Challenges of Water Supply and Sanitation of the Urban Poor in Delhi

At present, more than 65 million people are living in slums in Delhi (The Hindu 2014). Delhi, the metropolis and the National Capital Territory of India, has the forth largest number of urban households (14.6 %) living in slum areas followed by Chennai (28.5 %), Kolkata (29.6 %) and Greater Mumbai (41 %), (Census 2011). As per the NSS 69th[1] Round, 53.4 % households, living in slum areas, have access to improved sources of drinking water in Delhi. At the same time 99.3 % households living in non-slum areas have improved source of drinking water. Only 24 % households living in slum areas used improved source of toilet facilities and members of one out of six households defecate in open areas (NFHS-3 2005-06). It is one of the cities in India where highest municipality waste (9,500 tonnes) is generated every day which becomes difficult to manage. Only one thousand tonnes municipality waste are treated every day whereas 5,700 tonnes waste are dumped at landfill sites (The Indian Express 2014a, b, c and d). In slums, the condition of water supply and sanitation is very poor due to various challenges like, economic, political, sociocultural, environmental, infrastructural barrier, administrative barrier, technological barrier and educational barriers. It leads to the poor condition of the people living in slums in Delhi. These barriers are discussed below.

  • [1] As per the National Sample Survey (NSS) 69th Report based on Key Indicators of Drinking Water,Sanitation, Hygiene and Housing Condition in India (NSSO 2013).
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