Thursday, December 26, 2013

What is a SLUM ?

A slum is that unplanned area which is not figured in the master plan of the city and are encroached upon the government lands. Most of the times they lack basic amenities such as street lighting, water supply, sewage, regulated electric supply, schools etc. Slums are mostly visible in mega urban areas and are rare occurrence in rural areas and towns.

According to the recent government surveys, a slum has been defined as such settlements of at least 20 household where conditions of living are undesirable i.e. overcrowded, lack of sanitation and drinking water facilities, poor construction, and improper hygiene.

What are the factors that contribute to growth 

of slums in India ?

Factors that contribute to the growth of slums in India are:

a) Employment Opportunities in Urban Centres are high as they are commercial, economic and manufacturing hubs. Employment opportunities in both organised and unorganised sectors are available in greater numbers when compared to rural areas. As a result they attract huge number of skilled as well as unskilled  workers. Skilled workers are mostly educated and get better jobs and have good standard of living whereas unskilled workers are illiterate and are mostly wage labourers, construction workers, vegetable vendors, etc. with with a poor standard of living. They have no choice but to accommodate in slums as their incomes cannot afford huge cost of living in other parts.

b) Unemployment and lack of employment opportunities in rural areas due to overcrowded agricultural sector, absence of large-scale industries, closure or underperformance of small-scale and cottage industries due to globalization.

c) Uneducated persons are forced to take up jobs in informal sector that pay them less wages. As the low wages cannot meet the cost of living, they are forced to live in slums.

d) Companies and organisations that employ the unskilled workers does not provide them with minimum hygienic residential facilities. Even the wages are low. As a result they are driven to live in slums.

e) Administrative actions against the growth of slums are tough and almost impossible as the slum dwellers do not cooperate with the authorities.

f) Poor governance leads to impoverisation of local unskilled population who have no choice but to live in slums.

g) Due to Lack of secure tenure, the slum dwellers have very small incentive to maintain their surrounding areas. Lack of secure tenure is an obstruction to economic and social opportunities like credit facilities, public services and livelihood opportunities. The property registration procedure are complicated and expensive, even more so in slum area.

h) Lack of political will to relocate the slum dwellers or to legalize the slums in fear that it would encourage more illegal settlements.

i) Anthropogenic factor is another dimension that leads to the growth of slums. Mobilisation of people based on religion,language and region and vandalising the habitats of enemy camps ultimately results in loss of habitat and fear that would lead to large scale migration


Model Property Rights to Slum Dwellers Act, 


The Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has circulated the draft of Model Property Rights to ‘Slum Dwellers Act, 2011’, having salient features as:

• The Act states that every landless person living in a slum area in any city or urban area shall be entitled to a dwelling space at an affordable cost.

• Every Slum dweller shall be given a legal entitlement, which shall be in the name of the female head of the household or in the joint name of the male head of the household and his wife.

• The dwelling space so provided shall not be transferable but shall be mortgageable for the purpose of raising housing loan.

• It provides for the establishment of City / Urban Area Slum Redevelopment Committee for carrying out functions specified under the Act and the establishment of a State Slum Redevelopment Authority to continuously monitor implementation of the Act and to recommend corrective measures, wherever necessary.

Land is a State subject thus it is up to the States to adopt and introduce the Property Rights to Slum Dwellers Act.


Case Study :In-Situ Slum upgradation under 


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