The population of Mumbai has gone up considerably and the worrying fact is that the number of people staying in the slums has increased by an alarming 50 per cent in a decade.
According to the provisional figures of the census that is underway, Mumbai's population is projected to be 1.43 crore, which was 1.19 crore in 2001. The number of people living in slums and slum-like areas has gone up by a staggering 30 lakh.
The projections showed that about 90 lakh Mumbai residents now live in slums as against 60 lakh recorded in 2001 census - a 50 per cent increase in a decade that also saw an unprecedented real estate boom in the city.
This means that about 60 per cent of Mumbai is staying in slums-shanties and even brick and cement houses built in unplanned manner with limited access to civic amenities.
"The provisional figures show a large Mumbai population manages to live and cope under the huge infrastructure deficit," said urban planner V K Phatak.
Pankaj Joshi, Executive Director, Urban Design Research Institute said the whole issue boils down to affordability.
"Since the state cannot provide houses to this section, they have taken care of their own needs."
This number would vary, depending on the outcome of second phase of census under which a detailed survey would be conducted. The projections are based on first phase, which was listing of houses and individual staying in them.
"The exact and definitive number will be available after the population enumeration is conducted in February" said Joint Director (Census Operations) Dr S S Hiremath.