In resettlement colonies of Mumbai, tuberculosis is rapidly spreading due to the poor natural ventilation and sunlight access. This is because of bad designing and layout of the buildings, even where guidelines have been followed. The paper suggests a change in the norms of building resettlement colonies so as to match with that in the National Building Code.

For the attention of: Municipal commissioners of cities and mayors; Actors and decision makers with responsibility for urban housing.

The problem:

There is a concentration of tuberculosis patients in the resettlement colonies in M-East ward, Mumbai, which have poor ventilation and sunlight characteristics.

What we did: We undertook a household survey and calculated sunlight and ventilation parameters in three resettlement colonies using computation models.

We found an association between burden of tuberculosis and poor ventilation and poor sunlight parameters.

We also reviewed guidelines for building resettlement colonies in Mumbai. We did this to demonstrate that poor policies and their execution may lead to preventable public health disasters like tuberculosis which the country is trying to fight.

What our study adds: Our study suggests that design changes need to be made to make the colonies better places for tuberculosis  patients to heal and to prevent the further spread of infection to  family members and neighbours.

Wider implications for city policy and practice: This study supports a demand for changes in policies for the building of resettlement colonies in Mumbai to reduce tuberculosis and support patients healing at home.

It also has international implications where similar living situates are created by bad architecture and poor planning.

In terms of health equity, we ask that policy makers treat the poor and underprivileged same as the rich, in terms of preparing guidelines and policies for  construction of housing colonies. Our paper outlines some of the modifications to building design and practice that are required.


Full research article: Association between architectural parameters and burden of tuberculosis in three resettlement colonies of M-East Ward, Mumbai, India

Authors: Peehu Pardeshi (@peehu1988), Balaram Jadhav, Ravikant Singh, Namrata Kapoor, Ronita Bardhan, Arnab Jana, Siddarth David, Nobhojit Roy

Editor: Marcus Grant