The slum areas differ with respect to their locations, terrain, density, height of built form, socio-cultural setup, vulnerability to hazard, access to infrastructure, etc. Due to these characteristics, each slum area is different and need different solution. For example, the location of certain slum areas is prone to natural hazards. In such cases they need to be relocated in safe areas, whereas in cases where the location is not vulnerable to any hazard and is requires to continue the employment preferences of the community, the slum improvement insitu is to be preferred. read more
In some cases a SRA approach would be necessary while in still others only up gradation of infrastructure could work.
The city of Mumbai hosts a population of about 12.44 million (Census 2011). Out of these, over 52 lakhs (approx 42%) reside in slums. The Indian National Census of 2011 conducted detailed survey of household by the condition of census houses occupied by them.
The houses surveyed included both slum and non slum houses. They found that over 70% houses were good for living and over 25% houses were livable and only less than 1.5 % houses were of very poor quality.(source http://censusindia.gov.in/2011-common/censusdataonline.html). This is encouraging that inspite of 42% people have been living in slums as informal settlements have manage to build livable houses for themselves. Unfortunately their settlements are still called as slums as the condition of public areas due to very poor infrastructure is not as livable as the houses built by the dwellers. So the problem is not so much about the houses but the availability and quality of social and physical infrastructure.
The slum areas have similar qualities like they all are compact, dense, mixed use, walkable, settlements with less dependency on motorized transport. They provide very vital rental housing which is otherwise not available in the formal housing market. They also support large informal economy and provide income opportunities to poor and migrants. All these are extremely important qualities to make sustainable cities. However, majority of the slum areas lack access to quality infrastructure such as clean water, drains, toilets, health and education facilities. To understand which approach is appropriate for a given slum location, it is important that the base line conditions of the slum areas are available. These include, the population count, number of houses and households, availability and condition of physical and social infrastructure, etc.
There is a welcome announcement from Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai that under the Swachh Bharat Mission, having a private toilet in the slum houses will no more be illegal and government will provide financial assistance to create access either by providing sewer line or septic tanks. This initiative will help improve health and hygiene in the slum areas.
To upgrade the slums systematically Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) is undertaking detailed mapping of the slum areas at Macro and Micro level. Typically a macro level mapping is for 20 ha of an area which is divided into units for detailed micro level mapping.