Factors responsible for growth of slums

  • Rapid growth of population:
    • Population explosion and poverty force the urban poor to live in slums and that leads to an increase in the size of slums.
    • Also, a regional imbalance in development creates rural to urban migration, thus increasing the overall urban population density which pressurizes the urban poor to move into slums.
    • In the past 15 years, India’s urban population density has increased by 45%. It is further estimated that 40% of the population will live in urban areas by 2026.
    • With increasingly densified urban population, there exists a huge demand for land.
    • This shortage of land forces the urban poor to live in increasingly dense communities creating slums in the process.
  • Poor Urban governance:
    • A major factor for growth of slums use of rigid, often outdated urban planning regulations, which are typically bypassed by slum dwellers to meet their housing needs.
    • Another issue is the failure of governments to incorporate slum dwellers as part of the overall planning process.
    • This is often due to the inability of many governments to keep pace with urbanization because of ill-designed policies, lack of resources and corruption.
  • Administrative failure:
    • City authorities faced with rapid urban development lack the capacity to cope with the diverse demands for infrastructural provision to meet economic and social needs.
    • Not only are strategic planning and intervention major issues in agenda to manage rapid urbanization, but city governments are not effectively linking the economic development trajectory to implications for urban growth and, hence, housing needs.
  • Unavailability of affordable housing:
    • Rising material costs and labor costs resulting from labor shortage is another reason for the growth of slums as it makes developers unable to deliver affordable housing to the market.
    • The gap between growing demand for affordable urban housing and insufficient supply has encouraged the formation of slums.
    • Whenever the demand surplus is not met by formal sectors, this gap is typically filled by an informal dwelling such as a slum
  • Limited access to financial resources:
    • slum dwellers typically inhabit marginal locations such as dumping grounds mainly due to the low purchasing power of slum dwellers in formal land markets when compared with high-income groups.
    • Further, the urban poor lack the access to formal financial resources to help them purchase new homes or maintain a new life in a new housing unit.
  • Rural to Urban Migration:
    • Rural to urban migration is one of the primary drivers of growth of slums in Indian cities.
    • Urban centres which are not equipped to support additional population, fail to cope up with high influx of people which ultimately causes several problems such as housing shortages, unemployment, and development of slums.
  • Social factors:
    • Moreover, social backwardness forces people to live in congested areas away from main areas. For example, more Scheduled Castes (SCs) live in slums – with one out of every five residents belonging to the SC category.