Case of Dharavi Island near Mira-Bhyandar Metropolis

Keywords: Communitites, Livelihood, Ecology

Traditional communities have maintained livelihood practices which aids the sustainable protection of ecological assets. Through changing times, they have been successful in preserving the essence of culture & livelihood through traditional practices in terms of their food, occupation & cultural-religious activates (ex. festivals). The Villages in Dharavi Island in the far- northern suburbs of Mumbai (not to be confused with Dharavi, a large slum area, in the middle of Mumbai city), are one of few East Indian villages which are intact amidst urbanization.

Majority of them are actively engaged in traditional livelihoods; fishing, farming and salt pan work. Amidst urbanization northern land of Dharavi Island is under pressure of residential growth of Mira-Bhayandar city while southern parts like Manori and Gorai are over exploited due to its tourism development. Both of this residential and tourism development are creating threat on traditional occupational activities (Fishing, farming) which protects natural assets of this land.

New development approach shows more inclination towards infrastructure development to make this region economically viable, while overlooking the ecological and cultural parameters that are sustaining community livelihood. Urban development is inevitable but approach towards this development should be sensitive to protect natural assets, especially the existing communities which have nurtured the landscape through changing times. This study critically analyzes the current development approach & co-relation between Natural assets and Community livelihood for the Dharavi Island and will provide with an alternate approach which can help in protecting the Ecological assets & Community livelihood along with addressing the infrastructure development needs & urban growth trajectories.