Urban India 2015 | Jan - Jun

Submitted by niuaadmin on 30 August 2016 - 5:24pm
State of Urban Homeless Poor in India: A Stock-Taking of the City of Allahabad

Homelessness is a perennial problem in India, especially due to the wide rural-urban divide in terms of economic opportunities. Lack of stable housing is a cause as well as effect of unemployment/unstable employment, poverty, ill health and lack of education. This study is exploratory in nature,using qualitative tools of analysis. Data has been collected by a survey of people living in temporary shelters or dwellings in public places, conducted in the city of Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. The focus of the study is the socio-economic conditions of these people on the basis of their needs and demographic characteristics. The findings show that most of the homeless live with their families in homeless conditions. Majority lack any proof of identity, rely on public healthcare services, have limited access to safe drinking water and conservancy, and have never heard of various government schemes for poor. Further, some of them save from their meagre income in pursuit of a house. The study aims at presenting a framework for reducing the incidence of homelessness and mitigating deprivation of the homeless of other amenities.

Geetika, Piyali Ghosh & Ashutosh Shukla - School of Management Studies, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology Allahabad
Aspects of Liberalised Privatisation of the Housing Market in North-East India: A Case Study of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation Area (1988-2008)

This paper attempts to locate aspects of liberalised privatisation in the housing market of the North-East with focus on its largest urban centre, the Guwahati Municipal Corporation Area. The percolation of the Structural Adjustment Programmes into the housing market has been studied through a period of two decades (1988-2008) with data from Housing and Urban Development Corporation and the Assam State Housing Board. Among the states of India’s North-East, Assam has traditionally had an open land market which offers a feasible vantage point to compare its housing sector with other Indian cities which have reflected liberalisation’s most immediate effects. The shift from welfarist to an entrepreneurialist agenda of housing finance agencies and Urban Local bodies have been traced through a temporal and scheme-wise analysis of housing schemes in terms of the cost of housing projects and agencies that have undertaken them. The preponderance of single and expensive iconographic schemes, the diminishing profitability of low-income housing schemes in a competitive climate especially around the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission years and the associated shift of the housing market in favour of upper income group, have been explained as a feature of the
liberalised developmental regime.

Nabanita Kanungo - Guest Lecturer, Department of Geography, Assam University, Diphu Campus, Assam
Large Agglomerations and Economic Growth in Urban India: A Static and Dynamic Panel Data

This paper examines the impact of urban agglomeration (in terms of density and population growth) on urban economic growth (in terms of GDP per capita), using static and dynamic panel data approach, based on data of 52 large cities in India for the period 2000 to 2009. We find the evidence that agglomeration has a strong positive effect on urban economic growth and support the “Williamson hypothesis” that agglomeration increases economic growth only up to certain level of economic development. The critical level per-capita city income is estimated about Rs. 37049 per-capita at 1999-2000 constant prices. In addition, the results indicate that human capital accumulation promotes urban economic growth.

Sabyasachi Tripathi - Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Lovely Professional University, Punjab
Transportation and Urbanization in India: Policies and Way Forward

The transport sector and urban sector in India play a key role in promoting economic growth. There are strong linkages between transportation and urbanization and transportation policy can play a significant role in determining external shape of urbanization which is to have a desired number of planned cities across the country that can facilitate economic investments and growth. Transport policy also plays a key role in determining the internal shape of cities through effective land use planning and mobility. The inter linkages between the transport policy and urban policy have not been paid adequate attention in the past. The paper has reviewed the transportation policies and studies in India in the past and highlighted the linkages between transportation and urbanization. The paper has suggested for setting up a task force by the Ministry of Urban Development to examine the inter linkages and develop an integrated approach between transportation policies and urbanization strategies at the national and state level to develop an optimal portfolio of cities and strong urban-rural linkages. The paper has suggested for developing a national urban corridor linking metropolitan cities, capital cities and cities of economic importance. The paper observed that the national urban transportation policy and metro rail policy provide an effective framework for improving the efficiency of transportation within cities but cities are yet to implement these policies. Hence the paper has highlighted the need to prepare a comprehensive mobility plan for each city with a focus on promoting public transport and integrating land use planning with transport planning.

A. Narender - Former Professor, Urban Governance Area, Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad
Quality of Life of the Urban Poor Migrants: Study of Informal Settlements in core and peripheral Siliguri, West Bengal, India

The world is undergoing a wave of rapid urban growth. This is the first time, more than half of the world’s population is living in towns and cities. Urbanisation and migration are direct manifestations of the process of economic growth and development. The rapid growth of rural-urban migration due to urbanisation has been a common feature in developing societies including Siliguri Municipal Corporation Area (SMCA) of West Bengal, India. The migrants who arrive in the cities face several problems including high unemployment, low incomes and incapacity of the poor in general to access education, health and medical services, urban amenities like electricity, and water; and securing legal housing. The informal sector provides the means of survival to the squatters and slum dwellers in SMCA. The objective of the paper is to focus the socio-economic status and assessment of quality of life (QoL) or well-being of the older and new migrants living in the inner and peripheral city squatter settlements of SMCA respectively. For modeling quality of life Index, twenty socio-economic variables have been selected on judgment orientations that possibly reflect the general well-being of the people at the household level.

Arup Pramanik - Assistant Professor, Siliguri College of Commerce, Darjeeling, West Bengal
Planning Imperatives for Electronic Waste Management in Delhi

Electronic waste (E-waste) is discarded electronic and electrical equipments, which has reached its “end of life”. E-waste is a specialized stream of waste, its handling and management is an industrial activity and hence it needs to be treated carefully. E-waste, which is known to have harmful implications on health and environment, has been examined in this paper, to lay down planning imperatives for Ewaste management in Delhi. The study calculates the generation of E-waste in the country and estimates E-waste generation in Delhi using available data based on accepted thumb rule. The research details out the process of E-waste handling in formal and informal sector in the context of Delhi. The study establishes that only 20% of the total E-waste generated in Delhi is being handled by formal sector. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), the nodal agency for enforcing the E-waste (management and handling) Rules, 2011, mandates that only collection and storage of E-waste can be done in Delhi and not dismantling and recycling since industries which are hazardous and classified as ‘red’ by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) are not permitted to operate in the National Capital Territory (NCT). Sluggish enforcement of the E-waste Rules 2011 has allowed informal units operating in the city to carry on recycling rather than restrict them to collection and storage. The study brings out the difference in nomenclature used in categorization of industries in the Guidelines for Implementation of E-waste Rules, 2011 by CPCB and the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021 and recommends that in the planning imperatives, the appropriate categorization of industries in MPD should be in consonance with the CPCB guidelines. The research further identifies that there is a need to modify the existing planning regulation to incorporate space standards and zoning regulations for E-waste handling centres. For this purpose, minimum space standards for different steps involved in E-waste handling have been proposed. There is a need for awareness among general public and there is a strong need to promote and facilitate formal recycling in the country for efficient management and disposal of electronic waste to safeguard the health of workers and the general community.

Aditya Ajith - School of Planning & Architecture, Shyamala Mani - National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi, Sanjukkta Bhaduri - School of Planning & Architecture
How Bouyant are Local Fiscal Instruments? A Study of Property Tax Effort in Greater Mumbai

Property Tax remains the single most important own source of revenue for urban local bodies in India. This paper analyses the property tax effort in the erstwhile rateable value based system in Greater Mumbai, which remains prevalent in many cities in India. It analyses various components of the tax effort like collection efficiency, tax rate effect, assessment effect, and base effect. Results of this paper reveal that the rateable value based system was not inelastic in the city. However, excessive increase in tax rate and new constructions contributed to the buoyancy of the system and not good economics. As a result, the system became iniquitous. This paper highlights data and methodological challenges involved in such studies.

Anita Rath - Professor, Centre for Study of Developing Economies, School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
Capacity Development of Councillors in West Bengal: A Gendered Perspective

Recent wave of decentralization across the globe has opened up new avenues for integrating women in local governance. Within the contemporary constitutional mandate for increased role of women in local governance, the paper makes an empirical enquiry into the role perception and role performance of women councillors in metropolitan West Bengal. Field findings indicate that mere political representation of women as a necessary first step has failed to usher in gender- equitable urban governance. Given the complex patriarchal dynamics, operating at different levels, the paper argues that increased political representation of women in urban governance continues to be paradoxical. For want of right knowledge, skills and attitude, the leadership potential of women councillors largely remains untapped resulting in their low level of performance as city managers and community leaders. In light of perceived gaps between the desired and the actual levels of performance of women leaders, this paper analyzes the basic elements that make a capacity-development effort productive and sustainable in the context of engendering city governance.

Payel Sen - Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, West Bengal State University, Kolkata