Overall 6.5 crore of India’s urban population resides in slums. Notably, the majority of the slum population comprises the informal sector labor force who are employed in low-paying jobs. Due to the migration of people to urban areas in search of employment, slums spring up in Indian cities within a matter of days. With an increase in population from the 1990s, growth in the slum areas is registered which implies that the proportion of slums is directly related to the population. According to the latest data, while the distribution of the slum dwellers in different States vary, 35.2 percent of India’s urban population live in slums.
An analysis of the condition of slums reflects that our policies have failed to address the crucial aspects of an adequate standard of living which is in absolute violation of constitutional and human rights mandates. As is evident, there are a lot of inconsistencies in India’s labor laws, which has also contributed to the failure of the government to provide shelter to its urban workforce. As a result, some modifications should be brought about in the labor laws and policies.
In this Policy Paper we examine and identify the prevalent policy gaps in this regard and suggest a set of policy reforms that could improve the approach of our current urban slum rehabilitation and redevelopment policies.