SLUM ANALYSIS

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1. Department of Architecture and Regional Planning, IIT Kharagpur VISHESH GUPTA | 10AR10050 FIELD OBSERVATION REPORT STUDY AND ANALYSIS OF A SLUM IN BANGALORE 2. Contents DIFFICULTY OF DEFINITION..................................................................................................................................3 DIFFICULTY OF APPROACH..................................................................................................................................4 HOUSING TYPOLOGY OF VISITED SLUMS................................................................................................................4 THE SLUM IN QUESTION .....................................................................................................................................9 LIFESTYLE, CONDITIONS ET CETERA.....................................................................................................................10 EFFORTS BY NGOS AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS .................................................................................................11 IMPORTANCE OF ATTITUDINAL AND BEHAVIORAL CHANGE.....................................................................................11 DISCOVERING THE PROBLEM.............................................................................................................................12 DESIGNING A PROTOTYPE.................................................................................................................................14 DEVELOPABLE SYSTEMS....................................................................................................................................15 REFERENCES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS............................................................................................................20 Annexures(I,II,III).........................................................................................................................................21 3. DIFFICULTY OF DEFINITION The Census of India defines a slum as a compact area having a population of at least 300 or about 60-70 households of poorly built congested tenements, in unhygienic environment usually with inadequate infrastructure and lacking in proper sanitary and drinking water facilities. However, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, following the definition adopted by the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO), considers as a slum a compact settlement with a collection of poorly built tenements mostly of a temporary nature, crowded together usually with inadequate sanitary and drinking water facilities in unhygienic conditions It is, therefore, not surprising to note the following difference in data on account of the differences in the definitions followed and minimum qualifying size, and other differences in enumeration techniques. Data source: Slum types and adaptation strategies: Identifying policy relevant differences in Bangalore- Anirudh Krishna, M.S. Sriram, Purnima Prakash Slums tend to sprawl over time, thus stretching their original boundaries which were unrecorded. Simultaneous dismantling and relocation is common. Hence the locating the slums on a map is largely a product of guesswork. This also reduces the possibility of us confirming the development in slums. Because re-surveys in a constantly changing atmosphere becomes redundant; thus making it hard to ascertain the impact of government policies and NGO initiatives. My analysis of the slums in Bangalore is mostly done from a perspective of redesigning the basic dwelling unit to solve some of the major problems solved by the dwellers. Nupur and I volunteered on the weekends with SELCO urban development labs and worked with Noorain, an architect by profession visiting the community, asking problems, and brainstorming on how to solve them. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2009 estimate of NSSO and Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation 2011 Census figure Urban population of Karnataka not living in slums Urban population of Karnatak living in slums 4. DIFFICULTY OF APPROACH Approaching any slum for a field observation does not seem to be a difficult task. But a firsthand experience made me realize that it is imperative to not be an observer1 , but a part of the community to truly understand the problems they face. There exists an inherent suspicion of us being outsiders/ officials. These households do not have land titles or identity papers. They fear the wrath of the landlord. Outside influence instills fear in them. Language barrier was partly a problem. It was better that we had some of the local language speaking SELCO people with us; who could direct us to Hindi speaking dwellers. It is obvious, perhaps, that one should go as simply dressed as possible, with minimal accessories. Bags, notepads etc. should be avoided, if possible. It is my own personal opinion, that photography should be restricted to a minimum- since I felt their discomfort when we were clicking. The architect, Noorain who accompanied us on our visit to Marathalli site, keeps visiting often. She knows the people there, and hence it was relatively easier for them to relate to us. With the setting of Integrated Energy Centers, and SELCO gradually becoming a household name for them; they develop a positive image for it. They begin to think of SELCO people as helpers and open up more than they would to any stranger who tries to interact with them on honest grounds of helping them. Even putting an IEC in place is not that easy. In a lecture of Dr. Harish Hande that I attended in Mumbai (December 2013) he told us of the hindrances relating to constructing an IEC, Architecture becomes important. The IEC cannot have a well built structure, for then again they get alienated from it. It needs to be similar to that of the community dwellings, tarpaulin cladding/ corrugate sheet roof; cheap plastering etc. Similarly, in the banjara community, SELCO went to an extent of starting an IEC on wheels! Image Source: Small scale sustainable infrastructure development fund website Such extent of behavioral understanding is essential for change. Annexure II gives details of the IEC in Tubrahalli community, and how its use of bamboo and wood framework with corrugated sheet walls is relatable to the dwellers. HOUSING TYPOLOGY OF VISITED SLUMS 1 I would like to share a personal instance; As I took out my diary to sketch and to write down whatever they were telling us, Noorain was quick enough to tell me that I should not. This is because it creates an impression of something official, a government survey etc. and then they stop sharing their real scenarios and problems. It is important to talk; not to write. 5. We can classify the slums in Bangalore (or anywhere, for that matter) into three broad categories, based on the housing typologies. 1. Category 1 - Nomadic tent settlements2 Overview- Commonly known as the banjara community, the professions in which they are involved are mostly hand crafted, lost traditions (for example- making drums). They reside in tents that are supported by wooden logs, the fabric of the tent varying from flex, to cloth to tarpaulin sheets. There is no provision for a door as such. Observed location- Near Bayappanhalli metro station, towards the bus stand. Conditions- Abject poverty, with unhygienic conditions; since they are always on the move, there are no toilets. Cooking was done in an open central area that was surrounded by the tents. No demarcated spaces within the dwelling unit could be seen. Problems- The structures were temporary and easily subject to upheaval by storms in Bangalore. Problems due to stray animals were also noted. 2. Category 2 - Ephemeral blue polygon settlements Overview- Two types of settlements were visited. The structures are discussed under the next heading. Daily wage laborers and house maids are the common professions. There structures are more permanent than the previous category, but uninhabitable from a standard architectural point of view nonetheless. Framework is created by bamboo/other wood and layering of tarpaulin sheet is done for the roof. The walls are simply standing planks. Doors (wooden planks) are hinged onto other planks, and hence a door is part of the unit. Observed location- Tubrahalli + Marathalli Conditions- A separate toilet unit does exist, but it is simply a temporary structure with a pit hole and tarpaulin sheets as curtains. Children go to a school nearby, but mostly drop out. The relatively larger homes do have a demarcation between sleeping and eating space, but the smaller ones dont. The SELCO center3 hosts a television unit operated by a school boy, and an NGO runs a kindergarten in the center. Problems- Major problems include the smoke from the chulhas, lack of ventilation, no natural light, and entry of rodents and mosquitoes. Other minor problems include consistent rebuilding of the structures, lack of storage space, and space organization. 3. Category 3 - Unorganized interspersed permanent settlements Overview- These slums are interspersed within the developed areas of the city, and have proper walls to their unit, but roofs are of corrugated metal, indoor spaces are unorganized, and there is no 2 My enquiries with this community were not that extensive and hence the information is recorded as seen. Discrepancies should be ignored, as the details mentioned come off merely as a presumption derived from my personal visual observation and perception of discussions with Noorain. 3 The structure, designed by Noorain, was typically low cost and stable. It served as a preliminary model of how we were to redesign the slum habitation unit. Annexure II details out the structure of the SELCO center. 6. proper ventilation. Most common occupations, that I observed, were those of laundry, scrap/garbage collectors ,carpenters, security guards etc. Observed location- 80 feet road, Kodihalli, Bangalore Con