International Journal of Social Science & Economic Research
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Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, St. Xavier's College (Autonomous) Kolkata, India, 700016

CHAUDHURI, SASWATI. "SOME ASPECTS OF VULNERABILITY AND THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT: A STUDY WITH REFERENCE TO THE SLUMS OF KOLKATA." Int. j. of Social Science and Economic Research, vol. 3, no. 7, July 2018, pp. 3399-3419, Accessed July 2018.
CHAUDHURI, S. (2018, July). SOME ASPECTS OF VULNERABILITY AND THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT: A STUDY WITH REFERENCE TO THE SLUMS OF KOLKATA. Int. j. of Social Science and Economic Research, 3(7), 3399-3419. Retrieved from
CHAUDHURI, SASWATI. "SOME ASPECTS OF VULNERABILITY AND THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT: A STUDY WITH REFERENCE TO THE SLUMS OF KOLKATA." Int. j. of Social Science and Economic Research 3, no. 7 (July 2018), 3399-3419. Accessed July, 2018.

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There is enough literature on informal settlement areas, but research on peoples' access to essential services such as water and sanitation in those areas is very limited. Most studies consider issues of access in connection to urban poverty, an approach that eventually reduces the discussion to the income and expenditure constraints faced by households. Examining access to water and sanitation in the slums spurs an appreciation of the multidimensional nature of the problem, including income poverty, infrastructural limitations, asset ownership inequality, and lack of appropriate housing. Since the urban slum dwellers have limited or no control over various 'shocks', this in its turn is likely to affect their access to assets, and also the livelihoods. Thus, we considered some non-material dimensions of poverty before examining the degree of vulnerability faced by our sampled slum households of Kolkata. Fuel stacking has been observed in the surveyed households and shows no sign of abating. With the ever increasing rate of urbanization, household energy use calls for attention. In course of our survey, we observed that majority of our slum households use 'dirty' fuels like firewood, cow dung cakes, coal, and kerosene for cooking. Clean cooking fuels are important for combating high levels of indoor air pollution. Our study looked into some possible determinants of the choice of cooking fuel type by the slum households. Our conclusion from this exercise is that the probability of choosing a cleaner fuel goes up when the head of the household is more educated and experienced as revealed by her/his age. The same probability also goes up for the asset-rich and APL households. The availability of a pucca house and/or a kitchen encourages the households to go in for a cleaner fuel. It is also found that the smaller-sized households and those with limited number of female members are more likely to choose a cleaner fuel.