Urbanization And New Cities In India

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Population of India has reached 121 crore but there has not been the same increase in the number of cities i.e Urbanisation. This article discusses the issues and government efforts to help growth of new cities.


Census 2011 came up with idea of census cities/ towns. Areas with following Criteria are called as census cities (according to Census 2011) :

  • More than 5000 inhabitants
  • 400 people per square meter
  • 75% of male population not engaged in agriculture

From 2001 to 2011 census towns have increased from 1362 (2001) to 3894 (2011). It has been due to following reasons:

  • Many areas are coming in conformity with India’s development program.
  • Migration has increased from rural to urban areas.
  • Rural areas have found many vocations in non-agricultural operations.
  • Increase in communication & educational activities.

Some helpful part has also been played by Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) providing cash benefits by giving them assured employment.


  • 12th plan has come up with proposal of investing Rs. 1500 crore for these census cities and it will be done via Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. Investment is being made because of uncontrolled growth of these cities & not being covered under various schemes of government.
  • PURA: It stands for “Providing Urban amenities to Rural Areas”. This strategy has been given by former president Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam. It gives four types of connectives
    1. Physical connectivity in the form of roads, bridges, etc.
    2. Electronic Connectivity in the form of communication network
    3. Knowledge Connectivity in the form of educational and technical institutions.
    4. Economic connectivity which will automatically happen because of the previous three connectivity’s.
  • Need to involve communities in this development process – Expressed by Government
  • Problem of local officials: They consider local community initiative detrimental to their selfish interest & violation of their rights thus rejecting them on unreasonable grounds.


  • Transition: They are currently being managed by Panchayat Raj System. But after this census, there are chances of municipalities to be set up in these areas. But it is up to them whether to opt for it or not considering the fact that these people would need to pay new taxes under municipalities which didn’t exist for now under Panchayats.
  • Increase in the cluster towns: More number of towns are coming up around present prosperous cities forming clusters primarily due to shrinkage in land & the avenues the main city has to offer to these cluster units.
  • Need of transitional system for these areas so that they can transform to towns.
  • Political vs. Bureaucratic indifference about the programs remain on the paper & nothing happens in reality & community looses faith.
  • Probability of one town collapsing into another. (particularly in the areas in Delhi-Mumbai Corridor)
  • Haryana model should be followed for development of new cities in India. As post-independence India has not seen increase in the number of new cities but has just seen the increase in the extent of the original cities.


  • India has planned to make 5 new mega cities by 2015.
  • All are along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.
  • These include :
    1. Dholera City in Gujrat
    2. Manesar-Bawal in Haryana
    3. Indore-Mhow in Madhya Pradesh
    4. & 5. Dighi and Nasik-Igatpuri in Maharashtra

Related Subjective Questions :

1. Enlist and explain the problems coming in the way of development of new cities in India.
2. Analyze the solutions available for the problems encountered in the creation of new cities.

Practice Questions