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49,000 slums in urban areas till July last year: Survey

A government survey has found that about 49,000 slums existed in urban areas of the country till July last year, with the highest number of them being in Maharashtra followed by Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

Of the 49,000 slums, about 35 per cent existed in Maharashtra, 11 per cent in Andhra Pradesh and 10 per cent in West Bengal, according to National Sample Survey Office report.

The report said that 24 per cent of slums were located along drains while 12 per cent were along railway lines. About 48 per cent of the slums were "usually" affected by waterlogging during monsoon.

Though the percentage of underground sewerage had increased compared to the figures in 2002, it was found to be existing in about 33 per cent of notified slums and 19 per cent of non-notified slums.

While there was considerable improvement in drainage facility, about 10 per cent notified and 23 per cent non-notified slums still did not have it in the surveyed area. "The corresponding proportions in 2002 had been 15 per cent for notified and 44 per cent for non-notified slums," the report said.

Non-notified slums were compact urban areas with a collection of poorly built tenements, mostly of temporary nature, crowded together "usually" with inadequate sanitary and drinking water facilities in unhygienic condition.

The report said that the sanitary conditions in the slums in terms of latrine facility during 2008-09 showed considerable improvement since 2002.

"Latrines with septic tanks or similar facility were available in 68 per cent notified and 47 per cent non-notified slums which were 66 per cent and 35 per cent respectively in 2002," it said.

"At the other extreme, 10 per cent notified and 20 per cent non-notified slums, down from 17 per cent and 51 per cent respectively in 2002, did not have any latrine facility," it added.

The report said in 64 per cent of notified slums, a majority of dwellings were 'pucca' while the corresponding percentage for the non-notified ones was 50 per cent.

Over the last five years, facilities in terms of roads and water supply had improved in about 50 per cent of the notified slums.

"For 95 per cent slums, the major source of drinking water was either tap or tubewell," it said.

The survey covered the whole of India except Ladakh and Kargil districts of Jammu and Kashmir, interior villages of Nagaland situated beyond the five kilometres of bus route and villages in Andaman and Nicobar island.

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