Andhra Pradesh at second slot in slum population
- With 15.6% of population cities living in slums, the state is just behind Maharashtra, ahead of WB, UP, TN and MP
- The report also expresses concern over lack of adequate infrastructure in cities and towns to handle wastewater, solid waste
Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh is in an unenviable position as far as slum population is concerned in the country, occupying the second position from the top in the list of the states in the country with most slum population.
As per Census 2011, 17.3 per cent of the total urban population was under slums in India and about 70 per cent of this slum population was concentrated in six states: Maharashtra (18.1 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (15.6 per cent), West Bengal (9.8 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (9.5 per cent), Tamil Nadu (8.9 per cent) and Madhya Pradesh (8.7 per cent).
This factor has come to light in the new report released by the NITI Aayog on 'Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India' on Thursday.
Andhra Pradesh also found a place in the list of states which observed a jump in census towns between — Maharashtra (127 to 279), Andhra Pradesh (93 to 227), West Bengal (252 to 780), Uttar Pradesh (66 to 267), Tamil Nadu (111 to 376) and Madhya Pradesh (55 to 112). (A census town is considered as a town for population purposes alone and in reality is governed as a rural area).
Visakhapatnam city is included in the cities of India that face a water risk as it is bound to face an acute water shortage in the next few decades along with cities like Kolkata, Benguluru, Mumbai, Kozhikode, Amritsar, Pune, Srinagar, Jaipur and Indore. This was also highlighted by the NITI Aayog report which quoted the World Wide Fund for Nature, India (2020).
This situation is further exacerbated by the lack of adequate infrastructure in cities and towns to handle their own wastewater and solid waste. This may lead to contamination of remaining groundwater resources or deterioration of surface water quality, the report pointed out.
Providing additional water through desalination plants is an energy-intensive and expensive solution, it says, referring to solutions. "It is crucial that the planning of cities and towns should be done with adequate provisions of blue-green-grey infrastructure integrated with the land uses, transportation systems, natural drainage pattern, and the regional context. Such capacity as well as priority needs to be inculcated in city planning and plan implementation processes," the report suggested.