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05 Dec


Although India is one of the less urbanized countries of the world with only per cent of her population living in urban agglomerations/towns, this country is facing a serious crisis of urban growth at the present time. Whereas urbanisation has been an instrument of economic, social and political progress, it has led to serious socio economic problems.
The sheer magnitude of the urban population, haphazard and unplanned growth of urban areas and a desperate lack of infrastructure are the main causes of such a situation. The rapid growth of urban population both natural and through migration, has put heavy pressure on public utilities like housing, sanitation, transport, water, electricity, health, education and so on.
Poverty, unemployment and under employment among the rural immigrants, beggary, thefts, dacoities, burglaries and other social evils are on rampage. Urban sprawl is rapidly encroaching the precious agricultural land. The urban population of India had already crossed the 377 million mark by 2011. By 2030, more than 50 per cent of India’s population is expected to live in urban areas. Following problems need to be highlighted.

  1. Urban Sprawl:
    Urban sprawl or real expansion of the cities, both in population and geographical area, of rapidly growing cities is the root cause of urban problems. In most cities the economic base is incapable of dealing with the problems created by their excessive size. Massive immigration from rural areas as well as from small towns into big cities has taken place almost consistently; thereby adding to the size of cities.
  2. Overcrowding
    Overcrowding is a situation in which too many people live in too little space. Overcrowding is a logical consequence of over-population in urban areas. It is naturally expected that cities having a large size of population squeezed in a small space must suffer from overcrowding. This is well exhibited by almost all the big cities of India.
    For example, Mumbai has one-sixth of an acre open space per thousand populations though four acre is suggested standard by the Master Plan of Greater Mumbai. Metropolitan cities of India are overcrowded both in ‘absolute’ and ‘relative’ terms. Absolute in the sense that these cities have a real high density of population; relative in the sense that even if the densities are not very high the problem of providing services and other facilities to the city dwellers makes it so.
    Delhi has a population density of 11297 persons per sq km (Census 2011 which the highest in India. This is the overall population density for the Union territory of Delhi. Population density in central part of Delhi could be much higher. This leads to tremendous pressure on infrastructural facilities like housing, electricity, water, transport,

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