Recently released census figures on urban slums reveal two distressing facts. First, that Indian cities are amongst the most unequal and least inclusive in the world. Second, the enumeration of the urban poor and their places of habitation are grossly incomplete and thus inaccurate. Data from 2,613 of the 4,041 statutory towns show that the population living in slums has increased by 25 per cent in the last decade, reaching 65.4 million in 2011. The figures would have been much higher — and the disparity would have appeared even wider — had the enumeration been diligent and complete. Other estimates place the population living in slums at over 90 million. It would be incorrect to attribute migration as the principal reason for the increase in slums. As the expert group on urban poverty and slums for the formulation of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan has clearly stated, their proliferation is a result of the failure of housing policies. For instance, the interest subsidy scheme, which is meant to provide financial assistance to lower income groups to secure housing and enable construction of three lakh units, has so far reached only 13,485 beneficiaries. Similarly, many State governments have failed to implement the National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy’s recommendation to allocate 15 per cent of land in residential projects for housing the poor.