs of Mumbai slums built between 1995 and 2000:
8 LAKH [800,000] total shanties
2,000 HECTARES land required
Rs 24,700 CRORE [comes out to $5 billion, I think]
(land: Rs 700 crore; construction: Rs 20,000 crore; infrastructure cost: Rs 400 crore)
The money doesn't add up quite right in dollars. Does the state of Maharashtra have $5 billion at its disposal?
But more than that, I'm a little shocked by how tightly packed these shanty-towns are going to be. Let's conservatively estimate that each shanty counted of the 800,000 that were destroyed housed 2 people (the real number is probably closer to 5). If they are talking about putting everyone -- nearly 2 million people -- on just 2000 acres, they are talking about 1000 people per acre! This might be possible if they were building 10 story apartments, but that's clearly not what they're intending.
Then again, thought the article suggests the space available is 2000 acres, the chart does say 2000 hectares. If we consider that there are 2.5 acres in a hectare, it does look a little less crazy. Slums are, as a rule, extremely densely populated in Indian metros (and especially Bombay).
And one should also keep in mind that greater Bombay overall has a population density of 16,000 per square mile (according to this site at Macalester College). That sounds extremely dense -- and it is -- but it works out to only 25 people per acre (640 acres in a square mile).
No matter how you do the math, the plan for rehabilitation that seems so onerous is still one that envisions a shocking, even impossible, level of population density.