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|| Are India’s Urban Poor Using Clean Cooking Fuels? Insights from Slums in Six States
|| Shaily Jha, Sasmita Patnaik, and Rithima Warrier
| Published in:
|| March 2021
|| With increased urbanisation, India is experiencing acute air pollution in its urban centres. Slum dwellers are doubly affected, both by the higher concentration of particulate matter in urban areas as well as indoor air pollution from the use of unclean cooking fuels. With more than 13.7 million people living in slums in country (Census 2011), there is a strong impetus to understand the use of clean cooking fuels in such households.
Existing literature on energy access and use in slums across developing countries assume
that energy infrastructure is available in these settlements as they are situated in urban
environments (Butera et al. 2016). Household air pollution (HAP) has an estimated average
contribution of 30–50 per cent to ambient air quality across India’s urban and rural areas
(Balakrishnan et al. 2019). Addressing biomass burning for cooking, water heating, and space
heating during the winters has the potential to help reach the national ambient air quality
standards (Chowdhury et al. 2019).
However, our analysis shows that a large share of these households do not have access to
clean fuels due to lack of afforability or patchy supply. In this brief, we discuss access to clean cooking energy in urban slums across six states (Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya
Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh). These states have a low socio-demographic index
and a high disease burden due to air pollution (Balakrishnan et al. 2019). The findings of
this brief are based on a primary survey conducted in rural areas and urban slums in these
states – Cooking Energy Access Survey 20201 . The analysis focuses on the fuel use patterns of
households, the extent of use of LPG and solid fuels, fuel stacking behaviour, and the primarycook’s perception of various cooking fuels and their health impacts.
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