As the government gears up to meet the overall housing shortfall of nearly 18.7 million in the urban areas, a statistical compendium of households with basic amenities, including water, electricity and sanitation, better building materials, more rooms and assets, has shown an overall improvement.
Data collated in the statistical compendium ‘Urban Indicators’ that was released by the Union Housing and Poverty Alleviation Ministry recently shows that the number of households in urban areas has risen from 53.69 per cent in 2001 to 78.86 per cent in 2011.
Also, households that have access to sanitation and drainage facilities, too, have registered an increase, though States like Bihar, Odisha and Chhattisgarh have shown the lowest improvement in terms of households with improved sanitation.
More households (35.09 million) now have a closed drainage system compared with just 18.52 million in 2001.
Issues of sanitation, open defecation, provision for closed drains have been targeted through several schemes, including the Union Urban Development Ministry’s flagship programme -- the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.
The data shows there is an increase of 55.41 per cent in the number of households that have electricity as the main source of lighting, even though the number of households that have no source of lighting has also increased by 42.11 per cent.
More takers for solar energy
Households that use solar energy have risen sharply by over 30 per cent, while the use of kerosene for lighting has fallen by 18 per cent.
The condition of dwellings has shown an increase, with the households that have been described as “good” registering a growth of 56.59 per cent and the “liveable” ones, too, having gone up from 17.31 million in 2001 to 22.61 million 2011.
The data sourced from the Census of 2011 shows more people now own houses than before; there is a 69 per cent increase in the number of households that are “owned” with “rented” accommodations marking a dip of 21.72 per cent. Availability of drinking water and water from taps within the household has gone up as have assets like television and telephones.
The number of people owning radio, television and telephones in urban areas has shown an increase of 25.3 per cent, 76.7 per cent and 82 per cent, respectively.
In urban areas, 50.7 million households have mobile phones, while 9.3 million have both a landline and a mobile phone. The use of computer and laptops with Internet facility, too, has shown an increase.
Even though the number of four wheelers has more than doubled in the decade, bicycle has emerged as a preferred mode of transportation in urban areas. Compared with a 7.9 per cent increase in the number of four-wheeled vehicles, the number of bicycles has gone up by 41.9 per cent.
Urbanisation in India is expected to touch the halfway mark in the next two-three decades, and estimates point to a 56.18 percent shortfall of housing for the population that comes in the economically weaker categories, followed by lower income groups at 39.44 per cent and a mere 4.38 per cent for the middle income groups and above.
There is a 69 per cent increase in the number of households that are “owned”
“Rented” accommodations mark a dip of 21.72 per cent