MUMBAI, India — About one in six Indian city residents lives in an urban slum with unsanitary conditions that are ‘‘unfit for human habitation,’’ according to the first complete census of India’s vast slum population.
More than 40 percent of households in Mumbai, India’s financial capital and largest city with 19 million people, are located in overcrowded shantytowns where most residents have little access to basic sanitation. While the report described open sewers and poverty, it also shows that many slum residents have cellphones and televisions and have made do with a lack of government infrastructure by rigging up elaborate, mostly illegal, systems to supply electricity.
In the 2011 census, survey takers visited every shantytown — they counted 108,000 of them — and made detailed records of their lives. The census report identified 13.8 million households — about 64 million people — in city slums nationwide. That’s 17.4 percent of all urban households, roughly one-third of India’s 1.2 billion people.