India census reveals slum life picture

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ABOUT one in six Indian city residents lives in an urban slum with unsanitary conditions that are “unfit for human habitation”, according to the first complete census of India’s vast slum population.

More than 40 per cent of households in Mumbai, India’s financial capital and largest city with 19 million people, are located in overcrowded slums where most residents are squatting illegally and many have little access to basic sanitation.

The report on India’s 2011 census, the most thorough yet recorded, identified 13.8 million households – about 64 million people – located in city slums nationwide. That is 17.4 per cent of all urban households, which account for roughly one-third of India’s 1.2 billion people.

Detailed information from India’s latest census is still trickling out.