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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has a dream... to transform Mumbai in a way that it rivals Shanghai (financial capital of China) as the talking point of Asia. Or better, make people forget Shanghai altogether.

To achieve this, the central and state governments along with various other agencies plan to invest up to Rs 31,000 crore in improving the city, its infrastructure and environment.

But this dream has been causing nightmares for 62% of the city's residents who live in slums, many of them illegal.

Now the government wants to utilise this land, which was once empty of Mumbai's poor, for road widening projects, beautification of the city, building infrastructure and other purposes.

The state government has entrusted the task of clearing the slums to the Brihanmumbai Mahanagar Palika (BMC). Consequently, the BMC demolished over 39,000 shanties, giving sleepless nights to slum dwellers, literally.

Also read: The Ten Jewels of Sikhism

Photographs: Jewella C Miranda | Text: Vijay Singh    

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