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Showing posts with the label IndiaUrbanizingSeries

India Urbanising: A different Perspective (Part III)

Continued from Part II Having said that India needs to extend the reach of urban amenities like roads, electricity, cooking gas, safe drinking water (and education and internet) to the countryside, there is one major cog missing in the wheel – the pull for the above amenities in rural India. The need for high quality infrastructure in cities gets created by higher productivity and resultant income levels, the same applies to villages as well. In most western nations where villages too have a much better standard of living are those where people in villages have earnings comparable to their city counterparts. In the west the low population density necessitated high productivity in rural activities such as farming or animal husbandry. Thus as an outcome farms were mechanized and villages developed. However, this is not true of a high population density country like India – even today employing 10 labourers in the farm is cheaper than buying a mere tractor. Farmland in India is e

India Urbanising: A different Perspective (Part II)

Continued from Part I ' Mamata wants to turn Kolkata into London ' - screamed the headline on rediff.com some days ago. Turning Kolkata into London is definitely a worthy goal - London is one of the most livable cities in the world. However, while the creation of (present day) London was in itself challenging, doing the same in India is even more challenging. Let’s investigate Indian urbanization strategy in a more logical manner by identifying the challenges which India faces today. India’s urbanization effort is challenged by 3 obstacles: A unique combination of large population with high population density never before encountered (in the parts of the world which have been fully urbanized) An existing landscape formed during different periods of history Large sections of populations who have never been exposed to an urban landscape Lack of existing institutions Of these only the last one had been encountered in countries which have previously attempted urbanization, and t

India Urbanising: A different Perspective

I recently went on a religious tour to Tulzapur via Solapur and then to our ancestral temple in Narsinghpur, near Pune. On way I also visited our ancestral village Indapur 150 kms from Pune. While old Indapur still remains a village with roads just about wide to allow cycle rickshaws run through them, I was astounded to see the newly developed areas of Indapur which were no less than private colonies in Teir 2/3 cities in India. Having read Mckinsey’s India urbanization report just a day before my travel, Indapur’s development opened a new chain of thoughts in my mind. Most urbanization studies about the developing world relate to urbanization as development of new cities or improvement of urban infrastructure (like mass transit, arterial roads, flyovers etc) in existing cities. For example McKinsey’s recent research titled “India’s urban awakening: Building inclusive cities, sustaining economic growth” [ 1 ] highlights the need for India to develop 19 clusters of cities (Page 150);