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Problems of Slums

Problems of Slums

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Slums: The Magnitude of the Problem

Demolitions and the government’s consequent announcement of de-listing these illegal settlers from electoral rolls is a way of effacing without recognition an entire category of citizens, some of whom are reluctant migrants from elsewhere who provide essential services to the city. In Mumbai out of the total population of 11 million about 55% constitute its slum population and occupy about 12.85 % of the city’s total land area. It is also important to note that a greater portion of thee lands on which slums are located today were previously uninhabitable and it is through the efforts of the slum dwellers that these lands were “reclaimed” and rendered habitable. Approximately 5.5 to 6 million live in slums in the most unhygienic and filthy conditions and another one million live on the pavements. It is also estimated that nearly 2 million people live as tenants in rented premises, a large number of which are old and dilapidated structures, including ‘chawls’. As a result we find that nearly 8.5 million of the city’s population lives in substandard or unsafe housing conditions under the abuse and continuous threat of displacement. Today it is said that about 82 % of the population live in one room abode. This housing situation blatantly exposes the continuing indifference, neglect and lack of the will of the government towards housing and living conditions in the city.

Also as many studies have already established, blame for the deteriorating quality of life in the city lies elsewhere and not in the mushrooming of slums, that in any case takes up only 12.85 % of land (this, however, is real estate worth over Rs 80,000 crore). The myth that slums are causing an untold pressure on the already limited resources available also falls flat on its face since what Mumbai has witnessed is the proliferation of slums which have minimal access to even the most basic of civic services such as water, electricity, schools, health facility, sanitation, toilets and, of course, shelter and land.

It is quite alarming that in the name of urban renewal, the cited solution to make urban areas more “beautiful” and “habitable” is slum demolitions. This has lead to a large-scale dispossession of minimum property and other obvious loss of food security, shelter, livelihood, nutrition and education among others. In other words the continuous struggle for survival of the slum dwellers has taken an even more precarious turn. It is clear that the

presence of slums offends the middle-class and elite having their own notions of sanitation and hygiene, which cannot accommodate the slum dwellers.

However, it must be remembered that slum demolitions have been taking place for decades now and it is just the justification that changes. From the moralistic position that “illegals” and “encroachers” should not be rewarded at the cost of tax-paying law-abiding citizens (read middle-class and elite) to the oft-stated lament that slums are draining the limited resources of the city to the justification that it is for the benefit of the slum dwellers that they are getting evicted to the need to keep the city “clean” and “beautiful”. Today the justification is that Mumbai needs to be developed into a Global City on the lines of Shanghai and as such this requires the ejection of squalor i.e. slum dwellers. This is similar to the eviction drive in the early 1980s when the vision for Mumbai was Singapore and then too slum dwellers found no place in its vision.

Notice of demolition The eviction of huts, whenever necessary according to the law, can only be done so in accordance with the law.

The Slum Act clearly lays down that before any intended demolitions the concerned slum dwellers must be served with notices informing them of the intentions of the Municipality and also offering an opportunity to them to make a case for themselves. This, however, has not been done in most of the slum demolitions carried out from December 2004 onwards.

When the question of removal of huts constructed by pavement dwellers over municipal land again arose in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation v. Nawab Khan Gulan Khan, in 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that the municipality could remove the huts by following a reasonable procedure. ‘It is for the Court to decide in exercise of its constitutional power of judicial review whether the deprivation of life or personal liberty in a given case is by procedure which is reasonable, fair and just or if it is otherwise.’ The Court further held that in case of encroachment of recent original the necessity to follow the procedure of principles of natural justice can be obviated but where the corporation has allowed settlement of encroachers for a long time,

reasonable notice of two weeks or 10 days and a personal hearing should be allowed before removal of encroachment.

It is a matter of principle accepted by the Courts as seen in Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corpn. and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation v. Nawab Khan Gulan Khan that the serving of notice if mandatory before eviction.

Use of police force The use of police force in slum demolitions is a standard practice and excessively so in the present demolitions that have taken place. Needless to add any opposition to the demolitions by the slum dwellers is met with lathi charges and bullets. What we have seen in the demolition from 8th December is …

Impact on people What is worse is the manner in which the demolitions occur. In the past, the demolition squad would come with sticks and axes and manually break down the structure. This gave the "encroacher" the time to save his or her belongings. Today, there is no such luxury. Bulldozers and earthmovers appear overnight aided by the police. Within a few hours, structures that have been built by the poor incrementally over years are flattened. There is little time to save anything. Sometimes even the papers that would establish that the hutment existed before the cut-off date are flattened with the structure.

The plots where the demolitions took place are being policed and slum dwellers say that even temporary structures, built with bamboo poles and plastic sheets, are being pulled down. Thousands of children have not been able to attend school because of the demolitions, parents are afraid to go to work and leave what little they have salvaged of their belongings in the open, and old people are suffering the cold nights without a roof over their heads.

Impact on Children

The anganwadis and balwadis that were running in some of the demolished slums have also been stopped causing further problems for the children. Now the children are in a situation where they are without any shelter. It is also pertinent to note that the children. particularly with regard to nutrition.1 states: "No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy. legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child. home or correspondence. 2000. Further the children are also in a position where any access to health services is restricted totally. maltreatment or exploitation. injury or abuse. fall under the definition of a child in need of care and protection according to Chapter I of the the Juvenile Justice (Care And Protection Of Children) Act. approximately about 1. The evictions have infringed on all these articles and actually endangered the children in every which way. is immense and unconstitutional and also in contravention of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in resolution 44/25 of 20th November 1989 and entered into force on 2nd September 1990. Article 27. nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation". where Sec 2 (d) defines a "child in need of care and protection" also to include a child who is found without any home or settled place or abode and without any ostensible means of subsistence. including sexual abuse. to put it simply. social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence.” 3. administrative. Article 16.3 states: "States Parties in accordance with national conditions and within their means shall take appropriate measures to assist parents and others responsible for the child to implement this right and shall in case of need provide material assistance and support programmes. According to the Convention. family. clothing and housing". Article 19. neglect or negligent treatment.25 lakhs in number. 2. education and no guarantee of food and nutrition. while in the care of parent(s). 1.1 states: “States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative.The impact of the demolitions on children. .

they invoked the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 32. all citizens have the right to practice any profession. This hand-to-mouth existence of the slums dwellers has now been totally destroyed and they have been denied of these livelihoods.It is imperative now that the State Advisory Board constituted under Sec 62 of the said Act to move immediately and evolve ways to ensure the protection of these children. The Right to livelihood of pavement dwellers comes into danger during times of evictions. engaged in different trades through self-employment to working as daily wage labourers. Right to life under Article 21 includes right to livelihood. Most of them work in places close to their areas of settlement. in terms of the constitutional phraseology is that the eviction of . Most of the earning members of the dishoused families have not been able to earn a living post the evictions. (1985) 3 SCC 545. and if this right were to be affected without reasonable procedure established by law. In Olga Tellis v.572. Livelihood According to Article 19(1) (g). without due process of law. ‘The conclusion. provision of facilities for education. training and rehabilitation of child in need of care and protection and juvenile in conflict with law and co-ordination among the various official and non-official agencies concerned. and evictions and relocations would disturb this right. it would be violative of Article 21. trade or business. the Court came to hold that the ‘right to life ‘guaranteed by Article 21 includes the right to livelihood. mobilisation of resources. With the defining of the word ‘life’ in Article 21in a broad and expansive manner. prior. The law provides that the role of the Board is to advise that Government on matter relating to the establishment and maintenance of the homes. Most of the slum dwellers who have been evicted were. to the evictions. or to carry on any occupation. therefore. Bombay Municipal Corpn. when the squatters and the pavement-dwellers were sought to be ejected by the respondent. A Constitution Bench held that their eviction from the dwellings would not only result in deprivation of shelter but would also inevitably lead to deprivation of their means of livelihood which means deprivation of life in as much as the pavement dwellers were employed in the vicinity of their dwellings.

be compellable to provide adequate means of livelihood or work to the citizen. UOI and others (Writ Petition 196 of 2001): (i)Annapurna Scheme This scheme has been transferred from the Central government to the State plan in the year 2002-03.’ Taking recourse to Article 39(a) (which requires the state to direct its policy towards securing that all citizens. different in colour from other ration cards. what Article 21 insists is that such deprivation ought to be according to procedure established by law which should be ‘fair. Right to Food Towards ensuring food security and in establishing every citizen’s Right to Food the Supreme Court has overseen the announcement of the following schemes as per it’s Orders in PUCL vs. the Supreme Court included the right to livelihood in its ambit.’ Therefore by this judgment. anyone who is deprived of his right to livelihood without just and fair procedure established by law can challenge deprivation as being against Article 21. Under this scheme food grains are distributed to the destitute/senior citizens covered under National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS). any person who is deprived of his right to livelihood except according to just and fair procedure established by law. The beneficiaries for this scheme are selected by the District Collectors. just and reasonable’. are supposed to be printed by the Collectors and issued to the beneficiaries for supply of 10 kgs of rice free of cost through Public Distribution System shops. Thereby. The Court also held that ‘The State may not by affirmative action. But. . “Annapurna” ration cards. can challenge the deprivation as offending the right to life conferred by Article 21. irrespective of sex. equally have the right to an adequate means of livelihood) to interpret Art 21. The beneficiaries will be supplied 10 kgs of rice per month free of cost under the scheme. This means that the municipality must give anyone they seek to evict a notice and hearing.the petitioners will lead to deprivation of their livelihood and consequently to the deprivation of their life.

National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) 3. pregnant women and nursing mothers belonging to poorest of the poor families and living in disadvantaged areas including backward rural areas. retention and attendance while simultaneously improve the nutritional standards of the children in the primary classes. The Panchayati Raj Institutions are the implementing authorities. . (iv)National Social Assistance Programme It includes three components: 1. The PRIs along with the Municipalities may also be involved in monitoring and in following up delays in sanctions and disbursement. The objectives of this scheme are to improve the nutritional and health status of school children in the age-group of 0-6 years and also to enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education. National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS). The ICDS centres or Anganwadi would be the centre of convergence of all the services. The identification of beneficiaries is done through surveying the community and identifying the families living below the poverty line. tribal areas and urban slums.(ii)Integrated Child Development Services Scheme The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) targets the most vulnerable groups of population including children up to 6 years of age. (iii)Mid-day Meal Scheme The main aim of this scheme is to work towards universalization of primary education by increasing the enrolment. National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS) 2.

The State Government shall issue distinctive ration cards to Above Poverty Line. The family must be one which is below the poverty line. The ration card.15. The woman must be more than 19 years of age and must belong to a family below the poverty line.Rs. 000/.The scales of benefit under the NSAP would be as below: •National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS): Rs.75/. The ‘primary breadwinner’ will be the member of the household -male or female. Below Poverty Line and Antyodaya families and shall conduct periodical review and checking of the ration cards.whose earnings contribute substantially to the total household income.10.will be contributed by the Central Government and the remaining will be contributed by the state government. Of this Rs. Age-65 years and above. •National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS): Rs.per month. •National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS): Rs. 1997 as a revised form of the former PDS with special focus on the poor. The money will be paid after local enquiry to the “head” of the household. The PDS (Control) Order.per pregnancy up to the first two live births.500/. 000/. (vi)Antyodaya Anna Yojana This scheme is a part of the Public Distribution Scheme where people under certain specified categories are identified and food grains are provided to these people who hold the Antyodaya cards. The primary bread winner must be more than 18 years of age and less than 65 years of age. Out of this the Central Government share will be Rs.200/. It is desirable that the child receives one dose of oral polio and BCG vaccination at birth and the first dose of DPT and polio in the sixth week. Must be a destitute with a very small or no source of income. (v)Targeted Public Distribution System The TPDS was introduced in June. . 2001 defines "Antyodaya families" to mean those poorest families from amongst Below Poverty Line (BPL) families identified by the State Governments and entitled to receive food grains under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana. These people are provided separate ration cards.and the remaining will be contributed by the state government.in case of death of the primary breadwinner to the bereaved household.holder shall be entitled to draw essential commodities from a fair price shop on weekly basis.200/.

graveyards and garbage heaps.05. etc. According to surveys conducted by the NAPM post the evictions. need to care for a disabled. has been halted with the evictions. ●Households where due to old age. However. disabled. children. .2003 directed that the following group of people under his scheme: ●Aged. even whatever little was implemented. have been forced to stay under the open sky in cemeteries. Not only have people lost their livelihoods but also many have lost whatever meager savings and possessions they had. or other reasons.The Supreme Court in its order dated 02. pregnant and locating women. ●Households with a disabled adult and assured means of subsistence. Old Age Pension Scheme. it was found that schemes such as the TPDS. ●Primitive tribes. pregnant women. social customs. UOI and others (WP 196 of 2001) been put in place and running. ICDS and Mid-day Meal for school going children etc. lack of physical or mental fitness. Antyodaya Yojana. Maternity Benefits. ●Widows and other single women with no regular support. no adult member is available to engage in gainful employment outside the house. infirm. The forceful evictions and demolitions of houses of slum dwellers have violated peoples right to food. destitute women. ●Old persons (aged 60 or above) with no regular support and no assured means of subsistence. The effect is that many families are now struggling to manage even one square meal a day. Left with no shelter people including the old. etc. destitute men and women. for example while almost all families are eligible under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana but they are not getting any benefits under this scheme. This effect would have probably been less had the food security network mandated by the Supreme Court in PUCL vs. Annapoorna.

Except that the Government has been selectively tolerant even as this "cutoff" date has edged forward and now stands at January 1. It was premised on the recognition that slum dwellers had invested in developing the land and the structures. they live with low-end underpaid uncertain livelihoods. So the security of tenure came at a price. Those who can establish that they set up house before that date are entitled to either alternative accommodation. This was part of the Slum Redevelopment Scheme (SRS) brought in by the Maharashtra Government in 1998. free of charge. . In the same letter the Commissioner has gone at length to draw the attention of the state government to the various schemes that hadn’t been implemented in the slums that were demolished. successive governments have resorted to piecemeal solutions of which the most has been to set a "cut-off" date — that is a date after which no encroachment on public or private land will be tolerated. they had to pay charges to the housing society. 1995. Even in normal time. the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party promised that this date would be further extended up to 2000. Saxena. once the slum dwellers moved into their "free" house. has clearly articulated these concerns. they have hastily backtracked. Instead of getting to the bottom of the problem.Shri N. if that land is needed for any other public purpose or can bring in a developer to construct formal housing on that land. After demolitions. He has stated that “…the slum demolitions have created a grave humanitarian crisis of food security of the erstwhile slum residents. But having won the election and formed the Government. The "cut-off" date essentially means that the Government will not be responsible for people who have encroached on land after that date. The parties that form the present State Government in Maharashtra. In any case. which is that of finding ways to increase the affordable housing stock in the city. Commissioner appointed by the Supreme Court in this matter. So the "free" house was notional as it was essentially to compensate for their labour in making the land on which the slum stands habitable.C. Cut-off date Progressive governments have taken it on themselves to set a “cut-off” date for rehabilitation of slum dwellers.2005 to the Chief Secretary.05. the precarious subsistence of the residents stands further threatened. and I request that this gets the highest attention of the state government”. in his letter dated 04.

19 and Art. It is to be remembered that the Preamble the arch of the Constitution which accords to every citizen of India socioeconomic and political justice. They cannot be pushed out on the street. the right to residence and to settle in any part of the country is assured to every citizen. These are citizens of this country. fraternity among the people and diguity of the person to make India an integrated and united Bharat in a socialist secular democratic republic. Any attempt in that behalf would be unconstitutional. Moreover all human rights are indivisible and the government cannot say that they will recognize these rights up to a certain date and not beyond that date. antagonism towards diverse religious beliefs and faith and dialectical difference would be smoothened and the people would be integrated with dignity of person only when social and economic democracy . fraternity.On paper. or forced to "return" to their so-called native place just because there is work available but nowhere to live in the city. The policy or principle should be such that everyone should have the opportunity to migrate and settle down in any part of Bharat where opportunity for employment or better living conditions are available and. “Article 19(e) of the Constitution provides to all citizens fundamental rights to travel.14 of the Constitution. To quote from the judgment. Nawab Khan Gulab Khan And Others. Further it is inconsistent with the observations of the Supreme Court in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. The Preamble of the Constitution assures integrity of the nation. in the Relief Road case it is difficult to appreciate the Court's endorsement of a cut-off date of 1st January 1995 for being eligible for an alternate accommodation. The fundamental rights and the directive principles and the Preamble being trinity of the Constitution. Further. it would be unconstitutional and impermissible to prevent the persons from migrating and settling at places where they find their livelihood and means of avocation. while the poor and the homeless can never enter this city. equality of opportunity and of status. liberty. the Government's stand on a cut-off date might sound reasonable if you argue that it is not the job of governments to provide houses for everyone. It also means that the rich can always come into the city and acquire any place of his choice. In a secular socialist democratic republic of Bharat hierarchical caste structure. settle down and reside in any part of Bharat and none have right to prevent their settlement. it cannot have the same attitude towards the people living in those structures. It is patently ultra vires Art. dignity of person in an integrated Bharat. Appellant V. But in reality it translates into denying people basic rights just because they are poor. For while the Government can have a tough policy on structures built illegally on public lands. therefore.

The difference due to caste. This is not a matter of astonishment since. Thus we see that even those migrating into Mumbai and forming its poor are Dalits.” In such a context it is imperative to examine whether the state has taken any special care to address the needs of slum dwellers as Dalits and not only looking at them through the lens of legality. . “As held earlier. Thus in the urban context generations of Dalits are born and bred in slums while in the rural context the reality if of landlessness and next-to-no economic opportunities. Articles 38. Social democracy means a way of life with dignity of person as a normal social intercourse with liberty. It positively charges the State to distribute its largess to the weaker sections of the society envisaged in Article 46 to make socio-economic justice a reality. right to residence is one of the minimal human rights as fundamental right. The economic democracy implicits in itself that the inequalities in income and inequalities in opportunities and status should be minimised and as far as possible marginalised. especially in the case of Dalits who are born into the circle of poverty. Due to want of facilities and opportunities. equality and fraternity. as its economic policy. meaningful and fruitful so as to make life worth living with dignity of person and a equality of status and to constantly improve excellence. to provide socioeconomic justice to minimise inequalities in income and in opportunities and status. 39 and 46 mandate the State. sect or religion pose grave threat to affinity.” The Court further held that. the right to residence and settlement is an illusion to the rural and urban poor.is established under the rule of law.” Dalits It is important to take note of the fact that a predominant number of slum dwellers are dalit or Muslim. equality and fraternity. The National Commission on Urbanisation in 1988 states that”…there is a much higher incidence of poverty among scheduled castes and tribes than is warranted by their proportions in the general population of the city.

in implementation of the housing scheme evolved for them. Similarly separate budget would also be allocated to other weaker sections of the society and the backward classes to further their socioeconomic advancement. housing accommodation also would be evolved and from that respective budget allocation the amount needed for housing accommodation for them should also be earmarked separately and implemented as an ongoing process of providing facilities and opportunities including housing accommodation to the rural or urban poor and other backward classes of people. Any acts in violation thereof or diversion of allocated funds. As a facet of it. in particular the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes with socio-economic and political justice and to prevent their exploitation and to prevent them from injustice. the annual budget including for housing accommodation is being prepared and passed by Parliament. annually provide housing accommodation to them within the allocated budget and effectively and sincerely implement them using the allocations for the respective schemes so that the right to residence a to them would become a reality and meaningful and the budget allocation should not either be diverted or used for any other scheme meant for other weaker sections of the society. namely. 28. the Union of India or the appropriate State Government or the local bodies implement these schemes for housing accommodation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes or any other schemes. The executive forfeits the faith and trust reposed in it by Article 261 of the Constitution. misuse or misutilisation. when the State. Appellant V. in compliance with the mandates of Articles 46. 39 and 38. The Planning Commission has evolved the principle of allotment of a specified percentage for the overall development of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The Union of India have evolved Indira Avas Yojna Scheme exclusively to provide housing accommodation to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and separate annual budgets are being allotted in that behalf by Parliament and the appropriate legislatures in allied matters. would be in negation of constitutional objectives defeating and deflecting the goal envisioned in the Preamble of the Constitution. Therefore. In that behalf. Similarly for other schemes covered by the State budgets. As a facet thereof. where it observed that. Nawab Khan Gulab Khan And Others. are charged with the constitutional duty to provide the weaker sections. “The State and consequentially the local authorities.This in fact is the opinion of the Supreme Court in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. they should. . the budgetary allocation should exclusively be spent for them and should not be diverted to ally other projects or similar schemes meant for others.

The Union Law Commission would examine this question. It is common knowledge that when Government allows largess to the poor. 19 of them have left the places. integrity.” Availability of land within city The so-called shortage of residential land is a myth especially in the core of Mumbai since there is a enough vacant land that can be utilized for slum rehabilitation and re-housing except that the ownership of the lands rest in the hands of some very powerful elite against which the state has refused to take action despite obvious illegalities therein. such transfers are void ab initio conferring no right. Scheduled Castes. The facts in this case do disclose that out of 29 encroachers who have constructed the bouses on pavements. In some of the States law has already been made in that behalf declaring such transfers void with power to resume the property and allot the same to other needy people from these schemes. live in one locality in an integrated social group so that social harmony. The expenditure should be met from the respective budgetary provisions allotted to their housing schemes and in the respective proportion be utilised.29. should be such that the lands allotted or houses constructed/plots allotted be in such a manner that all the sections of the society. obviously due to such pressures and interests of the rest have come into existence by way of purchase. title or interest therein. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes who are settled in the allotted government properties/houses/plots of lands are compelled or driven by pressures to leave the places to settle at some other place. therefore. fraternity and amity would be fostered. the alienation or transfer is opposed to the constitutional objectives and public policy. Therefore. Scheduled Tribes. It would take care of the third question raised by the appellant. It would. All of them would. religious and caste distinction would no longer remain a barrier for harmonised social intercourse and integration. Backward Classes and other poor are integrated as cohesive social structure. therefore. be of necessity that the policy of the Government in executing the policies of providing housing accommodation either to the rural poor or the urban poor. The powerful real estate lobby also plays a critical role in ensuring that vacant lands are not freed up . Other States should also follow suit and if necessary Parliament may make comprehensive law in this behalf. by pressures or surreptitious means or in the language of the appellantd Corporation "the slum lords" exert pressures on the vulnerable sections of the society to vacate their place of occupation and shift for settlement to other vacant lands belonging to the State or municipalities or private properties by encroachment. This would have deleterious effect on the integration and social cohesion and public resources are wasted and the constitutional objectives defeated. When such persons part with possession in any manner known to law.

.” Thus. clearly. the price to be ultimately charged is the most relevant and crucial factor. All the land in excess of this ceiling was supposed to be returned to the government. the objective of the Act was putting in place a process by which affordable housing stock would be made available for the urban poor within a reasonable span of time. Further. on vacant urban land in Mumbai that could be held in private ownership. the state government can acquire these lands. “This Government has been seriously considering as to how best the objective of creating appropriate housing stock which will be within the affordable means of poor can be achieved. the state government had acquired 50. The Government is convinced that with a view to making the dwelling units affordable. the latter has been hand-in-glove with the builders. but thus far. this housing stock has to be made available within a reasonable span of time. Lands available on enforcement of Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act of 1976: The Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act of 1976 sought to control land speculation and to achieve a more equitable distribution of land by putting a ceiling of 500 sq. January 29. which could use it for housing the poor. in larger numbers of appropriate quality. m. mainly under Section 20 or 21 of the Act.000 acres of land from farmers and small holders and handed it over to the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) for the development of Navi Mumbai (interview with Mrinal Gore in The Asian Age. Optionally. The National Commission on Urbanization in 1987 reported that 91 individuals in Mumbai own 55% of vacant land. Clearly what can be inferred is that while the lands are available there is no political or bureaucratic will to utilize these available lands for housing slum dwellers. 2005). The objective of the Government Resolution dated 22nd August 1986 is clearly laid down in the guidelines of the government resolution. for the excess vacant land on the condition that the said land would be used to build one-room tenements for the weaker sections % of the land (as per the GR of 1986). 4. under the ULCRA.850 acres of land still lie vacant and can be used for rehabilitation. In 1970.for utilization for slum dwellers. the owners could seek exemption.

m. there are 58 cotton mills in Mumbai. while the housing stock meant for the rich people went up. not a single one-room tenement was made for the weaker sections. in 350 acres.. of these 26 were deemed sick and were taken over by the government of India. which being of the nature of one-room tenements for the weaker sections of the society. According to an article on the web. 25 are managed by National Textile Corporation (NTC) and by Maharashtra State Textile . Mill lands: The other source of available and un-utilized vacant land that is highly contested is about 500 acres of Mill lands. leading to a total defeat of the stated objectives of the Act.e.However. These restrictions actually reduced the supply of formal land. One such example is that of a huge shopping mall by the name ATRIA that is coming up in Worli area on a plot of land which was reserved for housing the dishoused. but there was no corresponding increase in the housing stock meant for the poor people in the slums who are mostly employed by such rich people as their servants. security guards etc. this has not happened. Lands reserved for construction of houses for the dishoused people: Lands that have been reserved as HD lands as per the Development Plan and meant for housing the dishoused have also been openly used for other purposes even though housing for the poor is one of the main lacunae in the urban policy of the state. Large tracts of vacant land which was supposed to build a predominant number of houses as of 25 sq. i. As a result of such criminal acts. Some of the major owners of vast stretches of vacant land in Mumbai are charitable trusts of big industrialists and businessmen. drivers. The Act was often by-passed by using the ‘exemption clause’ by manipulation and getting permission from the Corporation to build. were converted into sprawling townships meant for the rich and the famous. Out of these. One such blatant example is that of Hiranandani Constructions where more than 500 acres of land in Thane and Mumbai which were to house one-room tenements for the weaker sections in 70% of the land.

Jupiter. Obviously now there is absolutely no talk of housing for the poor on these lands. Parity An issue that needs to be looked into is the multiplicity of projects that have been undertaken and the different standards for the rehabilitation of the slum dwellers affected by these. Kohinoor Mills No 3. provides for development of sick and/ or closed cotton textile mills on condition that one third of the land is given to the BMC for public amenities and 27-37 % (depending on the area of the mill) is given to the MHADA and PSU’s for housing. On 29th February 1996. Mumbai. Remaining 32 mills continue to be in the private sector. Maharashtra government had instituted a study group under the chairmanship of Architect Charles Correa to have an integrated development plan for the development of textile mills. in a manner. The remaining lands could be developed by the owner for residential and commercial uses as may be permissible under the DC regulation in force. after reneging on its election promise of rehabilitating slum dwellers upto . In June 2000 state government cleared the proposals to sale of surplus mill land of NTC as per DCR. 421 crores by Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi's son and others. was bought for Rs. NTC alone having 275 acres in its possession.021 crores. these mills continue to be sick. Textile mills hold 400 to 500 acres of land just in the heart of Greater Mumbai. Apollo. Kohinoor 3 and Elphinstone – for 2. without any portion of the land becoming available either for low income housing or for public amenities. which would create coherent urban form. NTC sold five of its properties in Mumbai .Corporation (MSTC). Earlier this year.for Rs 702 crores. while the Mumbai Textile Mills were sold to the Jwala group – a joint venture between the Delhi based DLF group and the Mumbai-based Akruti Nirman group . one of the defunct textile units at Dadar here. Even after taken over. The DC regulation of March 1991 intended to regulate the development of cotton textile mills so as to generate open spaces and public houses for the city. While on one hand the government. Regulation 58 of the new DCR which came into force in March 1991. Such redevelopment that has occurred has been in a piece meal and haphazard manner on a totally commercial basis.

8 million people in 1. A second count in 1983 found 1. roads. PDS. This again is a critical issue that needs to be taken much more seriously than it is. etc. they give only an idea of the magnitude of the problems of low-cost housing in urban India.000 persons per square kilometer! On the other hand. Recent estimates claim that about 40% of the city's population live in 3. These numbers do not capture the human cost of slums. Half of Bombay lives in Slums Since the beginning of the city. slums have been a part of Bombay's landscape. electricity.9 million. The number of people living on pavements was estimated to be 700. It is a fact that the seats that the Congress won in Mumbai were due to these promises to the slum dwellers. Election promises reneged on… The last issue that we have taken up is the accountability of political parties with regard to their elction promises.000. toilets.680 settlements all over Bombay.400 persons per square kilometer in the slums of Bombay. They contained 4. the first official enumeration of the population living in slums was performed only in 1976. the cut-off date is said to be December 2004 (???)! Access to basic amenities prior to eviction…water.2000. However. However. The Congress party during the election campaign and in its Manifesto have clearly promised housing and regularisation of encorachments upto 2000. The population density in these enclaves then come out to be 400.12.5% of its area. the rehabilitation plan for Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) lays down that the slum dwellers who were covered by the survey to enumerate the project affected persons will be rehabilitated. schools.12.31. The total population was then 5. The forcible eviction of slum dwellers implies the forcible denial of access to basic services and many constitutional rights. Where are the slums? . It found 2. Therefore. has now moved a Letter of Motion in the Relief Road seeking the Court’s permission to up the cut off date to 31.930 settlements.572 households.3 million people in 924. These two populations accounted for about half of Bombay's citizens. PHCs. the 1991 census calculates a density of 16. now the Congress appears to be reneging on its promises.2000. On the other hand.

it would be the most heavily populated "urban agglomeration" in the world. Sanitation is poor in Mumbai's best-known slum Mumbai's increase in population will partly be caused by increasing life expectancy and partly by migration from other. poorer. with their own traditional industries. for the first time in human history. Data from the 1984 survey fraction of slums 50% 18% 16% 9% 6% on land owned by Private BMC State government Maharashtra Housing Board Central government Mumbai's slum life poses world problem This year. That is the conclusion of a new study from the Population Division of the United Nations.In the 19th century slums grew around the mills and other places of employment. Although older slums in Byculla. And the UN forecasts that total will rise to more than 26 million by 2025. Although Mumbai is India's commercial capital and rents for luxury apartments are some of the highest in the world.according to the UN . most people who live in slums work outside them. Few places demonstrate this as clearly as Mumbai in India. Dharavi and Khar were initially separate villages. . Mumbai . it is estimated that more than half the city's population live in slums. And the steady migration of people from rural areas to cities brings huge problems in its wake. apart from Tokyo and its surroundings. parts of India. Now they grow in any empty space.has a population of 19 million. there will be more people living in towns and cities than in the countryside. At that point.

He is not opposed to the idea of redevelopment. As Mumbai has expanded.000 families. But he argues that the current proposal is too generous to the property developers and does not provide enough for the Dharavi community. But there is fierce opposition to the scheme within Dharavi. The campaigners claim that there are something like 90. Rajiv Korde is 40 and has lived in the area all his life. Suspicious residents There is a fierce argument about numbers. The slum tenements would be torn down. But some Dharavi residents are suspicious that charges for water and electricity may be more than they can afford. part of the land sold for commercial property development and some of the profits used to build high rise blocks and workshops for the Dharavi community. So the idea was born that Dharavi could be redeveloped.000 families living in Dharavi now. The new apartments will be provided free. He speaks with pride of the community spirit and the tolerance between the slum's many different religious groups. so not everyone will be accommodated. determined to bring improved healthcare. education and job opportunities to Dharavi. as well as big profits for the property developers chosen to take part in the scheme. but sanitation is poor with open sewers along the alleyways. There are public toilets and water taps. It is a chaotic warren of narrow alleys where tiny homes and workshops sit side by side. the 600 acres of land which Dharavi occupies has become increasingly valuable real estate. He made his fortune by building luxury homes in the US and now describes himself as a "social entrepreneur".And controversial plans to redevelop the slums highlight some of the problems faced by mega-cities around the world. Mukesh Mehta's redevelopment plan envisages building new apartments for 57. Workshops are a prominent feature of The man who has been driving the scheme forward for over a Dharavi decade is Mukesh Mehta. Open sewers The biggest and best-known slum in Mumbai is Dharavi. .

But what can one do or say…afterall “Yeh Hai Mumbai. "Apart from that. And as well as finding ways to improve the quality of life for rural migrants to the cities.3 billion in 2007 to 6. The United Nations report concludes that the number of people living in urban areas will rise from 3."The government are interested in the land. "There is a small vested interest group which is trying to disrupt this project.4 billion in 2050. And by then." And Mr Mehta believes that the idea of what he calls "public-private partnership" could be used to redevelop big city slums in other parts of the world. The development plan has sparked protests by Dharavi residents Property developers have submitted detailed proposals on how they would participate in the scheme and a short list of participants is being drawn up. We have a democracy and consent is compulsory. . That means about 70% of the world's population will be living in cities. Mumbai Slums Statistics made available by the World Bank recently. Here is a look at some Mumbai stats and facts. And it is certainly one of the great challenges of the 21st Century." says Rajiv Korde. Urban challenge Solutions to the problems caused by the urbanisation of the world's population are certainly needed. the urban area of Mumbai will have reached an almost unimaginable size. many development specialists argue that more needs to be done to divert investment towards impoverished rural areas. there is a huge amount of support for this project throughout Dharavi. "The more you invest in cities. a leading Indian writer on environmental issues. Meri Jaan”." he argues. won’t sound all that alarming to most Mumbaikars but will surely raise an eyebrow of many living outside Mumbai city. The prospect of ever-larger cities alarms many governments around the world. the government can't start this project." maintains Mr Mehta. Darryl D'Monte." Mukesh Mehta remains confident that the redevelopment will go ahead. not the people. the less you are investing in the countryside and you are just perpetuating the problem. "Without the consent of the people. argues that the big underlying issue is the rural poverty which drives people to the cities.

From being known as slum capital of the country. Mumbai is now all set to become the slum capital of the world. in another 20 years. the NGO that works for slums. 3. 2. “Thanks to migration.” But all you read is not always true However. Chennai’s 16.4 per cent. Another 25 to 30 per cent live in chawls and footpaths. These figures of slum population rising is not true. The airport project and the rehabilitation near Mithi River is also happening at a good pace. “This talk about Mumbai having predominantly slums is rubbish. bungalows or high-rises. head of the Urban Studies unit in Tata Institute of Social Sciences says that Mumbai is undoubtedly disintegrating into slums. will see slums overtake the Mumbai skyline. Mumbai’s A-class measures only 14. Remaining 10 to 15 per cent. Businessworld magazine’s WhiteBook of Marketing of 2005 clearly indicates that contrary to popular belief.” . Future of the city… Sources say that factors like the halt to the slum demolition scheme. the city’s population is rising rapidly. Almost 54 per cent of Mumbaikars live in slums today. If the World Bank estimate of the city reaching a population of 2.25 crore by 2025 is true. In fact. Migration has to stop It is estimated that 100 to 300 new families come to Mumbai every day and most land up in a slum colony or just erect a shanty on the nearest available footpath.3 per cent. live in buildings. Show me the Money…. antiquated housing laws and skyrocketing real estate prices. Already 67 per cent of the city works in the informal sector. Professor R N Sharma. Mumbai does not have the largest number of elite (top socio-economic class). A Jockin of SPARC.1.8 per cent compared to Delhi’s 25. slums will be everywhere. Already 67 per cent of slums on railway land have been re-settled. the unhindered migration into the city. said that the rehabilitation process is the only way out.

The readers will be shocked to know that the Dharavi has now turned to the sub city which was earlier the marshy dumping land. lack of public transport.Rehab is the way out Former housing minister Nawab Mallik also agrees that rehabilitation is a big draw to get rid of slums. no sewage or slid waste facility. and Matunga where people people can not even find space in roads. Dharavi: the biggest slum in Asia Asia's largest slum Dharavi is located in Mumbai. government has passed the Urban Land Act which was meant to enlarge the land in the urban area on the middle and lower class. All the Upgradation project are targeted only on the 10-12% of the slum population. Situated in the east flank of the Mahim station and the area is dominated by the plastic and metal recycling machinery of the 13th compound. “But the market push needs to be there to make it a success. Slums of Today The 60% of the population of Mumbai which is approximately 7 million people of Mumbai are putting up at the slum areas of Mumbai. there are 18. The residents of the slum areas in Mumbai are used to tackle the everyday issues of the slums like lack of water. It really seems to be very amazing that in Mumbai which is called as the commercial capital of India is having big section of slum which has been put in the poor. sewage and drainage system which has led the place for the poor population in the slums of Mumbai. pollution and housing shortage. Dadar. In the year 1976. In the slum of Mumbai. The slum growth rate is much more than the growth of the general growth of the urban areas in Mumbai. such as Mahim. . If the market forces do not push real estate. The city is getting the name of 'Slumbay'. Slums in Mumbai have started to rise in the year 1950.000 residents. In 1985 the government has tried to rectify the problem and to work on the Slum Upgradation Project. constant migration. The condition in the slum areas of Mumbai slums is terrible.ism for the enthusiastic travelers. The slum areas of Mumbai have never undergone in the proper planning and facilities such as the water. The slums in Mumbai has turned tripled since the independence of India. Parel.000 people are crowded into the single acre (0. The area is having the 530 acre of land which is having the 100. Mumbai could just go the slum way.” Slums in the Mumbai have existed from before. and it has worsened the problem of slum.4 hectares). construction. The areas are neighbouring Byculla. Dharavi is the slum which is termed as the "largest slum of the Asia" but the slum at Mexico is the "largest slum in the world" as it is having the four times as many people as in Dharavi.

The life of the people is full of struggle for the existence in the suburb of Mumbai. Open sewers The biggest and best-known slum in Mumbai is Dharavi. It is a chaotic warren of narrow alleys where tiny homes and workshops sit side by side.has a population of 19 million. it is estimated that more than half the city's population live in slums. parts of India.according to the UN . And the UN forecasts that total will rise to more than 26 million by 2025. part of the land sold for commercial property development and some of the profits used to build high rise blocks and . And the steady migration of people from rural areas to cities brings huge problems in its wake. poorer. There are public toilets and water taps. but sanitation is poor with open sewers along the alleyways. for the first time in human history. apart from Tokyo and its surroundings. And controversial plans to redevelop the slums highlight some of the problems faced by mega-cities around the world. As Mumbai has expanded.Slum Tourism in Mumbai is the way that helps the travelers to explore the slums of Mumbai. This year. There are many such tour packages are organized to the slum dwellings which almost caters to the 50 tourist at a time. The world is waiting to know the life of the slum people. Mumbai . That is the conclusion of a new study from the Population Division of the United Nations. there will be more people living in towns and cities than in the countryside. Mumbai's increase in population will partly be caused by increasing life expectancy and partly by migration from other. Few places demonstrate this as clearly as Mumbai in India. Tourist can also opt for the half an hour long morning tour and for a two and half hour tour to the area. it would be the most heavily populated "urban agglomeration" in the world. So the idea was born that Dharavi could be redeveloped. Although Mumbai is India's commercial capital and rents for luxury apartments are some of the highest in the world. the 600 acres of land which Dharavi occupies has become increasingly valuable real estate. At that point. The slum tenements would be torn down.

there is a huge amount of support for this project throughout Dharavi. Rajiv Korde is 40 and has lived in the area all his life. determined to bring improved healthcare.000 families. The man who has been driving the scheme forward for over a decade is Mukesh Mehta. "There is a small vested interest group which is trying to disrupt this project. the government can't start this project. He is not opposed to the idea of redevelopment. He speaks with pride of the community spirit and the tolerance between the slum's many different religious groups." says Rajiv Korde. We have a democracy and consent is compulsory. But there is fierce opposition to the scheme within Dharavi. He made his fortune by building luxury homes in the US and now describes himself as a "social entrepreneur". education and job opportunities to Dharavi. Property developers have submitted detailed proposals on how they would participate in the scheme and a short list of participants is being drawn up. so not everyone will be accommodated. as well as big profits for the property developers chosen to take part in the scheme.000 families living in Dharavi now. "Apart from that. But he argues that the current proposal is too generous to the property developers and does not provide enough for the Dharavi community. Mukesh Mehta's redevelopment plan envisages building new apartments for 57." Mukesh Mehta remains confident that the redevelopment will go ahead." maintains Mr Mehta." And Mr Mehta believes that the idea of what he calls "public-private partnership" . "Without the consent of the people. The new apartments will be provided free. The campaigners claim that there are something like 90.workshops for the Dharavi community. not the people. Suspicious residents There is a fierce argument about numbers. But some Dharavi residents are suspicious that charges for water and electricity may be more than they can afford. "The government are interested in the land.

there had been a massive immigration of workers to cities and production centers. argues that the big underlying issue is the rural poverty which drives people to the cities. the urban area of Mumbai will have reached an almost unimaginable size. And as well as finding ways to improve the quality of life for rural migrants to the cities. People migrate to cities because the comparative poverty and hardship involved in their alternatives (ie. "The more you invest in cities. as the homeless make temporary shelters which get transformed rapidly into semi-permanent housing colonies. many development specialists argue that more needs to be done to divert investment towards impoverished rural areas. And by then. The United Nations report concludes that the number of people living in urban areas will rise from 3. subsistence farming) is worse. That means about 70% of the world's population will be living in cities. This had been mainly due to a rapid expansion in the manufacturing sector. Brazil. These new workers cannot afford housing.could be used to redevelop big city slums in other parts of the world. In the last few decades." he argues. the less you are investing in the countryside and you are just perpetuating the problem.4 billion in 2050. Mexico and China. Urban challenge Solutions to the problems caused by the urbanisation of the world's population are certainly needed. Thus. . Darryl D'Monte.3 billion in 2007 to 6. The prospect of ever-larger cities alarms many governments around the world. there had been a tremendous growth in emerging countries like India. a leading Indian writer on environmental issues. And it is certainly one of the great challenges of the 21st Century. This is what gives rise to slums.

One in every three people in the world will live in slums within 30 years unless governments control unprecedented urban growth. Due to the rising population. 55% of the population of Mumbai live in slums. India According to UN-HABITAT. Europe faced the same problem of slums during the Industrial Revolution and after World Wars. a slum is defined as a run-down area of a city characterized by substandard housing and squalor and lacking in tenure security. The reason these slums come up is that there is a severe lack of public transportation in developing countries. Mexico City and Sao Paolo. . Mumbai. which cover only 6% of the city’s land. Cheaper accommodation is available very far from the centers of production.Dharavi Slums. Migration brought the proportions needed to expand the economy of these cities. One billion people worldwide live in slums and the figure will likely grow to 2 billion by 2030. It is estimated that one billion humans live in shanty towns. Hence. Slums have been a major problem in Mumbai. the number of slum dwellers is rising. slums were formed very close to the industrial areas. but the workers cannot travel so far. Slum growth rate in Mumbai is greater than the general urban growth rate. according to a UN report.

which might lead to deterioration of services. thus raising its costs. Poor migrants have no place to go other than to live in slums. Slums are semi-permanent shacks which provide housing to the poor. Add to it. This might lead to piling up of excrement and garbage. There is no electricity either. They are unplanned. and thus lack drainage and drinking water facilities.Mumbai Slums Another major hurdle in providing cheap accommodation to worker class is the arbitrarily set FSI (Floor Space Index) limit set my muncipalties. which create an artificial shortage of housing units. there is an increased strain on the limited infrastructure and resources of the region. Mumbai Trains . Overstretched Infrastructure. but is generally stolen by hooking wires to electrical poles.

You cannot stop free movement of people. Government subsidies. Government-subsidized public housing Slums become breeding grounds for unlawful activities and criminals due to lack of opportunities and a vast disparity in the standards of living of people. with urban growth concentrated in Africa and Asia. infact. In the article Urbanization: A Majority in Cities. This does not make homes more affordable to slum dwellers. Poverty and hunger forces people to migrate to wherever they can make a living. worsen the problems of slums. No city in history worth remembering has ever prospered by closing its doors and denying itself to those who seek it. more than half of the world’s population will be living in towns and cities. Rent Control laws do not work either. In 2008. as they attract new people looking for free homes. UNFPA says. But none of it seems to work. the problems would only exacerbate.There have been many efforts by various governments to eradicate slums. but infact increases its consumption and reduces supply as new projects would not be undertaken where the return on investment is low or negative. Government-subsidized public housing is not the solution. They worsen the situation by artificially lowering the rents. for the first time in history. By 2030 this number will swell to almost 5 billion. The world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history. . As more and more rural folks migrate to cities.

Most tenants who can find two rooms for the price of one will occupy the two rooms instead of one. rag pickers and chhotus in neighbourhood dhabas. A LOOK AT SLUM PROBLEMS The constitutional machinery in Bihar is sheer failure. always below the poverty line. is that those tenants who are most fortunate will expand into living quarters more spacious than they would consider necessary at the competitive market price.Here are some solutions to bring derailed Bihar on track The picture that conjures up in our minds. unhygienic cluster of impoverished shanties with long lines of people crowding around a solitary municipal water tap. many of them still dream of improving the quality of their lives. Though their living conditions are utterly unhygienic. Development of industrial areas in smaller towns and help in their development so people don’t have to migrate to large cities. is that of a dirty.Sometimes. 3. Slum clearing campaigns periodically throw tens of thousands out of their only shelter. the government steps in and says that rents shall not exceed “xx dollars” a month. gloomy. Revocation of FSI limits and Rent Control acts which impose undue shortages of housing and thus force the formation of slums. second generation residents who are not nostalgic about their rural background feel that life in slum is reasonably tolerable and city life is probably better . when we talk about slums. domestic helps. by working as construction labourers. while planning agencies and state land ownership makes the production of adequate housing impossible. The solutions to these problems as I see it are… 1. The consequence of such indirect housing subsidy. Improvement in local transportation so that people can spread outwards instead of living near production centers. The majority of slum dwellers identify themselves with the city rather than with their native place and plan to settle permanently in the city. dismal and dehumanized. of course. In spite of poor conditions in slums. Most of them are engaged in eking out their daily lives. 2. bowling babies literally left on street corners to fend for themselves and endless cries and found voices emanating from various corners.

inappropriate regulations. and many of these countries are urbanizing rapidly. brought their cousins and rest of the families to the cities. Silver linings are now becoming visible. Kolkata. Thousands of shelters were built for the migrating labourers. They were encouraged to come to cities and work. 2 Asian and 1 Pacific). unresponsive financial systems and a fundamental lack of political will. Why ??? Slums are the products of failed policies. They organized these unauthorized dwellers into a political force. By mid sixties Mumbai. But the dark clouds are now fading. irrespective of gender. bad governance.than rural life. This frustrates the enormous potential for human . hence slums took a bit of a permanent shape. there are definite signs of younger slum dwellers to improve the quality of their lives. Plentiful of these was available in rural areas. they decided to build their shelter closer to work. corruption. Despite the inaction of civic authorities. Recent years have seen a dramatic growth in the number of slums as urban populations have increased in the Third World. Many of the younger generation. They greatly value improving their working situation through getting a better job. and all other large cities were dotted with slums. dark and dismal. Conniving governments provided electricity and drinking water. More slums developed as more population moved to the cities. who migrated to the cities and found work. 327 million people live in slums in Commonwealth countries almost one in six Commonwealth citizens. According to a recent UNHabitat report. Politicians looked at the slums as vote bank. Unable to find housing and afford it. Our slums are indeed very dingy. yet have low aspirations and have an optimistic view of their chances of improving their socio-economic status. Delhi. more than two out of three urban dwellers live in slums. Each of these failures adds to the toll of people already deeply burdened with poverty. In a quarter of Commonwealth countries (11 African. income level and educational attainment express their regard for education and foresee upward social mobility for their children by educating their offspring as much as possible. dysfunctional land markets. and despite the efforts of politicians and slum mafia to keep slum dwellers to remain docile. People.

health. encroachment of public land and expansion of unauthorized residential colonies. The basic problems inherent in slums are Health hazards Lack of basic amenities like safe drinking water. diarrhoea disproportionately affects . The ongoing process of rapid urbanization has deleterious repercussions on health and nutrition. proper housing. water and sanitation diseases are responsible for 60 per cent of environmental health. a lot of workers migrate to towns in quest of employment. unhygienic environmental conditions.Thus building enormous pressure on civic services and creating major bottlenecks in the proper development of cities. These further compromise the nutrition requirements of those living in slums. The rapid growth of urbanization is creating a number of problems. educational and cultural problems and many more. make slum population vulnerable to infections. This causes expansion of jhuggis and unauthorized colonies. Problems People residing in slums face many problems like improper sanitation. they usually encroach public land and the sites earmarked for various developmental projects. With no proper place to live. Addressing nutritional problems of urban poor is essential for overall development of the country. economic. Urbanisation has created a number of problems like shortage of dwelling units. social. Whenever a big project is commenced. improper food security and suboptimal childcare besides poor availability and inadequate utilization of health care services. infections. According to a recent case study. drainage and excreta disposal services. mushrooming growth of jhuggis. It is projected that more than half of the Indian population will live in urban areas by 2020 and nearly one third of this urban population will be slum dwellers. The major causes of childhood malnutrition in slum population are inappropriate child feeding practices. Malnutrition in young children has long-term negative effects on physical and cognitive development.development that opportunities in urban life offer. especially for children. affecting the life expectancy of slum dwellers. Among water borne diseases. Lack of sanitary conditions Poor sanitary conditions and poor quality of water lead to illnesses like diarrhoea and other water borne diseases.

safety or hygiene. In these conditions it is virtually impossible to remain healthy and clean. Diseases spread rapidly among the crowded conditions and the little money that slum dwellers earn often has to be spent on medicines to help the sick recover. They make money by rag picking (trawling through rubbish dumps to retrieve anything that can be sold). lured by the prospect of oblivion through alcohol or drug abuse. Many have to defecate in the open or share whatever limited facilities are available which tend to offer no privacy. peddling drugs or begging. Cramped conditions mean that there is nowhere to go when tensions rise. In dense. Because of human waste and refuse collecting in stagnant pools spread disease and contaminate water sources. without any legal tenure. selling newspapers in traffic jams. Sometimes the situation goes to the other extreme. . overcrowded urban conditions it is often difficult for people to find space to build latrines. Social problems The slum environment is the perfect breeding ground for a wide range of social problems. Poor health among children adversely affects the attendance rate at schools. Once people develop such problems the prospects of finding work diminish. Incest and abuse can occur and child marriages are still encouraged in some areas. High unemployment often causes men to stay around the home growing increasingly frustrated with their pathetic situation and the worsening poverty. The problem is made worse during the rainy season when rubbish and excrement are washed into cramped living areas. where people abandon their homes. the people living there are not entitled to get connections to basic facilities like water and sanitation. These settlements are also vulnerable to demolition as governments reclaim the illegally occupied land for other usages. Often these settlements are unofficial and so.children under the age of five. Child labour Many children in the slums start work at a very early age with no prospect of getting any education. They are at risk of exploitation as well as all the health problems that accompany their lifestyles. a factor that regularly leads to domestic violence. They fall deeper into poverty and the cycle continues.

They have little empathy with the slum residents and exploit them by charging highly inflated prices for illegal electricity and water supplies or for constructing huts. but their trust is regularly abused. and slum dwellers become dependent on them for the smallest of amenities. if they are given a chance of life at all. Boys tend to be healthier as they are given better food in greater quantities. although gender specific abortion is illegal in India. The sheer volume of people living in slums causes them to be obvious targets for politicians wanting to increase their percentage of the vote. Children born into the deprived and harsh environment of the slums may not be as fortunate. government officials and the police. Gender Inequality Female babies in the slums of India can face discrimination and poor treatment from their very first moments. In contrast. Male children are seen as a blessing and indulged in many areas of Indian society. they make huge financial gains while everyone living in the slum struggles to survive on their meager earnings. girls are seen as a drain on precious resources as they will one day get married and their contribution towards the family will end. it's difficult for women within the slums to find a voice. They are often allies of certain politicians and gain control of sizeable chunks of the community land. By renting out the land. With that kind of start in life. it is still practiced in some places. but male babies are still given better treatment than the girls. Slum inhabitants are often promised all kinds of support and improvements in return for political allegiance.Internal and external corruption Some people manage to achieve a high status within slums and establish themselves as slumlords. The slumlords form elaborate links with local politicians. they are forced to work from an early age and any ambitions regarding schooling or future careers are discouraged. To make up for this. They are used to getting little support from their embers and are not . and they are also more likely to be sent to school. The men do not like to see the women becoming more powerful through forming women's groups as one of their main concerns is keeping the slum dwellers helpless and under their control.

Managing cities require local solutions. sweepers. carpenters. householders etc. They usually employ slum dwellers as rag pickers. Whenever a worker migrates to a city for work his employer must ensure that he is provided with appropriate accommodation. Some of the possible solutions can be Countries need to recognize that the urban poor are active agents and can contribute to national growth. These should include access to affordable land. The sheer volume of people living in slums causes them to be obvious targets for politicians wanting to increase their percentage of the vote. These centers should have direct contact with prospective . and basic infrastructure and social services. In a usual scenario a migrated laborer secures a job with security agencies. energy. Role of the government and the NGOs. domestic helps etc. Local authorities and national governments should collaborate with the organizations of the urban poor in upgrading slums and providing alternatives to slum formation. water. These services and infrastructure must reach the poor living in informal settlements.usually considered worth consulting on family matters. NGOs and employers. and urban services. employment opportunities. construction labors. Public investments must focus on providing access to basic services and infrastructureWorking with the urban poor. reasonably priced materials. Local authorities need to be empowered with financial and human resources to deliver services and infrastructure to the urban poor. sanitation. Cities should draw up local long-term strategies for improving the lives of slum dwellers. Local governments should develop strategies to prevent the formation of new slums. waste management service providers. For such migrating labors there should be a centralized labor registration center where they can register themselves and secure their labor ID number. contractors. Solutions Problems of the slum can be dealt by little initiative taken by the government. This should be the responsibility of all big and small employers. cities need to invest in housing. masons. such as garbage disposal.

The dwelling units should be located on the outskirts of the town and transport facilities should be made available to the workers in order to make commutation easy for them. can be seen in slums and squatter settlements of most urban areas in developing countries. The accommodation facilities should be made available before the commencement of any project • • • • • • NGOs can play a vital role in improving the existing conditions of slums. Free weekly medical and healthcare facilities. All labors should be centrally registered Strict rules should be formulated to prevent the misuse of funds. health facilities and common electricity with minimal charges. Slums are not 'problems' that have to be 'solved' . These migrated labors should also be allotted dwelling units and the accommodation expenses should be borne by their respective employers. . etc. Import high volume construction machinery from China for the speedy construction. Along with these arrangements certain regulations should be made by the government: • A minimum wage rate should be created for workers immigrating to town. education. • Manifestation of income and other gaps in health.but are indeed results of lopsided and vested urban policies covering land ownership. Factories with a workforce of more than 100 labors should have compulsory dwelling units.employers and they should try to find suitable jobs for these workers according to their skills. Locating proper dwelling units on the outskirts would minimize the proliferation of dingy slums in the city. potable water. NGOs should work in close coordination with government and make sure that the following facilities are available to the slum dwellers: • • Counselling services to minimize crime and other problems. skills. NGOs should work for the underprivileged in the slums. ESI dispensaries and counseling services should be provided in dwelling areas. Aim for 1 Lakh units of construction every six months. proper sanitation. Basic amenities like schooling. Computerized ID numbers should be allotted to the laborers for maintaining records.

Slum dwellers should be empowered to enable them to improve the quality of their own lives . The despair of the underprivileged has to be replaced with hope. there is a good chance that the new and upcoming generation may stay away from slum dwelling.infrastructure provision and maintenance. slums and urban squat can be controlled in next couple of decades. Silver lining The problems prevailing in slums give us the challenge to rebuild a society that is more equitable where equal opportunities could be provided to all for living with dignity. sufficient and nutritious food. and other socio-economic issues. With quadrupled GDP in 25 years. Eight percent GDP growths is a good sign. Many hurdles have to be overcome to achieve this objective. and their ignorance with knowledge. Their children should have the right to get adequate education for becoming responsible citizens of India. Reversal of this phenomenon will begin after sufficient economic progress had been made. And for the poor. employment opportunities. capability to protect their children against exploitation and discrimination. they represent a solution. Fading dark clouds Poverty. their fear with security. immunity from curable diseases. It may take another 25 years before the slums are vacated. clean water and a clean environment. The need of the hour is to find light in the darkest of the dark scenario and infuse life in the lives that are still waiting for the silver lining. Give them the opportunity to secure good health.

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