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Slums and Human Habitation

Slums represent the appalling and pathetic conditions co existing with modern urban life causing number of environmental and socio-economic problems for any country. As per the census slums are defined as residential areas where dwelling are unfit for human habitation by reasons of dilapidation, overcrowding, faulty drainage, lack of ventilation or sanitation facilities which are detrimental to the safety and health of its inhabitants. A slum also called squatter settlement is a residential area in a locality usually inhabited by very poor strata of the society with no access to tenured land of their own. The United Nations Agency UN Habitat defines slum as a heavily populated urban area characterized by sub standard living. According to 2011 Indian Census report slum blocks have been delineated in all statutory towns irrespective of population size. Out of 4041 statutory towns in Census 2011 slums were reported from 2543 towns. Total slum enumeration blocks (SEBs) are about 1.08 lakh in the country. Largest number of slums is reported from Maharashtra. The National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi has recorded that the emergence of slums is essentially the product of three forces of demographic dynamism of a city attracting more people from to rural area offering greater potential for employment. Its capacity to meet the rising demand for housing. The existing urban land policies that prohibit the access of the poor to the urban land market. Government has come up with development schemes for the slums that include Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programmes. The main components of this program are central assistance in the form of additional central assistance as full grant. Provision of shelter including up gradation and construction of new houses and construction of community toilets. Provision of physical amenities like water supply, storm water drains, community toilets etc. Community infrastructure like provision of community centers to be used for pre school education, nonformal education and recreational activities etc.