The country will have about 93.06 million people living in slums by next year, up by over 18 million in the past 10 years, the government said on Friday.

An expert committee, constituted to look into various aspects of slum census, projected the population living in this cluster in 2011 at 93.06 million, up from 75.26 million since 2001, Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.

The expert committee, which submitted its report to the Ministry on August 30, was headed by Pranab Sen, principal adviser to the Planning Commission and the country’s former chief statistician.

According to the Minister, the committee has recommended that it is absolutely essential to count the slum population even in cities having less than 20,000 population for policy formulation purposes.

For the purpose of planning for Rajiv Awas Yojna and a slum-free India, it has suggested that “it would be necessary to count the population of slums in all statutory towns in the country in 2011,” Ms. Selja said.

The Minister also informed the House that the expert committee had given a “normative definition” of slum and according to it, a compact settlement of at least 20 households having slum—like characteristics should be counted in this category of dwelling.

“The committee has further recommended that the Registrar General of India (RGI) would share the layout maps with marking of the contiguous areas having slum—like characteristics with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation before the general census in 2011 for it to use for planning purpose and as an aid to slum surveys,” she said.

She said her Ministry “has written to all States and Union Territories to work together with census officials to accurately identify the slums and count the population residing therein accurately in the 2011 Census.”

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