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The 21st century is set to transform India into an ‘urbanized country’ with the balance of population shifting from

rural to urban areas and more people living in cities and towns than in the countryside…. India has 10 of the 30 fastest growing cities in the world and is witnessing rapid urbanization…. This growth is taking place in small and mid-sized towns and not in the large cities. Projections show that another 140 million rural dwellers will move to urban areas by 2020, while a massive 700 million people will urbanize by 2050. Looking at past statistics on Urbanization, the policies of urban development and housing in India have come a long way since the 1950s: 1) In the First Five Year Plan (1951-56), emphasis was laid to institution building and on construction of houses for Government employees and weaker sections. 2) In the Second Plan (1956-61), the scope of housing programmes for the poor was expanded and Industrial Housing Scheme was widened to cover all workers 3) In the Third Plan (1961-66), coordinating efforts of all agencies and orienting programmes to meet the needs of the Low Income Groups were considered 4) In the Fourth Plan (1969-74), balanced urban growth was accorded high priority 5) The Fifth Plan (1974-79) reiterated the policies to promote smaller towns in new urban centers Urban Land (Ceiling & Regulation) Act - enacted to prevent concentration of land holding in urban areas and to make available urban land for construction of houses for the middle and low-income groups 6) The Sixth Plan (1980-85) stressed on integrated provision of services along with shelter for the poor 7) The Seventh Plan (1985-90) emphasized need for entrusting major responsibility of housing construction on the private sector

Goals of National Housing Policy (NHP) announced in 1988: To ensure adequate housing Improve housing conditions of the inadequately housed Provide minimum level of basic services & amenities to all

There is widening gap between demand and supply of essential services and infrastructure. About 15 per cent of the urbanites do not have access to safe drinking water and about 50 per cent are not covered by sanitary facilities. inadequate road space and lack of public transport.8) The Eighth Plan (1992-97) recognized the role and importance of the urban sector to national economy Urbanization is a broad term and there are wide variations amongst the States and regions in the level ofurbanization… The crucial question is whether India is prepared for the imminent transition to urbanization. The Constitution (74th) Amendment Act 1992 had unleashed a new era of dynamism and reform in Urban India GFX Constitution (Seventy-Fourth Amendment) Act 1992 The salient features of this Act are: • Constitution through universal adult franchise in each notified urban area of the country of Urban local bodies known as Municipal Corporations. Traffic congestion has assumed critical dimensions in many metropolitan cities due to massive increase in the number of personal vehicles. as major chunks of population cannot afford accommodation in planned areas of the cities. lacking basic amenities. The urban poor in India are forced to live under unhygienic conditions in slums. Slums have grown in almost all major cities. Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats. deterioration in the physical environment. depending on the population • Such Bodies to be constituted for a period of five years and elections to reconstitute it shall be completed before the expiration of a period of six months from the date of its dissolution. Despite numerous efforts. it cannot be denied that urban India faces serious problems because of population pressure. Estimates say nearly one third of urban India lives below the poverty line. and quality of life…. if this is earlier than five years • The Legislature of a State may by law entrust on these bodies such power and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of local self-government GFX ends .

Constitution (74th Amendment) Act 1992 turned the urban local bodies into vibrant self-governing institutions. But there are growing demands for more focused and planned approach for rapid and balanced urbanization…. . and ushered in a new era of urban governance and urban management in India….