Indian cities are said to be biggest slums in the planet !Over 64 million people in six major urban cities in India live in slums in degrading condition. According to country's first complete census of its vast slum population; over 64 million Indian live in most deplorable urban environment very much like much-publicised Oscar-winning movie-'Slumdog Millionare'. The first-ever nationwide report-prepared from data collated for the 2011 national census-looks at urban slums in about 4,000 towns across the country. (a slum is defined as a settlement of at least 60 households deemed unfoit for human habitation, but the report does not cover every towns and cities in the vast country like India).
The report gives alarming scenario of bleak vision of the future of urbanisation in India . Ten towns with a population of around 5, 000 have been categorised as 'all slum towns' These towns concentrated in four states, namely Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim.. Mumbai has the largest absolute population of slum dwellers: 41 percent of its 20.5 million people. In percentage terms, India's commercial capital has been overtaken by two other megacities: the bustling port city of Vishakapatnam on the Bay of Bengal (43 percent of its 1.7 million inhabitants) and the central India cities of Jabalpur, (42 percent of its 1.3 million people). Open sewers and poverty are rampant in these slum clusters. At the same time it also shows many slum residents own mobile phones and televisions in their slum cluster respecitve houses. Both legal and irregular electricity connections are prevalent in these slum areas, the report said.
However, New Delhi, the capital of India, has comparatively low 15 percent households in slums, while the big cities of Kolkata and Chenai had 30 percent and 29 percent respectively, Bengaluru, formerly known as Banglore, had only nine pecent slum dwellers.A nation-wide survey has indicated that more than one-third of slum homes have no indoor toilets and 64 percent are not connected to sewerage systems. About half of the house-holds lived in only one room or shared with another family. Significantly, 70 percent have television and 64 percent have mobile phones. All these slums in major cities , specially in Mumbai are close to posh apartments complexes resided by millionaires and top officials. In these slum colonies, residents have to queue up for hours for toilets and and also for drinking water from public hydrants.
After such alarming slum dwellers in Indian cities without any basic facility the Planning Commission has recommended urban clusters with as few as 20 house-holds should be classed as slums.The Registrar General of India Census Dr C Chandramouli said, " we will be analysing the census data on the basis of the new definition also. This is likely to increase the number slum households acrodss the country."