Editorial Analysis || India needs smart urbanization

• India’s urbanization model is ready for a change.

• Over 34% of India’s current population lives in urban areas, rising by 3% since 2011.

• Cities appear downtrodden, suffering from poverty and poor infrastructure.

• With an increase in urban population demands for basic services such as clean water, public transportation, sewage treatment and housing will rise.

• While over 90 Smart Cities have identified 2,864 projects, India lags on implementation, with about 148 projects completed and over 70% still at various stages of preparation.

• There is an outstanding shortage of over 10 million affordable houses.

• The instances of floods in Mumbai, dengue in Delhi and lakes on fire in Bengaluru present the problems in Indian cities.

• Urban development comes under State governments.

==> It is the Governor who notifies an area as

• ‘urban’ based

• Population

• Density

• Revenue generated for the local administration

• Percentage employed in nonagricultural activities.

• This leads to the creation of an Urban local government or municipality and classifies the area as a “statutory town”.

Definition of Urban Area

The Central government considers a settlement as urban or a ‘census town’ if:

• It has an urban local government

• A minimum population of 5,000.

• Over 75% of its population working in non-agricultural activities.

• A population density of at least 400 per sq. km.

Many States consider such “census towns” as rural and establish a rural local government or panchayat.

• India has a low level of urban infrastructure investment and capacity building.

• There needs to develop a policy to deal with urban migration.

• Internal migration in India helps reduce or prevent poverty.

• There is a need for the integration of migrants into the local urban fabric.

What we need to?

• Empower our cities,

• Focus on land policy reforms,

• Granting urban local bodies freedom to raise financing,

• Enforce local land usage norms.

Link: https://tt93a.app.goo.gl/4qSjzgMb92kxTB987

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