The Central Government has formulated (or still formulating?) an urban renewal infrastructure plan for 60 selected cities in India. This, the minister concerned, Mr.Gulam Nabi Azad has said. We also believe there can’t be any rural development unless the urban development is properly planned. Whether this grand plan will succeed or when it will really start its work has to wait. Here we give some related statistics to impress the readers what will be the future of urban India/rural India – editor.
With an estimated expenditure component of approximately Rs.1,26,786 core over a five-year period, such a mission could out do what the Vajpayee government’s National Democratic Alliance’s, National Highway Development Programme (NHDP), with the first phase allocation of Rs.54,000 crore, did for the economy. The NHDP not only provided a fillip to all those segments of the industry involved in road construction, but also vastly improved connectivity, the benefits of which should soon reflect on economic growth.
India’s cities are growing at a rate much faster than the rest of the world, including China’s. Mumbai, for instance, had a population of 28 lakh in 1951 and was the 17th largest city. Today, it is the world’s sixth largest city with 1.22 crore people and in the next 10 years, it is expected to become the second largest, next only to Tokyo. About 21 per cent of the urban population lives in squatter settlements where access to basic services is abysmal to non-existent. Nearly 46 per cent of urban households have water toilets, but only 28 per cent of the garbage. Except for Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and Chennai none of the Indian cities has a mass rapid transit system. The rapid rowth of urban population, in spite of better observance of the small family norm, is an indication of the large-scale migration and influx from the rural areas, leading to the creation of large slums in almost every city.