Believe it or not but slum areas across Jammu and Kashmir are increasing at an alarming pace.
From twelve slums in the year 2001, Jammu and Kashmir now has forty slums in various parts of the state. The population of people living in slum areas has risen from 373898 in the year 2001 to 662062 which is almost double the population that was living in the slums during the census of 2001.
The increase in slum population is alarming since those living in slums are mostly from outside the state or in certain cases from rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir. The majority of the population living in the slums is of the people from outside the state. These non-state subjects have constructed ordinary structures in the slums both in Jammu as well as in Kashmir.
According to the report available with Newspoint Bureau, most of these non-state subjects belong to the states where main stay of economy once used to be agriculture only. But, with the passage of time, the proportion of the people working in agriculture decline leading to most of these farmers moving to urban areas for jobs, better schools for their children and diverse income opportunities then he subsistence farming in rural areas.
Since wage rates are high in Jammu and Kashmir, these non-state subjects prefer coming here than making an attempt to get a job somewhere outside. Since these migrant workers cannot afford housing in both Srinagar and Jammu cities they settle in affordable slums.
Another reason for the increase of slums in Jammu and Kashmir is the fact that the state government has been unable to come up with affordable low cost housing. Coupled with poor planning, this lack of low cost housing encourages the development of slums. Another reason for slums in Jammu and Kashmir is the rapid urbanization because of which migrant laborers, rural poor and urban low income groups prefer to settle down in areas where they pay less and get all the facilities required by them.
Amid the gloomy scenario the state government is yet to come out with a policy to uplift rural poor, keep an eye on migrant laborers and workers and ensure that the slum see a great fall in the state.