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Editorial Articles


Volume 6, 12-18 May, 2018

 
Slums in India: Issues and Policies


Prof. S.K. Kataria

The 21st century's globalized India now has a brand value  in the international arena. However, there are so many challenges and impediments to fulfill the aspirations of its citizens by the welfare state. The concept of 'Smart City' aims to develop 100 world class, citizen friendly and sustainable cities in India. In this  regard, Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi said- "It is our dream that by the time we celebrate the 75th year of independent India, all the slums are replaced by cemented houses."
The existence of slums is an essential by-product of industrialization and rapid urbanization especially in developing countries. These urban colonies or areas are generally characterized by their closely packed   decrepit, unauthorized or encroached small and temporary  houses, congestedpopulation, unhygienic health conditions,  least civic amenities, all types of pollution, criminal activities, foul smell, stray animals and  poverty etc.  According to the United Nations World Cities Report 2016 the number of slum dwellers in developing countries increased from 689 million in 1990 to 880 million in 2014. Nearly 25% urban population of the world is living in slums. Dharavi of Mumbai is the biggest slum of India the second largest in Asia and third largest in world. It has 2.1 sq km area and one million population. There are so many slums across the globe which are known for their dense population and wide spread area including Orangi town, Karachi (Pakistan) with 2.4 million inhabitants, Ciuded Neza, Mexico City (Mexico) with 1.2 million, Kibera, Nairobi (Kenya) with 7 million inhabitants, and Khayelistha, Cape Town (South Africa) with .4 million population are some notorious and largest slums of the developing countries.
Slums: A Conceptual Framework
Slums in India are  generally known as chaal or jhopadpatti (Mumbai), Katara or  Jhuggi jhopadi (Delhi),Basti (Kolkata), Cheri (Chennai), Ahaate (Kanpur), Kachchi Basti (Jaipur) , Gandi Basti (Bhopal, Indore) Barack  in tea estates and Ghobara in mining areas.
It was census-2001 when slums demography was presented on the basis of actual counting of population and in census - 2011 the datasets of housing stock, amenities and assets of slum dwellers were also enlisted. The 69th round of National Sample Survey-2012 was also on slums.  Before this survey the NSSO had done 31st (1976-77), 49th (1993), 58th (2002) and 65th (2008-9) survey rounds on various matters related to urban slums. During Census-2001 the following criteria (definition) of a slum was adopted-
1. All specified areas in a town or city notified as 'slum' by State or local government and Union Territories administration under any Act including a 'slum Act'.
2. All areas recognized as 'slum' by State or local government and Union Territories administration which may have been formally notified as slum under any Act.
3. A compact area of at least 300 population or about 60-70 households of poorly built congested tenements in unhygienic environment usually with inadequate infrastructure and lacking in proper sanitary and drinking water facilities.
Census-2001 declared 52.4 million (23.50% ) slum population in 1743 those urban areas where population was more than 20,000.
In 2008, a Committee on Slum Statistics/Census was constituted by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, under the chairmanship of Dr. Pronab Sen, Chief Statistician of India. The Committee submitted its report in August, 2010. This Committee had defined slums as- ‘‘a compact settlement of at least 20 households with a collection of poorly built tenements, mostly of temporary nature, crowded together usually with inadequate sanitary and drinking water facilities in unhygienic conditions. Further, the Committee had characterized a slum as-
1.Predominant roof material - any material other than concrete (RBC/RCC).
2.Availability of drinking water source- not within premises of the census house.
3.Availability of latrine-not within premises of the census house.
4.Drainage facility- no drainage or open drainage.
Some of the State Legislations i.e- Andhra  Pradesh Slum Improvement (Acquisition of Land ) Act, 1956, Punjab Slum areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act, 1961, Maharashtra Slum Areas (Improvement and Redevelopment) Act, 1971 and Madhya Pradesh Gandi Basti Kshetra (Sudhar Tatha Nirmulan) Adhiniyam, 1976 etc. define slums on various parameters .
The Sen Committee estimated that 75.26 million (26.31 %) population was residing in 5,161 urban areas in 2001 and also said that it will be 9.06 million in 2011. The Committee also opined that all statutory towns must be covered in slum census to achieve the goals of Rajiv Awas Yojana and slum-free India.
Slums in India:  A Statistical Compendium (2015) explained in detail the following attributes of Indian slums-
1. Lack of basic services.
2. Substandard housing or illegal and inadequate building structures.
3. Overcrowding and high density.
4. Unhealthy living conditions and hazardous locations.
5. Insecure tenure, irregular or informal settlements.
6. Poverty and social exclusion.
Slums in India
NSSO's  69th round found that there  were 33,510 slums in the country, out of that 13,761 were notified and 19,749 were non- notified slums, It means , the  growth of slums was faster than the notification process of the government. As per Census- 2011 data there were 65.49 million inhabitants living in 13.92 million households in slums.  About 5.4 % population of the entire country and 17.4% of urban population  was  residing in slums. That time 2,613 out of 4,041 statutory towns were having slums across the country.  31 States/Union Territories, except Manipur, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Laksdweep were having slums. Tamil Nadu has highest number (507) of towns which are suffering from slum problems followed by Madhya Pradesh (303),  Uttar Pradesh (293), Karnataka (206), Maharashtra (189), Andhra Pradesh (125), West Bengal (122), Rajasthan ( 107) , Gujarat (103), Chhattisgarh (94), Bihar (88), Odisha (76), Haryana (75), Punjab (73), Jammu and Kashmir (40), Assam (31), Jharkhand ( 31), Himachal Pradesh (22), NCT Delhi (22), Kerala (19), Tripura (15), Nagaland (11) and others have less than ten. So far as the highest population in slums is concerned, Maharashtra is on top with 11.85 million and is followed by Andhra Pradesh (10.19 million), West Bengal (6.42 million), Uttar Pradesh (6.24 million), Tamil Nadu (5.80million), Madhya Pradesh (5.69million), Karnataka (3.29 million), Rajasthan (2.07 million), Chhattisgarh (1.90 million), NCT Delhi (1.79 million), Gujarat (1.68 million), Haryana (1.66 million), Odisha (1.56 million), Punjab (1.46 million) and Bihar (1.24 Million) etc.
About 37% of slum population of India is residing in million plus cities.  Mumbai has 7.95% slum population of entire country followed by Hyderabad (3.49 %), Delhi (2.47%), Kolkata (2.15%), Chennai (2.05%) and Nagpur (1.31%). After Dharavi (Mumbai) some other notorious slums in India are Bhalswa (Delhi), Nachikuppam (Chennai), Rajendra Nagar (Bengluru), Basanti ( Kolkata), Indiramma Nagar (Hyderabad), Mehbullapur (Lucknow), Saroj Nagar (Nagpur), Parivartan (Ahmedabad) and Satnami Nagar ( Bhopal).
About half of the slum household had one room, however other general facilities were found somehow better. Nearly 79 % had permanent houses, 90% had electricity, 66 % had latrines and 67%  had bathrooms. Other infrastructure facilities and general civic amenities       were found in worrisome condition including drinking water, road lights, garbage disposal, drainage lines, Public Park, health and sanitation facilities, schools, law and order, social security, transport, banks and post offices and telecommunication etc.
Slums in India, especially the Dharavi in Mumbai have been the hot spot for film and documentary makers. They include Danny Boyle's famous movie 'Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Chakra (1981), Katha (1983), Mashaal (1984), Ankush (1986), Salaam Bombay (1988), Parinda (1989), Saleem Langde Pe Mat Ro (1989), Dharavi (1991), Satyaa (1998), Bombay Boys (1998), Chandani Bar (2001), Company (2002), D ( 2005), Taxi No. 9211 ( 2006), and Dhobi  Ghat (2010).
Policy initiatives
The Millennium Development Goals and the post -2015 development agenda regarding Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) emphasizes, inter-alia on improving the conditions of urban population living in slums. Goal-11 of SDG says cities and human settlements are to be made inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. In fact, the face of any smart city is adjudged by slum development. In 1972 Government of India took serious policy initiative for slum development through the programme on 'environmental improvement of urban slums'. During Fifth Five Year Plan, the World Bank assisted slum upgradation programme was implemented. In 1985, urban basic services programme was executed in most of the cities of India. In 1986, National Slum Development Programme was started. In recent years 'Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) has been implemented.  Some other schemes like  - Integrated Low Cost Sanitation- ILCS (1980-81),  Swarn Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana - SJSRY (1997),    Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojana-  VAMBAY (2001), Jawaharlal Nehru  National Urban  Renewal Mission - JNNURM (2005), Rajiv Awas Yojana (2011) and Affordable Housing in Partnership- AHP  (2013)  also been implemented. The Smart City Programme launched on 25th June, 2015 to renew and develop 100 self sustained cities across the country on a competitive mode with the active collaboration of State Governments. In June, 2015 the government of India launched 'Housing for All by 2022' mission. Rehabilitation of slum dwellers with partnership of private developers using land as a resource and promotion of affordable housing for weaker sections through credit linked subsidy are main component of the mission.
Mega cities like Mumbai made some specific efforts for slum development through its administrative body -Slum Rehabilitation Authority which was constituted in 1995 after Afzulpukar Committee's recommendations.  This authority was created by an amendment in the Maharashtra Slum Areas (Improvement and Redevelopment) Act, 1971.    It is responsible for monitoring the growth of slums and to rehabilitate the inhabitants of the slums. Some other cities like Ahmeadabad, Pune, Delhi, Vishakhapatnam and Bengluru have made some efforts.
Towards Slum- free India
It is really a herculean task to make India slum-free totally. However, the present chaotic situation can be changed with a holistic and integrated perspective planning. The success stories of Brazil's slum rehabilitation in Cidade de Deus, Rio de Janeirio and Pernambuco, Ban Mankong in Thailand and PRODEL in Nicaragua and even Dharavi in Mumbai proved that slum rehabilitation is a possible task.
 
Table-1
Slum and Non- Slum Population in Major Million Plus Cities (2011)
 
S. No.
1
Name of the City
Jabalpur
Total Population
10,81,677
Slum Population
4,83,626
Non Slum Population
5,98,051
% of slum Population in total population of  the city
44.71
 
 
 
                                                               
S. No.
2
Name of the City
Vishakhapattnam
Total Population
17,28,128
Slum Population
7,70,971
Non Slum Population
9,57,157
% of slum Population in total population of  the city
44.61
 
 
S. No.
3
Name of the City
Greater Mumbai
Total Population
1,24,42,373
Slum Population
52,06,473
Non Slum Population
72,35,900
% of slum Population in total population of  the city
41.84
 
S. No.
4
Name of the City
Meerut
Total Population
13,05,429
Slum Population
5,44,859
Non Slum Population
7,60,570
% of slum Population in total population of  the city
41.74
                                                               
S. No.
5
Name of the City
Raipur
Total Population
10,27,264
Slum Population
4,05,571
Non Slum Population
6,20,693
% of slum Population in total population of  the city
39.58    
                                               
S. No.
6
Name of the City
Vijayawada
Total Population
11,43,232
Slum Population
4,51,231              
Non Slum Population
6,92,001
% of slum Population in total population of  the city
39.47    
                               
S. No.
7
Name of the City
Nagpur
Total Population
24,05,665
Slum Population
8,59,487
Non Slum Population
15,46,178
% of slum Population in total population of  the city
35.73
                                                               
S. No.
8
Name of the City
Agra
Total Population
15,85,704
Slum Population
5,33,554
Non Slum Population
10,52,150
% of slum Population in total population of  the city
33.65
                                                               
S. No.
9
Name of the City
Greater Hyderabad
Total Population
69,93,262
Slum Population
22,87,014
Non Slum Population
47,06,248                                                            
% of slum Population in total population of  the city
32.70
 
S. No.
10
Name of the City
Kota
Total Population
10,01,694
Slum Population
3,19,309
Non Slum Population
6,82,385
% of slum Population in total population of  the city
31.88    
                                               
S. No.
11
Name of the City
Kolkata
Total Population
44,96,694
Slum Population
14,09,721
Non Slum Population
30,86,973
% of slum Population in total population of  the city
31.35                                                    
 
 
Suggestions:
First and foremost thing is to identify the causes of mushroom growth of slums in the cities. Poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, forced migration; social discrimination and ineffective municipal administration are some root causes. Most of the slum dwellers are those daily  labourers, port workers, fishermen, maids, factory workers, hawkers, rag pickers, rickshaw pullers, artisans, painters, hawkers and private sector unorganized workers etc who came from villages to a city for their livelihood . They do not have any land in their village or the piece of land is not enough or fertile to fulfill their family needs. Most of them belong to backward classes of the society. They need right to work, right to shelter and right to food first. The agencies that are responsible for town planning and town civic amenities must perform their duties effectively and in a co-ordinated manner. Thirdly, the employers should be made responsible for providing shelter to their workers if they have more than five employees. Mass and public housing in transit hostel mode should be available in every statutory town to solve the issue. The slums, which are existing since decades cannot be replaced easily due to                    vote-bank politics and various          sectors' manpower supply including professional rally audience, criminals, political party workers and trade union workers. 
Fourthly, the government must fix the share or percentage of numbers of affordable housing for poor people, built by the  private builders and real estate developers as well as government agencies like development authorities and housing boards.  It is high time to check the population growth in the country to enjoy the fruits of technological advancements and modern civic facilities by each segment of the society. Since, natural resources are meagre in amount and not ever lasting, hence the only  way is to control the number of consumers and to use resources wisely and ethically.
The author is a Professor in Public Administration, Mohanal Sukhadia University, Udaipur, Raj.
E-mail: Skkataria64@rediffmail.com