Basic Civil Engineering (3110004)

BE | Semester-1   Winter-2019 | 08-01-2020

Q3) (c)

Briefly outline causes, characteristics and effects of slum.

Causes of slums

Decentralization: Decentralization takes place when rich people move out to the new better colonies of the town leaving poor people in the overcrowded central area of the town to make it more insanitary. As a result, the slum colonies start mushrooming at a faster rate.

Poverty: Unemployment and poor economic conditions force people to stay in unhealthy atmosphere. It is difficult for them to pay a heavy rent for a decent living. Therefore, they move in slum areas. Thus, the main cause for the slum formation can be described in one word is poverty.

Lack of education: If the inhabitants are lacking in education, they may not pay attention to improve the living conditions, lose civic interest and neighborhood spirit. They are therefore easily dragged into social evils.

Lake of zoning: If zoning regulations are not enforced in the early development of town, random development will take place. There are chances for industrial area to encroach upon residential areas and very soon there will be overcrowding with the formation of slums.

Population growth: There is a lag between the tremendous growth of population and the construction of houses. If there is a gap between the population and houses, these shortages manifest themselves in creating slums.

Rapid industrialization: The workers employed in the factories are low waged persons and cannot afford daily travelling from the distant places in the city. They generally make their habitation as near as possible to the place of work. Hance in a short time the available land or open space is occupied by the buildings without any proper planning. This gives rise to the formation of slums.

Migrants: The persons shifting to urban area may illegally occupy vacant lands and may put their huts there. These results into formation of slums.

Repair and maintenance: Old houses are looked after from time to time. But these houses are not properly maintained, hence most of these buildings remain in a state of decay to favour the formation of slums. Cheap houses constructed by the land owners for the purpose of collecting rents, are not properly maintained and the conditions favouring formation of slums may be developed.

Inadequate powers: If the local authority concerned does not possess adequate powers to control the development of the town, slums are definite to be formed. If preventive measures are not taken in time, the decent localities of the town will be the slums of tomorrow.

Improper use of land: Sometime improper use of land results into formation of slum, i.e. if residential lands are used for industries, the slums may be formed.

Characteristics of slums

Overcrowding: A slum is predominantly and overcrowded area. It is overcrowded with buildings as well as people.

Population: Generally people living in slums are uneducated, poor, unemployed, low waged and having no social and cultural life.

Appearance: Unhealthy conditions are created in slums due to absence of public facilities. So its unpleasant appearance offends the eyes, nose and conscience. The buildings appear to be deteriorated and to be of over-age.

Health and sanitation: In slum areas amenities like water supply, drainage for standard living are lacking, and as a result insanitary conditions prevail which lead to high sickness and death rates. 5) Fire hazards: In slum areas generally poor people live in their huts. So it is often exposed to fire accidents.

Income criteria: The slum is poverty-stricken area where the lowest income group of society lives.

Morals: Uneducated and poor persons can be easily dragged into social evils. So the socially disorganized slums are may prove to be the area of delinquency, crime and vice.

Traffic accidents: The road tend to become highways so there is danger from traffic accidents.

Way of life: Slum dwellers losses his ambition, civic interest as well as wholesome neighbourhood spirit. They become strangers to one another and sometimes they form of family slum with thick acquaintance with one another.

Political problems: Slum are health hazards to the towns which later on create serious socio-economic and political problems. The slum dwellers can identify themselves with certain political groups.

Black spot: A slum as such is a black spot and spoils the healthy environment of the town life.

Effects of slums

Health: Unhealthy conditions are created due to absence of public facilities like water supply, drainage, sanitation and electric power etc. The environment is not healthy and people residing in slums are easily attacked by various diseases.

Lack of amenities: Adequate amenities generally do not exist due to overcrowding.

Surrounding locality: The working of institutions like school, college, library, hospital, etc. is seriously affected because they are located nearby slums.

Working conditions: As the area being full of noise, traffic congestion, smoke, dust and darkness, it is not possible to work peacefully in slums.

Undesirable sports: The slums as such on a city plan form undesirable sports and spoil the aesthetic look of the city.

Social life: There is complete absence of social and cultural life. Slum people can be easily dragged into social evils.

No open space: All open areas being attacked, there is no open space for recreation pure air etc.

Neighbourhood spirit: The mental outlook of the slum dweller is affected. He loses his ambition, civic interest as well as wholesome neighbourhood spirit.