By Kalpana Sharma in infochange, Urban India, April 2009
Little is known or written about the 2,000 small and medium towns of India. The one characteristic that defines them all, says this report from towns such as Madhubani, Jhunjhunu and Sehore, is the absence of planning. Many of these towns do not even possess an accurate town map. And up to a quarter of their population lives in slums.
In Madhubani town in North Bihar, the longest lines are outside one of the four ATM machines dispensing instant cash. In Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, many people keep their own cows or buffaloes for milk because they do not trust the local milk supply. In Narnaul, Haryana, there are dozens of beauty parlours and one of the women nominated to the municipal council is a trained beautician. In all three, the most popular advertisement is for mobile phones.
By Kalpana Sharma in infochange, Urban India, October 2008
68% of India’s urban population lives not in the metros but in towns with population of less than 100,000, many of which get water for a few minutes once a week or every alternate day. No one even talks about the appalling absence of infrastructure in these towns Most of us have a stereotypical image of small-town India. Pitted roads, piles of garbage, open drains, stagnant pools of water, overhead electric wires, long power-cuts, acute water shortage etc.
That image is now changing with the success stories from small towns that the media is celebrating. So Bhiwani in Haryana is suddenly in the news for having produced Olympic medal winners and other towns are home to amazingly talented young people who win television reality shows. Dozens of our cricket stars come from smaller towns and cities, bringing to them a touch of glamour that they have never seen before. Of late there is also a touch of notoriety attached to small towns with a place like Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, once known for being the home of distinguished writers and poets like Kaifi Azmi, now being given the ‘terror’ tag and Bhatkal in Karnataka being mentioned as the home of the ‘mastermind’ of the Indian Mujahideen.
A report by the Indian Institute for Human Settlements
India’s urban transition, a once in history phenomenon, has the potential to shift the country’s social, environmental, political and economic trajectory – a transition to be reckoned with. IIHS originally produced this book for the India Urban Conference: Evidence and Experience (IUC 2011), a series of events designed to raise the salience of urban challenges and opportunities in the ongoing debate on India’s development. The Urban India 2011: Evidence also marks the initiation of a series of thematic Urban Atlases in collaboration with leading scholars and practitioners.
By Anil Kumar Vaddiraju:
Urban governance under the 74th Amendment Act has been ignored in Karnataka. A study of Dharwad district shows that the Act is not implemented in letter and spirit and governance and planning is done through a small section in the deputy commissioner’s/collector’s office and has no links with the chief planning office in the zilla panchayat.
Economic & Political Weekly, Vol – XLVIII No. 02, January 12, 2013
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
Below you will find an interesting publication available online here
Urban Policies and the Right to the City in India. Rights, responsibilities and citizenship
Marie-Hélène Zérah, Véronique Dupont, Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal (Scientific editors)
Parution : novembre 2011, UNESCO & Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi, 180 p.
This publication is a compendium of 16 research policy-papers written by 14 eminent scholars covering several angles of the right to the city approach in India, including :
• Right to the City and Urban Citizenship
• The Constitutional and International Framework
• A Philosophical Reading of the RTTC
• Urban Governance : How Democratic ?
• Women’s Right to the City : from Safety to Citizenship ?
• Caste and Class in Indian Cities : Habitation, Inequality and Segregation
• Muslim Neighbourhoods and Segregation in the City
• Migrants’ (Denied) Rights to the City
• Urban Spatial Exclusion : A Historical Perspective
• Claiming Land : Rights, Contestations and the Urban Poor in Globalized Times
• The Challenges of Slums and Forced Evictions
• Urban Livelihoods : the City versus the Informal Economy
• Water and Sanitation : Barriers to Universalization
• Urban Transport and the Right to the City : Accessibility and Mobility
• The Retreat of the State in Healthcare Policy and the Right to the City
• A Human Rights’ Perspective for the Right to the City
The publication is intended as an advocacy tool to promote a rights-based approach to urbanization in India. A rights-based approach in the context of Indian cities has not yet been extensively documented and researched.
The publication aims to close this gap by providing policy makers with a set of experiences for better social inclusion in Indian cities, and initiatives in law and urban planning that strengthen rights and responsibilities, interfaith tolerance, and ensures the inclusion of the most vulnerable (urban poor, women, migrants) in urban management. It will serve as a solid reference point for policy makers at a local level, as well as a basis for the exchange of knowledge between researchers, city professionals and local authorities on building inclusive cities.
A paper by Subhash Kothawale
Indian Streams Research Journal, Vol-I , Issue V [June 2011]
This paper attempts to identify the functional bases of news towns through a functional classification and to understand the regional disparities in functional nature of the new towns in Maharashtra.
See the link.
A paper by Amitabh Kundu
Economic and Political Weekly 2011 October 01, vol XLVI n°40.
The 2011 Census has reported a marginally higher growth in the urban population, yet it also reports a phenomenal increase of 2,774 new “census towns” – greater than the number of such new towns identified in all of the 20th century. Could this be the result of some kind of census activism working under pressure to report a higher pace of urbanisation? Since the Census of India has a reputation for rigour, it is imperative that the methodology for identification of new towns and possible changes from the past are made public.
A Paper by R. B. Bhagat
Economic and Political Weekly August 20, 2011 vol XLVI no 34.
First published results of the 2011 Census show that the level of urbanisation increased faster during 2001-2011 than the previous decade.
This paper purposes a personal reading of the observed new trends in urbanisation, the components of urban growth and a state level analysis.
A paper by Amitabh Kundu
Economic and Political Weekly May 14, 2011 vol XLVI no 20.
The provisional numbers of the 2011 census show a change in the pattern of urban growth in India, notably a reduction in the growth of metropolis.