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Slum Redevelopment and Differentiated Resettlement in Delhi. The Case of Kathputli Colony Rehabilitation Project.


· Véronique Dupont IRD (Institut De Recherche Pour Le Développement) (Paris, France)


07/28 | 17:30-17:50 UTC+2/CEST


This paper focuses on the first slum redevelopment project implemented by the Delhi Development Authority to rehouse slum dwellers in multi-story buildings under public-private partnership. The families’ rehabilitation requires their relocation in transient accommodations during the construction of the housing complex. The evacuation of Kathputli Colony, the targeted slum, displaced around 18000 people from 2014 to 2017. The residents eligible for rehabilitation were resettled in a transit camp located 3kms from the initial site. We examine the consequences of such temporary resettlement on their lives. Although relative proximity limits the disruptive effects on livelihoods, relocation impacts everyday spatial practices. We also show how conditions of habitat tend to reproduce slum conditions. As the transient lingers on, the residents’ fear of being excluded from the housing scheme is fuelled by the planning authority’s and the builder’s tactics. This impedes the residents’ mobilisation for better amenities. The transit camp, as a space under surveillance, is analysed as a spatial dispositif, a space of “formation of more governable citizens”. Next, we show how eligibility criteria entailed differentiated resettlement and exclusion. Some families were resettled in flats in a township 20kms away, while those considered as ineligible for the project were left to fend for themselves. Finally, we highlight how differentiated resettlement conditions reflect differential treatment of slum dwellers depending on official criteria such as residence proofs, but also on local power position, negotiation capacities, and support for the redevelopment project.