A survey, conducted by a high-level committee set up by the ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation for a new slum census, has revealed that Maharashtra has the dubious distinction of having the maximum number of people living in slums. According to the 2001 census, the state had 19.03% of the total slum population in the country. It was followed by Uttar Pradesh (11.75%), Andhra Pradesh (9.77%), Tamil Nadu (8.73%) and Madhya Pradesh (7.06%). As per the survey, the slum population in Maharashtra will be 1.81 crore in 2011, 1.85 crore in 2012 and will cross the 2.05-crore mark in the year 2017.
The 2001 slum census report covered 1,743 cities\towns in the country with an overall population of more than 20,000, of a total of 5,161 cities\towns. However, now according to the revised guidelines, it has been decided to account for the slum population even in cities with a population of less than 20,000.In Mumbai there were a total of 15 lakh slums. In the rest of the state, the number touched 13 lakh. During all deliberations with central agencies, the proposals for slumfree India were discussed at length but so far no project has taken off, owing to paucity of funds. When the saffron combine took over the reins in 1995, it had promised free houses to a population of 40 million.