Report No. 138
The term "slum" is usually understood as "court, alley or street of dirty crowded houses".1 The Report of the Socio Economic Survey of Slums of Old Delhi states that "The term 'slum' should be applied to those parts of the city which may be unfit for human habitation, either because the structures therein are old, dilapidated, grossly congested and out of repairs or because it is impossible to preserve sanitation for want of sanitary facilities, including ventilation, drainage, water supply, etc., or because the sites by themselves are unhealthy"2. Thus, according to this test, the main criteria are
(i) old state of the structure, or
(ii) insanitariness, or
(iii) unhealthy sites.
Each of these criteria is substantially concerned with the quality of life.
1. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English.
2. Socio-Economic Survey of Slums in Old Delhi cited in Andrea Menefee Singh Poverty and Slum Dwellers in Urban India-Some Urgent Research and Policy Considerations, (April-June 1978) Social Action, p. 165.