Predicting the Future of Census Towns

Shamindra Nath Roy, Kanhu Charan Pradhan

EPW- Review of Urban Affairs, Vol. 53, Issue No. 49, 15 Dec, 2018

The 2011 Census highlighted the enormous growth of census towns, which contributed more than one-third of the urban growth during 2001–11. Since the rural–urban identification process in India is ex ante, using past census data, the number of CTs that will be identified in 2019 for the 2021 Census are estimated. The present study finds that the importance of CTs will be maintained in the urban structure, and a significant share of urban population will continue to grow beyond municipal limits. The influence of large towns on the growth of CTs will be persistent in the future, but a more localised form of urbanisation is also evident where the effect of agglomeration is less. Such a pattern may be stable because these places are relatively more prosperous than their rural counterparts.

Declassification of Census Towns in West Bengal

Saurav Chakraborty, Subhanil Chowdhury, Utpal Roy, Kakoli Das

Vol. 52, Issue No. 25-26, 24 Jun, 2017, EPW, Review of Rural Affairs

Eighty-one new census towns in West Bengal are on the verge of declassification in the 2021 Census. This must not be understood to mean that non-farm workers are moving into farm activities. Rather, evidences suggest that growth of farm employment has simply outpaced that of non-farm employment in these new census towns and is possibly the reason behind their imminent declassification. The case of Patuli, which is only considered as an example, shows that non-farm activities, especially trading, are witnessing a fall-off phase and that it failed to expand owing to the loss of its market town/rural service centre character over time, goaded by some local factors. This has led to the subsequent inability to generate sufficient full-time jobs at Patuli. More studies are required to build a comprehensive outlook on the policy measures required to preserve the role of these new census towns as market towns and/or rural service centres in the future.