The launch will feature a short presentation by the architect PK Das on the main points of the book, followed by a panel discussion with the authors — PK Das, Ritu Dewan, Gurbir Singh, and Kabir Agarwal — and the filmmaker Saeed Mirza, Gautam Chatterji, and trade union leader Datta Iswalkar. The conversation will be moderated by Sidharth Bhatia, the founding editor of The Wire.
ABOUT THE BOOKIndia is grappling with a burgeoning urban crisis. The promised 100 ‘smart’ cities continue on the drawing board and the promise of ‘Housing for All by 2022’ is a distant dream. Demonetization, meanwhile, has frozen the real estate market that heretofore largely catered to the rich.
Suddenly, market forces and the demands of the ‘great unwashed’ have coalesced to make the concept of ‘affordable housing’ a workable reality. And it is Mumbai, a city with the gravest shortage of land and the largest of slum populations, which has now become the laboratory for the experiment.
As different stake holders jostle for land and policy concessions, the authors of the book argue that by reserving and exploiting land held by government agencies and occupied by slums, it is possible not only to house the poor but to create enough housing stock to wipe out Mumbai’s housing shortage.
The authors – PK Das, Gurbir Singh, Ritu Dewan, and Kabir Agarwal – are among the founding members of Nivara Hakk, a Mumbai-based housing rights organisation, and much of their three decades of experience is reflected in the book.