Skip to main content

Muslims less likely to benefit from basic services in Kolkata slums, says study by Gujarat-based institute

Counterview Desk
A recent study, sponsored out by a Gujarat-based institute, has revealed that religion has been playing an important role in the provisioning of basic services in the slum areas of Kolkata. "The chances of sufficient water supply reduce by at least 16 percent for Muslim households and by at least 26 percent for wards represented by the Muslim councilor”, the study, titled “Political Economy of Water Supply and Drainage Service Delivery in Slums of Kolkata: Implications for Municipal Management", authored by Indranil De of the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), Gujarat,  and Tirthankar Nag of the International Management Institute, Kolkata, points out.
The study says, availability of water supply in the slum households is in proportion to the “percentage of vote obtained by the councilor in municipal election.” If the percentage of vote obtained by the councilor is higher, there is a “greater the chances of getting sufficient water.” The study says, “When the councilor wins the last elections -- depicted by the higher margin and change in margin – the higher the chances of sufficient water supply.” It adds, “If the councilor is affiliated to the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), the chances of getting sufficient water increases by more than 27 percent”.
Coming to the quality of water, the study says, the local government appears to play a major role in up-keeping the quality of water supply. Underlining that the “quality of water improves if the present councilor happens to have won elections with a higher percentage of votes and a higher and improved margin over the last elections”, the scholars say, “Wards characterized by both high competition and high fragmentation have higher chances of receiving good quality of water supply. The probability of getting good quality water increases by 32 percent if the councilor is affiliated to the AITC. However, “if the local councilor is a repeat (re-elected) councilor of the previous municipal council then the chances of getting good quality water fall by 61 percent. This could be due to less effort on the part of the councilors in governance.”
Based on a survey of 541 households in 23 slums, giving a profile of the slum dwellers, the study reveals that more than half the households in Kolkata belong to the Muslim community, who mainly dominate in Central Kolkata slums. The percentage of Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) households, on the other hand, is highest in the North and East Kolkata slums. Poverty analysis suggests that eight per cent of the slum dwellers fall in the lowest group with a monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE) of less than Rs 830.6 in 2009-10. “Muslim population falls at the bottom of the economic strata with 10 per cent placed at the lowest MPCE group. The percentage of people in the top MPCE group (more than Rs 1500) is highest for the Hindu general caste”, the study points out.
Pointing out that “sufficiency of water supply has been measured by household response on the availability of water supply”, the study says, “The Muslim community is worst affected in terms of insufficiency, followed by SC and ST households.” As for the quality of water supply, it was reported as “good” by 72 percent of sample households, with 6 per cent reporting that it is bad. 
“However", it adds, "there are both inter and intra regional disparities in quality of water supply. Going by regions, quality of water supply in Central Kolkata appears to be worst with 10 percent reporting bad quality. Central Kolkata slums are dominated by the Muslim population and around 11 percent of Muslim households of this region receive water supply of bad quality”, the scholars comment, adding, “Religion and caste wise, quality of water supply seems to be at its worst for SC and ST households with 15 percent complaining about water quality being bad.”
As for drainage facilities, things are not very different. The study says, “Candidates having won higher competitive elections (lower percentage of votes, less margin and reduced margin as compared to last elections) demonstrate better chances of good drainage service delivery. However, political fragmentation reduces the chances of better service delivery. Moreover, high political competition coupled with high political fragmentation is likely to lead to lowered delivery of services. Councilors not associated with the majority party might try to showcase their work by delivering services as drainage which is under their direct control.”
Referring to the state of drainage, the study says, “Drainage in the slums of Kolkata is awfully bad as around 9 percent of the sample households do not have any drainage facility and around 76 percent households report that drains are not cleaned even within a fortnight. The distribution of households by drainage services reveal that inter and intra regional disparities exist in the context of physical access to drains as well as drainage services with drains being cleaned in a fortnight.”

Comments

TRENDING

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

Ships recycling Bill 'allows' India to be turned into a landfill for foreign hazardous waste

Counterview Desk
In a letter to M Venkaiah Naidu, chairman, Rajya Sabha, senior activist Gopal Krishna of the Toxics Watch Alliance has said that the Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 should be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change to "safeguard country’s maritime environment from harmful and hazardous wastes and materials".

Hindutva founders, not Congress, were actual 'proponents' of two-nation theory

By Shamsul Islam*
No other organization, in the present world, can beat Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in double-speak. In fact, what George Orwell termed as "doublespeak" would be an understatement in the case of RSS. The latest proof of this nasty case was provided by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, de facto Prime Minister and senior RSS leader in the Lok Sabha (akin to the House of Commons in England) on December 9, 2019.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.