- Chawls were multi-storeyed structures built and owned by private landlords such as
- merchants, bankers and building contractors. -
- Each chawl was divided into smaller one-room tenements, which had no private toilets.
- Many families could reside at a time in a tenement.
- People had to keep the windows of their rooms closed even in humid weather due to close proximity of filthy gutters, buffalo stables, etc.
- Though water was scarce, and people often quarrelled every morning for a turn at the tap, observers found that houses were kept quite clean.