Atleast 50 per cent households in every area in the M-East ward stay in average or inadequate housing conditions, the highest being in Mankhurd (63.76 per cent in average and 10.72 per cent in inadequate conditions), Vashi Naka (62.28 per cent in average and 2.14 per cent in inadequate) and Baiganwadi (58.84 per cent in average and 5.23 per cent in inadequate), says a draft report on the housing conditions in the ward by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), which is looking at transforming the ward.
The other areas in the ward include Shivaji Nagar, Trombay Cheeta Camp and Govandi.
According to the study, Cheeta Camp is an area where maximum consolidation of housing has been made, closely followed by Govandi and Shivaji Nagar. While Vashi Naka is a locality which corresponds in age to Cheeta Camp, Shivaji Nagar and Govandi, but only 35 per cent households in the area have fair housing conditions. “Better housing conditions are thus found to be more linked lo layouts created by the government than the age of the settlement,” it says.
The report highlights the vulnerability of Mankhurd, which has the least proportion (25.53 per cent) of households with fair housing conditions.
Further, while the proportion of pucca houses is nearly 63 per cent at Cheeta Camp, it is lowest in Mankhurd at 30 per cent, where one-sixth of the houses belong to kutcha category, representing the worst form of housing.
The draft further says, “In Indian cities, slums are the most ubiquitous form of housing available to the poor. Slums symbolise the agency of people and their ability to stake claims in the city despite the harsh conditions they have to confront. They also symbolise the failure of the state to make due provisions for housing these people. M-East ward presents a range of varied housing conditions and the nuance that the term ‘slum’ can take.”
The report shows that while even resettled areas in the ward are still characterised as slums, there are atleast 17 settlements not recognised as slums, with residents of these areas vulnerable to repeated evictions.
“In between lie a range of settlements that have struggled to gain recognition as slums, to obtain infrastructure,” it adds.
Stating that the number of rooms is an indicator of privacy and of quality of life in the settlements, the study says that 63 per cent surveyed households live in just one room, while more than half the households across all study areas, except Cheeta Camp, stay in one room houses. Significantly, less than 10 per cent households have the ‘priviledge’ of more than two rooms.
As far as a basic amenity like water is concerned, just above one-fourth of the sample representing M-East ward have individual tap (inside or outside the house) to obtain water, while 44 per cent use public tap for getting water and 13 per cent purchase water from private sources.
Further, 55 per cent use community or group toilet, while 33 per cent use private paid toilet, indicating that chances of open defecation is miniscule.