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Regarding Caroline Boin’s June 14 article “Neither charity nor bulldozers prevent slums“: The root cause of corruption in Mumbai is land and housing. Titles to land are often not clear, and builders sell flats to hardworking middle-class people who have dreamed of owning one in the city. Later, when buyers gain possession of the flats after clearing their dues to the builder, municipality authorities and others will step in to harass the buyers over basics like water and sewerage. Land titles will not be transferred to the society of flat owners, and as a result the municipality will start punishing people living in the apartment complex to extract more money.

The legal system is so corrupt that people will think 10 times before approaching the court. The builders’ lobby is very strong and a dispute can even end in the murder of a person bold enough to complain. This problem is faced mostly by middle-class people, whom nobody cares about because in India the politicians care only about the rich for their money and the very poor whose votes can be bought.

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