Slums: India

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The extent of the problem

In 2009

Nearly 49,000 slums in India

24% Of Shanties Along Drains, 12% Beside Rly Tracks: NSSO

Mahendra Kumar Singh

New Delhi: Even as the Indian economy remains one of the bright spots in the world showing an upward growth trajectory, around 49,000 slums continue to blight the urban landscape forcing lakhs of people to live in pathetic conditions.

To make things worse, of these 49,000 slums, 24% was located along nallahs and drains and around 12% along railway tracks, according to a report released by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). Not surprisingly, around 57% of slums came up on public land, owned mostly by local bodies and state government. Though sanitary conditions in the slums in terms of toilet facility during 2008-09 showed an improvement since 2002, a lot still needed to be done.

Toilets with septic tanks (or similar facility) were available in 68% notified and 47% nonnotified slums (up from 66% and 35% respectively in 2002).

At a time when the UPA government has made the ambitious promise of slum-free India, around 10% notified and 20% non-notified slums (though down from 17% and 51% in 2002) did not have any toilet facility at all. The NSSO report also said that around 10% notified and 23% non-notified slums did not have any drainage facility as against 15% for notified and 44% for non-notified slums in 2002.

About 48% of slums were usually affected by waterlogging during monsoon — 32% saw waterlogging inside the slum as well as on the approach road, 7% saw water in the slum but not on the approach road and 9% saw only the approach road waterlogged. Over the last five years, facilities had improved in about 50% of notified slums in terms of roads (both within-slum road and approach road) and water supply. However, the report said about 78% of notified slums and 57% of non-notified slums had a pucca road inside the slum and around 73% notified and 58% non-notified slums had a motorable approach road.

The NSSO report titled ‘Some Characteristics of Urban Slums, 2008-09', found that in 64% of notified slums, a majority of dwellings were pucca, the corresponding percentage for non-notified ones being 50%. Only 1% notified and 7% non-notified slums did not have electricity connection.

In 2013

Slum-free India? No chance

By 2017, Population Will Rise To 104m, Maha Will Top Chart

Dipak Kumar Dash | TNN

The Times of India 2013/08/21


New Delhi: India’s slum population will surge to 104 million by 2017 — or around 9% of the total projected national population of 1.28 billion that year.

This means urban planners will face escalating challenges as these slums will mostly proliferate in sleepy towns and in semi-rural areas, a consequence of an accelerating rural to urban shift across the nation.

According to data provided in Parliament, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh will host the largest chunks of India’s slum population (see box).

In a reply to a starred question by Nashik MP Sameer Bhujbal last week in Parliament, the government offered a projection of the slum population on the basis of the Pranab Sen Committee report submitted in 2010. The committee’s previous projection of slum population in 2011 was 93 million, or 7% of a total population of 1.21 billion.

But the census of 2011 recorded 1.3 crore urban slum households. So, if a household is estimated at five members, the urban slum population would be around 65 million. This 65 million figure is considerably lower than the Sen Committee’s projection of 93 million slum dwellers in 2011 (based on the 2001 census).

The 2011 census shows the problem is growing as it indicates the percentage of people living in slums in smaller cities with a population of less than a million is rising. While 62% people in these cities are slum dwellers, it is 38% in all million-plus cities that include mega metros like Delhi and Mumbai.

In absolute numbers while million-plus cities have 52 lakh slum households, the count is 85 lakh in the sub-million cities. “We are creating a bigger problem by failing to manage both bigger and smaller cities. Places like Khurja and Bulandshahr close to Delhi have become slums due to faulty planning and poor programme implementation. We can’t allow unchecked and unplanned urban growth. Governments must understand this and take steps keeping aside their political reasons,” said H R Suri, former head of Institute of Town Planners India.

Census data also shows how a large section of the urban population lives in slums in the four metropolitan cities — as high as 41.3% in Greater Mumbai, 29.6% in Kolkata, 28% in Chennai and about 15% in Delhi.

The socio-economic implications of a large slum population — which includes the cost of civic services, housing and health care, and increased crime and social tensions — saw the UPA government frame the Rajiv Awas Yojna as a policy response. The scheme is intended to provide affordable housing to the poor and make urban areas slum free but so far these efforts have registered little progress in focus cities, including Delhi.

Rehabilitation efforts

Delhi: The status in 2017

Home of their own? Maybe, maybe not, Jun 27 2017: The Times of India

With the thrust of the new slum rehabilitation policy on in situ redevelopment, anxieties about displacement may have eased, but the lack of clarity over who is eligible and who maintains the new colonies still holds back the JJ dwellers


At the P1 Block in Sultanpuri, people residing along a reeking, mosquito-infested drain are jittery . Just a kilometre away are spanking new, salmon pink flats, over a thousand of them, awaiting their arrival. But the anxious residents are unsure whether they will really get to move in -and if they don't, whether they will be allowed to retain their huts in the slum area. Whether the government is able to assuage their fears and assure the jhuggi-jhopri dwellers of Sultanpuri of a permanent residential future will define the success of Delhi government's slum rehabilitation scheme.

The Sultanpuri plan involves moving residents of two nearby slum clusters into the 1,060 EWS flats built under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission and freeing the land they currently occupy for the construction of more such flats.It is, in effect, a model of “in situ“ rehabilitation, or reestablishment of JJ dwellers at the same location or a site within a 5-km radius of the slum. Earlier experiments with resettling jhuggi residents on the outskirts of the city have failed to a large extent, and Delhi government expects in-situ rehab to be a better option. Families in P1 Block eligible to move into the new flats have been identified. Of the 603 households there, 224 submitted documents, and 187 have been cleared to move into the new houses. More from P1 Block are likely to be selected.

There is a proposal to include two more clusters. Eligibility for these will begin now that the cabinet approved the Delhi Slum & JJ Relocation and Rehabilitation Policy , 2015 on Tuesday . It had been cleared last July, and tabled again after amalgamating the changes sought by the LG. It will be notified after the LG gives his approval.

The selected families are fretting about the money they have to pay for their new house. General category beneficiaries need to pay Rs 1.12 lakh for the 25-sq metre flat, while scheduled caste assignees pay Rs 1,000. Above this, Rs 30,000 will be charged in both categories as maintenance cost for five years. When TOI met them, the beneficiaries -their allotment letter from the nodal agency, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, or DUSIB, laminated and held aloft -had worry showing on their faces. More anxious were others, like Pooja Rani and her husband, who had no letters to show. They bought a jhuggi some years ago for Rs 80,000, but they don't have the mandatory proof of residence. “Where will we go now?“ she wondered. Indeed what happens to those who don't have the required documents? The shift now, and others to be effected in the future, will come with their own problems.Already, the multi-storey flats are being seen as limiting.Suresho Devi, a sanitation worker, wondered how the two tiny flats she and her son have been allotted at Sultanpuri will accommodate their 14 family members. And if the beneficiaries are worried about the additional Rs 30,000 they have to pay for maintenance, the experts themselves wonder what happens when the five-year maintenance period run out.The upkeep of the new complexes will certainly become problematic thereafter, given the large families, the high cost of maintenance of lifts and common areas, plus the fact that residents will have small livestock, handcarts and all other paraphernalia of street vendors.

The flats constructed under the earlier paradigm to day lie vacant and decaying in areas like Bawana, Narela and Baprola. A mere 266 families were relocated there till September 2013. Under JNNURM, DUSIB and DSSIDC undertook to construct 52,000 flats. Of them, 28344 are complete. After Aam Aadmi Party took over, there have been just 1,311 allotments in Baprola and Dwarka and these too only in cases where jhuggis were removed either to implement court orders or to allow unavoidable development projects.

Under the central government's Housing for All policy, DUSIB and DDA have been appointed as joint nodal agencies for in-situ rehabilitation. DUSIB has ambitious plans to build 20,000 flats in 2017-2020 and 48,500 flats in 2020-2022. These will be enough to accommodate residents of 176 slums located on Delhi government and municipal corporations land. In the first phase, 5,830 flats will come up in 20 JJ bastis in the assembly constituencies of Model Town, Sultanpur Mazra and Rajouri Garden. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal last week said these would comprise high-rises of 12-18 floors, all equipped with lifts.


Ravi, a 22-year-old resident of Jawahar Camp in south Delhi's Kalkaji Extension, has grown up hearing about his family getting a flat under the government's slum rehabilitation scheme. Indeed, a few hundred metres from his house, Delhi Development Authority is constructing 3,024 flats under the in-situ slum redevelopment scheme. But for Ravi and his family , a flat here is still a distant dream.

“We have been hearing about this for a long time,“ said Ravi, who works at an AC repair stall in Jawahar Camp. Proposed in 2008, the foundation stone for the city's first in-situ project -resettlement on the same site or somewhere close by -was laid just before the Lok Sabha elections in 2009. But it was only after another general election that construction of the 14-storey towers began in June 2014. The completion date has shifted from January 2016 now to March 2018, with a DDA official's excuse for the postponement being, “There were delays in getting certain permissions.“

Like Ravi, Naeem, a septuagenarian roadside vendor, too worried about the prolonged wait for a flat, even as the three slum camps have become increasingly more populated over the year. “I don't know whether we will ever get houses here,“ said Naeem.Ram Kishen, a sweetshop owner, was equally apprehensive. “How will the DDA flats accommodate so many people? In fact, they might eventually sell these flats to other people,“ Ram Kishen said.

The residential floors may be completed next year, but DDA faces the challenge of identifying slum dwellers eligible to be shifted from their jhuggis to the permanent homes. In the last survey , DDA found around 8,000 families in Jawahar Camp, Navjeevan Camp and Bhoomiheen Camp that qualified for the three-phased rehabilitation.

But this figure is certain to increase because the resettlement has to be carried out under the renewed policy that has prescribed a new cut-off date of January 1, 2015. JP Aggarwal, principal commissioner, land disposal and housing, DDA, said, “We carried out the survey in 2013. But a fresh survey has to be conducted. We will do it before we start the allotment process.“

Another issue to be tackled is the order of shifting. After a set move into the flat in the first phase, the area they vacate will be developed for the second set of flats. “Which of the camps will be shifted first isn't decided yet,“ said an official.


In-situ redevelopment of a slum cluster requires the place to be first vacated and then the new housing facility erected. In Kathputli Colony in west Delhi, scheduled for just such a redevelopment, DDA has struggled to get the dwellers to shift to the transit camp at Anand Parbat. Till date, not even half the population, mostly folk artistes, has moved to their temporary residence in Anand Parbat.

“There were several issues,“ said Vijay Choudhary, an engineer and resident, explaining the general reluctance to vacate Kathputli Colony and empty it for the erection of multi-storey flats. “There was uncertainty about the money to be paid. DDA also left out a lot of residents when carrying out the mandatory survey of the residents. Besides, the housing project is supposed to be a public-private partnership, but the public participation in it is unclear.“

Vijay's family recently agreed to shift to the transit camp. “We want this project to happen,“ stressed Hare Ram Choudhary, the engineer's father, who is the head of the Poorvanchali community in the colony . Shabnam Kundra, DDA's nodal officer for the project, said that people were finally shifting and demolition being carried out. Around 800 families have now joined the 500 families that shifted to Anand Parbat two years ago.

Those already living in the transit camp are anxious about the delay in emptying the place for construction to begin. “Why are they not demolishing the existing huts? When the central and state governments and DDA are involved in the project, what is the reason for the delay?“ asked an irked Patasi, a Rajasthani folk artiste.

A group met union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu recently and urged him to see that the project was completed in time. DDA is now exploring the possibility of evicting, under provisions of the resettlement policy, the current residents in a time-bound manner.

Many are opposed to the project because they say the “terms and conditions“ are not clear. Dilip Bhat, for one, claimed DDA had not addressed all concerns, the future maintenance of the residential complex being one of them. He added, “DDA said in the court that all Kathputli Colony residents would be allotted a house at the present location. But now they are showing us flats in Rohini and Narela.“ JP Aggarwal, principal commissioner, land disposal and housing, DDA, admitted, “Close to 3,000 families will be given flats here. The rest will be accommodated in Narela.“

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