Urban India 2015 | Jul - Dec

Submitted by niuaadmin on 30 August 2016 - 6:08pm
Urbanization in India – Past, Present and Future Consequences

Population increase is a natural phenomena but this increase is disproportionate in the rural and urban segment of the society. Urban population is growing more rapidly than the rural, resulting gradual decrease in the percentage share of rural population among total population across the world. This urbanization process has been aggravated by the urban growth of Asian continent which has a lionshare of world population. The South Asian region though predominantly rural (accounted for 69.9% rural population as on 2010), has recorded much higher annual growth of urban population. India, the leading country in South Asia has shown an unprecedented increase in urban population in last few decades and its urban population has increased about 14 fold from 1901 to 2011. This growth is mainly uneven but not skewed and not concentrated to a single city of the country. The state-wise distribution of large cities and million plus populous cities has been mapped across the country. The paper depicts the state-wise/region-wise trend of urbanization based on historical time-series data and future state of urbanization across the country. The urbanization is considered as a potential demographic dividend but rapid and unplanned urbanization is creating havoc, particularly in metropolitan cities in India. The carrying capacity of cities and environmental condition is under threat due to unexpected urban growth and unplanned industrialization respectively. The problem of slums and other infrastructure facilities can be managed through effective infrastructure planning and government  initiatives. Although these analyses are based on secondary data and futuristic projection based on it has some variability as urban growth is affected by several factors, yet it makes an attempt to map the extent of distribution of urban growth across the country.

S.N. Nandy - HARSAC, CCS Haryana Agricultural University Campus, Hisar
Open Cities in the Developing World; Between Divides, Bridges and Endeavours

The cities of the developing world in milieu of the liberalization macro-economic orthodoxy have emerged as the centripetal forces attracting economic growth and development like never before. On their part, the cities have shown remarkable resilience in continuing to absorb the surge into its urban space despite the major challenges involving provision of infrastructure and housing to the burgeoning populations. In this context it can well be said that cities of the developing world have adopted the role play of an open city by allowing all form of activities and human flows to get embedded into its fabric. However this is also accompanied by creation of urban archipelagos within the city space where social and economic exclusion have become a norm rather than exception. Can the city in the developing world context be described as a hegemonic space where selective marginalization and aggressive facilitation on the other hand coalesce to produce an urban order that actually decimates the context of openness? What kind of disparities exist in the urban development and management system in the developing world cities that deliberately produces divides instead of bridges, an issue so pertinent for a successful open city. This is the key question that the research paper seeks to provide an answer to. This has been done by undertaking the case study of Amritsar city, India which is one of the youngest metropolitans of India.

Kiran Sandhu - Associate Professor, Guru Ramdas School of Planning, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
Housing for All by 2022: An Achievable Dream in the Urban Context

On June 25, 2015, India unveiled its mega urban missions which include its Scheme - Housing for All, launched to ensure pucca houses to all by the 75th year of Independence (2022).This scheme also nvisages that such houses should come with all basic amenities, needed for a life with dignity: water, sanitation, electricity, broadband etc. By all counts, this is quite ambitious, given the extent of deficit of housing in India and limited access to basic amenities by relatively poorer section of urban population. If implemented, it is also a game changer in many ways. In past and for long, India has been implementing schemes for promoting affordable housing and schemes for rehabilitation of slums but the success has been modest. It is therefore important to examine whether the strategy adopted in current initiative addresses the critical challenges that have prevented the earlier schemes to live up to their promises. Are there still important policy gaps? Also, are there low hanging fruits in this sector which the scheme has overlooked?

Rakesh Ranjan - Ex- Adviser of NITI Aayog, Government of India and a Senior Research Fellow of NIUA.
Deprivation in Education of the Urban Poor: A Study of the Squatter Settlements in Siliguri Municipal Corporation Area (SMCA) of West Bengal

Rapid urbanization has been accompanied by the steady growth of slum and squatter settlements in developing counties like India. In recent times urbanization is regarded as an index of economic development that is closely linked with modernisation, industrialisation and marketisation. The formation of slums and squatter settlements in the cities of the developing  countries like Siliguri Municipal Corporation Area (SMCA) in West Bengal is closely linked with rural-urban migration from neighbouring districts, states and countries. Rapid growth of urbanisation combined with poverty and inadequate supply of low-cost housing are crucial factor behind the rapid proliferation of informal settlements both in the inner cities and outskirts of SMCA. Around 37 percent of the urban population in SMCA living in informal settlements is characterised by poor quality of life. Unpredictable growth of informal settlements due to urbanisation has now become a serious challenge to the ULBs and policy makers for the development of the city. The rapid urban population growth and lack of attention to urban poverty has exacerbated multi-dimensional deprivation including deprivation of education among the urban poor. Education for all as a fundamental right, the picture of India clearly indicates that the educational opportunities and attainment for the urban deprived particularly for the squatters and slum dwellers are significantly lower than that of the affluent section of the society. Education as an important human capital is the most effective means to achieve social and sustainable development.  It is also true that poverty or low  earnings of the slum dwellers adversely affect the quality and quantity of education levels not only at the macro level but also at the household level. Therefore the objective of the study is to focus the deprivation in education among the squatters in the inner and peripheral city of SMCA. The study reveals that educational deprivation of the slum dwellers in SMCA is caused not merely by economic factors, but also related to non-economic factors.

Arup Pramanik - Assistant Professor of Economics, Siliguri College of Commerce
Financing Sub-urban Infrastructure Development: Illustrating the Potential of TPS Mechanism

Land mobilization for urban infrastructure development assumes greater importance in the wake of increasing pace of urbanization in India. The traditional approach of land acquisition using eminent domain legislation for urban infrastructure development has not been very successful. The Master Plan framework for infrastructure development, particularly in the sub-urban and peri-urban areas, has also een less effective as municipal bodies do not have adequate finances to meet with development costs (including land acquisition costs). Alternate instruments such as land pooling and plot readjustment methods can be used to aid the development of sub-urban infrastructure proposed under the Master Plans. The Town Planning Scheme (TPS) is a potential mechanism in that category which can be used for sub-urban infrastructure development by incentivizing individual land owners to part their land. This paper discusses the experiences of harnessing the potential of TPS mechanism in acquiring land as well as financing the development of ring road development projects of Ahmedabad and Surat, which serve as very useful infrastructure projects for these cities.

Ramakrishna Nal lathiga, Jaideep Nayani and Saiprasad Shelke, National Institute of Construction Management and Research, Pune
Fourteenth Finance Commission and Urban Local Governments: Towards Better Service Delivery and Good Governance

The Fourteenth Finance Commission made State Finance Commission reports central to its recommendations, significantly increased the grants to urban local governments and continued the
performance linked approach of the Thirteenth Finance Commission. It prioritized basic services and suggested that the basic grants should be spent only on basic services, stipulated only three conditions to access performance grant, made state governments responsible for grant distribution to local governments, monitor fund utilisation and take action for violations. It allocated grants to urban local governments based on Census 2011 urban population, bringing variations in per capita allocations between states based on percentage of municipal population. Its recommendations aim at strengthening service delivery and improve municipal finances and governance. The authors raise a few questions and conclude that given the states’ unwillingness to empower urban local governments, doubt whether they would implement Commissions recommendations and respect the trust reposed in them.

Srinivas Chary Vedala and Ravindra Prasad - Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad
GIFT Smart City : A Business Model

The most apt gift given by former Chief Minister Shree Narendra Modi to Gujarat state is Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT). GIFT City Business model was conceived in 2007. This is the first Government Smart City project in India. In view of boosting international financial services like Asian International Financial Services Centres in Hongkong and Singapore, it will be a central hub for International Stocks Exchange, financial institutions, banks and Foreign Direct Investment flow. Besides these, the Smart city is anxious about providing Quality of Life and eco-friendly approaches using technologies. This research note is in extension to authors’ first article on “GIFT Smart City: A Business Model”. The main objectives of this note is to illuminate the uncovered concepts about GIFT City in the previous article. This piece talks about GIFT City as a business model and its stakeholder’s involvement of project. Besides it clearly explores the city insights. The authors establish that the city is deployed with full of Internet of Things technologies for its operational efficiency.

Somayya Madakam and R. Ramaswamy - National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai