Tag Archives: small towns

In Between Rural and Urban: Challenges for Governance of Non-recognized Urban Territories in West Bengal

By Gopa Samanta (Department of Geography, The University of Burdwan)

In WEST BENGAL. GEO-SPATIAL ISSUES

A 2012 publication of the Department of Geography – Burdwan University

The paper focuses on the spatial pattern of urbanization in West Bengal which is changing in this century to a large extent and is being more diversified in character to become independent of metropolitan dominance. The overall pattern of urbanization in twentieth century was very much concentrated in and around Kolkata and Durgapur-Asansol urban-industrial agglomerations of the state. This pattern has started to be altered from the beginning of this century with new urban growth coming up in areas away from metropolitan dominance, which can be defined as ‘subaltern’ in nature.

The census 2011 has come out with some data sets on urban West Bengal, the fourth most populous state in India, which together put a big challenge before the State Government in the context of managing ‘non-recognized’ urban territories. The term ‘non-recognized’ is being used to mean the territories which have been declared as ‘urban’ by the Census of India but have not been declared as ‘statutory urban’ (Urban Local Bodies, shortly called ULBs) by the State. The list of such census towns are increasing in number at a very fast rate in West Bengal. Full paper here

 

Tier II, III cities to power future growth: Cushman & Wakefield

With the economic growth in seven top cities in the country beginning to saturate, a number of tier II and III cities have come into reckoning as the growth engines of the future.

What is aiding this is the increasing disposable income of the people that has created immense opportunities for companies looking out for new markets to grow, according to a study by Cushman & Wakefield Research.

in Business Line, by Narayanan, 29 October 2012

Building the cities of tomorrow, findings from small indian towns

De Bercegol, R & Gowda, S.

A paper presented at:

The Sixth Urban Research and Knowledge Symposium 2012 Cities of Tomorrow: Framing Future, 

A Symposium organized by The World Bank in partnership with the City of Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain, 8-10 October 2012

Summary: This paper summarizes the major findings of a recent PhD thesis which analysed the new political and technical arrangements in small town governance in the aftermath of decentralisation reforms in India. Various research projects have dealt with these subjects in rural areas and large metropolises but little attention has been paid to the same issues in smaller urban settlements. By analyzing government reorganization, this report aims to present the institutional building of small municipalities in India. Based on empirical research in Uttar Pradesh, it will examine the incentives faced by local officials to ensure effective management of their towns. It will study the reorganization of powers and responsibilities between municipal institutions and traditional public actors in order to assess the impact of this transformation on access to municipal services within and between towns.

Download the full paper

India’s census towns face a governance deficit

Governed by panchayats, it is impossible for them to get infrastructure, services a municipality would have provided

C. Chandramouli, who led Census 2011 as the Registrar General of India, compares the urbanizing census towns to early versions of the unplanned sprawl in Gurgaon, near Delhi, and other rapidly growing satellite cities. “You have these huge fancy buildings, but no sewerage or garbage systems, and you have not changed the characteristics of that local (administrative) body,” he said.
Most experts agree that the panchayat is not the ideal governing body for areas beyond a certain size, with a diverse labour market and a healthy consumer economy.
“The panchayat itself possesses no institution for getting any real development work done,” said Pronab Sen, principal adviser to the Planning Commission. “That resides with the state government. Villages have some funds from the state, which they can use for cleaning, desilting, fixing tube wells, but when we are talking about places that have all the characteristics of an urban area, like census towns, then you get into trouble. All of that stuff is simply not within the competence of panchayat.”

Cordelia Jenkins, Makarand Gadgil and Shamsheer Yousaf for live mint, 7th October 2012

Full article here

Moving people and morphing places

New census towns have accounted for 30% of the reclassification from rural to urban in the last 10 years

Why do census towns matter? Their share of urban population has doubled in the last 10 years, but they still comprise only one-seventh of urban India. But they matter because their growth challenges many preconceptions and myths that equate urbanization to migration, municipalities to urban areas, villages to agriculture, and cities to manufacturing.

Census towns are not about moving people, they are about morphing places. In the last 10 years, the reclassification of population from rural to urban as a result of identification of new census towns is responsible for nearly 30% of the growth in the urban population, while migration appears to account for less, around 22%, with the rest being the normal natural increase in pre-existing cities.

By Partha Mukhopadhaya (CPR) for live mint, 7th October 2007

Full article here

Workshop on “Subaltern Urbanisation” by Partha Mukhopadhyay

As part of the Urban Workshop Series, the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), Delhi conducted the following Workshop on “Subaltern Urbanisation ” given by Partha MukhopadhyayWorkshop, Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research.

Date: Tuesday, 25 September 2012; Centre for Policy Research

Abstract: India’s urbanisation is following at least two concomitant paths; first, a traditional metro-centric agglomeration process driven partly by the movement of people and second a process involving, inter alia, the transformation of places, which are dispersed across the country, a process that can be usefully compared with in-situ urbanization in China. Subaltern urbanisation refers to the growth of such settlements that are independent of the metropolis and autonomous in their interactions with other settlements, local and global. Analyzing conventional and new data sources “against the grain”, it is claimed that there are many such economically vital smaller settlements in India, contrary to perceptions that India’s urbanisation is slow, that its smaller settlements are stagnant and its cities are not productive. Instead of basing policy on illusions of control, it is necessary to try and understand how agents construct this world, if we are to comprehend the ongoing Indian transformation. This work is part of a larger eponymous project, entitled “SUBURBIN” and entails joint work with many other researchers

Partha Mukhopadhyay is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research. His current research interests are in urban development, the development paths of India and China and infrastructure. He has previously been with the Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC), the Export-Import Bank of India, and with the World Bank, in Washington. Partha Mukhopadhyay has a Ph.D. in Economics from New York University and an M.A. and M.Phil from the Delhi School of Economics.

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This is the thirty second in a series of Urban Workshops by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH) and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society, and politics. For information, please contact: Marie-Hélène Zerah at marie-helene.zerah@ird.fr or Partha Mukhopadhyay at partha@cprindia.org

 

 

Population crunch in India: is it urban or still rural?

by Gururaja, KV and Sudhira, HS

2012 In: Current Science, 103 (1). pp. 37-40.

The article attempts to present analysis based on the provisional results of the Census 2011. While there is no doubt that the human social organization of the country is undergoing a transition, the nature of growth however is subject to the lens through which this is viewed. Noting the dichotomy of urban and rural definitions, we question the rationality of the ‘urban’ definition and its relevance.

Link to this paper

Urban mobilities and the cycle rickshaw

This is a paper written by Gopa Samanta for Seminar (August 2012) on the mobility within small and medium towns and the role of cycle rickshaw:

“It is difficult to imagine Indian streets without rickshaws. Three major types of rickshaws – hand-pulled, cycle and auto – remain an indispensable form of mobility in Indian cities. Yet, planners and policy makers continue to see rickshaws as a nuisance on city streets, seeking to either control their number or ban them altogether. Commonly, in the process of city planning, two major arguments are often advanced”.

The full article here

Big ideas, small towns

In a country where innovation is just beginning to take root, start-ups like Foradian represent a new wave of small-town innovators. Their origins give them a better perspective on the adversity and diverse challenges presented by India’s vast geography. Unlike large companies who sell their products at a premium, plus added costs of customisation and support, small-town innovators’ solutions are inclusive and cost effective.

The Indian Express, 16 April 2012