At least in Chennai, at least on the face of it, they seem to be addressing the issue of slums in a sensible way. Sunday's (February 13) Hindu reports Corporation removes encroachments on Nungambakkam Canal. (For some reason I can't find the report on the web).
Over 100 huts, begins the report, which occupied a piece of land ... obstructing water flow in the Nungambakkam Canal near Wallace Garden were removed today by the Chennai Corporation with the assistance of the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board.
It's in the next two sentences that I find the sense I mentioned.
The evicted families will be accommodated at the Board colony at the Board colony ... south of the city along Old Mamallapuram Road. If children going to school at Nungambakkam want to continue in the same institutions, the Corporation will arrange for a free bus service from [their new homes] till the end of this academic year.
Further in the report:
This morning, the Corporation earthmovers started demolishing the hutments even before the residents were given tokens for occupying tenements at [the resettlement area]. "I told them to stop the demolition and to give tokens ... The staff did this and only then did the demolition work resume." [said A.T. Sadasivam, municipal councillor for the area].
The councillor said a similar eviction was planned in November 2004, and [former Chennai Mayor] M.K. Stalin wanted the operation stopped till March or April, and also demanded that rehabilitation measures be put in place before starting eviction.
"Now they are doing it at the fag-end of the academic year" the councillor said.
There is also a photograph of a young girl from demolished slum, carefully making sure her pet parrots go with her to to her new home.
If this report is indeed accurate and this is indeed how this slum in Chennai was treated, you wonder: why is the simple idea of rehabilitation before eviction, if slums are to be demolished, so hard for us in Bombay to comprehend? So hard to implement? So hard to accept?