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India Gets to Know its Slums with Drones And Satellites

About 65 million people live in India's slums, according to census data, which activists say is a low estimate

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A metro train moves past a cluster of houses at the Asalpha slum in Mumbai, India, April 12, 2018. (VOA)
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Satellites and drones are driving efforts by Indian states to map informal settlements in order to speed up the process of delivering services and land titles, officials said.

The eastern state of Odisha aims to give titles to 200,000 households in urban slums and those on the outskirts of cities by the end of the year.

Officials used drones to map the settlements.

“What may have takes us years to do, we have done in a few months,” G. Mathi Vathanan, the state housing department commissioner, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation last week.

Land records across the country date back to the British colonial era, and most holdings have uncertain ownership, leading to fraud and lengthy disputes that often end in court.

Officials in Mumbai, where about 60 percent of the population lives in informal settlements, are also mapping slums with drones. Maharashtra state, where the city is located, is launching a similar exercise for rural land holdings.

Children play as a woman crosses a railway fence at a slum area in New Delhi, India, July 11, 2018.
Children play as a woman crosses a railway fence at a slum area in New Delhi, India, July 11, 2018. (VOA)

In the southern city of Bengaluru, a seven-year study that recently concluded used satellite imaging and machine learning.

The study recorded about 2,000 informal settlements, compared with fewer than 600 in government records.

“Understanding human settlement patterns in rapidly urbanizing cities is important because of the stress on civic resources and public utilities,” said Nikhil Kaza, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina.

“Geospatial analysis can help identify stress zones, and allow civic authorities to focus their efforts in localized areas,” said Kaza, who analyzed the Bengaluru data.

About a third of the world’s urban population lives in informal settlements, according to United Nations data.

These settlements may account for 30 percent to 60 percent of housing in cities, yet they are generally undercounted, resulting in a lack of essential services, which can exacerbate poverty.

Identifying and monitoring settlements with traditional approaches such as door-to-door surveys is costly and time consuming. As technology gets cheaper, officials from Nairobi to Mumbai are using satellite images and drones instead.

slums
A man brushes his teeth outside a shanty in Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums, in Mumbai, India, Dec. 27, 2016. (VOA)

About 65 million people live in India’s slums, according to census data, which activists say is a low estimate.

Lack of data can result in tenure insecurity, as only residents of “notified” slums – or those that are formally recognized – can receive property titles.

Lack of data also leads to poor policy because slums are “not homogenous,” said Anirudh Krishna, a professor at Duke University who led the Bengaluru study.

Also Read: Government’s nod Awaited to Start WhatsApp Payment Feature in India, Says Mark Zuckerberg

Some slums “are more likely to need water and sanitation facilities, while better off slums may require skills and entrepreneurship interventions,” he said.

“Lack of information on the nature and diversity of informal settlements is an important limitation in developing appropriate policies aimed at improving the lives of the urban poor.” (VOA)

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Getting Ready For The Festive Season

Use a shimmery, holographic eye shadow or glittery eyeliner to stand out this festive season.

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Festive Season
Looks you can ace this festive season. Pixabay

Look best this festive season with looks that can steal the show.

Suyash Singh, Regional makeup corporate trainer, VLCC and Hair and make up expert Aashmeen Munjaal of Star Salon suggest a few looks you can ace this festive season.

* Strobing: For a young, fresh, and ultra-luminous look, strobing is a great technique that is slowly becoming a new way to wear makeup. It is a technique that involves illuminating strategic spots on the face to give the skin a bright and healthy look. Strobing is slowly gaining popularity among people who prefer the more natural look to heavy contouring.

festive season
Strobing is slowly gaining popularity. MyGlamm

* Monochrome eyes: Monochrome is all about using single shades like beige, brown, pink and the latest in trend being peach. Use a single shade with smudge liner and smudge kajal along with mascara to complete a perfect monochrome look this season.

* Cat-eyes and bright eyes: When it comes to eye makeup, bright eye and cat-eye look is the perfect way to go this festive season. Dab a touch of shimmer or matt while thick black liner finishes the eye makeup.

* Hair: Different types of curls are in trend like beach waves, soft curls etc but curls should be done according to the weather because humidity might spoil your curls and look very shabby. Hair braids, messy buns, high pony and low buns look more festive.

Festive Season
Find a misting product or nourishing treatment for your hair. Pixabay

* Lips: Glossy or matt – anyone can go quite flexible this festive season. Ombre lip colour is another hot trend this season. Ombre lips are when you use two shades of lipstick and one shade transitions into the second shade seamlessly. They do not just look gorgeous, but are also easy to attain. Just seize some dark colour on the corner of your lips and fill in the rest with a lighter shade and you are done!

Also Read: Eye Makeup: Wear It Right

* Glitter: Glitter mania just went a step ahead this season in the makeup world. Use a shimmery, holographic eye shadow or glittery eyeliner to stand out this festive season. (IANS)