India has 17.3 million slum dwellings: census

There are about 17.3 million houses reported in the house listing blocks of the census categorised as slums in India, comprising 13.7 million slum households, union minister for housing and urban poverty alleviation Ajay Maken said while releasing the report.

Registrar General, India Dr C Chandramouli, who presented the report, outlined the important features of the report.

There are 19 cities with million plus population where more than 25 per cent households live in slums, he said, adding that a majority (71 per cent) of these slum houses are located 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, Vijayawada and Meerut, have more than 40 per cent slum households.

Out of total slum houses, 92.7 per cent are occupied and 7.3 per cent are vacant.

About 84.9 per cent census houses are used for residence/residence-cum-other use; 58.4 per cent residential census houses are in good condition; 37.5 per cent are livable and rest 4.0 per cent are in dilapidated condition, he said.
 
Of the total slum households, 70.2 per cent are owned while the rest are mostly rented; 74 per cent households use tap water as the main source of drinking water while 20.3 per cent depend on hand pump/tube well.

The source of drinking water is available to 56.7 per cent of the households within the premises in slums; 31.9 per cent have the source located near (within 100m) of the premises and 11.4 per cent have to travel more than 100 m away to fetch drinking water.

More than 90 per cent of slum households use electricity as main source of lighting, 8.2 per cent use kerosene and 0.7 per cent households have other source of lighting and 0.5 per cent households have no lighting in the slum areas.

About 66 per cent households are having latrine facility within the premises, meaning that every third household (34 per cent) has no latrine facility within the premises.  Around 18.9 per cent slum households defecate in open and 15.1 per cent use public latrine.

Eighty-one per cent of slum households have a bathroom or an enclosure without roof.

About 53.2 per cent households avail banking service in slum areas.

About 70 per cent slum households have television in their houses for entertainment, 18.7 per cent possess radio / transistor.

Computers/laptops have not made inroads in slums to the desired extent. Only 10.4 per cent households have computer/laptop in their house, out of which 3.3 per cent have computer/laptop with internet connection (as against 9.3 per cent in non-slum areas) and 7.1 per cent without internet connection.

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

Maken urged the states and other stakeholders to change their attitude towards urban poor living in slum areas. He also said that these statistics and data would help the government in redrawing programme and policies.

He also said the ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation will not make any distinction between notified, recognised and identified slums while formulating developmental schemes and grants.