SLUMS IN MUMBAI…..
AND ITS RELATION WITH CITY
Definition of slum by UN Habitat:
A slum Is an area that combines to various
extents the following characteristics:-
Inadequate access to safe water.
Inadequate access to sanitation and other infrastructure.
Poor structural quality of housing.
Insecure residential status.
In the later part of the 20th century, slums exploded worldwide,
becoming a cause for serious concern among humanitarian organizations,
as an alarmingly high number of people live in regions which could be
considered slums. In Mumbai, India, for example, an estimated about
55% of the population lives in slums.
HOW DO SLUMS FORM UP?
Slums can form in several ways:
Classically, slums have emerged in existing neighbourhoods which fall upon
hard times. A slum forms as homes are slowly subdivided into cramped
tenement apartments, and the population becomes highly concentrated. At the
same time, access to services like healthcare, fresh food, and basic sanitation
may start to become restricted, creating filth and squalor.
A slum can also arise from nowhere, as is the case with many of the
shantytowns found in developing nations. These slums sometimes seem to
emerge overnight, compacting humanity into filthy, densely packed areas with
poorly constructed and often dangerous homes. In campaigns against slums,
many cities have forcibly evicted people from these shantytowns, creating a
ripple effect as forcibly displaced people attempt to relocate to new regions.
Most of the people who live in slums are extremely poor, and many are treated as
second class citizens by their society. Health problems tend to be very high, as
a result of improper sanitation and lack of access to basic health care.
Malnutrition is another serious problem in many slums, as is crime, which can
make a slum very dangerous for its inhabitants.
GLOBAL SCENARIO OF SLUMS:
Percentage of urban population living in slums (data from
2005 - source: UN-HABITAT )
SLUMS IN MUMBAI:
Mumbai – is the home of Bollywood movies
and India‟s city of gold, its financial capital.
Like a magnet, it draws in people from all over
the country. But behind the glitz, glamour and
the hype lurks a different reality – a city
landscape dominated by massive, sprawling
slums – some of the biggest in the world.
According to the city housing authority, Eight
million out of the twelve million people in
Mumbai live in the slums. And Mumbai is not
alone. Slums are a global problem. They are
home to one billion people – one in six of the
world‟s population. UN-Habitat predicts that by
2030, one in every three people in the world LOCATION OF SLUM
could be living in a slum. POCKETS IN MUMBAI.
55% of the population of Mumbai live in
slums, which cover only 6% of the city‟s land.
HISTORY OF SLUMS IN MUMBAI:
Late in the 17th century, Gerald Aungier, the then Governer tried to attract
traders and artisans to Bombay. As a result, the population grew six-fold in
the fourteen years between 1661 and 1675. Some of the more prosperous
traders built houses inside the British fort. The rest lived in crowded "native-
towns" around the walls. These were probably the first slums to grow in
The problem of overcrowding certainly remained through the 18th
century. A count made in 1794 found 1000 houses inside the fort walls
and 6500 immediately outside.
The Cotton boom, followed by the rapid growth of mills and shipping
drew a large population from the rest of the country into a city ill-
equipped to deal with them. In the middle of the 19th century slums
grew around the mills and other places of employment.
ORIGIN OF SLUMS IN MUMBAI:
Historically, slums have grown in Mumbai as a response to
a growth of population far beyond the capacity of existing
Migrants are normally drawn to the city by the huge
disparity between urban and rural income levels. Usually
the residents of these densely populated enclaves live
close to their place of work.
Mumbai knows another reason for the formation of slums.
As the city grew, it took over land that was traditionally
used for other purposes. The Koli fishermen were displaced
during the development of the harbour and port. Those
driven out of the fishing villages improvised living space
that was often far shabbier than before.
On the other hand, some villages were encysted by the city
growing around them Dharavi, originally a village with a
small tanning industry, has become a slum in this fashion.
HOUSING OPTIONS FOR POOR IN MUMBAI:
1. Chawls : Consisting mainly of semi-
permanent structures, which can be
both authorised and unauthorised.
2. Pavement Dwellers: These are Typical Chawls
households, dominated by single male
migrants living in hutments built on the
footpaths of Mumbai’s roads close to
places of employment.
3. Zopadpattis: These are squatters in the Payment dwellers
local terminology. These are the most
predominant low-income informal
settlements falling under the category
SLUM STATISTICS :
The first official census of slums
was carried out by the State
Government in January 1976
(Government of Maharashtra,
1995) and 902,015 huts in 2,335
pockets were identified.
More than 50 percent of squatting
was on private lands, followed by
municipal lands. While 73.6 per
cent of employment was
concentrated in the island wards
they contained only 21.1 per cent of
PROFILE OF SLUMS IN 2001:
For the first time, detailed data on slum areas in the country have been
collected in the 2001 Census.
In Greater Mumbai 1,959 slum settlements have been identified with a total
population of 6.25 million, which forms 54 per cent of the total population of
the city (Census of India, 2001).
The Island City houses only 17 per cent of the slum population whereas the
western suburbs have high concentrations of slums specially in the inner
western suburbs, where there are large slums with hazy boundaries forming a
continuous area containing 58 per cent of the slum population.
Out of the total 47 per cent are located on private lands. These are located on
state government, central government, railway and municipal land. 62 per cent
of slums predominantly have dwellings made of permanent materials like brick
walls and reinforced cement roofs. 27 per cent slums have predominantly
semi-permanent structures (brick walls and tin or asbestos cement sheet roof).
ACCESS TO SERVICES:
About 49 per cent of slums have access to water supply
from shared standpipes, while 38.3 per cent have a
supply from more than one source. Remaining slums get
their water from tube wells or community standpipes.
Only 5 per cent of slums have individual taps whereas 17
slums with approximately 0.1 million inhabitants have
no water supply and have to depend on adjoining
Sanitation in slums is very poor as 73 per cent of slums
depend on community toilets provided by the
government, 28 per cent defecate in the open, 0.7 per
cent slums have pay to use toilets managed by NGOs and
only 1 per cent of slums have individual toilets.
There is no organised system of solid waste collection
and slum residents generally dump garbage in any open
place, including lanes and railway tracks. Only in 36
slums is there an organised system of collection and
SLUM – DWELLERS:
When People come to Mumbai they get squatted
wherever they could on land owned by the
government, Mumbai municipality, the railways and
on private land.
They are people who stay in two tiny rooms where a
family of about 10-16 sleep in shifts. They have no
electricity, an illegal supply of water and no toilet.
Slumdwellers have not willingly chosen their shanty
structures and unhygienic environment, but have
been driven to this option due to compelling
circumstances as they were thrown out of the
formal housing sector, the latter being unaffordable
and far beyond their income levels.
SLUM - DWELLERS
The majority of the older generation over the age of 50 had no formal
The middle aged slum dwellers had completed primary school education
and the majority of slum dwellers‟ children attended the nearest Municipal
Corporation school that offered free schooling.
The overall literacy rate as found in base line surveys in slums is 60 per
cent (MMRDA, 2002) which is lower than the city average.
A significant number of formal workers are employed in the surrounding
area as guards, mechanics, labourers, drivers, teachers, clerks and
The base-line surveys of 16,000 households for (MMRDA, 2002) Mumbai
Transport Project showed that 33 per cent of the population is working,
with an average of 1.46 workers per household.
HOW THEY FORM PART OF OUR SOCIETY?
The city simply wouldn’t function without
the slum dwellers:
Slum dwellers, are“60% of the population that
provide all the services in the city.
From the boy who brings in your milk, to your
From the maid who works in your house to the
dabbawala who delivers your lunch at work.
From the Rickshawalla’s to the people working in
From the clerk in the bank, to the municipal
corporations, schools, colleges.
All these people form the backbone of the
city, If they say “Halt”, MUMBAI would
come to a grinding halt.
In the mid-1990s, the state government of Maharashtra introduced
an innovative strategy of slum redevelopment in its capital city,
The basics of the scheme are:
Every slum structure existing as on January 1, 1995 (presently changed to
2001), or before is eligible for rehabilitation.
70 per cent of the eligible slum dwellers in a slum can come together to form a
society for implementation of the slum rehabilitation scheme.
Rehab tenement allotted to a slum dweller cannot be sold for a period of 10
years from the date of allotment. However, it can be transferred to a legal heir
with prior permission of CEO (SRA).
FSI permissible for a scheme depends upon the number of slum dwellers to be
rehabilitated in it. It can even exceed 2.5.
Plots where slum rehabilitation schemes can be taken up include plots that are
notified and categorised as slum.
If reserved for non-buildable reservation, the plot area should be more than 500
sq. mt and minimum ground coverage of 25 per cent with the slum.
PROBLEMS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
SLUM REDEVELOPMENT SCHEME :
Builders have been lukewarm in the absence of any government money; and
the big developers have shown no interest.
Developers are required to find temporary accommodation for slumdwellers.
The Scheme is unacceptable to older slums. A large number contain small
cottage industries. There would be no space for such activities in the new
apartments. Moreover, many residents have built an upper storey, so their
available space already far exceeds what they would be allotted under the
Maintenance costs are high. Most slum-dwellers have few costs. High-rise
buildings, in contrast, require high repair and maintenance bills – anything
up to 1000 - 2000 rupees, compared with a current outlay of only 100 to
300 rupees a month.
The Scheme has caused social conflict. In many slums the required 70-per-
cent consent of the people has proved unattainable, and in some slums
there have been disputes and feuds over who speaks with the majority
SOME SRA PROJECTS COMPLETED:
WHAT HAS HAPPENED WITH THESE REHABILATED BUILDINGS IS THE
FORMATION OF “VERTICAL SLUMS” WHEREIN THERE IS STILL BASIC
PROBLEMS OF HYGIENE & LIGHT VENTILATION FACED BY THE TENANTS.
Often dubbed “Asia’s largest slum,” Dharavi is in fact a heart-
shaped agglomeration of primarily informal settlements, literally
located in the heart of Mumbai, India‟s commercial capital.
Spanning an area of about 223 hectares (535 acres), Dharavi is
a transportation hub of the city.
Dharavi is home to between half a million and one million
people. A 1986 survey counted 530,225 people (106,045
households) living in 80,518 structures; the numbers have surely
grown since then.
Dharavi is not only a residential space, but also a major
economic hub representing the city‟s vast informal sector.
Dharavi‟s commercial enterprises include recycling industries,
leather tanneries, heavy metal work, woodwork, and
manufactured goods such as garments, shoes, luggage,
jewellery. One conservative estimate places the annual value of
goods produced in Dharavi at USD 500 million (“Inside the
Slums,” The Economist, 27/1/05).
DHARAVI DEVELOPMENT PROJECT:
DHARAVI DEVELOPMENT PROJECT:
The five year Dharavi Redevelopment Project worth Rs 8,600 crores was drawn up
on February 4, 2004 in view of the dense combination of commercial and residential
The Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) had come up with a Rs 6,380 crore plan for
redeveloping Dharavi slums by 2010.
The center, state and HUDCO are to jointly finance the plan. Global tenders to be
floated and project to be implemented by private builders.
Original slumdwellers living prior to January 1, 1995 to be relocated in newly built
buildings with 225 sq ft free tenement.
Plan envisages plush residential and commercial complexes, hospitals, schools and
15 percent of the land is to be reserved for open green spaces and playgrounds.
Private builders to get 4 FSI as incentive for commercial exploitation of remaining
Spread over 174 hectares of land Dharavi billed as Asia's largest slum connects the
Island city with suburban Mumbai.
Houses about 5,000 small scale units producing intermediary goods, houses leather
tanneries. SSI units here generate Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 crore turnover annually.
OPTIONS FOR DEVELOPMENT TO TAKE PLACE:
Government should resume responsibility for upgrading existing slums.
Those evicted by essential public works should receive alternative
Co-operative development should be encouraged, whereby the
slumdwellers themselves develop their sites.
Bona fide developers should not have to compete with the mafia and
Officials should be compelled to do their job properly.
The only way the life of the slums can be improved is to give land tenures
to slum co-operatives to develop as they choose. „Land to the slumdweller‟
must be the policy for humane and effective development; the
governmental role must be limited to providing infrastructural facilities,
cheap finance and a supply of building materials at controlled rates.