1.73 crore houses categorised as ‘slums’ in India

Television seems to be the hottest durable for slum dwellers, with 70 per cent of such households owning one. Computers and laptops, too, have made inroads into slums, but only about 10.4 per cent households possess these.

Also, 72.7 per cent slum households have telephone facility out of which 4.4 per cent have landline connection, 63.5 per cent mobile and 4.8 per cent have both facilities. In non-slum areas this percentage is 83.9.

These are some interesting findings of report on ‘Housing Stock, Amenities and Assets in Slums’, based on the House Listing and Housing Census 2011.

Releasing some of the findings here on Thursday, C Chandramouli, Registrar General and Census Commissioner, said in all 1.73 crore census houses had been reported in the House listing Blocks categorised as ‘slums’ in India, comprising 1.37 crore slum households.

There are 19 million plus cities where more than 25 per cent households live in slums. He said majority (71 per cent) of these are in six States, namely, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Out of these 19 cities, five cities namely Vishakhapatnam, Jabalpur, Mumbai, Vijaywada and Meerut have more than 40 per cent slum households.

The Census also disclosed that at least 74 per cent households use the tap as the main source of drinking water, followed by hand pumps/tube wells (20.3 per cent). The source of drinking water is available to 56.7 per cent of such households within the premises in slums; 31.9 per cent have the source located near (within 100m) the premises and 11.4 per cent have to travel more than 100 m away to fetch drinking water.

The data also showed that more than 90 per cent slum households used electricity for lighting, while the rest used alternative means such as kerosene. At least, 66 per cent households had latrine facilities within the premises.

Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ajay Maken, after releasing the census findings, said that the Ministry would frame the Slum Upgradation Index city-wise and state-wise for monitoring periodically the upgradation of slums in the country.

“A committee will be set up to suggest the methodology for drafting this index,” he said, adding that the Ministry would not have any distinction between notified, recognised and identified slums while providing financial assistance to the States under the Rajiv Awaas Yojana scheme.

Maken also noted that number of slums households in the country had come down compared with 2001 census, but a large section of population is still living in these areas, deprived of basic amenities.

In 2001, there were 23.5 per cent of households in the urban areas, which were living in slums, this has come down to 17.4 per cent. There are still 17.35 million slum houses, 13.74 million slum households and we have 68 million people living in the slum areas as 2011 census,” he said.

Minister of State for Home Affairs R. P. N. Singh said the inputs provided in the report would be of great use to the Central, State Governments and various stakeholders for improving the conditions in the slums.

bindu.menon@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on March 21, 2013)
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