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Sewage problem in Taimoor Nagar

solved due to efforts

The sewage problem in Taimoor Nagar and areas nearby is going to resolve due to the impact
of iamin.in. A 416 m long drain, which passes through Taimoor Nagar, New Friends Colony,
Maharani Bagh, East of Kailash and Kalkaji till the sewage is released into Yamuna river.

Team iamin.in had reported about the drain polluting the river due to sewage water on March
24. The residents of the locality were fed up with the problem. The sewage water led to foul
smell in the locality.

After reading Team iamin.ins report, the government and municipality woke up and came to
know about the problem.The authorities have started to work in this regard. Better late than
never, Ranveer Singh, a resident said.
According to the official sources, the drain would now be covered within two months from now.

The Problem of Slums

Slums are an unhappy reality for our country and many others across the world. Over
one billion world inhabitants live in slums today and the numbers are climbing. The UN
estimates that about 1.4 billion people will be occupying slums by the year 2020. In
India the total number of slum dweller totals about 65 million, of which Maharashtra
alone accounts for 11 million. Next comes Andhra Pradesh, with a slum population of 10
million, followed by West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, with over 6 million each. The
figures are indeed staggering. Slums are a major urban drawback and a huge hurdle in
the countrys development.
Within a slum problems are manifold: living conditions are deplorable, crime rate is high,
sanitation is poor, child mortality is high, education levels are low and diseases are
rampant. But the situation has to be tackled and the issues have to be faced. Various
solutions have been suggested:
Provision of tenancy rights to slum dwellers in order to ensure that
their housing is not infringed upon by government agencies. Slum
dwellers often fear rehabilitation because it affects their access to means
of livelihood. The idea behind ensuring tenure is that once they lose their
fear of being evicted, the slum dwellers can work to improve their quality
of life. In due course they can purchase the land they currently inhabit.
Building low-cost residences for slum dwellers so that proper housing
can ensure their safety and hygiene.
Making clean water available.
Encouraging proper sanitation and waste management.
Controlling pollution levels.
Providing transport facilities.
Arranging for informal education.
Making credit and finance available as per requirement.
Introducing new programmes for income-generation.
Providing a platform for sharing ideas, inputs and experiences.

However, these are only broad guidelines and there can be no single uniform model for
urban planning which can be used globally. Slum rehabilitation and upgrading are vital,
but each city has certain distinctive political, cultural, environmental and economic
factors which determine the extent to which such rehabilitation is feasible. Hence,
proper assessment has to be made and prospects evaluated before the problem can be
addressed. Slum dwellers need to made aware of the need for improvement in living
conditions, and they must readily involve themselves with every phase of the
rehabilitation. Practical and innovative approaches need to be put into practice to
integrate slums within the cities. Governments need to pay more attention to slums and
make concerted attempts to address this problem proactively. One-seventh of the
worlds population is in slums right now. It is indeed time for urgent action. Why can we
not hear the alarm bell ring?

Housing is recognized as one of the universal fundamental rights of citizens.

This was used as a popular political slogan in 1970s Pakistan when food,
clothing and shelter was turned into an ubiquitous image of equity and
fairness for all. Incidentally, no government had the capacity to attain this
ideal despite the slogans continual use in the politico-electoral landscape.

An important part of housing in Pakistan, especially in developed urban

areas, is Katchi Abadis, roughly translating to Temporary/Rudimentary
Settlements. These are basically slums in urban, suburban and rustic
ranges. In major cities these are colonies of slums and shanty towns that co-
exist at the peripheries of affluent neighborhoods with their posh concrete
houses. This humbling contrast presents a stark and glaring image of our
class divisions.
The living conditions in these Katchi Abadis speak appalling stories of
deprivation. Not conforming to even the most basic requirements for a
healthy human existence, people residing in slums experience a highly
unhygienic habitat and are susceptible to terrible sufferings during extreme
weather conditions. Living on the margins of our society, residents of slums
are people deprived of sufficient means, often with no resources to maintain
their own health as well as that of their children.

Female slum-dwelling labourers in Rawalpindi, where several families have

come to settle over the past few decades, explain that once this place was a
densely populated shanty town, however in recent years, many families have
left because it gradually became difficult for them to make ends meet. An
account by one such woman, Rani Bibi, provides disturbing and moving
insights into their woes.

Rani Bibi (42) says, I work as a hawker, vending utensils around villages,
bartering them for raw material such as rubber and metallic goods. It is very
rare when someone buys it for cash. I make One to Two Hundred Rupees a
day and sometimes nothing after a whole day of vending under difficult

According to UN-HABITAT Rani Bibi, is one of the 863 million people living in
slums globally, making up 33% of the urban population in the developing
world in 2012.

Taking into account various appraisals, it can be securely concluded that

approximately 23 to 32 million people in Pakistan are slum dwellers. This
constitutes a small but significant share of the one billion slum dweller across
the globe. The influx of Afghans during the 1980s added to the number of
katch abadi inhabitants.

Article 38-D of the Constitution of Pakistan states, The state shall provide
basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, housing, education and
medical relief for all such citizens, irrespective of sex, caste, creed or race,
as are permanently or temporarily unable to earn their livelihood on account
of infirmity, sickness or unemployment.

This problem is not limited to Pakistan alone. According to Martin Ravallion,

from World Bank, currently a quarter or 25% of the worlds poor dwell in
urban areas, and this percentage is going to be 50% by the year 2035. The
slums and shanty settlements are often situated in the least-habitable parts
of the city, situated on steep hillsides, in low-lying grounds adjacent to rivers
prone to flooding, or in places along the downstream course of industrial
waste residue, leaving inhabitants highly exposed to pollution-borne diseases
and natural disasters. And adding to these woes are the mafia operating in
the slums, who virtually run the settlements as landlords, extracting the little
which the tenants make, who have no option for legal recourse. Whenever an
industrial unit is established, requiring unskilled to semi-skilled labour, its
surrounding patch of land serves as an opportunity for land owners to set up
a slum colony, where the number of dwellers grows so fast that it is almost
impossible to track its growth.

The World Bank and UN-HABITAT estimate that, given no significant

economic reforms are being undertaken, urban slum dwellers will continue to
face gruesome economic and health issues.

Given the absence of any medium to low-value skills and also little to no
education, unemployment rates are very high for slum dwellers, particularly
women. This, in addition to the lack of competitive job markets, force many
slum dwellers to find work in the informal economy within the slums or in
developed urban areas in proximity to the slums. Such employment can
either be a part of the legal informal economy or illegal informal economy
with no contract or social security cover.

Jobs in the latter include street vending, household enterprises, product

assembly and packaging, garland-making, embroideries and crafts, domestic
work, shoe polishing or repair. Often, people sort and recycle trash of
different kinds (from household garbage to electronics) for a living, selling
either the odd usable goods or stripping broken goods for parts or raw
materials. Such employment invariably requires the poor worker to pay
bribes to the police and other government staff in order to be ignored.

Adults and children in slums do not have adequate clothing for harsh climate
extremes, frequently exposing them to many illnesses and diseases. Slum
dwellers enjoy no fundamental rights like education, healthcare, and
recreation. As such, the children are exposed from an early age to nefarious
designs of criminals, allowing abuse of these children and often forcing them
into a life of crime.

Jameela Bibi, 35, another hawker from the slums says, The weather is
always quite a challenge, when there are heavy rains our shack is filled with
water, making it difficult to live in, and we have noweher else to go. Another
distress because of this is that we have to try very hard to dry our beds so
that we may have something to sleep on.

Rape is another serious issue related to crime in slums. Absence of states

formal recognition results in little to no formal policing and there is no access
to public justice institutions for slum dwellers.

Chronic paucity of resources in the household contributes to increasing

marital stress, leading to domestic violence. Children seldom get early
vaccination, increasing the incidence of polio, pneumonia, whooping and
chronic cough and other respiratory diseases, given their proximity to
industrial establishments and closeness to where the toxic waste is usually
dumped. Thousands die annually due to these unhygienic and diseased
dwelling conditions.

Speaking of her childrens health Jameela Bibi lamented the unhygienic

conditions of her dwelling, Living with a large family it is really dificult to
make ends meet. Some of my chidren are malnourished as I am unable to
give them proper time due to my day-long work.

Nutritional deficiencies for slum dwellers include protein-energy

malnutrition (PEM), vitamin A deficiency (VAD), iron deficiency anemia (IDA)
and iodine deficiency disorders (IDD).Malnutrition is often fatal, especially for
children. Because they are out through the day for vending, mothers are left
with no time take care of children, resulting in malnutrition due to neglect.

To alleviate this, the government and the private sector must come together.
However the concern is that the private sector has largely ignored slum
dwellers while promoting low-cost housing. Given the dreadful trends and
numbers, which are progressively despairing, the government cannot handle
the issue on its own, especially when its own survival is at stake amid a
number of political crises. In order to bring the private sector on board the
administration must propose suitable incentives. Though housing is a major
challenge, it can be tackled with a sound and planned response through a
strong public-private partnership. The government must demonstrate the will
to take the first steps in approaching the private sector with an open mind
and the determination to change things for the better.

Haroon Janjua is a freelance journalist. He tweets @JanjuaHaroon and can be

reached at janjuaharoon01@gmail.com

Conditions in slums

The conditions in slums are deplorable. The settlements are built in small, congested areas, near airports,
railway lines and industries, rivers and other water bodies, and markets. The settlements are built with
whatever material people there can find be if corrugated sheets or gunny bags or polythene bags. This is
not only unhygienic but also creates complications during monsoon when there is flooding during heavy
rains. There is no regular supply of water through pipes. This makes obtaining clean drinking water very
difficult. Used and dirty water is not properly disposed off through covered pipes, but is just roughly
directed away from the settlements. Since there is no proper sewage or waste disposal system, garbage
is accumulated near the slums or thrown into the water bodies in case the slums are near a water body.
There are no proper sanitation facilities, and people tend to defecate in public. There is no regulated
supply of electricity in slums, making living conditions very poor. In conclusion, the standard of living is
extremely poor. The existence of such conditions makes it easier for people living here to contract
diseases and easily spread infectious diseases because many people live in close quarters.

Reasons for prevalence of slums

Simply put, most people in slums live there because they have no other viable housing options. However,
even slum redevelopment schemes in places such as Mumbai have failed because the rehabilitated
people tend to sell their allotted housing and look for housing in slums again so that they may earn some
money. Hence, poverty and lack of well-paying jobs capable of improving peoples living conditions also
contribute to the perpetuation of slums. Most people migrate to urban areas in search of employment.
Once in the city, they find only underpaid unskilled jobs in the tertiary sector. Thus, with such jobs these
persons cannot afford suitable housing in cities where the cost of living is quite high. Hence, they are
forced to find accommodation in a settlement or slums. Also, many small-scale enterprises also operate
from slums where they can escape monitoring by local authorities and rules, guidelines cannot be

six negative impacts of slums:

Women and Girls: Women and girls are not afforded time for education, as they are
burdened with carrying water long distances and caring for sick family members. And, in
slums with poor (or nonexistent) sanitation facilities, going to the toilet at night increases
their risk of sexual assault.
Health and Child Mortality: Illness and disease spread like wildfire in slums; in the
Kibera slum in Kenya, HIV infection is twice the national average, and diarrhea is the
leading killer of children under five.
Education: Social and cultural barriers deny children from slums the opportunity to
receive an education. Many children never receive any formal education and few
complete a primary education.
Finance: Banks often refuse residents of slums because they are considered
unbankable. Without the support of a financial institution, slum dwellers must incur
interest charges from loan sharks, which serve to further impoverish them.
Political and Social Exclusion: Governments often ignore slum dwellers; they are
excluded from voting, city development plans, and full protection under the law. Without
the rights and voice that other citizens have, people living in slums constantly face
political and social exclusion.
Disasters: Many slum dwellers in developing countries live in danger of a rise in sea
level. Storms, earthquakes, and other disasters affect city slums more seriously than
other areas, as substandard houses crumble or poor drainage systems promote
prolonged flooding.

causes the growth of slums

1.Rural-urban migration:
The proportion of people working in agriculture has declined by 30% over the last 50 years,
while global population has increased by 250%. For example, in India, agriculture
accounted for 52% of its GDP in 1954 and only 19% in 2004;in Brazil, the 2005 GDP
contribution of agriculture is one-fifth of its contribution in 1951.
Many people move to urban areas primarily because cities promise more jobs, better schools
for poor's children, and diverse income opportunities than subsistence farming in rural
areas.However, some rural migrants may not find jobs immediately because of their lack of
skills and the increasingly competitive job markets, which leads to their financial
shortage.Many rural-urban migrant workers cannot afford housing in cities and eventually
settle down in only affordable slums.
2. Urbanization:
Rapid urbanization drives economic growth and causes people to seek working and
investment opportunities in urban areas.Local governments are unable to manage
urbanization,and migrant workers without an affordable place to live in, dwell in slums.The
UN-Habitat reports that 43% of urban population in developing countries and 78% of those
in the least developed countries are slum dwellers.
3.Poor housing planning:
Lack of affordable low cost housing and poor planning encourages the supply side of
slums.Insufficient financial resources and lack of coordination in government bureaucracy
are two main causes of poor housing planning. The Millennium Development Goals
proposes that member nations should make a significant improvement in the lives of at
least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020.

4.Colonialism and segregation:

Some of the slums in todays world are a product of urbanization brought by
colonialism.Others were created because of segregation imposed by the colonialists.
For example, Dharavi slum of Mumbai - now one of the largest slums in India, used to be a
village referred to as Koliwadas. In 1887, the British colonial government expelled all
tanneries, other noxious industry and poor natives who worked in the peninsular part of
the city and colonial housing area, to what was back then the northern fringe of the city - a
settlement now called Dharavi.This settlement attracted no colonial supervision or
investment in terms of road infrastructure, sanitation, public services or housing. The poor
moved into Dharavi, found work as servants in colonial offices and homes and in the
foreign owned tanneries and other polluting industries near Dharavi. To live, the poor built
shanty towns within easy commute to work. By 1947, the year India became an
independent nation of the commonwealth, Dharavi had blossomed into Bombays largest

Urban poverty encourages the formation and demand for slums.The richer the country, the
lower is the incidence of slums and, on the contrary, the higher the magnitude of slums in
the country the lower is the gross national income (GNI) of that country.

Removal and replacement of slum created a conflict of interest, and politics prevented
efforts to remove, relocate or upgrade the slums into housing projects that are better than
the slums. Similar dynamics are cited in faves of Brazil,slums of India,and shanty towns of

7.Social conflicts:
Millions of Lebanese people formed slums during the civil war from 1975 to 1990.Similarly,
in recent years, numerous slums have sprung around Kabul to accommodate rural Afghans
escaping Taliban violence.

8.Natural disasters:
Major natural disasters in poor nations often lead to migration of disaster-affected families
from areas crippled by the disaster to unaffected areas, the creation of temporary tent city
and slums, or expansion of existing slums. These slums tend to become permanent because
the residents do not want to leave, as in the case of slums near Port-au-Prince after the
2010 Haiti earthquake, and slums near Dhaka after 2007 Bangladesh Cyclone Sidr.
The following are characteristics of slums.

Slums are associated with poor sanitation due to lack of proper garbage and
sewage disposal
Many of houses in slums are semi - permanent .

Houses in slums are very cheap since they are of poor quality and also due to low
income of people living in slums
Slums are associated with high crime rate

Houses in slums are very close to each other and are unplanned

Slums do not have enough supply of water and power due to their location on the
edge of cities
Many people living in slums are unemployed

There is problem of overcrowding in slums

The main characteristics of slum population are listed below:

(i) High rate of poverty;

(ii) High incidence of unemployment;
(iii) Huge extent of urban decay;
(iv) Breeding grounds for social problems like crime, drug addiction,
alcoholism etc.;

(v) High rates of mental illness and suicide etc.;

(vi) Low level of economic status of its residents;
(vii) Inadequate infrastructural facilities;
(viii) Acute problem of malnutrition

(ix) Lack of drinking water;

(x) Lack of basic healthcare;
(xi) Unsanitary and unary environment;
(xii) Low standard of living or poor quality of life.