• 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
• 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.