Over 8m slumdwellers in Mumbai by 2011

The country’s financial capital Mumbai will have around 8.68 million people living in slums by next year, notwithstanding the high growth economy and focus on “inclusiveness”. Mumbai is followed by Delhi with 3.16 million people estimated to be living in slums by 2011, compared to 2.3 million in 2001, according to a new methodology adopted by an expert panel appointed by the housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry. Though Mumbai’s slum population was 6.5 million in the 2001 census, the panel’s methodology estimated it at 6.8 million. The expert committee, set up to estimate “reliable” urban slum population, said the country’s slum population had grown by 17.8 million people in the last decade. The committee, headed by Pranab Sen, principal adviser to the Planning Commission and former chief statistician, projected the slum population in 2011 at 93.06 million, up from 75.26 million in 2001 as per the new methodology. The 2001 census figures pegged the slum population at 52.40 million. Among metros, Kolkata will have around 1.78 million people living in slums by 2011 as against 1.57 million in 2001, followed by Chennai with 1.02 million as against 0.86 million. Among states, Maharashtra tops the chart with around 18.15 million living in slums in 2011, followed by UP (10.87 million), TN (8.60 million), West Bengal (8.50 million) and Andhra Pradesh (8.10 million). According to the committee’s estimates, Maharashtra’s slum population in 2001 was 14.30 million, followed by UP (8.50 million), West Bengal (7.50 million), Tamil Nadu (7.30 million) and Andhra Pradesh (7.20 million), while 2001 census figures showed that 11.20 million of the total slum population of the country was in Maharashtra followed by Andhra Pradesh (5.20 million), UP (4.40 million) and West Bengal (4.10 million). While arguing that the trend was on expected lines due to spurt in urbanisation, housing minister Kumari Selja had claimed that the number would come down as the UPA government had accelerated efforts towards slum development and rehabilitation. The ministry had appointed the committee to come out with “reliable and realistic” slum data to ensure better implementation of UPA’s ambitious Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) that aims to make India slumfree. Officials attributed rise in slum population to wider definition of slum and expanding the coverage as the panel factored in all 5,161 towns, including 3,799 statutory towns, and also modified the definition of slum as followed by the Registrar General of India, which conducts the census. The ministry felt there was “paucity of correct data earlier” as small towns were left out, and the new definition put forth by the committee would serve as a guideline for Slum Census 2011. A major reason for the slum population being underreported was due to the fact that census 2001 took into account only notified slums in 1,764 towns across the country.The committee recommended adopting a normative definition based on appropriate indicators and checklists for the purpose of identification of slum areas and enumeration of population of area with 20-25 households, having slum-like characteristics in an enumeration block in census 2011. All clusters of 20-25 or more households having no roof or non-concrete roof, and no facility of drinking water, toilets or drainage will be considered as slums.

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