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K. K. Gavsker

K. K. Gavsker

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Published by: Appan Kandala Vasudevachary on Jun 28, 2013
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Urbanization in Uttar Pradesh: Trends and Problems
K. K. Gavsker*
 The pace of urbanization in India has been rapidly increasing with about 30percent of the total population already living in urban areas.
Urbanization inIndia is a part of the global trend towards growing urbanization
(Singh,2006:1). India has the second largest urban population in the world, next onlyto China. At the global level the percent of urban population in developedworld was 75, whereas it was 40.0 percent in developing world (2006). In thecontext of India, there has been decline in the urban growth rates since 1971-81.
Despite the deceleration, the growth in the urban population in absoluteterms and at the rate it is increasing makes India one of the fastesurbanizing countries in the world
(Singh, 2000:9). By way of the increase inurban population and sprawl of towns and cities, urban centres are at risk of numerous problems. These problems are associated with physical,infrastructural, environmental, social and economic conditions.Mostly, urban centres are believed as the place of livelihood andopportunities which attracts the population to migrate towards. Thus, urbanareas have been extending horizontally by encroachment of the surroundingland areas and becoming denser with vertical construction. These problemsare more or less similar in several cities of India. Grant and Nijman (2003)state,
cities differ in terms of the degree and mechanisms in which they arelinked to the external economy. This differentiation is as much a function of the idiosyncratic features of the city as a place and location, as it is of development in the global econom
(Richard and Nijman, 2003). Indianurbanization is characterized by the growth of large city. The cities Mumbai,Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad have been providingspaces to global investments and expansion of private sector in severalfields, but are under risk of numerous problems regarding housing,infrastructure, sanitation and sewerage, environmental etc. Around 50percent of population of Mumbai has been living in slum conditions which areworld popular. Further studies argue that such areas are totally unfit forhuman habitation.
* Research fellow, Centre for Regional Studies, University of Hyderabad, Hyd.Future projections about urbanization present a picture of pace and degree of urbanization in India. These follows as;
1) The urban population of India isexpected to grow from 27.7 percent at present to 35 percent of the total population by the year 2016, in absolute terms the present urban populationof 285.3 million will grow to 501 million, 2) According to a World Bank study by the year 2030, India’s urban population is likely to increase to 716.0million. i.e. about 330 percent of the present urban population, 3) Thenumber of cities and towns would increase to 6000 in 2021, 4) The number of million plus cities is projected to increase to 70 in 2021 and 5) The UN has projected that by 2025, more than 50 percent of India’s population will live inthe cities and towns
(Sodhi, 2004:26). This paper would focus upon some questions which are linked withurbanization and emerging problems in the state Uttar Pradesh. Thequestions the paper asks are: 1) What is the contribution of Uttar Pradesh inurbanization? 2) What are the emerging problems in urban centres of UttarPradesh? 3) What is the role of urban development policies and programmestowards development? The study is based upon the secondary studies. Journals, news papers, magazines and Census of India, are consulted forsecondary material.
Historical Background of Urbanization in U. P.
According to available literature, we find that process of urbanization in UttarPradesh started during the ancient time. Origin of urban centres in the statewas during 500 BC. It was after the decline of the first phase of urbanizationof the Harrappan civilization, either due to natural disaster or deliberatedestruction by an invading army (Ramachandran, 1989). Historical evidencesupports that the architects of the second phase of urbanization, whichstarted to flourish in Indo-Gangetic basin, were the Arayans. Varanasi is theoldest existing city of India in Uttar Pradesh, originated around 500 BC. Othercities originated during Post-Vedic period were Hastinapur, Ayodhya,Kausambi, Kapilvastu, Sravasthi etc. There has been a decline andemergence of urban centres during different time periods in the region. “
Thedecline of urban centres that began in the Gupta period (5
century AD)continued during the succeeding centuries
” (Ramachandran, 1989:48).
Gooptu (2001) writes about Banares (Varanasi, at present) that this is theoldest town, its antiquity as a Hindu pilgrim centre supposedly dating back tothe vedic age. During Medieval period, the major cities originated in the statewere; Agra, Gwaloir, Merrut, and Allahabad on the plain area. Ramachandran(1989) noted that during Mughal period (AD 1526-1800) the large cities inUttar Pradesh were Agra, Sikri, Jaunpur, Awadh, Lucknow and Varanasi.Further he explains about the urbanization process during the Mughals, “
thecontribution of the Mughals to urbanization (in India) cannot be measured interms of the number of new cities that they established- there were few citiessuch as Moradabad
” (Ramachandran, 1989:53).Allahabad was a regional capital and fort town of the Mughals from the timeof Akbar. Lucknow was the seat of the Mughal government of the Suba of Awadh from 1590. A major factor contributing to urbanization in the Mughalperiod was the growth and development of traditional industries such astextiles and metal works and various arts and crafts. The Europeans entered India when Mughals were in power. 1800 andafterwards, the British colonial economic policies and social attitudesinfluenced the course of urbanization in all parts of India. During this periodpre-British cities almost lost their former importance. The concept of hillstation towns was the product of Britishers’ way of living. Mussoorie andNanital, Dehradun and Almora (now in Uttaranchal) were established duringthe period. Kanpur was the only true industrialized city, specialized in theleather and woolen textiles industries, to emerge during the British rule.
“The pace of urban growth was to quicken considerably after the first worldwar, with a remarkable population increase and the extensive development of small scale manufacturing industries producing a wide variety of goods,while industries began to flourish in Allahabad, Banares, and Lucknow,Kanpur was already an important manufacturing centre for cotton textilesand leather products saw the growth of new kinds of industries” 
(Gooptu,2001:34). Studies related with Census of India, 1931 shows that smallertowns (Shahjahanpur, Hathras, Amroha, Mirzapur and Sambhal) which lackingan turn up in industrial or commercial activities forced the labourers, artisans,

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