Mankhurd is an eastern suburb of Mumbai, accessed via the Harbour Line (where it is the last station in Mumbai before the Line crosses the Vashi creek bridge to enter Navi Mumbai) or via the Sion-Trombay/Panvel Road. Apart from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the Anushaktinagar colony, most of the suburb comprises slums. Mankhurd is a good illustration for Mumbai’s other name, and a name I do not like—Slumbai !
Some years back, slum areas in Mankhurd started getting redeveloped (a process that continues even today), while in other vacant areas/reclaimed land in the suburb new buildings were constructed to house slum dwellers from across Mumbai under the Slum Rehabilitation Programme for the city.
The colourful buildings that you can see in the photograph above is one such example. These were among the first set of buildings to come up on vacant/reclaimed land, and I remember reading accounts of proud and happy owners of the new apartments when they got occupation of their new homes.
Last week, when I was passing these buildings on my way to Navi Mumbai by train, I noticed something startling. There was slums outside the building compound and by the looks of it, they have been there for some time. Though it not unusual for highrises and slums to exist side by side in Mumbai, it is the first time that I saw slums right outside the buildings housing people rehabilitated from other slums.
Isn’t this ironical? Or then, maybe, it isn’t.
Mumbai Lens is a photographic series which, as the name suggests, is Mumbai-centric and is an attempt to capture the various moods of the city through my camera lens. You can read more posts from this series here.