Aashish Misra India Urban Presentation at LSE 2010

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  • 1. BRIEF REVIEW OF THE SLUM CRISIS AND POLICY MEASURES IN INDIA
    • Aashish Mishra, GY504, R.U.S.P., The L.S.E., February 20, 2009
  • 2. India: Disparate Development
  • 3. India: Disparate Development
    • Indian Cities “New Economy” demands land & services
    • Initially, outdated land-use regulation led to economic growth in peri-urban areas and then cities’ urban core
    • Krishan (1996) characterises types of urban sprawl:
      • -- Urban-rural fringe
      • -- Ribbon development along the major transport routes and urban enclaves in the countryside
      • --Illegal land sub-division
      • --Industrial estates and Special Economic Zones
      • --“Farmhouses” similar to concept of “Gated Communities”
  • 4. India: Disparate Development
    • “ Satellite Towns” or Peri-Urban Growth Centres Emerge
      • --Relaxed land-use & planning regulations for economic activity
      • --Construction of World-class infrastructure from nothing
      • --Land availability/speculation for commercial & residential
    • Peri-urban growth led to regeneration of urban cores
      • --Realisation that peri- to urban transport/links were essential
      • --Need to integrate economic bubbles with downtown services
      • --Growth & land prices increased from peri- to urban core
    • Net effect, land & housing prices unsustainable for poor
  • 5. India: Land & Housing Poverty
  • 6. India: Land & Housing Poverty
    • 1/3 to 2/3 of Urban Pop. lives on 1/10 of available urban land
      • --Significant inequitable distribution of land hurts urban poor
      • --Grave health & environmental consequences due to the majority of settlements concentrated on small parcel of land
      • --Limitations of absorption capacity lead to growth of “slums”
    • Even cheapest formal accommodation unaffordable to poor
      • --Compels poor to encroach public / private land
      • --Creates an “informal” housing market where poor pay to stay!
      • --New slums typically on hazardous, low-value, infra poor sites
    • Inevitable “densification” of slums by new migrants generates city-wide health & environmental externalities
  • 7. India: What are Slums?
  • 8. India: What are Slums?
    • Risbud (2006): GOI definition of “Slum” Settlements:
      • -- Apparent physical sub-standardness, irrespective of land ownership or tenure status – legal settlements as Slums?
      • -- Unfit for human habitation due to dilapidation, overcrowding, lack of ventilation, light or sanitation facilities – what are water, roads, healthcare, education?
      • -- If conditions met, settlements can be regularised as Slums
    • Bapat (1983); Verma (2001): If definition strictly adhered to, vast majority of Indian cities’ settlements & structures would be classified as “Slums”
  • 9. India: What are Slums?
    • Risbud (2006): Classification of “Slum” Settlements
      • -- Freehold land , such as those in the inner city, blighted areas or urban villages
      • -- “Squatter” Settlements , which are encroachments on public or private land
      • -- Illegal Land Sub-Divisions , where quasi/legal land ownership but the land subdivision undertaken illegally;
      • -- Public or Private Leasehold Land , such as cooperative-model in resettlement colonies or urban villages
  • 10. India: Scale of Slum Settlements
  • 11. India: Scale of Slum Settlements
    • GOI 2001 Census: Inaccurate as does not include “regularised” slum population & inter-jurisdictional urban slum population:
      • --14% of India’s total urban population is living in identified slums, and
      • --Mumbai – 58%
      • --Kolkata – 33%
      • --Chennai – 26%
      • --Delhi – 14%
    • Actual % of Slum Population in Indian Cities much larger, but no Govt. System to capture these figures!
  • 12. India: Scale of Slum Settlements
    • Available data on slum populations’ decadal growth rate (67%) nearly double of total urban populations’ (36%)
    • Great variance in State-wise estimations of slum population growth decadal growth rates:
      • -- Karnataka – 290%
      • -- Kerala – 231%
      • -- Orissa – 198%
      • -- Uttar Pradesh – 126%
  • 13. India: Basic Services in Slums
  • 14. India: Scale of Slum Settlements
    • 2002 Survey data findings on basic services in slums:
      • -- 70% of slum dwellings’ were exposed or semi-permanent
      • -- 25% of slums lacked “safe” drinking water & on average one community tap served 63 households – true access?
      • -- 72% of slums lacked community or individual toilets & on average, 1 seat for 376 persons – forced open defecation
      • -- 68% of slums lacked municipal rubbish facilities & threw garbage in open areas – city-wide health epidemics
      • -- 45% of slums lacked any drainage infrastructure – floods
      • -- 85% of slums lacked underground sewerage -- exposure
      • -- 63% of slums had no fully-surfaced internal road – time
  • 15. India: Evolution of Early Slum Policy
  • 16. India: Evolution of Early Slum Policy
    • Rao & Risbud (2006); Verma (2001) argue that past and current Govt. of India policies for slum settlements primarily focused on “quick-fix” measures such as slum clearance, improvement or regularisation
    • More importantly, they it has historically failed to address “preventive” or even longer-term solutions to slum settlement proliferation, such as:
      • --Increasing legal housing supply for low-income groups
      • --Steering slum policy back to Urban Master Plans
      • --Vigilance against encroachment of public/private land
  • 17. India: Evolution of Early Slum Policy
    • From 1946 – 1976, slum settlement eviction & clearance with limited relocation were the predominant national policy
    • Risbud (2006): Slum clearance was justified for a plethora of reasons, including: 
      • -- Incompatibility to urban Master Plans’ land use regulations – but firstly why were land use and zoning regulation not enforced?
      • -- Location on hazardous sites – Govt. accountable to allow this?
      • -- City beautification – are the urban poor & their coping an “eye-sore?”
    • From 1975 – 1977, National Emergency declared as unpopular & notorious Indian slum clearance experience incited public
      • -- Also declared due to emerging threat of concentration of prime urban land owned by few wealthy in the cities & being speculated upon
  • 18. India: More Recent Slum Policy
  • 19. India: More Recent Slum Policy
    • 1972 Environmental Improvement of Urban Slums
      • -- Marked policy shift of providing a “minimum standard” of basic service improvements & continues for 30 Years
      • --Provision of community taps, community latrines, pathways , drains and streetlights; but no tenure issues
      • -- Subsidy based on per capita ceiling cost, irrespective of the disparate densities of individual slum settlements
      • --Mainly failed as fixed grant funding inadequate for more densely populated settlements where geo-spatial specifications for infrastructure engineering design more expensive
  • 20. India: More Recent Slum Policy
    • 1980s – 1990s, international donor agencies supported central and state governments for piloting of several city-wide In-Situ slum upgrading initiatives
      • --Most considered failures due to excessive “hand-holding” and lack of an “exit strategy” after the project
      • --Lack of good post-project monitoring & evaluation mechanisms & social/environmental impact assessments
  • 21. India: More Recent Slum Policy
    • 1972 Environmental Improvement of Urban Slums
      • --Marked policy shift of providing a “minimum standard” of basic service improvements & continues for 30 Years
      • --Provision of community taps, community latrines, pathways , drains and streetlights; but no tenure issues
      • --Subsidy based on per capita ceiling cost, irrespective of the disparate densities of individual slum settlements
      • --Mainly failed as fixed grant funding inadequate for more densely populated settlements where geo-spatial specifications for infrastructure engineering design more expensive
  • 22. India: More Recent Slum Policy
    • 1997 National Slum Development Programme
      • --Marked shift to a development-oriented approach by converging multi-sector support, allowing States flexibility to design projects & community-based organisations to assist in implementation
      • --Limited “success” due to weak public sector capacities to design projects, mobilise communities and achieve cost recovery through collection of user charges
  • 23. India: More Recent Slum Policy
    • 2001 VAMBAY Programme
      • --Targeted Below Poverty Line & homeless urban poor
      • --Promise of granting land tenure prerequisite for funds
      • --Central/State matching grant for provision of built dwellings with trunk infrastructure
      • --Failure as States either no policy or willingness for granting land tenure to slum households
      • --Also, requirement for States’ matching grant-component made the scheme unattractive & often unfeasible
  • 24. India: More Recent Slum Policy
    • 2001 GOI Draft National Slum Policy
      • --Advocates large-scale In-Situ slum upgrading to all “regularised” slums & “under-serviced” settlements
      • -- Provision of individual trunk infrastructure to all relevant households
      • --Improvements with or without the transfer or formalisation of tenure and land ownership rights to these households
      • -- Convergence of upgrading with cities’ trunk infrastructure systems
      • --Controversial as upgrading onto tiny and unsustainable plots & units in extremely high-density settlements has failed in Indian pilots
      • --Also, “notified” slums will become mixed-use areas where there is likely to be a substitution effect of more polluting industries shifting
  • 25. India: Key Slum Issues?
  • 26. India Slums: Final Thoughts?
    • Risbud (2006, 210) states, “Improvement policies for existing slum squatter settlements have been implemented as softer, populist and cost effective political and administrative options without any long-term environmental consideration for empowering the poor. Each slum has become vote-bank and stronghold of a political party; and hence there is implicit tendency on the part of politicians to exaggerate the slum problem and resist sustainable improvement with secure tenure...”
  • 27. India Slums: Final Thoughts?
    • How can the international community, including the Academia, Donors and Civil Society, put pressure on the Govt. of India to adopt more relevant, slum-specific and community-driven programmes that will gives these poor children hope for a better quality of life and future?