City, Space and Politics in the Global South 9780367499679, 9781003048909

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City, Space and Politics in the Global South
 9780367499679, 9781003048909

Table of contents :
Half Title
Title Page
Copyright Page
Table of Contents
Part I: The Concept of a City
Chapter 1: Cities, Space and Development in India
Chapter 2: Political Economy vs. Political Ecology of Urbanization in Asia
Chapter 3: ‘Global’-izing Indian Cities: A Spatial Epistemological Critique
Chapter 4: Financial Decentralization and Local Governance in Urban India: An Inter-State and Metropolitan Districts Analysis
Chapter 5: Urban Space and Environmental Urges
Part II: City and Urban Space
Chapter 6: A Century of Urbanization in the Mineral Belt of India: Phases of Continuity and Change (1901-2011)
Chapter 7: Process and Pattern of Urbanization in Jharkhand
Chapter 8: Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications: A Case Study of Varanasi’s Peri-Urban Interface
Chapter 9: Reconfiguring Urban Space: Loss of Green Space in Varanasi
Chapter 10: Urban Poverty Revisited: An Enquiry into KUSP Initiative in West Bengal
Chapter 11: Nutritional Status and Tuberculosis Disease in the City of Varanasi, UP: A Perspective on Urban Health Ecology
Part III: Urban Policy, Planning and Governance
Chapter 12: Capacity Development for Effective Urban Governance and Service Delivery Quest for Precepts, Realities and Realization
Chapter 13: India’s Urban Development Policy: Retrospect and Prospect
Chapter 14: Challenges of Climate Change in the City of Jamnagar: Perceptions and Adaptations
Chapter 15: Advocacy to Urban Governance: The Aam Aadmi Narrative in Delhi
Chapter 16: Urban Development: Challenges and Prospect in Madhya Pradesh
Chapter 17: Community Participation Law: Policy vs. Practice, The Case of Bhopal
List of Contributors

Citation preview



Cities are centres of exciting events, flows, movements and contradictions that produce both opportunities and challenges. Evolved through the centuries, they display layers of spatial, cultural and socio-economic diversity and contestations, which are articulated in multiple ways. It is in this backdrop that the present volume addresses some of the myriad issues visible in the contemporary cities of the Global South. The volume is divided into three parts, each of them focusing on different dimension of contemporary urban challenges. Part I entitled ‘The Concept of a City’ contains five papers dealing with conceptual complexities of the urban. This part analyses as to what extent development intrudes on urban space and space in turn influences development. Part II ‘City and Urban Space’ contains six papers. These focus on the existing patterns, processes, and perspectives of urbanization and its consequent everyday manifestations across different cities. Part III ‘Urban Policy, Planning and Governance’ has six papers dealing with policy and planning. In the wake of rapid urbanization and economic growth, the urban sector is swiftly changing towards being economic engines. Cities and towns being the centres of economic activities play a catalytic role in contributing to economic development and poverty reduction. However, there are layers of challenges that these cities face. This timely volume brings out these challenges and also analyses plausible solutions which can be brought about by the efficient and effective provision of essential urban services and infrastructure. Bikramaditya K. Choudhary is Assistant Professor at Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, since May 2013. Arun K. Singh is Professor of Geography at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. Diganta Das is Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

City, Space and Politics in

the Global South

Edited by





First published 2020 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2020 selection and editorial matter, Bikramaditya K. Choudhary, Arun K. Singh and Diganta Das; individual chapters, the contributors; and Manohar Publishers & Distributors The right of Bikramaditya K. Choudhary, Arun K. Singh and Diganta Das to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. Print edition not for sale in South Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan or Bhutan) British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested ISBN: 978-0-367-49967-9 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-003-04890-9 (ebk) Typeset in Adobe Garamond Pro 11/13 by Kohli Print, Delhi 110 051






1. Cities, Space and Development in India ABDUL SHABAN


2. Political Economy vs. Political Ecology of Urbanization in Asia B.S. BUTOLA


3. ‘Global’-izing Indian Cities: A Spatial Epistemological Critique DHIRAJ BARMAN


4. Financial Decentralization and Local Governance in Urban India: An Inter-State and Metropolitan Districts Analysis AMRITA ANAND


5. Urban Space and Environmental Urges SHREE KAMALJEE



6. A Century of Urbanization in the Mineral Belt of India: Phases of Continuity and Change (1901-2011) TANUSHREE KUNDU


7. Process and Pattern of Urbanization in Jharkhand SARVOTTAM KUMAR


8. Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications: A Case Study of Varanasi’s Peri-Urban Interface RAVI S. SINGH AND SATYENDRA NARAYAN SINGH



Contents 9 . Reconfiguring Urban Space: Loss of Green Space in Varanasi BIKRAMADITYA K. CHOUDHARY AND RAKESH ARYA


10. Urban Poverty Revisited: An Enquiry into KUSP Initiative in West Bengal PAYEL SEN


11. Nutritional Status and Tuberculosis Disease in the City of Varanasi, UP: A Perspective on Urban Health Ecology AJAY KUMAR GIRI, G.N. SRIVASTAVA, AND ANAND PRASAD MISHRA



12. Capacity Development for Effective Urban Governance and Service Delivery Quest for Precepts, Realities and Realization GANGADHAR JHA


13. India’s Urban Development Policy: Retrospect and Prospect ARUN K. SINGH


14. Challenges of Climate Change in the City of Jamnagar: Perceptions and Adaptations ANIL KUMAR ROY


15. Advocacy to Urban Governance: The Aam Aadmi Narrative in Delhi SHRAWAN KUMAR ACHARYA AND ATANU CHATTERJEE


16. Urban Development: Challenges and Prospect in Madhya Pradesh H.M. MISHRA


17. Community Participation Law: Policy vs. Practice, The Case of Bhopal RASHMI BHARDWAJ


List of Contributors





One of the most defining features of our time is the rapid pace of urbanization and the growth of cities, especially in the developing world. This transformation of human settlements from rural to urban has brought both opportunities and challenges. Opportun­ ities such as better employment, the provision of better housing at the aggregate level, local economic development and country-wide economic competitiveness have risen alongside urban challenges such as the growth of slums, traffic congestion, crime, the spread of disease, the lack of basic services, and spread of chaos. With globalization, leading industrial cities have evolved from production sites to centres of financial services (e.g. banking), emblematic of a global reorganization of production processes. In turn, Third World cities with minimum thresholds of skill and infrastructure have attracted manufacturing activities under the aegis of Multinational and Transnational Corporations (MNC and TNC). Industrializationbased capitalist growth has accelerated the pace of urbanization and transformed cities into sites of development across the globe, especially outside the ‘core region’. Given the relatively higher rates of urbanization in the global South, different types of challenges have emerged—particularly where urban planning and policy have failed to accommodate the rapid rates of growth. These challenges include the shortage of housing, shrinkage of public spaces, loss of green spaces, on top of increasing congestion, conflicts and congregation of wealth and garbage across cities. While the con­ gregation of wealth can give a section of society a sense of accom­ plishment, the larger social order becomes more vulnerable with accelerated accumulation in a few hands, in the process making the rest of the population feel excluded. Such exclusionary urban­ ization would also mean differentiated access of services and ameni­ ties by people living in same urban areas (Marvin and Graham, 2001). The vulnerable, while considered part of the city’s census,



remain excluded from the ‘imagination’ of the city, and disregarded as rightful recipients of municipal services. These processes of exclusion result in the formation of large pockets of neglect, as witnessed in the 40 per cent slum population in most of the metropolitan cities. Exclusionary urbanization, as discussed by Kundu (2014), talks about Asia as a continent that represents the global South, along with Africa and Latin America. In terms of changing settlement patterns, Asia’s contribution is a little more significant, owing to its greater proportion in the global population that is transformed from being rural to urban. As a consequence, the trans­ formation process is relatively more widespread, given that more people are part of it, with larger spaces and more livelihood op­ portunities impacted. The need for basic services like water and sanitation, and infrastructure like transport and power suddenly becomes larger across cities of the global South. The rapid economic transformation and consequent urbaniza­ tion in global South is expressed in visible waver in land and hous­ ing market, changing modes and means of urban transport, changed mode of governance and the changing nature of protest all around. The protest related to service delivery system and local governing committees in Delhi led by the Aam Admi Party 1 is one such example. The speculative land and housing market has evolved in different cities across global South, including cities in India, over the last two or three decades (Benerjee, 2011). Consequently, sites of extreme unevenness are being produced that can be called the emerging uneven realities. The spaces within cities and spaces that constitute cities of different scales make up the cityscape of the Third World. Cities are focussing on both production and con­ sumption. The combination of production and consumption of goods and services within cities creates sites which are continu­ ously being produced and at the same time are being consumed by different sets of people. The cities of today are claiming them­ selves to be a consumable entity as an idea and also as a site where global production can take place and citizens of the towns and cities would have opportunities to consume better artefacts. Owing to changes in larger economic regimes and the consequent demands for commodities, cities of today are becoming cities of ‘prosumption’ (Comor, 2010; Ritzer, 2010, 2015).2



The processes and consequences of the urbanization process result in varied urban spaces, different types of cities, and varied spaces in one city. Multiple policies due to nature of state and multilateral agencies with defined priorities contribute in shaping the nature and characteristics of spaces across cities in the global South. Unlike the First World, the Third-World megacities have their own specificities. The cities are full of contradictions. Evolved over centuries they look like layers of contestation, which are articulated in many ways. These contradictions can be widely seen in terms of historicity, space specificities, and everyday politics, both at the material condition and in the cultural sense. The result is an intensification of the problem of representing urban forms—both as an unmappable totality and as a subjective experience of fragmentation, distraction and unexpected connection. In line with David Harvey’s thesis concerning the ‘space-time com­ pression’ endemic to modernity, we claim that not only are tech­ nological advances in urban transport and communications reflected perceptions of changed environment, but that this change in per­ ception embodies a break with the unilinear logic of sequence and setting to encompass what Ernst Bloch terms ‘the synchronicity of the non-synchronous’, or an uneven spatial simultaneity charac­ teristic of society of spectacle. Patterns of urban settlement system in the countries of global South including India have reached a critical dimension calling new approaches not only to analyse the contemporary situation but also the emerging politics and governance in the neoliberal global economy. The current neo-liberal economy is primarily based on hyped advertisement and over-consumption. On the other hand, most of these cities can’t house the mass of urban dwellers, resulting in inadequate infrastructure, insufficient provision of services, increasing traffic congestion, severe environmental degra­ dation as well as the spreading of squatter settlements and slums. Growing urbanization also means more number of poor in the cities and in a way can be referred to as urbanization of poverty, especially in the global South where rural areas are witnessing stag­ nation in economy and the poor are left with no option than to migrate to urban areas (Mehta, 2010). Governance in contemporary times has become sine qua non for



development strategies and in a way has become a dictum for sus­ tainable human settlement development (UNHABITAT, 2002). Locally, in the context of Third-World cities, the notion of gover­ nance has evolved from the reality of the urban dynamic, replete with its problems, challenges and local political forces (McCarney, 2000). City governments are expected to provide the poor with infrastructure, health systems, schooling, and business opportuni­ ties in order to prevent urban centres from turning into places of social polarization and violent conflict; however, the notion is governance is also aimed at improving the financial health of municipal bodies. That very functioning has been challenged, parti­ cularly since the 1990s, when central governments began to devolve responsibilities to the local level, often without a corresponding devolution of revenue-generating authorities. These processes were aimed at a shift towards more fragmentation and differentiated forms of governance, ‘local government became urban governance’ (Elander, 2002: 191). It is against this backdrop that the present volume addresses some of these issues in the cities of global South. Geographically the book takes most of the examples from India. The volume is arranged into three parts, each discussing different dimensions of contemporary urban challenges. The first entitled ‘Concept of City’ contains five papers. The role of space in the developmental pro­ cess has been much debated in the recent years. To what extent development intrudes the space and space in turn influences de­ velopment have been questions of constant debates among social scientists, specifically among geographers. Cities have been described ‘as by-products of economic change’, ‘drivers of devel­ opment/modernization’, ‘obstacle to development’, ‘accumulators’ ‘metropoles’, etc. Abdul Shaban’s paper ‘Cities, Space and Devel­ opment in India’ examines all these issues in detail and highlights the role of cities in the Indian context. He initiates discussion with the theoretical background to spatial development and its rela­ tionship with megacities followed by empirical evidence from India. B.S. Butola in his paper titled ‘Political Economy vs. Political Ecology of Urbanization in Asia’ talks about the political ecology



approach to urbanization which explores into multiple embedded ironies. While discussing these ironies including spatial differen­ tiation, the process of ‘othering’, dependence and disarticulation, alienation and anonymity, he argues in favour of the use of the political ecology approach to urban studies. This approach to urbanization stands for increasing vulnerabilities of people and environment. Broadly, these marginalized, underpaid, insecure and vulnerable inhabitants would include the directly oppressed along lines of race, ethnicity, gender, lifestyle, faiths and belief, etc. The alienated cutting across all sections of society, i.e. economic class, youth, artists, members of intelligentsia, etc., the insecure par­ ticularly the unemployed population, the shifting group, and other vulnerable groups. The hapless lackeys of power may include some members of the gentry and intelligentsia and the underwriters and beneficiaries of the established cultural and ideological hege­ monic attitudes and beliefs. Dhiraj Barman’s paper ‘Global’-izing Indian Cities: A Spatial Epistemological Critique’ contextualizes the call for transformation of Indian cities into global cities. The author examines the differ­ ent rationales behind the urgent call for it and also evokes the critical counter-arguments. In the process of ‘becoming global’ are the Indian metropolitan cities experiencing a (i) transitional phase, i.e. from traditional to a post-industrial situation, or it is a (ii) phase of conflict marked by the dialectical confrontations, i.e. accep­ tance or denial of the global vis-à-vis the local conditionality? These questions constitute the essential basis for spatial epistemological understandings of the contemporary urban restructuring. It sug­ gests that the idea of the global city is nothing but a replication and reproduction of the Western urban-metaphor. It has essen­ tially become an agenda for the increasing number of new urban middle class and hegemonic logic of neoliberal urbanism in the transformation of Indian city spaces. However, the current urban conditionality is far away from accepting that symbolic yet dis­ ruptive spatial appeals. In India, sustained economic growth and related reforms of the urban sector have a mixed outcome. These have made urban India pulsate with new opportunities coupled with formidable growth



and challenges. The direct impact of this fast growth has been in terms of capital investment, widening spectrum of employment and demand in the improved infrastructure and urban services, particularly in the metropolitan areas. In the light of above the paper entitled ‘Financial Decentralization and Local Governance in Urban India: An Inter-State and Metropolitan Districts’ by Amrita Anand tries to analyse the financial performance of urban local bodies at the level of state and metropolitan districts. Revenue and expenditure decentralization at both these levels have been analysed and a decentralization index on the basis of revenueexpenditure, especially in terms of grants and expenditure on urban development has been developed by the author. The paper ‘Urban Space and Environmental Urges’ contributed by Shree Kamaljee focuses on urbanization, its process, causes, present and future consequences as also the ethics as the measure of perilous omen in the swelling urban pockets. The effort made by the author to delve into the operational aspects of ethical uses and imperatives to save the urban ecology seems to be desirable in today’s world. With these objectives, an analysis of the spatial and temporal scenarios, giving worldwide examples, prevailing as blatant urbanization, is attempted. It ponders over how to develop urban eco-ethics and practice it as everybody’s religion. The author has tried to convince the readers by providing several diagrams and models which make the paper lucid. The second part of the volume is identified as ‘City and Urban Space’ and includes six research papers on the patterns, processes and perspectives of urbanization and consequent manifestations in urban space. Developmental process in the mineral belt of India took place in three different phases: the colonial process of resource drain, planned development during the post-Independence era within the framework of internal colonialism and the corporate resource grab under the present neo-liberal era. Tanushree Kundu’s paper ‘A Century of Urbanization Process in the Mineral Belt of India: Phases of Continuity and Change (1901-2011)’ investigates the continuity and changes in the process of urbanization in the mineral belt of India during the three distinctive phases of its incorporation in the world system. The region selected for the



analysis is the south-east resource region of India, comprising the mineral-bearing districts of Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. A detailed empirical study has been undertaken based on the Censuses of India (1901-2011), analysing various aspects of urbanization. Urbanization has been one of the most striking phenomena in the history of human progress. The spread of capitalism and tech­ nological advances had made the urban centre a hub of economic growth, innovation and employment generation. All these factors had resulted in millions of people migrating from the countryside to the city in the hope of a better life. Taking Jharkhand as a case study Sarvottam Kumar has examined the characteristics, trends, patterns and processes of urbanization in Jharkhand, a tribal but mineral-rich state. The British developed a few administrative centres, cantonments and hill towns for their own requirement and hence modern urbanization started in Jharkhand with the introduction of the railway. It had achieved a very high growth of urbanization during 1951-81. According to the 1951 census, more than two-fifths of the urban population were concentrated in class-I cities, which had gone up systematically to three-fourths in 2011. In spite of this ‘top-heavy’ urbanization pattern, it is notable that no single city had become the Primate city and there was no urban primacy in Jharkhand. In India, cities with million-plus population are found experi­ encing rapid population growth and consequent sprawl. They tend to expand beyond municipal limits and encroach upon peripheral villages. The process of such a specific phase in urban expansion has been termed as ‘peri-urbanization’. Its pattern is not uniform on account of the interplay of various local factors. Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh explore the impacts of peri-urban­ ization through a case study of Varanasi city and analyse emerging policy implications in their paper ‘Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Their Policy Implications: A Case Study of Varanasi’s PeriUrban Interface’ using secondary data collected from village records, Varanasi Development Authority, and tahsil records, and primary data collected with the help of a detailed interview sched­ ule designed for the purpose.



Most urban areas, especially large cities of the Third World coun­ tries face growing problems of urban sprawl, loss of natural resources like vegetation, open space, streams and so on and a con­ sequent decline of natural landscape in totality. Urbanization does have fall-outs such as increasing levels of pollution and an increasing tendency to create fragmentation in urban society. Urban growth and concentration of people in large number across cities and towns create different kinds of societal and environmental problems world­ wide. One such problem is irreversible change in land-use pattern in urban areas having implications for city ownership also. Bikrama­ ditya K. Choudhary and Rakesh Arya’s paper highlights the chang­ ing landownership and land-use pattern in the city of Varanasi. Taking satellite data for two points of time—2002 and 2016— the paper shows the loss of green cover, and increase in the num­ ber of high-rise buildings in the city. It is a geographical analysis of the city, as the analysis is at the level of municipal wards within the city and the authors have highlighted the role of private builders instead of municipal bodies and have concluded that the cities are slowly getting owned by individual real-estate entrepreneurs and global corporates who want to invest in urban land. One of the most glaring and deep-rooted of all the social issues that continue to plague developing societies across the globe is ‘poverty’. As a multidimensional phenomenon it often manifests itself in complex forms, thereby intensifying the already existing differences and divisions. In this context the phenomenon of ‘poverty’ has attracted the particular attention of policy makers, social researchers, development practitioners and media persons, both nationally and internationally. In recognition of the growing magnitude and scale of urban poverty and the consequent need for focused policy intervention to address the gaps, the paper empiri­ cally enquires into the efficacy of slum-level infrastructural devel­ opment as one of the crucial initiatives undertaken under the aegis of the Kolkata Urban Services for the Poor (KUSP) programme in West Bengal thereby examining its impact on urban poverty re­ duction. Keeping in mind the ‘participatory’ focus of the KUSP initiative, the article sheds light on the role of community-based



organizations in the slum areas which have been especially de­ signed to ensure stakeholders’ participation in the whole exercise. The results have significant implications for public administrators, development scholars and poverty analysts. Human well-being and economic status affect the general health of people and vulnerability to diseases. Tuberculosis is a disease of poverty related mainly to poor sanitation, poor housing, overcrowd­ ing, ill-ventilated rooms, etc. Social factors like illiteracy, igno­ rance, poor utilization of health care facilities, large family sizes, malnutrition and poverty are equally responsible. The paper en­ titled ‘Nutritional Status and Tuberculosis Disease in the City of Varanasi, UP: A Perspective on Urban Health Ecology’ by Ajay Giri, G.N. Srivastava and A.P. Mishra highlights the differences between myth and reality in the prevalence of TB. The paper also analyses the relationship between nutrition taken by tuberculosis patients in Varanasi city (a nodal centre in eastern UP). The study is based on primary survey of tuberculosis patients at TB units of Varanasi, one TB hospital and in the OPD of the Department of TB and Respiratory Diseases, IMS, BHU. In the present study a correlation between poverty and tuberculosis has been established by the authors. The severity and negative impact of the disease varies at an inverse rate to the Human Development Index (HDI). Its non­ uniform distribution is influenced by factors like territorial extension, disordered population growth and the concentration of people in the poorer areas of the cities. The third part of the book accommodates six papers dealing with policy and planning and is captioned ‘Urban Policy, Planning and Governance’. Indian economy is one of the fastest growing economies of the world. In the wake of urbanization and economic growth, the urban sector is swiftly changing its shades. Cities and towns being centres of economic activities, play a catalytic role in contributing to economic development and poverty reduction. This is largely brought about by efficient and effective provision of urban services and infrastructure. Quality provision of infrastructure enhances attractiveness of urban settlements for investment that gives fillip to economic growth initiatives and poverty reduction.



In view of the catalytic role of ULBs in promoting economic growth, it is now said that what happens to national economies is largely dependent on what happens in the cities and towns. Urban centres contribute to about 63 per cent of the GDP. The paper ‘Capacity Development for Effective Urban Governance and Service Delivery Quest for Precepts, Realities and Realization’ written by Gangadhar Jha is divided into four Sections. Section I of the paper deals with capacity-building initiatives; Section II tries to demystify concep­ tual underpinnings of capacity development; Section III looks at the capacity-building initiatives being implemented for the ULBs for figuring out the extent to which these are in consonance with the conceptual groundings of capacity development; Section IV discusses parameters that are in the nature of imperatives for capa­ city building and should form part of a capacity development init­ iative. The author uses the expression capacity building and capacity development as interchangeable concepts. Urbanization is a natural outgrowth of socio-economic develop­ ment. In the last hundred years the global urban population has grown by more than 15 times accounting for more than half of the population living in urban areas. India too has witnessed a similar pattern. It has the largest urban system in the world in terms of absolute population but it does not have any specific urban devel­ opment policy. Constitutionally urban management and gover­ nance is state matter and the centre can only issue guidelines and directions. In this context Arun K. Singh’s paper ‘India’s Urban Policy: Retrospect and Prospect’ traces the urban development policy which takes into account urbanization policy as well as urban policy since the First Five Year Plan. While scanning the literature it has been observed that over a period of time there has been a paradigm shift in urban development policy and the strategy has shifted from service provider to facilitator. The author believes that the last decade of the twentieth century witnessed a plethora of reforms in the urban sector and the focus has been empowerment of the people and participatory approach to urban governance in a transparent and accountable manner. The climate variability along India’s coastal areas and resultant



sea-level rise would eventually have tremendous socio-economic impact on local communities and their livelihood. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events resulting in various kinds of hazards. The new kinds of hazards caused by sea-level rise would emerge due to inunda­ tion of coastal areas and will pose greater risks and challenges to coastal cities in developing countries, particularly in South Asia. Anil K. Roy’s paper ‘Challenges of Climate Change in the City of Jamnagar: Perceptions and Adaptation assesses the perception of urban actors and their adaptations to the challenges of climate change in the coastal city of Jamnagar in the Gulf of Kutch, India. It also identifies the gap between the national policy agenda of climate change and understanding and priorities of the urban local bodies in dealing with the impacts of climate variability ex­ perienced by them. Delhi is the one city state in India with considerable degree of autonomy. It has its own politically elected state government with a mandate to plan and govern the city. This is a unique urban governance experiment in India and there is increasing demand for similar structures for better urban management from other megacities like Mumbai and Kolkata. The dominant discourse in India believes that political empowerment of cities is important for resolving city problems. However, despite the existence of a city state with considerable decentralization, Delhi has not been able to solve umpteen urban problems resulting in large sections of aggrieved population cutting across class categories. The paper by Shrawan Acharya and Atanu Chatterjee discussed the anti-corrup­ tion movement started by Anna Hazare, the subsequent formation of the Aam Aadmi Party by Arvind Kejriwal in 2012 and their decision to contest the Delhi state election on the issues of eradi­ cating corruption, improving city governance for safety, security, better provisioning of basic services, ameliorating the condition of the poor and overall improvement of Delhi’s image as the capital city of India. The paper explores the reasons behind the kind of support AAP got from the perspective of cities for and by the people. In the paper the authors try to answer questions including does



the victory of the civil society party imply victory of the people and will it lead to evolution of people- and citizen-friendly cities respecting their rights, entitlements and ensuring justice for all? The implication of such a perspective will have tremendous bear­ ing on how we govern, plan and manage our cities in the future. The rural population of India is urbanizing and approximately one-third of the total population (377 million, 31.16 per cent) lives in 7,935 cities. It is projected that by 2040 India will have the world’s largest urban population. The central state of the coun­ try, Madhya Pradesh, geographically the second largest state, has registered higher population decadal growth (20.3 per cent according to the 2011 Census) than the national average (17.64 per cent). It has 25.6 per cent decadal urban growth which is higher than its rural decadal growth (15.5 per cent) but lower than the national urban decadal growth (31.8 per cent). As far as the level of urbanization is concerned, it ranks 22nd amongst Indian states. However, decadal growth in the number of towns (1901-2011) is more rapid than that of the national average. H.M. Mishra in his paper ‘Urban Development: Challenges and Prospect in Madhya Pradesh’ has presented the picture of urbanization scenario in the state and the state of urban infrastructure and amenities. He agrees to the assumption that megacities will continue to play a signifi­ cant role in India’s urban future as they reflect the aspirations of millions of people in the state but at the same time he argues for the development of small and medium towns which are likely to play a significant role in sustainable urban development. The form of urban and rural planning is evolving day by day. As the size of the settlement increases, the main challenge faced by the central authority is to ensure the ‘trickle-down effect’ of both resources as well as governance. For this, the Government of India (GoI) is constantly making efforts to ensure planning is a peoplecentric participatory process. The Constitution of India has made amendments in its 74th Amandment Act which aims at mandating ‘to decentralize and devolve power to the local authorities/local bodies’. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) launched by the GoI for urban renewal of the infra­ structure and service delivery mechanisms proved a milestone in



public participation. Generally, a three-tier model is prominent in all the settlements where the first tier is an urban local body (ULB), either a municipal corporation/council/panchayat. The second tier is the ward committee (WC) or zonal committee. The third tier is an area sabha or a mohalla committee. Therefore, the question arises: ‘why is public participation not so effective in the present system of governance?’ Rashmi Bhardwaj’s paper ‘Community Parti­ cipation Law: Policy vs. Practice: The Case of Bhopal’ emphasizes on the provisions made through the Constitution Amendment Act (CAA) in the Community Participation Law (CPL) to ensure an effective public participation. This paper also ponders over the convergence of the policies and on-ground practices of mohalla committees present in case of Bhopal. In sum total the volume offers a collection of papers which raises multiple perspectives to understand the issues that the cities of the global south are facing. Some of the papers also open up the window of possibilities to come up with workable solutions to deal such issues in contemporary times.

NOTES 1. AAP (Aam Aadmi Party, Common People’s Party or People’s Party). 2. Prosumption involves both production and consumption rather than focusing on either one (production) or the other (consumption). It is maintained that earlier forms of capitalism (producer and consumer capitalism) were themselves characterized by prosumption. Given the recent explosion of user-generated content online, we have reason to see prosumption as increasingly central. In prosumer capitalism, control and exploitation take on a different character than in the other forms of capitalism: there is a trend toward unpaid rather than paid labour and toward offering products at no cost, and the system is marked by a new abundance where scarcity once predominated. Ritzer, 2010; Ritzer, 2015, ‘The “New” World of Prosumption: Evolution, “Return of the Same”, or Revolution?’ Social Forum, 30: 1-17. doi:10.1111/socf.12142


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Benerjee S. (2011), Accumulation by Dispossession, Sage, Delhi. Comor, E. (2010), ‘Digital Prosumption and Alienation’, Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization, vol. 10(3/4): 439-54. Dusi, D. (2017), ‘Beyond Prosumer Capitalism: Retaining the Origninal Understanding of Presumption’, Current Sociology, 1-19. Harvey, D. (1989), The Condition of Postmodernity, Wiley, MA. Marvin, S. and S. Graham (2001), Splintering Urbanism, Routledge, London. Mc Carney, Patricia L. (2000), ‘Thinking about Governance in Global and Local Perspective: Considerations on Resonance and Dissonance between Two Discourses’, Urban Forum, vol. 11(1), pp. 1-30. Ritzer, G. and N. Jurgenson (2010), ‘Production, Consumption, Prosumption: The Nature of Capitalism in the Age of the Digital Prosumer’, Journal of Consumer Culture, vol. 10(1): 13-36. Ritzer, G. (2015), ‘The “New” World of Prosumption: Evolution, “Return of the Same”, or Revolution’? Social Forum, 30: 1-17. doi: 10.1111/ socf.12142.




Cities, Space and Development

in India


In recent years, the role of space in development has come under increased scrutiny. How development intrudes the space and space in turn impacts development have been the questions of constant debates among social scientists, specifically among geographers. The cities remain thickly implicated in space and social relations, and have variously been described ‘as by-product of economic change’, ‘drivers of development/modernization’, ‘obstacle to development’, ‘accumulators’, ‘metropoles’ and so on. Despite attempts by geographers, the mainstream social theories for a long time have remained despatialized (Soja, 1989). Historicism has remained a main concern of socio-economic theories and space in everyday life remains speculative and even considered as a ‘noise’. The scalarity of space in the socio-economic process has been another issue that social scientists still grapple with to understand. This led Foucault (1980) to observe that a whole history remains to be written of spaces—which would at the same time be the history of powers (both of these terms in the plural)—from the great strategies of geopolitics to the little tactics of the habitat. Soja (1989) says, ‘the spatial order of human existence arises from the (social) production of space, the construction of human geo­ graphies that both reflect and configure being in the world’ (p. 25). With regard to economic development, it was Perroux (1955; 1970), who for the first time systematically put forward his conception about spatial development and explained that spatial


Abdul Shaban

equilibrium in economic development was difficult to realize. A similar conception led economists to coin terms like spatial ‘trickle down’ and ‘polarization’ (Hirschman, 1958) ‘backwash’ and ‘spread’ (Myrdal, 1957). Perroux’s idea of growth pole which related to propulsive industries was later translated by many into spatial growth poles and used in regional planning. In this framework, ‘towns and cities can be regional drivers of growth and change’ (Beall and Fox, 2009: 84), and this saw the emergence of litera­ ture which explained the organic relationship between cities and countryside (Gore, 1984). Cities got described as ‘geographical foundations of economic growth’ (Scott and Storper, 2003: 580) to ‘centre of gravity of economy’ and ‘logistic hearts of the eco­ nomic activity’ (Braudel, 1984: 27). In fact, of late, many theories with regard to spatial dialectics and space relations have been formulated in specialized fields like sociology, psychology and economics, and geography remains their ultimate repository. This paper examines the space-development relationship and the role of cities in the same. We first discuss the theories regarding spatial development and its relationship with megacities followed by empirical evidence from India on the same. CITIES, SPACE AND DEVELOPMENT

Today, more than 50 per cent of the world’s population live in cities and more than 70 per cent of the world’s income emerges from cities. Wirth defines cities as a ‘relatively large, dense and permanent settlement of socially heterogeneous individuals’ (Wirth, 1938: 8). In fact, as per Wirth, size, density and heterogeneity create a distinctive way of life that is specific to cities. Cities are also seen as ‘concentration and congregation of human energies’ (Beall and Fox, 2009: 3), demographic sinks, privileged spaces, and spaces of command and controls. They are also conceptualized as engines of economic growth and development, ‘as by-products of economic change, drivers of modernization’ (Beal and Fox, 2009: 19). Innovations in a society have been directly linked with the level of urbanization in that society (Bairoch, 1988: 323-5). Cities are also described as potential centres fuelling growth to their

Cities, Space and Development in India


peripheries and used in planning as tools for spatial development (Friedmann and Alonso, 1975). The role of cities in the making of civilizations and economic transformations are also well acknow­ ledged (Childe, 1950). Lewis Mumford says, ‘City is a geographical plexus, an economic organization, an institutional process, a the­ atre of social action, and an aesthetic symbol of collective unity’ (1937: 93-4). Urbanism as described by Louis Wirth in some other context, is now being used in New Economic Geography (NEG) to explain the economic power of cities. It is claimed that the density and diversity of economic activity in cities generate ‘exter­ nal economies of scale.1 These external economies associated with cities are: (1) localization economies and (2) urbanization or Jacob economies. The spatial clustering of firms engaged in the production of similar goods produces localization economies. This concept is related to Alfred Marshall (1920) who observed that (a) proximity allows firms to share inputs, (b) a large pool of labour allows match­ ing of skill of labour and need of firms, (c) density facilitates easy sharing of information and ideas, leading to effective learning, in­ novation and diffusion (Marshall, 1920: 267-77). The external economies of scale produced by diversity (of firms and individu­ als) are known as urbanization economies or Jacobs’ economies. Edward W. Soja says that cities manifest the power of Synekism, that is socio-spatial force or stimulus unique to urban agglomera­ tions.2 In this context, Jane Jacobs (1984: 32) argued that cities, not nations, should be salient units for understanding the eco­ nomic process. She wrote, Nations are political and military entities, and so are blocs of nations. But it does not necessarily follow from this that they are also the basic, salient entities of economic life or that they are particularly useful for probing the mysteries of economic structure, the reason for rise and decline of wealth. (Jacobs, 1984: 31)

But, will the development of communication system lead to the death of cities? Will the interneted, distanciated (Giddens, 1984: 377) and networked society (Castells, 1996) create a condition where spatial density and proximity will not be a necessary condi­ tion for innovation? However, Storper and Venables (2004) argue


Abdul Shaban

the ‘face-to-face contact remains central to coordination of the economy’ (p. 352), and thus one cannot do away with ‘space’. Cities are the primary source of iniquitous distribution of space. The fate of iniquitous spatial development has been conceptualized variously in economic theories. The neo-classical growth theorists like Kuznets and Williamson believed that ultimately the disparity will be ironed out through the trickle-down effect. Solow (1956) and Swan (1956) argued that space will converge in development due to the presence of diminishing returns to capital. The conver­ gence process will operate to reduce initial income differentials— so, policy interventions to correct the latter are unnecessary. How­ ever, the Endogenous Growth Theory (Lucas, 1988; Mankiw et al., 1992) argues for the presence of economies of scale (including endogenous human capital accumulation) that will lead to the persistent and even widening levels of regional income disparities. A CRITIQUE OF POLARIZED SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT



The first fundamental critique of modernization and urban-led development emerged in the 1960s from dependency theorists, who argued that capitalism-led modernization and development will create islands of prosperity that will suck the resources, and will even undermine the survival of those in the peripheries of metropolises (the islands of development). They argued that the ‘metropolis’ has the concentrated force of capitalism—economic power combined with the geographic power of gravity. Andre Gunder Frank, Paul Baran, Das-Santos and Cardoso, among others, became proponents of the dependency theory. Frank in his Capi­ talism and Underdevelopment in Latin America (1967) argued that development in low and middle income countries was not possi­ ble because economic surplus was extracted from the global peri­ phery by the metropolitan centres (industrialized countries). The same logic was used to describe the city-hinterland/periphery re­ lationship. The dependency theorists also argued that towns and cities in economically less advanced countries did not diffuse de­ velopment out to their hinterland but towards the Western indus­

Cities, Space and Development in India


trialized countries (Potter, 1992). As such, the urban centres in these countries can be called parasitic and dystopian spaces. Thus, the dependency theorists, using the Marxist theory of geographi­ cally uneven development saw antagonism not only between city and countryside—the agglomerative centres and dissipative peri­ pheries—but also between countries (largely West and the rest). Extending the argument of dependency theorists, Michael Lipton (1977), in his book Why Poor Stay Poor: Urban Bias in World Development (1977) argued that developing countries impose price distortion that favour urban over rural areas. The neoliberal economy has also been blamed for valorizing urban spaces and distorting spatial development through excessive accumulation in cities, specifically global cities. In fact, the private and global cities in the Third World countries in the neoliberal economic phase, through their unhinging from peripheries, belie many of the assumptions of the neoclassical growth theory. The cities as such not only re­ main islands of development in the vast sea of underdevelopment, cut-off from the peripheries (immediate Space and social context), but connected to the global cities through high-speed mobility corridors, internet and other means of information technology. The location of an industry at a place often leads to concentration of population, and as such growth of a town. Many of the world cities and towns have evolved in this way. However, the industries can also be attracted by social overheads of a town, availability of labour, capital or existing market. In case of increasing economies of scale, this leads to further growth of the town and concentration of industries. Development and policy literature have acknowledged the potential possessed in towns for initiating and accelerating economic growth. The new economic geography (Marshall, 1890/ 1920; Krugman, 1991; Venables, 2005) and other literature, focussing on increasing economies of scale (Krugman, 1980; Gardiner, Martin and Tyler, 2011), free trade, and factor (land, labour) immobility, thick (labour) market effect (Helsley and Strange, 1990), and knowledge spill-over (Henderson, 1988; Shaban, 2006), productivity increase (Rosenthal and Strange, 2004) and strong inter-firm linkages foretell the spatial clustering of economic activities. The diseconomies of scale can create spread effect but for market access and to get advantage of other associate


Abdul Shaban

benefits of agglomeration, the industries will remain within the periphery of the urban centres. Thus, urbanization at the theoretical level is assumed to have strong linkages with industrialization, and the spatial distribution of towns can strongly influence the spatial economy. URBANIZATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:


The theoretical relationship between urban centres and economic development is also supported by empirical realities. It is found that there exists a strong relationship between urbanization and economic development among Indian states. However, within states, the regions of mega-cities are largely the spaces of higher economic development. The city regions of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Benga­ luru, Chennai, and so on are suitable examples in this regard. The recent years’ data, as depicted in Figure 1.1, show that on an aver-

Note: Names of the states are abbreviated.

Sources: Based on data from Census of India (2011) and CSO (2013).

Figure 1.1: Relationship between urbanization rate and per capita income in India, 2011

Cities, Space and Development in India


age a 1 per cent increase in urbanization leads to a rise in per capita Net State Domestic Product (at factor cost and 2004-5 prices) by about Rs. 935. However, the evidence also suggests that these are megacities which are the engines of economic growth in India. The share of total population in million-plus cities in the states and economies of states are strongly correlated (Figures 1.2 and 1.3). In fact, it is found that with a 1 per cent increase in population in millionplus cities, the per capita income of states rises by Rs. 746, while the same 1 per cent rise in population in the largest million-plus cities in the states, see those states’ per capita income increase on an average by Rs. 1,844. This latter figure underscores the eco­ nomic power of megacities in India.

Note: Names of the states are abbreviated.

Sources: Based on data from Census of India (2011) and CSO (2013).

Figure 1.2: Relationship between mega-urbanization and economic development in India


Abdul Shaban

Note :

Chandigarh and Delhi have not been included as they are mega-city-states/ UTs. Sources: Based on data from Census of India (2011) and CSO (2013).

Figure 1.3: Relationship between largest city and economic development in India, 2011



However, as shown in Figure 1.3, not all towns wield equal potential for propelling economic development in their respective states. In other words, there has not been uniform impact of mega-urban centres on industrialization and economic development in India. It varies widely with regions. It seems, in this context, that there has been over-urbanization of BIMARU states. The mega-urban centres in these states are led by the informal tertiary sector, with­ out much manufacturing and higher-end service sector. These cities largely have anaemic urban economies. Due to over-urbanization in these cities, ‘urban misery and poverty exists side by side with the result that the city can hardly be called dynamic’ (Sovani, 1964: 113). In these states the ‘poor economic performance and persistent urbanisation reflect a decoupling of the historical rela­ tionship between urbanisation and industrialisation’ (Beal and Fox, 2009: 61-2). An analysis of the economic census of 1990 and 2005 supports the anaemic economies of the megacities of the BIMARU states

Cities, Space and Development in India


(Shaban and Sattar, 2013). In Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the bases of industrial and commercial activities are small and medium towns, while in the Mumbai-Pune-SuratAhmadabad belt, megacities dominate the industrial and com­ mercial activities. The National Capital Region (NCR)-ChandigarhAmritsar region is also growing and expanding fast, and as such the industrial and commercial activities are moving to the small and medium towns of the region. Thus, the role of small and me­ dium town with regard to absorption and (geographic) expansion of industrial and commercial activities and fuelling of further growth through expansion of market and provision of cheap factor of pro­ duction is becoming very important in north-western, western and southern regions of the country. The town in these regions can be called ‘propulsive towns’ as they show a strong association with industrial and commercial activities. However, the relationship between size of the urban centre and size of the industrial and commercial sector workers seems to be weak in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and Odisha. These towns as such can be termed as ‘sedentary towns’ relying on the income and resources mobilized from elsewhere, mainly from the cities and towns in the southern, western and north-western regions of the country (Figures 1.4 and 1.5). Even the nature of informalization of economic activities between these two sets of regions may be different: southern and western regions are sub­ stantially led by vertical disintegration of industries in megacities (out-sourcing) and in central India and the central Gangetic plain it is based on petty local manufacturing and services. In states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh, workers in the formal sector are either declining very fast or experiencing a very low growth rate. As against this, workers in the urban informal sector have experienced significantly higher growth rates across districts in the country (see Figure 1.5, right side of the map). CONCLUSION

The role of space in economic development and social relations,

though neglected for a long time, has come to increased scrutiny

in recent years. Where socio-spatial dialectics are used to explain

Figure 1.4. Annual compound growth rate (ACGR) of workers in total and urban enterprises by districts, 1990-2005

Source : Based on unit-level data of Economic Census, 1990 and 2005 obtained from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), New Delhi, on CD.

Figure 1.5: Annual compound growth rate (ACGR) of workers in urban formal and informal enterprises by districts, 1990-2005

Source : Based on unit-level data of Economic Census, 1990 and 2005 obtained from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), New Delhi, on CD.


Abdul Shaban

the social phenomena, the space is also now taking centre stage to explain the processes of economic growth. The role of cities in spatial development and fuelling diffusion processes have been sig­ nificant. This is why many argue that the unit for spatial develop­ ment must take into consideration the cities and their regions. The larger regional analysis will not be able to show the processes which the cities generate and how through that they create their micro-geographies. The size, density and diversity in cities remains crucial for technological innovation and economic growth. These generate thick labour and consumer markets that promote econo­ mies of scales. The empirical evidence from India also supports urbanization, specifically, growth of megacities are directly related to the economic development of states. However, all the megacities do not show similar patterns in propelling economic growth in their regions. The megacities in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Chhattisgarh, as opposed to those in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, act more as administrative towns with little industrial base. The emergence of private cities as cul-de-sac or unhinged from their immediate geographic peripheries has further complicated the assumption of the neoclassical growth theories. That leads to the postulation that the city-region relationship crucially depends upon the nature of cities. Many private cities in and around megacities, promoted by the agentic state, are in the making or on drawing boards in India. The working of these cities can be a significant test for spatial assumptions of neoclassical growth theories in future.

NOTES 1. External economies of scale refers to the productivity gains realized by a producer or firm due to factors external to that producer or firm. Externalities are also defined as external benefits or costs that accrue to others as a result of an individual’s (or firm’s) activity that are not reflected in market prices. 2. Synekism—the economic and ecological interdependencies and the creative—as well as occasionally destructive—synergisms that arise from the purposeful clustering and collective cohabitation of people in space, in a ‘home’ habitat (Soja, 2000: 12).

Cities, Space and Development in India


REFERENCES Bairoch, Paul (1988), Cities and Economic Development: From the Dawn of the History to the Present, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Beall, Jo and Sean Fox (2009), Cities and Development, London: Routledge. Berman, Marshall (1982), All That is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity, New York: Simon and Schuster. Braudel, Fernand (1984), Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, vol. 3: The Perspectives of the World, New York: Harper & Row. Castells, Manuel (1996), The Rise of Network Society: The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture, vol. I, Hoboken, New Jersey: Blackwell Publishers. Census of India (1991), Primary Census Abstract 1991, Office of the Registrar, General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi. —— (2001), Primary Census Abstract 2001, Office of the Registrar, General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi. —— (2011), Primary Census Abstract 2011, Office of the Registrar, General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi. Childe, V.G. (1950), ‘The Urban Revolution’, Town Planning Review, 21: 3-17. Foucault, M. (1980), ‘Question on Geography’, in C. Gorden (ed.), Power/ Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Wrtings, 1972-1977, New York: Pantheon, pp. 63-7. Frank, Andre Gunder (1967), Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America: Historical Studies of Chile and Brazil, New York: Monthly Review Press. Friedmann, John and William Alonso (eds.) (1975), Regional Policy: Readings in Theory and Applications. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Gardiner, B., R. Martin and P. Tyler (2011), ‘Does Spatial Agglomeration Increase National Growth?: Some Evidence from Europe’, Journal of Economic Geography, 11, pp. 979-1006. Giddens, Anthony (1984), The Constitution of Society, Los Angeles: University of California Press. Gore, C.D. (1984), Regions in Question: Space, Development Theory, and Regional Policy, London: Methuen & Co. Ltd. Helsley, R.W. and W.C. Strange (1990), ‘Matching and Agglomeration Eco­ nomies in a System of Cities’, Regional Science and Urban Economics, 20: 2, pp. 189-212.


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Henderson, J.V. (1988), Urban Development: Theory, Fact and Illusion, London: Oxford University Press. Hirschman, A.O. (1958), The Strategy of Economic Development, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. Jacobs, Jane (1984), Cities and the Wealth of Nations, New York: Vintage. Krugman, P.R. (1980), ‘Scale Economies, Product differentiation and the Pattern of Trade’, American Economic Review, 70: 950-9. —— (1991), ‘Increasing Returns and Economic Geography’, Journal of Polit­ ical Economy, 49: 137-50. Lipton, M. (1977), Why Poor People Stay Poor: Urban Bias in World Develop­ ment, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Lucas, Robert E. (1988), ‘On the Mechanics of Economic Development’, Journal of Monetary Economics, 22: 3-42. Mankiw, N. Gregory, David Romer and David N. Weil (1992), ‘A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 107: 407-37. Marshall, A. (1920/1890), Principles of Economics, London: Macmillan (8th edn., 1920). MOSPI (2008), Economic Census 1990, Data on CD, Government of India, New Delhi. —— (2009), Economic Census 2005, Data on CD, Government of India, New Delhi. Mumford, Lewis (1937), ‘What is a City, Architectural Records’, reprinted in Richard Le Gates and Fredric Stout (eds.), The City Reader, 3rd edn., London: Routledge. Myrdal, G. (1957), Economic Theory and Underdeveloped Region, London: Duckworth. Perroux, F. (1970), ‘A Note on the Concept of Growth Poles’, in D.L. McKee, R.D. Dean and W.H. Leahy (eds.), Regional Economics: Theory and Practice, New York, Free Press, pp. 93-103. —— (1955) ‘Note sur la notion de poles croissance’, Economic Appliquee, 1 & 2: 307-20 (tr. Mette Monsted, 1974). Potter, Robert (1992), Urbanization in the Third Wolrd, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Rosenthal, S.S. and W.C. Strange (2004), ‘Evidence on the Nature and Sources of Agglomeration Economies’, in V. Henderson and J. Thisse (eds.), Handbook of Urban and Regional Economics, vol. 4, North Holland, Amsterdam, pp. 2119-72. Scott, Allen J. and M. Storper (2003), ‘Regions, Globalisation, Development’, Regional Studies, 37(6-7): 579-93.

Cities, Space and Development in India


Shaban, A. (2006), ‘Regional Structure, Growth and Convergence of Income in Maharashtra’, Economic and Political Weekly, 41(18): 1803-15. Shaban, A. and S. Sattar (2013), ‘Industrial Dispersal and Clustering in India During Post-Reform Period and the Role of Small and Medium Towns’, in R.N. Sharma and R.S. Sandhu (eds.), Small Cities and Towns and Global Era: Emerging Changes and Perspectives, Jaipur: Rawat Publications, pp. 111-51. Soja, Edward W. (1989), Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory, London/New York: Verso. —— (2000), Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions, Oxford: Blackwell. Solow, R. (1956), ‘A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 70: 65-94. Sovani, N.V. (1964), ‘The Analysis of “Over Urbanization”’, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 12(2): 113-22. Storper, Micheal and Anthony J. Venables (2004), ‘Buzz: Face-to-Face Contact and the Urban Economy’, Journal of Economic Geography, 4: 351-70. Swan, T. (1956), ‘Economic Growth and Capital Accumulation’, Economic Record, 32: 344-61. Venables, Anthony J. (2005), New Economic Geography (http://www. ) (accessed on 17 November 2011). Wirth, Louis (1938), ‘Urbanism as a Way of Life’, American Journal of Sociology, 44(1): 1-24.

Andhra Pradesh Arunachal Pradesh Assam Bihar Chhattisgarh Goa Gujarat Haryana Himachal Pradesh Jammu & Kashmir Jharkhand Karnataka Kerala Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra Manipur Meghalaya Mizoram



Abbreviation of state names

2,82,19,075 3,17,369 43,98,542 1,17,58,016 59,37,237 9,06,814 2,57,45,083 88,42,103 6,88,552 34,33,242 79,33,061 2,36,25,962 1,59,34,926 2,00,69,405 5,08,18,259 8,34,154 5,95,450 5,71,771

Urban population

33.4 22.9 14.1 11.3 23.2 62.2 42.6 34.9 10.0 27.4 24.0 38.7 47.7 27.6 45.2 32.5 20.1 52.1

% of Urban population 35.6 39.3 27.9 35.4 41.8 35.2 36.0 44.6 15.6 36.4 32.4 31.5 92.8 25.7 23.6 44.8 31.1 29.7

Decadal change (%) in urban population (2001-11) 25,321 26,610 16,782 7,914 18,559 76,968 32,021 37,972 33,348 21,734 18,510 26,882 31,871 15,442 36,077 18,640 24,086 24,662

Per capita income 2004--5 39,434 34,366 21,793 12,100 25,788 1,04,445 53,789 58,376 46,821 27,667 24,330 40,699 49,391 22,091 59,037 22,867 35,191 36,732

Per capita income 2010-11



7.7 4.4 4.5 7.3 5.6 5.2 9.0 7.4 5.8 4.1 4.7 7.2 7.6 6.2 8.6 3.5 6.5 6.9

ACGR % of Per Capita Income, 2004-11




5,70,966 70,03,656 1,03,99,146 1,70,48,085 1,53,578 3,49,17,440 9,61,453 4,44,95,063 30,49,338 2,90,93,002 1,43,488 10,26,459 1,63,68,899 8,52,753 31.2

28.9 16.7 37.5 24.9 25.2 48.4 26.2 22.3 30.2 31.9 37.7 97.3 97.5 68.3 31.8

66.6 26.9 25.9 29.0 156.5 27.0 76.2 28.8 39.9 29.7 23.5 27.0 26.8 31.5

Notes : Per capita income at 2004-5 prices; ACGR= annual compound growth rate (per cent). Sources: Census of India (2011), and CSO (2013).


Nagaland Odisha Punjab Rajasthan Sikkim Tamil Nadu Tripura Uttar Pradesh Uttarakhand West Bengal A & N Islands Chandigarh Delhi Puducherry 24,143

30,441 17,650 33,103 18,565 26,690 30,062 24,394 12,950 24,726 22,649 40,921 74,173 63,877 48,302 36,342

42,511 23,875 44,769 27,625 66,136 53,507 36,826 17,388 48,525 31,415 64,722 87,502 1,05,195 84,142 7.1

5.7 5.2 5.2 6.8 16.3 10.1 7.1 5.0 11.9 5.6 7.9 2.8 8.7 9.7




77,49,334 20,46,652 10,25,682 11,22,555 1,63,14,838 62,40,201 14,04,653 12,73,312 13,37,131 84,99,399 21,17,990 22,10,447 1,84,14,288 16,13,878 30,73,350 86,96,010 29,20,067 1,41,12,536

1,09,70,856 20,46,652 10,25,682 21,86,632 1,63,14,838 1,40,33,692 14,04,653 12,73,312 36,59,170 84,99,399 1,21,42,240 64,63,373 3,00,21,545 27,97,583 52,12,530 1,33,31,613 1,40,03,273 1,53,55,544

Total population of million+ cities


Note: Per capita income at 2004-5 prices. Sources: Census of India (2011), and CSO (2013).

3 1 1 2 1 4 1 1 3 1 7 4 6 2 3 4 7 2

No. of Population million+cities in largest city

Andhra Pradesh Bihar Chandigarh Chhattisgarh Delhi Gujarat Haryana Jammu & Kashmir Jharkhand Karnataka Kerala Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra Punjab Rajasthan Tamil Nadu Uttar Pradesh West Bengal



38.9 17.4 99.9 36.8 99.7 54.5 15.9 37.1 46.1 36.0 76.2 32.2 59.1 26.9 30.6 38.2 31.5 52.8

% of total urban population in million plus cities


27.5 17.4 99.9 18.9 99.7 24.2 15.9 37.1 16.9 36.0 13.3 11.0 36.2 15.5 18.0 24.9 6.6 48.5 13.3

13.0 2.0 97.2 8.6 97.2 23.2 5.5 10.2 11.1 13.9 36.3 8.9 26.7 10.1 7.6 18.5 7.0 16.8

Share (%) of Share (5) largest city of total pop in total in million+ urban cities population


9.2 2.0 97.2 4.4 97.2 10.3 5.5 10.2 4.1 13.9 6.3 3.0 16.4 5.8 4.5 12.1 1.5 15.5

Share of total population in largest city



39,434 12,100 87,502 25,788 1,05,195 53,789 58,376 27,667 24,330 40,699 49,391 22,091 59,037 44,769 27,625 53,507 17,388 31,415

Per capita income (Rs.) 2010-11


Political Economy vs Political

Ecology of Urbanization in Asia


Urbanization is at crossroads at the global level. The community of nations as well as the world academia at the national and inter­ national levels are increasingly positioning themselves at two diametrically opposite ends of the discourses on the future of urbanization, particularly the roles these are likely to play in the coming years and centuries. There are some who believe that ur­ banization is the ultimate and safe future for the world including the people, the environment and the diversities they possess. The beneficiaries of the existing system, particularly the large stake­ holders, mostly from the developed world and rich classes from the developing countries do not only glorify the historic roles the urban centres and urbanization processes played in bringing down the medieval world and the ‘closed mindset’ it had nurtured but also replaced it by the modern ways of life and ‘liberated’ mindset. They advocate that urbanization equipped with the spirit of scientific rationality and technological possibilities are squarely re­ sponsible not only for removing the veil of ignorance and supersti­ tions that had infested the pre-modern societies, but also replaced these with societies equipped with rational and scientific cultures and world views. The processes were initiated in Europe during the fourteenth and the fifteenth centuries and thereafter taken to other parts of the world through the integration of the world market. It is no more a secret what happened thereafter. In the words of none other than Bishop Desmond Tutu, ‘When the missionaries


B.S. Butola

came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, “let us close our eyes and pray”. We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.’ This is what rationality and urbanization had done not to one or a few communities and nations but to the majority of the world population. Thus, the church and the towns that had been valo­ rized for spreading civilization and bringing about development played key roles in transferring land and Bible from one hand to another. However, it is interesting to know that the narratives continued to aggressively pursue urbanization as the necessary con­ dition for future development. Correspondingly, the documenta­ tion of historical facts was done justifying the political economy of urbanization as the best option to guide and transform the develop­ ing world in the near future. There are others who strongly contested such claims on the bases of the social, cultural and environmental costs that had been part and parcel of the urbanization processes. They criticize the polit­ ical economy approach for presenting one-sided views about the urbanization processes, particularly by underplaying the unilat­ eral relations that each and every urban centre imposes on its respective hinterland, its society, culture and environment. In re­ sponse to this they advocate a more relevant political ecology approach. The political economy and political ecology approaches are not based on two positions restricted to academic exercise only. On the contrary, there are certain fundamental differences between the two. The advocates of political economy believe that urbaniza­ tion is the only rational way of organizing space, economy and society and any compromise or deviation from the proven path is possible either due to ignorance or anti-development conspiracy. As opposed to this the political ecologists believe that the so-called rationality advocated by the political economists is nothing but vulgarization of rationality itself. Reduction of rationality to one dimension, i.e. instrumental by the political economists is no­ thing but regimentation in the name of science and technology. So, omission of practical rationality (emancipatory) by the political economists is largely responsible for positioning them as well as

Political Economy vs Political Ecology of Urbanization in Asia


the scientists on the side opposed is social justice, balanced re­ gional development and democratic values. The political ecologists also criticize the proposed roles urban­ ization processes are likely to play in the transformation of the world, particularly the Third World. They have serious reserva­ tions about the interconnections the political economists see be­ tween the past, present and future. For the political economists the present is merely an extension of the past modified (impro­ vised) through incremental doses of scientific and technological advancements. They believe that this particular rational approach will make it a permanent and unchanging feature. So, there are neither the bases nor the needs for changing the present world (End of History). This has been vehemently criticized by the polit­ ical ecologists. They advocate that for the transformation of space and society, it is an imperative to disentangle the present from the past and this responsibility should be passed on to the future to shape the present. It is only when the future stands up and guides the present that emancipatory rationality will embrace practical rationality and legitimacy will be based on democratic ideals, social justice and balanced regional development. It will also bring an end to the age-old contradictions that had been created by the polit­ ical economists between science and democracy and instrumental and practical rationality. This is also the thrust of sustainable develop­ ment. Therefore, the process must begin with the interrogation of the genesis of the very term ‘urban’. POLITICAL ECOLOGY APPROACH


City is a type of urban centre. All cities are urban centres, but all urban centres are not cities. Though both, i.e. cities and urban centres have been present in human history for a relatively long time,1 yet it is surprising that scholars, planners and administrators are ambiguous about arriving at a consensus in defining these. Moreover, the magnitude as well as intensity of ambiguities in­ creases as one moves across time, space and culture. Once again, though urban is a generic term used for a city, yet city as a concept


B.S. Butola

and praxis preceded the concept of urban by many centuries. So, it is but obvious that there are differences of opinions about city as a concept. Similarly, due to it’s relatively longer use as compared to the concept of urban, there are broad agreements among schol­ ars about city both as a concept and praxis, which is difficult to arrive at when one talks about an urban centre.2 THE CITY-URBAN DIVIDE

THE CITY The city is a type of urban centre which is relatively larger and permanent in terms of its existence, having a formal administrative structure and legal status. Moreover, it is an imperative for a settle­ ment to be identified as a city provided it enjoys certain amount of autonomy from other structures above it and has enough surpluses of raw materials to support trade and a relatively large population. So, it is implicit that though the cities do/did have/had social, economic, political and spatial divisions or hierarchies, they main­ tained homogeneity at some broad level. They existed largely on the bases of certain historically and culturally evolved ties linking various segments organically to each other along with a certain amount of autonomy. The Greek and Roman cities were the clas­ sic examples of autonomy with certain distinguishing features, namely: 3 1 . Size and density of the population should be above normal. 2 . Differentiation of the population: Not all residents grow their own food, leading to specialists. 3 . Payment of taxes to a deity or king. 4 . Monumental public buildings. 5 . Those not producing their own food are supported by the king. 6 . Systems of recording and practical science. 7 . A system of writing. 8 . Development of symbolic art. 9 . Trade and import of raw materials. 10. Specialist craftsmen from outside the kin-group.

Political Economy vs Political Ecology of Urbanization in Asia


The Greek Cities In the past autonomy, the ability to contain heterogeneity within manageable limits and maintain historically evolved organic link­ ages across various socio-political hierarchies had been features dist­ inguishing a city from an urban centre. It is believed that the Greek and the Roman cities enjoyed greater autonomy and they func­ tioned like independent administrative units popularly known as ‘City States’ or Polis. The Polis developed special types of bonds among the inhabitants. There were two types of inhabitants, slaves and the masters in most of the Greek and Roman cities. The slaves were mostly men either from the defeated enemy or farmers who defaulted in paying their debts. It is believed that the Greeks fought bravely in wars in order to avoid defeat which would lead to their slavery. So, the Greeks were well acquainted with the consequences of defeat in war and default in debt payment. Therefore, they made concerted efforts to avoid slavery on the one hand and create political institutions to remain free and participate in public life on the other. Moreover, they also made special provisions against concentration of power in a few hands for too long. The people entitled to such privileges were called citizens. The Roman Cities Though the legacy of the Greeks continued even during the Romans, yet the Roman cities were different in many ways. The Romans were more generous in granting special status even to the men from the defeated camps after they accepted the superiority of their conquerors. So, unlike the Greek Polis, granting special status to the defeated was no longer a status of political agency but a measure of judicial safeguard along with the expression of Roman rule and law. The special status granted to the conquered subjects included right to act upon material things, buying and selling of property, possessions, titles, goods, etc. These along with the Roman upper class, i.e. the Patricians were called citizens or free persons who were free to act by law, free to ask questions and expected the law to protect them. The citizens had the rights to possession, immunities, expectations and honours. Citizenship was


B.S. Butola

granted to the people who contributed to the functioning of the city states including human power to defend it from various inter­ nal as well as external threats. As far as the inhabitants were con­ cerned, their contributions were reciprocated by granting them citizenship, which in turn entitled them to participate in political life, functioning of the city states and avail various legal rights. Therefore, the cities in the past as well as in the present had/ have been the epitome of reciprocity between the inhabitants and the authority, which was articulated by confirming first the right to participate and second, right to appropriation4 and lastly to make history.5 THE URBAN As opposed to a city, urban as a concept and praxis was/is different from a city. The designation of an area as urban had/has always been possible through executive decisions.6 In India the power to declare an area as urban lies with the Census Commissioner and Registrar General of India. The notifications are done on the bases of certain indicators such as the existence of local authority (muni­ cipal board or corporation, town committee, notified area com­ mittee, cantonment board, etc.) for statuary towns. Apart from these, it is important that a settlement unit should have 5,000 or more inhabitants, its density of population should not be less than 400 per sq. km, and at least three-fourths of its male main work­ ing population should be engaged in non-agricultural pursuits. Similarly, in China, a city refers to a settlement designated by the State Council or District Establishment that has a population density 1,500 and above persons per sq. km. Settlements with density of population below 1,500 should have district-level establishment to be included among urban areas. In case of cities without district establishment, the city proper refers to the seat of the city government and other areas of streets under the adminis­ tration of the city. In the case of Japan, a city (Shi) should have 50,000 or more inhabitants with 60 per cent or more of the houses located in the main built-up areas and 60 per cent or more of the population (including their dependents) engaged in manufacturing,

Political Economy vs Political Ecology of Urbanization in Asia


trade or other urban type of business. Alternatively, a Shi having urban facilities and conditions as defined by the Prefectural Order is considered as urban. THE DIVIDE It is evident from the above that if a settlement satisfies these criteria then it is designated as urban without taking into consideration aspects like rights, obligations, social contract, and social ties among the inhabitants, which were/are essential in case of a city. As ment­ ioned before, an inhabitant of a city is entitled for two very signifi­ cant rights: right to participate and right to appropriate. The former right is based on the principles of active participation of every inhabitant of the city in the ‘production of urban space’. The nature of participation may vary from being an independent component working for the production of an autonomous urban space as was the case with the ancient Greek and Roman city states to a subor­ dinate participant under the auspices of higher-order legal institu­ tions like the state, nation and global institutions such as the WTO, MTO and other institutions created by the forces of globalization. According to Lefebvre, this particular right is firmly embedded into the second right, i.e. ‘Right to Appropriation’ which stands for the rights of the inhabitants to ‘physically access, occupy, and use urban space’.7 In other words, it is the right of the city inhab­ itants, i.e. ‘Citadins’, ‘Not only is appropriation the right to occupy already-produced urban space, it is also the right to produce urban space so that it meets the needs of inhabitants. Because, appro­ priation gives inhabitants the right to ‘full and complete usage’ of urban space in the course of everyday life’.8 So space must be produced in such a way that it makes full and complete usages possible.9 These rights are conspicuous by their absence as far as urban centres are concerned. On the contrary, along with the rights, the social contracts too are conspicuous by their absence in the urban areas. It is largely because most of the city dwellers are migrants. They are not migrants in the usual sense of the term.10 From the point of view of political ecology, it is not only the change of place


B.S. Butola

(birth and last residence) that is important to be a migrant. On the contrary, change of master is a prerequisite. Meaning thereby, if there is no change of master than there will not be any migration. It is only because of this criterion that people practising cross-cousin marriages are included among migrants. Similarly, if there is no alienation there can be no migration. Here alienation is more than what Marx11 and Istvan Meszaros12 had defined. It is more in terms of the loss of social and cultural capitals and change in the nature of social contracts. Therefore, a migrant in political geography is a person who is alienated, moves from one master to another, has lost the social and cultural capitals along with change in social contracts. Consequently based upon these the concept of rights for a mi­ grant is qualitatively different as compared to a non-migrant. There­ fore, though, the above-mentioned rights appear as a separate set of rights, yet both are structurally embedded into each other. Mean­ ing thereby, in order to participate in the production and repro­ duction of the city spaces, it is an imperative to make the spaces accessible to all the city dwellers in such a way that their full and complete usage becomes possible. Production of city space is an ensemble of reproduction of social relations, particularly relations of production. But when such complex social relations are reduced to a one-dimensional space, particularly its use value, the city space degenerates into urban space. So, it is the use value aspects of the city space that is of primary consideration in the process of pro­ duction of urban space and this particular aspect is also another distinct divide between city and urban spaces. Apart from these the other city-urban divide is in terms of the conceptualization of urban (space and population) on the bases of certain characteristics such as in India: 1. The power to declare an area as urban lies with the Census Commissioner and Registrar General of India. The notifications are done on the bases of certain indicators such as: (a) the existence of local authority (municipal board or cor­ poration, town committee, notified area committee, canton­ ment board etc.) for statuary towns.

Political Economy vs Political Ecology of Urbanization in Asia


2. (a) A settlement unit should have 5,000 or more inhabitants. (b) Its density of population should not be less than 400 per sq. km. (c) At least three-fourths of the male main working population should be engaged in non-agricultural pursuits. India is not the only country that has defined the urban as ment­ ioned. In fact, there are more definitions of urban than the number of sovereign nations. The political ecology approach unequivocally rejects such conceptualization and provides a more inclusive one, with the following essential features: 1. All relations are formal, contractual and use value based. 2. Anonymity and indifference are the basis of one’s identity. 3. Economic binaries, i.e. useful and wastage are the two definite aspects of every phenomenon including humans and human relations. 4. Pretence of formal democracy but hierarchies of economic classes. These are the few aspects that are diametrically opposite to the concept of a city. This does not mean that cities are without hier­ archy. On the contrary cities had/have always been hierarchical in terms of their inhabitants and spaces. The concept of a three-tier transport network in the Babylonian cities, the nature of city hier­ archy in Ancient China, i.e. the concept of Capital City (measur­ ing 9 × 9 li, 81 wards of 1 li ),13 Primary City (5 × 5 li, 25 wards of 1 li ), Secondary City (4 × 4, 16 wards of 1 li ) and Tertiarty City (3 × 3 li, 9 wards of 1 li ) or the concept of Regional City, Local City, Central Market, Middle Market, Standard Market, Commune and Household or even the Greek classification of in­ habitants into Nobles, Citizens, Artisans, Husbandmen, Warriors, and Slaves, or in the Medieval Indian cities the concept of Raj­ dhaniya Nagara (Capital City), Sthaniya Nagara (Capital of Janapada), Kharvata (Service Centre of 200 villages), Khadavara (Military Camp) Nivasa (Encampment), Kheta (Small Town in Hostile Territory) or Putabhedana, etc., were all examples of hier­ archies across communities and regions, particularly in Asia. But the main distinctions they had from the urban centres that were


B.S. Butola

developed subsequently were in terms of the missing organic links which the cities have always maintained. Historically speaking, urban centres across cultures have emerged at the ‘destruction of the city’ and intensification of the ‘use value of cities as centres of cultural, political and social life’ which in turn are being ‘undermined by the processes of industrialization and commercialization creating exchange values and the commodi­ fication of urban assets’.14 Therefore, cities that were/are based on two core aspects, i.e. right to recognition as citizen or right of representation (individual/community) and right to pay tax in order to share the social produce seems to have gradually been relegated to the background and monetary value and contractual relations have got precedence over everything else. Though this process re­ mained active right from the inception of capitalism, it graduated to maturity and ultimately got universalized under the nation states, which was possible only after appropriating the rights of the cities to grant citizenship. Hereafter, the rights to grant citi­ zenship passed on to the sovereign nation states and with this loss the cities were replaced by urban centres. So, the nation-states as they stand today are the only social institutions the world over, that have the monopoly to grant/withhold citizenship and enfran­ chise/disfranchise the subject.15 The process of appropriation of rights of the city to grant citizenship to individuals by the nation states and subsequently establishing monopoly over it, the nation states brought in a major ontological shift in the social power rela­ tions, particularly in relation to the right to citizenship. POLITICAL ECOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE DIVIDE The first and foremost consequence of the city-urban divide was ontological shift of the inhabitants from subjects to citizens. Apart from many other things, subjects, were different from citizens on account of ownership of property, labour and oneself. The sub­ jects did neither own their own body, nor their labour nor even property. In fact, they were the property owned by respective masters and existed entirely on the will of their masters.16 Contrary to this, citizens have rights over all those things which were denied to the

Political Economy vs Political Ecology of Urbanization in Asia


subjects. They have exclusive rights over their own body, labour and its produce and many more. According to John Locke: ‘Every man has a property in his own person; this nobody has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his.’17 Second, the concept of power as the basis of socialization was replaced by claims to rights. Citizens do not only enjoy the rights for themselves but they also have the right to legitimize the power that may be. Third, the natural order of hierarchy that had been the hall­ mark of medieval social order was replaced by equality. Finally above all these, the Divine Order was replaced by the rule of con­ sent. So, under the changed circumstances, rule by consent, which stood for a dialectical agreement or social contract between the new rulers and the ruled acquired new meanings. Hereafter, con­ sent was not just an ‘original agreement to set up government, but a continuing right to agree to taxation’.18 Meaning thereby that to be a citizen one must have the capability to undertake the respon­ sibilities that are integral parts of citizenship. Ability to pay tax to the state was one among many other capabilities that citizens enjoyed. This was also the reason behind massive mobilization during the American Revolution until, ‘no taxation without repre­ sentation’19 was accepted as the legitimate way of social empower­ ment, which in turn, according to John Locke’, became the ‘full­ fledged doctrine of popular sovereignty’.20 So, the emergence of the nation state was a watershed in human history mainly in terms of the concept of sovereignty and citizen­ ship. It was qualitatively different from the classical notion of citizen­ ship practiced during the times of Greek polis and Roman city states. Now on there were no cities like the Greek and Roman city states that had enjoyed autonomy and sovereignty and had the power to grant citizenship to the inhabitants anywhere on the horizon. Such cities were things of the past. Though scholars have attributed various reasons for the fall of Greco-Roman civilizations, yet the exclusion of majority of their population, particularly the slaves from the citizenship rights is considered to be the most


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significant one. So, the decline of these two great civilizations also brought an unceremonious end to the praxis of ‘autonomy’ enjoyed by the polis or cities-states and citizenship which could be resurrected only during the century of nation building.21 URBANIZATION, RISE OF NATION STATES AND


Henri Pirenne, in his famous book Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe was very categorical that urban centres played a most significant role in transition from feudalism to capitalism, particularly in medieval Europe.22 According to him it was possi­ ble because the urban centres emerged as centres of long-distance trade carried by a new class of entrepreneurs, i.e. the traders and bourgeoisie. They were traditional or conservative in every other way. They took for granted the authority of the territorial princes, the privileges of the nobility and, above all, those of the Church. They even professed an ascetic morality, which was plainly contradicted by their mode of life. They merely desired a place in the sun, and their claims were confined to their most indispensable needs. . . . The most indispensable was personal liberty. With­ out liberty, that is to say, without power to come and go, to do business, to sell goods, a power not enjoyed by serfdom, trade would be impossible.23

This freedom was no longer a personal privilege unthinkable in the rural settings but a legal status enjoyed by the bourgeoisie as a class inherent in urban soil just as serfdom was in manorial soil.24 It was a new form of territory, i.e. city in a new incarnation minus the right to grant citizenship. Once the power to grant citizenship was usurped by the nation states the urban centres (towns) were trapped within a certain economic framework.25 Some of the im­ portant functions and typologies of the towns were: bureaucratic towns, commercial towns, industrial towns, agricultural towns, clerical towns, and military towns.26 Consequently, thereafter, nations have became so important that it would not be incorrect to say that ‘the last two centuries of the human history of planet Earth are incomprehensible without some

Political Economy vs Political Ecology of Urbanization in Asia


understanding of the term “nation” and the vocabulary derived from it’.27 Nation has emerged as an epitome of modern imagina­ tion, power, culture, legitimacy and development. Apart from many other things, the right to grant citizenship made it possible for the nations to acquire an enviable position. Appropriation of the right to grant citizenship by the nation state from the then exiting sources of legitimacy, particularly the sovereign power became one of the hallmarks in the age of nation building. It was a dialectical pro­ cess, meaning thereby that though the nation states brought an end to the concept of the subject ruled over by sovereign authority endowed with divine power and natural rights, yet it did not distri­ bute the same among the citizens. On the contrary, the nation states emerged as the epitomes of power and legitimacy. Theoretically speaking, under the protection of the sovereign nation states none was superior or inferior to other and rights could be seriously pleaded against power.28 All were equal in the eyes of law. This was unheard of in the case of the subject. The division of society into hierarchy and community ties as the basis of identity became things of the past. These gave way to rights of individual and citizenship. In other words, the subjects arranged in hierarchy were replaced by a universal category of citizens, socializing and interacting with each other with mutual respect and service. The driving force behind such mutual interests was their new-found power to reason and ability to discipline oneself in order to create a society that thrived on secular creativity and efficiency. Among all, discipline and efficiency in the field of material production (economic) through peaceful, organized and orderly manners proved more beneficial than any other. In its turn, the efficient and disci­ plined economic system thus created favourable conditions for the realization of collective freedom as well as optimum satisfaction to an individual. So, productive engagements of an individual within a disciplined and efficient society in the pursuit of ‘calm passion’ motivated one and all to cherish and defend one’s citizenship, strive for social peace, harmony and abhor ‘violent passions’. Conse­ quently, the urge to prosper became so intense in the society that even enlightened thinkers like Immanuel Kant believed that ‘as nations become republic, and hence more under the control of


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their ordinary, economic-minded taxpayers, recourse to war will become rarer and rarer’.29 But, in reality all of these were limited to mere slogans as universal and generalized alienation became the hallmark of the system whose epitome was the nation state.30 AN UNHOLY CONVERGENCE

An important consequence of the rise of the nation state from the point of citizenship was that it also brought an unceremonious end to cities, both as a concept and praxis, and particularly their autonomy to grant citizenship. As a consequence the only distinc­ tion that the city had with the urban areas in the past and by virtue of which it could emerge as ‘man’s most successful attempt to remake the world he lives in more after his heart’s desire’,31 i.e. the city, also vanished into thin air. Hereafter, cities and urban centres were either used interchangebly or they were different from each other only in terms of number of inhabitants and some other minor provisions. Both were similar in terms of their qualities. Cities, once devoid of their autonomy and exclusive rights to grant citizenship, got transformed into ‘a set of social relationships re­ flecting prevailing ideologies of the relationships between society and basic modes of production’.32 Under capitalism the urban centres, particularly the cities ‘have arisen through geographical and social concentrations of capital surplus’33 or spaces of investment for the surplus produced else­ where. So, the cities have emerged as epitomes of class as well as spatial contradictions, persistently driven by an urge to produce surplus and reinvest it for producing more surplus in order to survive in the system and reduce others to the same level of sub­ ordination. Consequently, the urban centres became so crucial to the existence of the capitalist system that their principal contra­ dictions got generalized for the system as a whole. It was possible because the cities acted as strong political and economic forces in obliterating the rural-urban distinctions through the production of integrated space across national territory, if not beyond.34 Most often, the process was/is so violent and ruthless that it led

Political Economy vs Political Ecology of Urbanization in Asia


to large scale ‘disenfranchisement’35 of people, displacement of re­ sources, including human population. It has ultimately given rise to new socio-economic formation popularly known as capitalism characterized by ‘accumulation by dispossession’ which lies at the core of urbanisation under capitalism. It is the mirror-image of capitalist absorption through urban redevelopment and is giving rise to numerous conflicts over the capture of valuable land from low-income populations that may have lived there for many years.’36 The process has become so obvious that urban centres, particu­ larly the cities, have emerged as the main theatre for the interplay of modern capitalism’s (neo-liberalism) principal contradictions. According to Park. ‘. . . if the city is the world which man has created, it is the world in which he is henceforth condemned to live. Thus, indirectly, and without any clear sense of the nature of his task, in making the city man has made himself.’37 CITIZENSHIP: THE ‘U’ TURN

Initially, nation states used the urban spaces for their own advan­ tages, largely on account of the fact that ‘in recent years states have acquired unprecedented supremacy in urban development because of the resources they command, resulting in massive deepening of geographical inequalities as nations, regions become globally com­ petitive development areas’.38 It is history repeating itself, the first time as tragedy and the second time as farce. It is farcical because the right to grant citizenship, which was the unique characteristic of the ‘city states’ for a long time before it was resurrected by the nation states in the name of sovereignty, is today under serious stress. Initially, the emergence of the nation state reduced most of the cities to the status of ordinary urban centres, subjected to mani­ pulations and manoeuvres. But, today, situations have turned in the opposite direction. The same nation states are ‘empowering’ and using cities and urban centres to execute their power to accu­ mulate surplus at the global scale, without any commitment to socio-cultural norms and environmental sensibilities. This has been possible because of the overemphasis on political-economic ratio­


B.S. Butola

nality. The only way out of the present imbroglio is acceptance of the political-ecological rationality. POLITICAL ECOLOGY OF URBANIZATION

It is an irony that urbanization is often mistaken for development, comfort, safety and affluence.39 The political ecology approach to urbanization makes an attempt to explore into these embedded ironies: 1. The urbanization process presupposes spatial differentiation, i.e. haves’ and have not’s spaces. It is a continuous process of ‘othering’. 2. The hierarchy of urban centres is of dependence and disarti­ culations. 3. The urban and rural division is not in terms of definitions but in terms of unequal power relations. It is also a cultural and civilizational division. It is about two world views, i.e. the urban and the rural, where the existence of the latter is always seen a double failure. First it is considered a threat to the former and second failure of the former. 4. The urban and rural divide is also an ontological divide. Obso­ lescence and wastes are ontological to urban lifestyle. As opposed to this there is nothing like waste or obsolete in rural life. The closer interaction of the rural with the urban is proportional to the amount of waste it generates. 5. Pollution is intrinsic to urban life. Rural is synonymous with Gaia philosophy, i.e. it is a synergic, self-regulating, self-correcting complex system. Urban is unsustainable and always catastrophic in the long run. 6. Anonymity is central to urban lifestyle, while trust and co­ operation are essential to rural life. Having decides the being in urban areas. It is different in the rural areas where being is marginally related to having. Social and cultural capitals consti­ tute the bases of rural life while material relations are necessary as well as sufficient for an urban life. There is a positive relation­ ship between the common pooled resources and eco-services and quality of life in the rural areas.

Political Economy vs Political Ecology of Urbanization in Asia


7 . Rural economics is about minimizing the cost through its internalization. Urbanization is about minimizing the cost by externalizing it. 8 . Cultural rationality and environmental sensibilities are keys to success in a rural setting. Market rationality and market disciplines all for good is the key to success in urban life. 9 . Grow or die even at the cost of cultural and ecological thresholds is the magic mantra of urban life. Going beyond the threshold is the end of rural life. 10. Finally, the political-ecological approach to urbanization stands for increasing vulnerabilities of people and environment. Broadly, these marginalized, underpaid, insecure and vulnerable inhabitants would include:40 (a) The directly oppressed along lines of race, ethnicity, gender, lifestyle, faiths and beliefs, etc. (b) The alienated cutting across all sections of society, i.e. economic class, youth, artists, members of intelligentsia, etc. (c) The insecure, particularly the unemployed, the shifting group, and other vulnerable groups. (d) The hapless lackeys of power may include some members of gentry and intelligentsia. (e) The underwriters and beneficiaries of the established cultural and ideological hegemonic attitudes and beliefs. Similar to this the vulnerable environmental aspects would include: air, water, soil and noise pollution. Encroachment upon the peri-urban areas, open spaces within urban areas like play­ grounds, parks and cultural spaces form the key themes of urban life. There is no doubt that these processes are active at the global level but more pronounced in Asia. Since it is the most happening place in the world. It has two most populous, largest and fastest growing economies of the world, including higher rates of ur­ banization. Therefore, it is imperative that the political-ecology approach gets precedence over the political economy.


B.S. Butola NOTES

1. Archaeological evidences show that Jericho (West Bank, Israel) and Catal Huyuk (southern Turkey) were the first urban settlements, dating back to approximately 7000 BCE. In case of India and Pakistan, Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, Dholavira, Ganeriwala and Rakhigarhi are believed to be some of the earliest urban settlements. The approximate time for these cities has been estimated to be around 3300 to 1300 BCE. However, there are some archaeologists who dale these settlements to between 5000 to 3000 BCE. 2. Some of the most common used criteria across countries are: (a) Size of population: Ethiopia (2,000 or more), Senegal (10,000), Greenland (200), Argentina (2,000), Bolivia (2,000), Peru (more than 100 dwellings), Israel (2,000), Jordan (5,000), Portugal (10,000), Norway (200), Spain (2,000), Switzerland (10,000), United kingdom (10,000), Republic of Korea (more than 50,000), Japan (50,000). (b) Administrative: Burkina Faso, Lesotho, South Africa, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Colombia, Paraguay, Sri Lanka, etc. (c) Fixed numbers: United Republic of Tanzania (16), Surinam (92). (d) More than one criterion: India (4+1), China (state council, population density of 1,500 persons). 3. V. Gordon Childe (2008), ‘The Urban Revolution’, Town Planning Review, 21(1): 3-19. 4. Henri Lefebvre (2001), The Right to the City, Writing on Cities, selected, translated and introduced by Eleonore Kofman and Elizabeth Lebas, Blackwell, MA, pp. 147-59. Also in Alison Brown ‘The Right to the City’: From Paris 1968 to Rio 2010’. 5. Ipsita Chatterjee (2014), Displacement, Revolution, and the New Urban Conditions: Theories and Case Studies, New Delhi: Sage. 6. Same as in endnote 2. 7. Mark Purcell (2002), ‘Excavating Lefebvre: The Right to the City and its Urban Politics of the Inhabitant’, GeoJournal, vol. 58, pp. 102-3. 8. Henri Lefebvre (1996), The Rights to the City, Writings on Cities, Blackwell, Publishers, MA, pp. 149-59. 9. Purcell (2002), ‘Excavating Lefebvre: The Right to the City and its Urban Politics of the Inhabitant’, op. cit., p. 103. 10. Census of India (2001): Data Highlights, Migration Tables (D1, D2, & D3 Tables): ‘Migrant is a person who is enumerated at a place other than the place of birth at the time of census enumeration. Moreover, a person is also considered as migrant by place of last residence, if the place in which

Political Economy vs Political Ecology of Urbanization in Asia

11. 12. 13.

14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21.


23. 24. 25. 26. 27.


(s)he is enumerated during the census is other than his place of immediate last residence. Karl Marx (1954), Economic and Philosophical Manuscript of 1844, Moscow: PPH. Istvan Meazaros (1971), Aspects of History and Class Consciousness, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London. Li is also known as an equivalent of mile/kilometre for measuring distance. Though the distance varies over the years, at present it is standardized at 1 li = 1/3 of an English mile or 500 m. Alison Brown (2013), ‘The “Right to the City”: From Paris 1968 to Rio 2010’, N-AERUS XI, Urban Knowledge in Cities of the South. Sassen Saskia (2002), ‘The Repositioning of Citizenship: Emergent Subjects and Spaces for Politics’, Berkeley Journal of Sociology, vol. 46, pp. 4-25. One classic example of the plight of the subjects is by Nikolai Gogol (1823): Dead Souls, Harmondsworth: Penguin. John Locke (1823), Two Treatise of Government, Manchester University Archives, prepared by Rod Hay. Second Treatise on civil Government. Charles Taylor (2002), ‘Modern Social Imaginaries’, Public Culture, vol. 14, no. 1, p. 93. Also in ‘Modern Social Imaginaries’, Critical Quest, New Delhi. Bills of Rights 1688. Taylor (2002), op. cit., p. 93. Walter Bagehot (1872), Physics and Politics or Thoughts on the Application of the Principles of ‘Natural Selection’ and ‘Inheritance to Political Society’, Henry S. King and Co. London, now available at Batoche Books, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. This position of Pirenne was severely criticized by many economic historians, particularly Maurice Dobb. However, it was important because it was the focus of one of the greatest debates across world academia particularly in journals like, Science and Society, New Left Review and Past and Present . For details, see Rodney Hilton (ed.) (1980): The Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism, Verso. Also T.H. Aston (ed.) (1995), The Brenner Debate: Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-Industrial Europe, Cambridge, M.A. Henri Pirenne (1978), Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, p. 51. Ibid., p. 52. Fernand Braudel (1981), The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, vol. 1, Fontana/Collins, London, p. 323. Ibid., pp. 323-4. E.J. Hobsbawm (1989), Nations and Nationalism Since I780: Programme, Myth, Reality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 1.


B.S. Butola

28. Charles Taylor (2004), Modern Social Imaginaries Public Culture, vol. 4, no. 1, p. 93. 29. Taylor (2002), op. cit., p. 104. 30. Marx (1954), Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, op. cit. 31. Robert Park (1967), On Social Control and Collective Behaviour, Chicago, p. 3. And also in David Harvey (2008), ‘Right to the City’, New Left Review, no. 53, September-October, p. 1. 32. Brown (2013), op. cit., p. 2. 33. David Harvey (2008), ‘Right to the City’, New Left Review, no. 53, September-October, pp. 1-11. 34. Ibid., p. 3. 35. Purcell (2002), pp. 99-108. 36. Harvey (2008), p. 6. and also David Harvey (2004), ‘The New Imperialism: Accumulation by Dispossession’, Socialist Register 2004, and also Thomas Piketty (2014), Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, MA. 37. Park (1967), op. cit., p. 3. 38. Brown (2013), p. 2. 39. B.S. Butola (1995), Urbanisation and Underdevelopment in the North­ eastern India’, in J.B. Ganguli (ed.), Urbanisation and Development in North-East India: Trends and Policy Implications, New Delhi: Deep & Deep, pp. 39-47. 40. Peter Marcuse (2009), p. 191.


‘Global’-izing Indian Cities: A Spatial

Epistemological Critique


All metros are looking identical . . .

It was the response of a young Bengali man Angshuman, while returning to his native city Kolkata after staying many years in Europe (Bengali movie Angshumaner Chhobi, 2009). This particular scene of the movie reflects the growing aspiration and effort for developing world-class urban infrastructure and facilities in con­ temporary mega-cities in India. Over the last several years, global city has turned into an important thesis in urban studies and other related affairs (Friedman and Wolf, 1982; Friedman, 1986; Sassen, 1991; Robinson, 2002, Roy and Ong, 2011). The forms of these cities became an important issue both from the practical and theo­ retical point of view in the Global North, where it was originally conceived. But what is interesting is that it has ultimately crossed boundaries and became an urban symbol for many emerging eco­ nomies in the global south. Several emerging cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Sao Paolo, Bengaluru, New Delhi and Mumbai are all aspiring to feature in the world map of global city (ed. Segbers, 2007). In this brief yet prominent discourse the global city has taken a form of Western urban imagination, and gradually taken a turn towards a hijacked urban aspiration in many of the Third World cities. However, in the already existing academic and policy level discussion on global city, perhaps one of the important things that has been silently missed out is necessary contextualization of it within the context of Third World urban conditions. This paper


Dhiraj Barman

aims at developing a theoretical critique on how the global city has become hegemonic instrumental logic for neoliberal urbanism in the country. It is primarily based on information from different secondary sources as well as wide review of the existing academic and non-academic literature on ongoing global city transforma­ tions in India. Unlike the First World, the Third World megacities have their own specificities. The Third World urban conditions are full of contradictions and complex layers of contestation, which is arti­ culated in many ways. These contradictions can be widely seen in terms of historicity, space specificities, everyday politics and at the level of human life, both in terms of material condition and in the existential sense. The spatial epistemology of global city essen­ tially relies upon possible risks of such Western-centric theory and policy transfers to the Global South in general and India in parti­ cular. It is based on violent contestation in real ground which has arisen because of blind adoption of Western-centric urban develop­ ment model within Indian specificities. Following Chatterjee (2014: 9) it is crucial to contextualize the geo-historical specificities of non-Western urban scenarios prior to any necessary theory or policy transfer from a Western urban experience. The spatial epis­ temology of Third World global city in actually existing geogra­ phies of it, therefore needs to be grounded in its essential urban conditionality. The arguments are mainly based on Marxists’ geo­ graphical interpretation to neoliberal urban transformation. Mike Davis in his Planet of Slums (2006) successfully portrays Mumbai, Kolkata, Sao Paolo and many other megacities of the Global South as landscapes of squatting and poverty-ridden surplus humanity. The leading megacities of India have actually historically evolved through massive influx of rural migrant workers and destitute and informal labours over many generations. A significant portion of population in these cities resides in the slums (Census, 2011; UN Habitat Report, 2012). Therefore in the same geo-historical speci­ ficities how will a global city fulfil new urban aspirations of the neoliberal state and new service classes as well as the necessities of the workings class segments becomes a pivotal point for analysing

‘Global’-izing Indian Cities


the class character of neoliberal urban restructuring in India. The eulogies of different political parties for the corporate-led global city project represents a partial view of megacity transformation in the country. However, just beneath the overlying layer of statesponsored, market-led hyper-urbanism prevails the lies a wide urban contradiction. The spatial epistemology of the global city thus tries to unearth these existing urban dualities and contradic­ tions in the globalizing megacities in the country. The arguments here also stand for a response against larger denial of urban poor through divergent means of legal and extralegal discourses which have also been brought out in recent frameworks of new urban policies in most of these cities, which also serve as an instrument for most of these envisioned global city projects. The exploration of global city in the Indian context deciphers many corollary paradoxes of urban governance strategy in the neo­ liberal era. This is especially true when looking from a changing scenario of state’s role as facilitator for market-led capitalism and at the same point of time by holding an apparently illusory face of people-centric development in a democratic set-up in this country. The idea of ‘deceptive’ yet existing notion of state as a protector for urban commons and its variegated forms as neoliberal state, appears to be a hallmark for the changing position of it owing to its market-based dependency. It can also be put forward as a criti­ cism for neoliberal state’s dual representations with divergent stands in this proposed framework of spatial epistemology world city. In a forceful paper Harris (1998) has tried to evoke the idea of global­ ization with the much accepted world system thesis of Immanuel Wallenstein, whereby the so-called hegemonic developmental ideas of the Western world are being readily applied to the developing countries. Likewise in the present scenario global city as an urban development agenda in India has became not only hegemonic but simultaneously an instrumental logic for neoliberlism. It primarily focuses on global and national capital and works even at ignoring the ‘historico-geographical material’ conditions of its own cities. Harvey (2007) believes that post-Fordism is essentially a creative destruction of space. This creative destruction can be considered


Dhiraj Barman

as a ‘creative imagination’ regarding a pretend hyper urban space and is characterized by some degree of de-territorialization effect. Appadurai has rightly (1996) mentioned that the sparkling global­ ization imagination brings us closer to someone around the globe rather than to our next-door neighbour (forming an invisible com­ munity) and also makes rapture between the real world and the imagined, globalized, commodified ideas. Therefore spatial epistemology of global city further forms the critiqure of this neoliberal urban form, also as a cultural hegemonic logic of global­ ization. GLOBAL CITY: THE UNIVERSAL CALL FOR


Global city has become an important urban meta-narrative across the world. It forms an essential materialistic or an acquisitive basis for contemporary urban aspirations and dreams. It is a superlative idyllic or forms a creative imagination for the future urban road maps to the many metropolitan cities in the Third World and thus, it also creates new challenges for city dwellers as well as developers and planners. How global city has became a subjective realm both as an urban metaphor and creative imagination appli­ cable to the Third World will be discussed later in the paper, but for the time being it is a distinctively strong call for a new form of urban reform across the world. Whether it is Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore or Mumbai, every big city in the Third World is being rapidly restructured under this hyper-urbanism. Indian metros are also aspiring to acquire such world status. The urban planning documents of Mumbai have projected it as a future world-class city (MMRDA, 1995). The urban plan document of Delhi also aims at making it a global city by 2025 (DDA, 2007: Master Plan for Delhi 2021). A city like Bengaluru is already considered by many as a global city due to its importance in the global ITindustry. The other Indian metropolitan cities are also walking in the same direction. Moreover the current Indian leadership and political parties of the major metropolitan cities are also aspiring or at least expressing ideas to transform these cities into the future

‘Global’-izing Indian Cities


world-class metropolises. During the electoral campaign in the last West Bengal assembly election, Mamata Banerjee had called for transforming Kolkata into London (Deccan Herald, 22 June 2011). An addition to it was the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu’s dream for Amaravati, as a world-class capital city (Press Trust of India, 6 June 2015). Even Shiv Sena, the rightwing political party of Mumbai, talks about the same in their election manifesto. It signifies the growing importance of global city as political agenda, especially for the urban middle and upper classes in the country. All these evidences suggest of a call from different directions towards a new form of urban restructuring in contemporary Indian metropolitan urban space. The new urban middle class which is germinating out of the newly-emerged servicebased economies is being seen as the future citizens of these worldclass cities. In the current conjuncture the issue of global metro­ politan cities has also been reflected in the nation-wide urban renewal programme called the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The city-wise policy documents of it have highlighted a massive slum-free urban restructuring in the major metropolitan cities in the country. GLOBAL CITY: THE NEOLIBERAL LOGIC


In most of the traditional urban-economic development models cities have been projected as the growth poles for regional eco­ nomic development. Expansion of urban infrastructure and facili­ ties, as the necessary logic of economic growth and development, has already been there since the 1990s. One of the popular theo­ ries forwarded by Friedman in his ‘world city hypothesis’ (1986) sees future cities of global status serving global capitalism. Some of the key propositions of the thesis were: (i) Integration of cities into world capitalist economy. (ii) Major world cities across the world will operate as the ‘basing points’ for global capital in the spatial organization and arti­ culation of production and markets.


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(iii) The global control of world cities will be directly reflected through the structure and dynamics of production sectors and employment. (iv) World cities will be major sites for concentration and accumula­ tion of international capital. (v) ‘World cities’ would be the favourable destination for large numbers of population, both domestic and international. (vi) There would be spatial and social polarization in world cities. The theory was looking for planned urban development and restructuring of spatial and social landscapes of the city. World cities would attract both domestic and international migrants be­ cause of their specialized needs. The capitalist core would attract the international and the semi-peripheral in the form of the domestic labours. There would be spatial and social polarization in world cities, which will be governed through three principal facets: huge income gaps between transnational elites and low-skilled workers, large-scale immigration from rural areas or from abroad, and struc­ tural changes in the evolution of jobs. From the above-mentioned general propositions it is clear that the world-class cities would serve the needs of contemporary capital. In the 1990s a new term ‘global city’ (Sassen, 1991) came into existence. Since then the concept has gained enormous popularity within and outside the academic world. It has even become a polit­ ical agenda in different parts of the world. Western scholarship has greatly debated this issue of urban transformation. The major char­ acteristics of Sassen’s global city are more or less the same as men­ tioned by Friedman. Both the world-class and global city propositions were originally based on the urban and economic development experiences of the Global North. But during the last two decades urban development in the South is also following similar path­ ways. Globalization and neo-liberal expansion of the economy have become fast processes of transforming the world. Cities are also transforming at a much faster rate in tune with growing economic development. Many noted scholars believe that the present Glo­ bal City campaign in India is rooted in the adoption of the neo­ liberalization policy in 1991 (P. Chaterjee, 2004; Dupont, 2011).

‘Global’-izing Indian Cities


The neoliberal economic policy and opening of the economy has affected the economic geography of the country. The present mode of urbanism in Delhi and other such big cities in India is basically the expression of large-scale proliferation of capital among certain sections of the population and intensification of corporate influ­ ences on government’s urban blueprint. Harvey’s paper on the entrepreneurial city might be useful here. WHAT FORM OF INDIAN GLOBAL CITY?:



One of the critical observations on globalization is the homo­ genization of space and culture; but many scholars believe that the process is not globally uniform but rather it operates in different grades. Likewise, global city, which also claims a universal status for itself, has different grades or status. According to Robinson (2002) unlike the First World global cities, the Third World global cities operate and function at a transnational level and work as regional nodes in the global circuits of capital at a relatively lower degree. The Third World global city rhetoric from its theories to critical praxis essentially follows the blueprint mentioned above. There are national and transnational elites influencing the national plan­ ning and urban blueprint in the developing world. According to Chatterjee (2004) Indian cities are becoming more bourgeoisie over the years through larger social differentiation and exclusion. Bhattacharya and Sanyal (2011) have opined that urban­ ization in the post-Fordist era across the different global city pro­ jections in the country are characterized by a new division of labour, i.e. the rise of immaterial labour force or service class which pro­ duces immaterial goods and services for the networks of worldwide corporate economy. There are rising number of technically edu­ cated white-collared corporate middle classes in major metro cities in India who serve the world’s information technologies, a new economy of knowledge-based activities and businesses driven by global capital. Different studies from the ongoing site project of Indian global cities suggest larger forms of inequities, socio-spatial


Dhiraj Barman

injustices and the denial of rights to the common masses of cities at different scales and through different instrumental logic. Under the ‘world-ing city’ projects of capital Delhi and ‘shining’ Mumbai an attempt has been made here to understand the critical praxis of urban restructuring in India in this new millennium. NEW DELHI It is often said that Kolkata was the main attraction during British India, Mumbai during the twentieth century and it is Delhi’s time to rule in the twenty-first century. Being India’s capital and given its long-standing history, Delhi has been projected as the key stra­ tegic site for the future ‘global city’ by the government. The urban developments in Delhi thus started as state-led urban regenera­ tion programmes, as in the other cities of the world (Pawl Wart, 2009). Through popularizing the urban regeneration slogan Dilli dilwalon ka shaher hai (Delhi is a place of large-hearted people) a massive urban development project has been initiated by the govern­ ment over the last couple of years. But who are this ‘large hearted people’? The answer needs critical inspection. From the duality and daily contested spaces of the poor and downtrodden it may not be much difficult to understand the hidden language and class character of the slogan. The urban media-scape is also joining to this campaign to create hyper urban imaginaries, which in the words of Ananya Roy (2011) can be called as one form of urban hysteria. During 2006 one of the popular dailies. The Times of India started a campaign called ‘Dilli Chalo: From Walled City to World City’. The purpose was to create a bond with the city and spread the dream of a future urban aesthetics. But the world city makeover seen from the below suggests wide-scale slum evictions, exclusions, denial of right to cities to the commons and an elite urban governance strategy. The study on slum demolition in Delhi (Ghertner, 2008) suggests that during the decade between 1998 and 2008 more than one million slum population was evicted by the Delhi government. The total numbers evicted from slums have massively increased over the years in order to make Delhi cleaner and slum free. Ghertner further opined that even the legal path of

‘Global’-izing Indian Cities


the slum question in the city has taken elitist discourse through the laws themselves whereby slums have been depicted by the courts as ‘illegal’, ‘unclean’, ‘polluting’ and ‘problematic’ to the future development of the city and to its growing world-class im­ age. In an important judgement by the Supreme Court of India, the existence of urban slum was considered against the future develop­ ment of Delhi, which should be a ‘showpiece’ for the other cities in the country. Instead of ‘slum clearance’, there is ‘slum creation’ in Delhi. This in turn gives rise to domestic waste being strewn on open land in and around the slums. This can best be controlled . . . by preventing the growth of slums. . . . Creation of slums resulting in increase in density has to be prevented. . . . It is the garbage and solid waste generated by these slums, which require to be dealt with most expeditiously. (Supreme Court’s Judgement on Almitra H. Patel vs. the Union of India case: 2000)

The extensive study by Dupont (2008) throws light on the larger discrepancies in the stated principles and the realities to the question of slum eviction in New Delhi. Though at the policy level it has been stated that resettlement is mandatory for eviction of any notified slum area, i.e. established prior to the 1990s, but this has seldom been adopted at the ground level. There is great paucity of reliable data for slum evictions in Delhi. The most re­ cent study by Bhan and Shivanand (2013) suggested that between 1990 and 2007 a total of 219 evictions happened in the capital, displacing 60,000 households. During the greatly landed and advertised Commonwealth Games, the saga city silently witnessed the greatest slum evictions in the history. In 2003 India beat Canada to host the next Common­ wealth Games in New Delhi. In next few years the capital went through a massive urban regeneration programme. In order to make Delhi a millennial urban symbol for the rest of the world, an enor­ mous facelift was executed. Many malls came up; new metro routes introduced and new public buses launched. But at same time hundreds of slums were demolished as a ‘necessary’ part of urban development. The New Delhi Railway Station suddenly got a new glass and steel façade, but the thousands of destitute who were


Dhiraj Barman

using it as their home were forced on to the streets. Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport was also restructured with the grand opening of one of the most modern terminals at the cost of $2.7 billion. Moreover thousands of destitutes, including hawkers and vendors who were dependent on trifling incomes through dif­ ferent means were removed from the streets. In June 2010, the Delhi authorities announced that roadside vegetable sellers, cob­ blers, presswallahs (who iron clothes), and illegal vendors selling clothes and food were a major security risk and therefore they would be evicted (BBC News, 20 August 2010). It seems that the govern­ ment is more worried about the visibility of beggars than about removing the problem from its root (Mohan, The Telegraph, 5 August 2010). Ghertner (2011) elsewhere has shown that in order to give capital Delhi a world city facelift, especially before the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the government used all forms of means, legalizing unethical methods like slum eviction, unplanned envi­ ronmental planning, etc. In order to make Delhi attractive to the foreign delegates, government funds from 2000 onwards were gradually diverted from social sectors into making flyovers, a very expensive games villages and expansion of the metro railway. Dur­ ing the post-Commonwealth Games period the Delhi government as well as the UPA-2 government had to face massive charges of corruption and irregularities; which eventually rocked the entire country. During the same period, many leading dailies brought up shocking headlines of unlawful diversion of money from the deprived social groups’ (Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe) devel­ opment funds into the remaking of Delhi into a world class city (The Times of India, 16 July 2010). The denials to the migrants in the ‘cleaner’ parts of the city were also coupled with some other pains­ taking and surprising measures. For example, during the prepara­ tion for the Commonwealth Games, the government suddenly pro­ posed a plan to withdraw autorickshaws from the roads. It was said the autorickshaws were not a good option—they were un­ comfortable and pollute the environment. Also, auto-rickshaw drivers were unruly and harass passengers (The Indian Express, 18 March 2010.) Moreover, for being an auto- rickshaw driver a person had to be educated up to the 12th standard, which was a kind of instru­ mental logic to keep rural migrants outside the capital.

‘Global’-izing Indian Cities


In the year 2000 ‘Bhagidari’ model of urban governance was intro­ duced by the Delhi government. Critical studies on it (Ghertner, 2011) largely suggest the bypassing of democratic rights of the slum dwellers and poor through the structural logic being taken into consideration within the newly-adopted so-called ‘PPP’ (Public Private Partnership) model of urban governance. The new urban governance model considered three primary ‘stakeholders’ as well as ‘players’, i.e. markets/traders and industrial associations, bureau­ crats across the municipal, state and central government depart­ ments operating in Delhi, and Resident Welfare Associations (RWA), i.e. representatives of the DDA-approved residential colonies. The RWA membership were only open for property owners. Although slums have elected representatives (i.e. Pradhan) their participa­ tion was denied in the Bhagidari model. The residents of slums and unauthorized colonies were represented by the RWAs. The new urban governance motif of the Delhi government is extremely ‘elitist’ with a ‘new urban middle class’ agenda where voices of slum dwellers has not been represented, forming an unequal citi­ zenship rights with in a democratic set-up. In making of New Delhi into a global city, the ‘Right to City’ of the poor has been grossly denied and neglected. As Harvey (1989) has opined, urban spaces have rapidly undergone a massive change in terms of their governance from a managerial to an entrepreneurial phase with the onset of the present era of neo-liberalization. The above obser­ vations obviously suggest shifting course in the state-led urban restructuring in the millennial capital New Delhi, indicating chang­ ing the government’s urban management strategy dominated by a pro-elitist concern. MUMBAI Until 1995 Mumbai was known as Bombay. It has over the decades been considered as the financial capital of the country as the head offices of major banks, financial institutes like the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and several multi­ national companies (MNC) are located here. The city has far-reaching impact even in distanced patches of the rural countrysides due to the massive popularity of Bollywood movies, which are being pro­


Dhiraj Barman

duced here. Again it is not unknown to the common Indian masses that it is also the city most often being claimed and considered as a provincialized global city by local pressure groups (Varma, 2004). Over the last couple of decades Shiv Sena, a right-wing political party, has claimed the city as being exclusive for the native Marathispeaking people (Appadurai, 2000). Mumbai’s social and economic space has undergone rapid tran­ sition since the 1990s. Banerjee-Guha (2002) argue that urban restructuring of the city by the mid-1990s was due to an ideologi­ cal shift in urban planning of the city, as reflected in its policy documents (Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Plan, 1995) on transforming it into a global city. The manufacturing regions in the central parts of the city were gradually transformed into financial and commercial zones by marginalizing and remov­ ing the huge numbers of urban poor from there. The new urban­ ism was marked by the coming up of new malls in the city. A widescale pro-elitist urban regeneration programme was adopted to make the city a world-class megapolis. Mumbai’s urban devel­ opment policy became proactive in making the city a significant centre of finance, services and TNC headquarters at the cost of industrial decline in many areas. The poor were pushed out from old industrial cores to the outskirts. The spatial restructuring in Mumbai was initiated due to large-scale gentrification of the urban middle classes in the central parts of the city. For instance, the central areas of Dadar, Parel, Lalbaug and Worli saw huge land-use change and became lucrative areas for commercial bidding (BanerjeeGuha, 2002). Due to burgeoning land values or devolarization effects (i.e. mounting gaps between the actual and potential rent gaps), by the mid-1990s onwards the previous textile industries located mainly in the inner part of the city were gradually re­ placed by new residential complexes and houses (Whitehead, 2008). During the post-Fordist transition Mumbai had experienced tre­ mendous decrease in its manufacturing labour force and a signifi­ cant increase in tertiary sectors like finance, trade and services. Between the years 1981 and 2001 the proportion of employment in the manufacturing sector declined from 39 to 26 per cent but increased in the trade and commerce sector by 22 and 33 per cent

‘Global’-izing Indian Cities


respectively. A significant growth was also found in the construc­ tion sector, which doubled from 3 per cent in 1981 to 6 per cent during 2001. As a result thousands of workers become unemployed from the major manufacturing sectors like textiles. During the last two de­ cades most of the employment has been absorbed by the finance and service sectors. Simultaneously due to flourishing real estate and some government-led construction projects thousands of rural immigrants from many developing states like UP, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh have come as construction workers. It further suggests massive investment and growth in the booming real-estate sector of the city. The financial capital Mumbai is also known for having the largest number of slum population in the world. The slum evictions in the new millennial Mumbai formed one of the major challenges for the planners of global city restructuring. The contested urban spaces related to slum evictions, thus, in the words of Neil Smith (1996), emerge as new forms of ‘urban frontiers’ and related re­ vanchism against state-led gentrification and restructuring in the city. The story of Mumbai remains unfinished without mentioning the extensive amorphous of slums scattered across its landscape. More than half of the city still lives in these slums. Slum eviction and resettlement through the official discourses brought up sev­ eral crucial issues like legality of the slums and their occupants, whereby many of the dwellers may lose their rights to the houses. As per as the new slum rehabilitation policy only those residents are being entitled to get free housing who have lived in the noti­ fied areas officially been declared to be get cleared since before 1995 and in some cases before 2000. This means around 70 per cent of slum dwellers in the city would be considered non-eligible for a free home under the scheme. It has been widely reported through several newspapers that over the decade slum clearance is becoming an issue of legal and political battle between the slum dwellers and the real-estate developers, who are interested in mak­ ing profits from the same piece of land where the poor people have been living for years. The Maharashtra government’s slum reha­ bilitation strategy (alias slum clearance strategy) was marred by
















Manufacturing (HH Industry)

Sources : Census 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001, 2011.



Census Year






Manufacturing (Other than Household)












Trade and Commerce






Transport and Storage







Other Services

74 Dhiraj Barman

‘Global’-izing Indian Cities


severe accountability issue when the nexus between policy-makers and businessman developers was openly exposed in early 2011. By using a lesser known section of the Slum Act (3K) around 500 acres of slum land was being gifted to six developers, the value of which was projected around Rs. 50,000 crore. Under this con­ troversial section the developers did not require the mandatory 70 per cent consent of slum dwellers in the initial stages. Under Section 3K of the Slum Act, a builder who is the first claimant on the slum land gets to redevelop it. The clause empowers the gov­ ernment to direct the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) to hand over a large slum cluster for redevelopment to a builder with­ out inviting tenders or allowing competing builders to participate in the project. Therefore it clearly suggests the possible irregulari­ ties and favouritism at the ground level. It has been well reported that using this controversial section of the Slum Act the Government of Maharashtra gradually cleared several slums over the decade in areas like Santa Cruz, Kandivli and Worli. Therefore, the crucial question obviously arises that the present slum eviction strategies of the state government to make a future slum-free Mumbai are in whose interest? In the interest of corporate developers or for providing good living condition for the poor slum dwellers. Slum evictions in the name of elite environ­ mentalism and middle-class interest in making Mumbai a global city would likely to create a long struggle between the developers and the repressed sections people if the latter’s right to citizenship in the future global cityscape is being grossly denied as in the present context. DUAL CHARACTER OF INDIAN MEGACITIES: LOCAL CONDITIONALITY VS. ELITE GLOBAL CAPITALIST DEMAND

In the current situation Indian metropolitan cities are passing through a crucial phase of transition. On the one side is the heavy pressure from the corporate sectors and the rising number of middle classes (‘immaterial labours’: Negri and Hardt2) to make the cities safer, greener and cleaner. These megacities would be exclusive ur­


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ban spaces only for the rich, new middle classes and transnational elites. The new urban middle classes in India are willing to achieve a global city status, particularly enthralled by the ideas of big sky­ scrapers, clean roads, world-class hotels, malls, etc. The power of such Western urban symbolism is so appealing that it is creating a disillusionment with the realities at the mass scale and ending up with a madness of symbolic hyper-urbanism. Are the imaginary Western urban spaces essentially creating an urban metaphor for them? The global city making is heavily driven by such disillu­ sioned urban madness, where the rights of the citizens, especially of the poor and downtrodden, are ignored at various scales. But the past historico-geographical urban conditionality of India has another tale to tell. Indian metropolitan cities traditionally oper­ ated as the growth poles at the various macro- and meso-regional levels. The port enclavization that begans in the times of the British had made the Indian cities nodal points in terms of services and em­ ployment generation with their large hinterland. This continued until the 1990s. After liberalization the manufacturing Fordist­ economy of major metropolitan cities in the country was quickly replaced by the rising service sectors and new knowledge-based economies. Global finance sectors, corporate houses, BPOs, KPOs all started operating from the major cities as ‘islands’ for their for­ eign counterparts, creating an emerging economic space which never tried to intermingle with the larger historic-material spaces of the country at its backdrop. The process gradually created a historical-material rupture with the background spaces at a larger scale. The processes were ‘historical’ because they were new which the long-standing traditional urban conditionality in India had to freshly adopt. They were ‘material’ as they brought a sudden break in the long continuum of social relations of production. Since neo­ liberlization urban inequalities in India have significantly increased. The traditional metropolitan cities are still attracting huge num­ bers of rural population in the growing sectors like manual works, especially in constructions and in small-scale self-employment sec­ tors. The urban poor in the neo-liberal global cities in India are being systematically dispossessed and oppressed for the sake of neo-liberal urban accumulation motif. Future global cities are lead­

‘Global’-izing Indian Cities


ing towards a vertical urbanism process, towards the formation of a disrupting state of island urbanization which is not rooted in ground realities but rather rupturing the symbiotic grassroots re­ lationships with their orizontal hinterlands and common masses. CONCLUSION

The traditional metropolitan cities in India are at the crucial junc­ tion where the new glitter of Western urban metaphor is provocative, but at same time its ‘past’ and the ‘rest’ are still appealing for re­ consideration. As Saskia Sassen (2002: 21), the proponent of the global city, has opined, cities have typically been deeply embed­ ded in the economies of their region, indeed often reflecting the characteristics of the latter; and they still do. But cities that are strategic sites in the global economy, i.e. global city, tend, in part, to disconnect from their region. Global city thus forms a historical antithesis with geographies of the Third World. Following Brenner (1998) it can be argued that global cities have reconfigured the state’s territorial effects. Due to the outwards functional orienta­ tion of the worldly cities, as the global scale expands the national or state scale tends to shrink. The ‘accumulation by dispossession’ has becomes the hegemonic instrument and logic of the neoliberal agenda of global city formation in India. But, as Harvey (2000: 179-80) has pointed out, even materialized utopias of the social process have to negotiate with spatiality and the geography of place. The global city remaking in developing countries like India can­ not deny its larger role at the national and regional levels. But the emerging critical praxis of making the same grossly reflects the appalling state of denial of the commons from future urban spaces. It creates larger spaces of social and economic contestation and confrontation. The global city making is a larger process starting from strengthening the economy right from its grassroots level. It is not just remaking a global technopolis without spreading the lights of its knowledge to the rear shadow of it. Therefore, the spatial epistemology of global city in the Indian scenario should not be space neutral, rather it should be based on its spatial historicmaterial acquaintances. The future urban development strategy in


Dhiraj Barman

making the global city should move towards a more inclusive one, balancing its intrinsic symbiotic relationships with its ‘past’ and ‘rests’ and for that, a critical introspection is required into the future urban policy road map. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The author of this paper is thankful to Professor B.S. Butola, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Dr. Rohit Negi, Ambedkar Uni­ versity, New Delhi, for providing critical comments on the initial drafts of this paper.

NOTES 1. Angshumaner Chhobi (2009) is a feature film written and directed by Atanu Ghosh. It premiered at the 40th International Film Festival of India, Goa. The film was selected in the competitive section of the festival, one of the two Indian entries. 2. Negri and Hardt have identified the significant changes in the labour process. Since the production of services results in no material and durable good, the labour involved in this production is termed as immaterial labour, i.e. the service class, A. Negri and M. Hardt (2000), Empire, London: Harvard University Press. REFERENCES Appadurai, A. (2002), ‘Spectral Housing and Urban Cleansing: Notes on Millennial Mumbai’, Public Culture, 12(3): 627-51. —— (1996), Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globali-zation, Min­ neapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Banerjee-Guha, S. (2002), Shifting Cities: Urban Restructuring in Mumbai’, Economic and Political Weekly, 37(2): 121-8. Bhan, G. and S. Shivanand (2013), ‘(Un)Settling the City: Analysing Dis­ placement in Delhi from 1990 to 2007’, Economic and Political Weekly, 48(3): 54-61. Bharucha, N.K. (2011), ‘State “Gifts” 6 Builders 500 Acres of Slum Land, Mumbai’, Time of India, 1 February.

‘Global’-izing Indian Cities


Bhattacharya, R. and K. Sanyal (2011), ‘Bypassing the Squalor: New Towns, Immaterial Labour and Exclusion in Post-colonial Urbanization’, Economic and Political Weekly, 46(31): 41-8. Brenner, N. (1998), ‘Global Cities, Glocal States: Global City Formation and State Territorial Restructuring in Contemporary Europe’, Review of Inter­ national Political Economy, 5(1): 1-37. Chattaraji, S. (2012), ‘The Making of a World-class City’, The Hindu Business Line, 28 August. Chatterjee, P. (2009), ‘Are Indian Cities becoming Bourgeois?’, in The Politics of the Governed, Delhi: Permanent Black. Delhi Development Authority (ed.) (2007), Master Plan for Delhi 2021, New Delhi. Dupont, Véronique D.N. (2008), ‘Slum Demolitions in Delhi since the 1990s: An Appraisal’, Economic and Political Weekly, 43(28): 79-87. —— (2011), ‘The Dream of Delhi as a Global City’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35(3): 533-54. ‘From Walled City to World City’, accessible at articlelist/ 139383.cms, Times of India. Friedmann, J. and G. Wolff (1982), ‘World City Formation: An Agenda for Research and Action’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 6(3): 309-44. Friedmann, J. (1986), ‘The World City Hypothesis’, Development and Change, 17: 69-83. Ghertner, D. Asher (2008), ‘An Analysis of New Legal Discourse behind Delhi’s Slum Demolitions’, Economic and Political Weekly, 43(20): 57-66. —— (2011), ‘Rule by Aesthetics: World-Class City Making in Delhi’, in Ananya Roy and Aihwa Ong (eds.), Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being Global, Blackwell, M.A. —— (2011a), ‘Gentrifying the State, Gentrifying Participation: Elite Gover­ nance Programs in Delhi’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35.3: 504-532. Harvey, D. (1989), ‘From Managerialism to Enterpreneurialism: The Transfor­ mation in Urban Governance’, in Late Capitalism, Geografiska Annaler, Series B, Human Geography, 71(1): 3-17. —— (2000), Spaces of Hope, Berkeley & L.A.: University of California Press. —— (2007), ‘Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction’, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 610: 22-44. Jameson, F. (1991), Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Durham: Duke University Press. Jones, A. (1998), ‘Re-theorising the Core: A “Globalized” Business Elite in Santiago, Chile’, Political Geography, 17 (3): 295-318.


Dhiraj Barman

‘Kolkata will be London, Darjeeling Another Switzerland: Mamata’, Decan Herald , 22 June 2011. Kannan, S. (2010), ‘Delhi Opens Huge New Airport Terminal’, BBC News, 1 July. Press Trust of India (2015), ‘N. Chandrababu Naidu Vows to Build World-class Capital City for Andhra Pradesh’, accessible on 6 June 2015 at http://­ class-capital-city-for-andhra-pradesh-411523/ MMRDA (1995), Draft Regional Plan for Bombay Metropolitan Region 1996­ 2011, Mumbai, October. Mohan, A. (2010), ‘The Ugly Face of the Nation’, The Telegraph, 5 August. Morris, C. (2010), ‘India Diverts Funds for Poor to Pay for Delhi Games’, BBC News, 14 May. Negri, A. and M. Hardt, (2000), Empire, London: Harvard University Press. Pandey, G. (2010), ‘Delhi Street Vendors Evicted Before Commonwealth Games’, BBC News, 20 August. Patel, N. (2011), ‘Battle over Mumbai’s Slums’, The Guardian, 11 March. 2011. Ramesh, R. (2008), ‘Delhi Cleans Up for Commonwealth Games but Leaves

Locals Without Sporting Chance’, London, The Guardian, 8 January.

Robinson, J. (2002), Global and World Cities: A View from Off the Map’,

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 26(3): 531-54.

—— (2006), Ordinary Cities: Between Modernity and Development, London:

Routledge. Roy, A. (2011), ‘Postcolonial Urbanism: Speed, Hysteria, Mass Dreams’, in A. Roy and A. Ong (eds.), Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being Global, 1st edn., Blackwell, M.A. Sassen, S. (1991), The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo. Princeton: Princeton University Press. —— (2002), ‘Locating Cities on Global Circuits’, Environment & Urbaniza­ tion, 14(1): 13-30. Sheila Government Diverted SC/ST Fund for Commonwealth Games, Economic Times, 4 August 2010. Smith, N. (1996), The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City, London and New York: Routledge. —— (2002), ‘New Globalisation, New Urbanism: Gentrification as Global Urban Startegy’, Antipode, 34, 427-50. Supreme Court of India, ‘Judgement on Almrita Patel vs. the Union of India Case, 2000. Available at: Times of India (2010), ‘Rs. 744 cr, Dalit Fund Diverted for Games’, Times of India, 16 July.

‘Global’-izing Indian Cities


Varma, R. (2004), ‘Provincializing the Global City: From Bombay to Mumbai’, Social Text (Winter), 22(481): 65-89. Watt, P. (2009), ‘Housing Stock Transfers, Regeneration and State-Led Gentrification in London’, Urban Policy and Research, 27(3): 229-42. Whitehead, J. (2008), ‘Rent Gaps, Revanchism and Regimes of Accumulation in Mumbai’, Anthropologica, 50(2): 269-82.


Financial Decentralization and

Local Governance in Urban India:

An Inter-state and Metropolitan

Districts Analysis


In India sustained economic growth and related reforms of the urban sector have had a mixed outcome. These have made urban India pulsating with new opportunities coupled with formidable growth and challenges. The direct impact of this fast growth has been in terms of capital investment, widening spectrum of employ­ ment and demand in the improved infrastructure and urban services, particularly in the metropolitan areas. The process has resulted in the growth of peri-urban areas and this has created new pressures on the local government. It has become a prime chal­ lenge for the urban local bodies to manage the cities in a coordi­ nated manner. Given the socio-economic character of the country, the local bodies being closer to people than the state and the central govern­ ments, arouse interest of the local population and provide a forum for solving local problems. Moreover the size of states in India varies in terms of population—from 6 lakh to nearly 18 crore, and within the urban habitations the range varies from a few hundred to several millions. Even the megalopolises and metropolises are not truly local as some of them are spread over many districts. The local bodies consider such factors of diversity and heterogene­


Amrita Anand

ity in the process of local governance and thus become vibrant democratic units of self-government. In the above light the present study analyses the financial per­ formance of urban local bodies at the level of state and metropoli­ tan districts. Revenue and expenditure decentralization at both these levels have been analysed for this purpose. Further, a decen­ tralization index on the basis of revenue-expenditure, especially in terms of grants and expenditure on urban development has been worked out. FISCAL DECENTRALIZATION AND URBAN


Fiscal decentralization is the fiscal empowerment of lower tiers of government which involves the devolution of taxing and spending powers along with the arrangements for rectifying mismatches in resources and responsibilities.1 The extent of municipal investment depends on the type of cities which a developing country like India builds.2 The municipal governments in India have encountered increasing demographic and social pressures in recent years. The pace of urbanization, al­ beit modest in nature in the recent years, has been creating serious problems for the provisions of urban infrastructure in general and urban basic services in particular. The scenario has worsened in the context of growth of slums and squatter settlements in various cities. Moreover, the urban areas appear to be the cynosure for invest­ ment—domestic as well as international—as a result of the adop­ tion of the New Economic Policy that focuses on liberalization, fiscal adjustment, and financial sector reform. To reap the benefits of these trends, it is essential to achieve a world-class urban system, which, in turn, depends on attaining efficiency and equity in the delivery and financing of urban infrastructure. The states’ decrepit financial positions as well as the institutional fabric of most muni­ cipal governments exacerbate the problem.3 But, decrepit financial positions as well as the institutional fab­ ric of governments at all levels exacerbate the problem. Hence,

Financial Decentralization and Local Governance


there is an urgent need to look for alternative sources of funds to finance various activities, particularly long-term capital investments in infrastructure service. The concept of using capital markets, by local governments, to convert a stream of current revenue into capital for projects that are too large to finance on a pay-as-you-go basis is widely accepted in the US and other developed countries. Municipal bonds are debt obligations issued by cities and urban sector-related government entities to raise resources from capital markets to finance urban infrastructure. The concept of municipal bonds as an additional mechanism of raising resources for financ­ ing urban infrastructure was first coined in a USAID seminar in 1995. Later the Rakesh Mohan Committee recommended them for commercialization of urban infrastructure. In particular, the advent of the Indo-USAID collaborative finan­ cial institutions reforms and expansion debt (FIRE-D) project in 1994 and initiatives of the FIRE-D programme (through provi­ sion of a 50 per cent fund under the housing guarantee programme for 30 years to finance long-term capital investments in urban infrastructure), facilitated the development of domestic capital market in India. Only eight municipal corporations namely, Ahmadabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Nashik, Nagpur, Ludhiana, Madurai and Indore have issued municipal bonds to finance invest­ ments in various projects in the urban infrastructure sector.4 In the current era of state reform everybody seems to agree that decentralization of government is a good thing—governments them­ selves, aid donors and other international agencies, many of the citizens from various countries, and certainly many academic writ­ ers on good governance, also plead for public service reform and development. The case for decentralization is argued on both political grounds —as strengthening democracy, accountability and participation by bringing government ‘closer’ to its citizens—and economic grounds, those of enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of public service provision. Decentralization is also seen by many agencies as being effective in combating poverty. The process of decentralization should not be viewed as an end


Amrita Anand

to itself, but rather as an integral factor in the attainment of Sus­ tainable Human Development goals. Decentralization and demo­ cratic governance create more open, responsive and effective local government, enhancing representational systems of community-level decision-making. Increasingly, decentralized decision-making and service provision, local and participatory processes are assisting in the prioritization of poverty reduction objectives, approaches to employ­ ment creation, gender equity and environmental regeneration. However, the efforts to decentralize power and finance to local bodies are not on a uniform scale throughout India. States like Kerala, Karnataka, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh have gone ahead of other states in devolving powers and functions to the local governments. Of these Kerala is far ahead of others in strengthening local body institutions by way of democratic decen­ tralization. The CPI(M)-controlled Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala in 1996 decided to devolve powers, functions and finance in an unprecedented way. Local bodies have been strengthened through democratic decentralization based on CPI(M)’s assessment of the utility of local bodies as engines of economic growth. The CPI(M) perceived that local governments could effectively be used to overcome economic stagnation in the trad­ itional sector of the economy; it could also help develop a local market. This approach to decentralization attracted international attention, particularly in the context of globalization vis-à-vis de­ centralization.5 The most significant criticism of the decentralization model is that financial resources are being devolved without envisaging a perspective of urban development. It has been pointed out that the State Finance Commissions (SFC) have taken up the issues of financial devolution without examining how the functions will be assigned to and carried out by local bodies and what will be their implications. A review of the finances of the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) in the pre- and post-amendment period reveals that in a few of the states, improvement in the finances of the ULBs have been mar­ ginal, even at current prices. The per capita income has improved substantially for the developed states whereas the poorer states

Financial Decentralization and Local Governance


have registered either a decline or nominal increase, thereby increasing the inter-state disparity. Given the difficult financial situation of local bodies, especially in the backward states, it is unlikely that they will be able to strengthen their planning departments by recruiting technical and professional personnel for taking up the challenge of development planning. Due to the functioning of the ULBs in an institutional vacuum, as noted above, the only choice for them has been to depend on financial intermediaries and credit rating agencies. However, imposition of stringent conditionalities by these agencies on the local bodies in determining their project priorities and even disbursal of their own budgetary resources raise more questions than provide answers, in the context of a policy of balanced regional development.6 Moreover, given the resource crunch in the economy, projects have come to depend on capital market borrowing, privatization, participation partnership arrangements and community partici­ pation. An analysis of the arrangements, including the credit-rating institutions, for tapping the capital market reveals that these se­ verely restrict the functioning of the ULBs and impede them from fulfilling their normal obligations.7 But the fact remains that the total requirement for urban infrastructure development, covering the backlog in the services and new investments, is so large that the local bodies have to look for alternative sources.8 Traditionally, the resources have been supplemented by the assis­ tance from sources such as the World Bank, multilateral agencies such as ADB, JBIC, CFIC, USAID, and so on, partly as grants and the rest as loans. Other institutions which have been supplement­ ing the urban infrastructure needs are financial institutions like HUDCO, IDFC and IL&FS. In spite of these efforts the funds have not been keeping pace with the growing demand and re­ cently, other developmental financial institutions like ICICI, IDBI, IFCI, UTI and commercial banks have made forays into the sector.9 But these efforts have been service and area specific. More than 53 per cent of this external assistance has been for the urban water supply and sanitation programme and the developed states have been the major recipients of these externally aided projects.10 This


Amrita Anand

shows that the small and medium towns are not getting the ben­ efits of the externally aided projects even after the decentralization initiative. The above account reveals that the problem of fiscal decentrali­ zation has aggravated in the recent past. This is mainly because in the last few years the problem of financing urban infrastructure and urban basic services has increased many folds. Developed states and especially the metropolitan cities are the destinations for do­ mestic institutional funds as well as external assistance. The problem does not end here as the metropolises also face the crisis of local finance. This is because though the entire area of the metropolitan city is held together by a strong economic interest, but it is fragmented politically. This is because the area consists of suburban areas which directly impinges on the finance of the metro­ politan city and hampers its fiscal health.11 Several policies and legal frameworks to facilitate urban local governments’ access to capital markets in India are already work­ ing and as a result municipal bonds, although limited to a few municipal entities, are available as an alternative mode of financing urban infrastructure. But to develop this into a viable and vibrant system financial empowerment of municipal government, rational­ ization of the state-local fiscal relationship and necessary changes in the role of different levels of government in India are essential.12 Moreover, one should bear in mind that given the weak revenuegeneration capacity of most of the local bodies in India, only a few large cities would be able to raise funds from such projects.13 Furthermore, constitutional amendment for decentralization of financial powers is not adequate for augmenting resources of the local bodies for this purpose. The programmes and the efforts must, therefore, be specifically targeted and the concerned issues be more explicit and transparent. DISTRIBUTION OF URBAN LOCAL BODIES IN INDIA

ULBs are the means of encouraging and preserving local initiatives and harnessing them into creative channels. In fact, they are import­ ant governing institutions for providing basic amenities to the

Financial Decentralization and Local Governance


people. They have to act as ‘instruments of economic activity’ and the ‘engines of economic development’. Thus on one hand the ULBs have great advantages of diverse economic activities, eco­ nomies of scale and of scope of provisioning of services but on the other they have the great disadvantage of carrying multiple responsibilities. There are around 3,700 ULBs with 100 corpora­ tions, 1,500 municipal councils and 2,100 nagar panchayats be­ sides 56 cantonment boards.14 Table 4.1 and Map 4.1 provide a state-wise distribution. The Fifth Schedule Areas in many states and Sixth Schedule Areas in Assam, Tripura and Mizoram have been specifically ex­ cluded from the 74th Amendment under state legislation. As a result, in the states of Mizoram and Sikkim no municipal bodies exist. In Arunachal Pradesh no place seems to have been declared urban, as a result too there no municipal bodies exist. It means that many urban places are non-municiplaized. Table 4.1 shows that in some states the number of ULBs has decreased. This is due to populist measures under which some nagar panchayats in Assam and Tamil Nadu have been de-municipalized as have some muni­ cipal councils in Haryana.15 The decrease in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh has been due to the formation of three new states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttaranchal respectively in 2000. MUNICIPAL FINANCE: A STATE-LEVEL ANALYSIS

Decentralization through the Constitutional Amendment Act is considered a watershed development in urban policy initiatives in India. This is because, for the first time in the history of urban governance, municipal bodies were provided the constitutional status of the third tier of government. However, it is well known that in India the local bodies are confronted with poor finances, over-controlled local governance and a multiplicity of agencies, often with overlapping functional and geographical jurisdictions.16 As a result the reforms aimed at reducing fiscal deficits and devoloving powers to the ULBs. The basic objective of decentralization is to empower ULBs both administratively as well as financially.

Andhra Pradesh Assam Bihar Chhattisgarh Goa Gujarat Haryana Himachal Pradesh Jharkhand Jammu & Kashmir Karnataka Kerala Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra Manipur Meghalaya Mizoram Nagaland


7 1 6 – – 6 1 1 – – 6 3 18 15 – – – –


7 1 5 6 – 6 1 1 1 – 6 5 14 19 – – – –


Municipal Corporations

94 28 70 – 14 85 81 19 – 2 121 55 103 229 7 6 2 –

Apr-98 109 29 32 20 13 85 21 20 17 3 124 53 86 224 8 6 – –


Municipal Councils

15 50 94 – – 58 – 28 – 67 88 – 283 – 21 – 4 9

Apr-98 1 38 80 49 – 58 46 31 22 67 87 – 234 2 21 3 1 8


Nagar Panchayats

116 79 165 6 14 149 82 48 – 69 215 58 404 244 28 6 6 9


117 68 113 74 19 149 68 52 40 70 217 58 334 245 29 9 1 8


Urban Local Bodies





2 4 3 6 – 11 1 6 1,494

30 96 11 102 1 226 – 112 1,430

33 97 11 102 1 193 31 112

Source : P. K. Chaubey (2003), Urban Local Bodies in India: Search without a Perspective.

2 4 3 6 – 11 – 6

Orissa Punjab Rajasthan Tamil Nadu Tripura Uttar Pradesh Uttaranchal West Bengal 2,092

70 37 169 636 12 447 – 4 2,095

68 30 169 611 12 417 28 4 3,683

102 137 183 744 13 684 – 122 3,631

103 131 183 719 13 621 60 122

Source : Developed by the author.

Map 4.1: Distribution of Urban Local Bodies in India, 2002

Financial Decentralization and Local Governance


Decentralization implies that the sub-national or sub-state units of government have the discretion available to them to engage in effective decision-making affecting that area.17 But the issue of the conceptualization and measurement of decentralization has raised several debates. It shows that decentralization concepts with refer­ ence to administrative, financial, functional and legal aspects can be measured from two perspectives: administrative or legal and fiscal or financial. The present study analyses the financial per­ spective and for this purpose constructs a decentralization index using (i) ratio of revenue expenditure of ULBs to total expendi­ ture, (ii) ratio of own revenue of ULBs to total own revenue of local, state and central governments from urban areas, (iii) ratio of taxes to total own revenue receipts and (iv) per capita revenue deficit for 1998-9 and 2002-3 (Map 4.2 and 4.3). The principal component analysis shows that the first factor, which is linearly dependent on the constituent variables, explains about 32 per cent in 1998-9 and about 45 per cent in 2002-3. The index (Table 4.2) shows that evening the gap of five years there is no definite pattern for the performance of local bodies in the states of India. The states do not follow a particular trend as it can be deciphered from Table 4.2 that the level of development is not related to the performance of the local government; A even the less developed states like Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Rajasthan have higher values than the developed states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. This observation however is not true for some of the least devel­ oped states, especially Bihar and Jharkhand which for both the time periods occupy positions at the lowest level. As not even 50 per cent explanation as been sought through facor analysis, a detailed study of each variables has been done for the furher understanding of decentralization and how it has influ­ enced the regional disparities in the country. Per capita revenue for 1991-2 and 2002-3 has been analysed (Table 4.3 and 4.4). This helps one to realize that despite generous transfers made by the Twelfth Finance Commission (hereforth TFC) through tax devo­ lution and grants, disparities in revenue capacity of the states re­ main pretty large. At the macro level, Table 4.3 shows a large variation in the re­

Source : Developed by the author.

Map 4.2: Deficit in per capita revenue 1998-9

Source : Developed by the author.

Map 4.3: Deficit in per capita revenue 2002-3



States Meghalaya Goa Himachal Pradesh Uttar Pradesh Andhra Pradesh Assam Manipur Haryana West Bengal Orissa Tripura Madhya Pradesh Uttarakhand Rajasthan Punjab Chhattisgarh Bihar Jammu & Kashmir Tamil Nadu Gujarat Maharashtra Karnataka Kerala Jharkhand

PCA 1998-9 2.15734 1.63603 1.49933 0.92123 0.77723 0.75397 0.55983 0.55777 0.48006 0.07795 0.0232 -0.07797 -0.09793 -0.21969 -0.31427 -0.45119 -0.49905 -0.60677 -0.76428 -0.86007 -0.9718 -1.27708 -1.33722 -1.96664

States Orissa Rajasthan Jammu & Kashmir Meghalaya Goa Himachal Pradesh Manipur Haryana West Bengal Tripura Uttarakhand Assam Uttar Pradesh Madhya Pradesh Andhra Pradesh Chhattisgarh Tamil Nadu Punjab Kerala Karnataka Gujarat Bihar Maharashtra Jharkhand

PCA 2002-3 1.29225 1.26972 1.25132 0.90535 0.89062 0.87555 0.80399 0.64395 0.61392 0.48121 0.22531 0.14679 0.13282 0.00252 -0.10951 -0.23127 -0.40972 -0.63934 -0.78576 -0.86186 -1.1282 -1.14829 -1.60595 -2.61541

Source: Calculated from the data in Eleventh and Twelfth Finance Commission Reports, GOI.

venue-generating capacity of the states and over the period of time some states have shown better performance than others. The most significant among them are Tamil Nadu, Goa and Maharashtra; these have come to high category from medium. Here the catego­ ries have been demarcated with the method of range.18 Most of the states have either climbed to a higher category or remained at the same level, Haryana being the only exception. In Table 4.4, the per capita revenue has been further analysed with the help of the concept of better-off states, others and special category states which has been borrowed from Bagchi.19 He de­

Financial Decentralization and Local Governance



(1991-2 AND 2002-3)

Per Capita Revenue



Gujarat, Punjab (More than 70.1)


Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Goa, Haryana, Tamil Nadu (35.1-70)


Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya (Less than 35)

2002-3 Tamil Nadu, Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab (More than 240.1) Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka (120.1-240) Kerala, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Meghalaya, Assam, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Bihar (Less than 120)

Source : Calculated from data obtained from EFC and TFC Reports, GOI.

fines better-off states as those having per capita GSDP of more than Rs. 17,000 as of 2001-2. The situation does not seem to have changed very much for the special category states as the coef­ ficient of variation in normatively derived per capita revenue has not changed much. But in the case of others the situation has become grim as the variation has more than doubled. This means that in TFC too, the deprived states have remained underprivileged and have not been provided sufficient grants; introduction of grants to reduce the gap and implementation of equalization principle in the central transfers being important features. Another significant feature which emerges from Table 4.4 is that the variations amongst the better-off states have drastically reduced. This again points out that the central transfers are skewed towards the better-off states and does not implement the equalization prin­ ciple. The situation is actually bleak in the state of Bihar as here the per capita revenue is only about 40 per cent of that of Gujarat and Maharashtra.

TABLE 4.4: PER CAPITA REVENUE OF STATES (1991-2 AND 2002-3) Better-off States


Better-off States


Goa Punjab Maharashtra Haryana Gujarat Kerala Tamil Nadu Karnataka Andhra Pradesh West Bengal Coefficient of Variation Others Rajasthan Chhattisgarh Madhya Pradesh Jharkhand Bihar Orissa Uttar Pradesh

62.39 106.53 241.43 65.92 112.29 32.61 68.53 45.43 13.65 22.97 85.80

Goa Punjab Maharashtara Haryana Gujarat Kerala Tamil Nadu Karnataka Andhra Pradesh West Bengal

247.91 311.26 339.97 82.70 359.34 101.95 243.15 217.42 135.92 149.42 45.24

Coefficient of Variation for others Coefficient of Variation for major states (includes both better off and other states) Special Category States Assam Himachal Pradesh Tripura Nagaland Meghalaya Uttarakhand Coefficient of Variation

43.91 40.18 INF 22.55 26.32

Others Rajasthan Chattisgarh Madhya Pradesh Jharkhand Bihar Orissa Uttar Pradesh



91.35 8.74 24.10 13.49 0.83 16.85 68.13

133.55 120.86 195.83 19.28 9.53 43.62 61.11

67.18 Special Category States Assam Himachal Pradesh Tripura Nagaland Meghalaya Uttarakhand

20.69 78.42 66.92 14.82 24.24 85.25 65.88

Source: Calculated from data obtained from Eleventh and Twelfth Finance Commission Reports, GOI.

Financial Decentralization and Local Governance


Table 4.5 shows the per capita expenditure for 1991-2 and 2002-3 and this table also shows that over the period of time ex­ penditure has increased in all the states except Haryana and Maharashtra. Tables 4.3 and 4.4 show that the states of Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Goa had a surplus budget (revenue was more than expendi­ ture) in 1991. And in 2001, West Bengal, Karnataka, Madhya TABLE 4.5: PER CAPITA TOTAL EXPENDITURE (1991-2 AND 2002-3) States



Andhra Pradesh Assam Bihar Chhattisgarh Goa Gujarat Haryana Himachal Pradesh Jharkhand Jammu & Kashmir Karnataka Kerala Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra Manipur Meghalaya Nagaland Orissa Punjab Rajasthan Tamil Nadu Tripura Uttar Pradesh Uttarakhand West Bengal

20.42 12.83 INF NA 57.09 105.09 148.97 21.43 NA 41.88 41.73 35.34 43.17 997.22 9.74 28.79 3.06 27.07 96.60 41.11 74.16 24.63 25.56 NA 33.06

154.47 21.31 13.28 104.21 205.69 377.06 103.95 92.71 50.82 49.24 179.82 153.63 184.48 425.28 203.06 25.79 13.62 43.62 289.77 121.88 270.44 63.11 62.21 96.14 105.16




Notes: INF—Information Not Found; NA—Not Applicable.

Sources: Calculated from data obtained from EFC and TFC Reports, GOI.


Amrita Anand

Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Tripura and Nagaland had surplus budget. When related with per capita revenue in these states a very pe­ culiar picture emerges as the trends do not show a particular pat­ tern except for Goa and Punjab. These two states show that high per capita revenue has a strong relationship with surplus budget (both in 1991-2 and 2002-3). This is also true for states with low revenue except for Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh in 1991 and Nagaland and Tripura in 2001. These states in spite of low per capita revenue show surplus budget. Therefore, as these expla­ nations do not show any specific trend, for further understanding, the relationship of surplus budget with tax as a source of revenue has also been analysed. This shows that states with higher, i.e more than 50 per cent of its revenue from tax have surplus budget ex­ cept Rajasthan and Tripura in 2001 (Figures 4.1 and 4.2).

Source : Calculated from data obtained from EFC and TFC Reports, GOI.

Figure 4.1: Per capita revenue and expenditure of ULBs 1991-2

Financial Decentralization and Local Governance


Source : Calculated from data obtained from EFC and TFC Reports, GOI.

Figure 4.2: Per capita revenue and expenditure of

ULBs 2002-3



Urban decentralization—devolving powers and responsibilities to municipal bodies—was a result of the increasing pace of urbaniza­ tion, particularly in larger cities. The opening up of the Indian economy to the world markets in the 1990s led to the creation of the ‘global cities’. These cities became the hubs of industrial and economic activity and attractive destinations for foreign direct in­ vestment as well as short-term portfolio investments. As a result, it became inevitable for city governments to provide better infra­ structure facilities. Moreover, inter-city competitiveness demands much better performance from the city governments and with the opening up of the market decentralization became inevitable to make local governments more accountable to its stakeholders. For this purpose the financial condition of 35 metropolitan dis­ tricts has been analysed. As already mentioned these are districts that some of the metropolises in India spill over neighbouring areas and those areas have also been considered for better under­


Amrita Anand

standing of metropolitan finance. In this respect the fiscal posi­ tions of these 35 districts have been investigated in terms of trends in revenue and expenditure for 1991 and 2001. This has been done firstly because the fiscal position at the local level does not receive the kind of attention it should despite the growing import­ ance of urban areas and the increasing focus on decentralization and devolution of financial powers. The quality of civil services is determined not only by the municipal corporation but also by the efficiency with which these resources are utilized. Second, the financial situation of municipal corporations reflects the caliber of planning and the priorities of these governments. And, thirdly, it also provides an opportunity to review their resource mobilization and management strategies.20 Trends in revenue and expenditure have been examined. Sources of revenue and uses of funds have been classified under common heads so as to facilitate comparison across districts. All the 35 metro­ politan districts observed here have shown substantial growth in terms of population and area under the jurisdiction of the munici­ pal corporation. It would therefore be presumed that revenue and expenditure would have grown as well. An examination of trends in revenue as well as expenditure is done in Table 4.6. The Table provides some very interesting features. First most of these dis­ tricts have experienced increase in both revenue and expenditure except Ludhiana, Mumbai, Nasik, Rajkot and Surat. This explains that the growth rate of population here is much higher than the growth in their fiscal indicators. Second, there are variations in the performance of municipal corporations within states itself. For example, in Maharashtra, on the one hand are Mumbai, Nagpur and Nasik that have experi­ enced fall in their per capita revenue and expenditure but on the other hand, Pune has not seen much change. This implies that the central and state transfers to these local governments have been reduced irrespective of the fact that these cities have shown high population growth. Gujarat presents anther scenario, as Rajkot and Surat have shown falling trends while there has been substan­ tial increase in revenue of Ahmedabad and Vadodara. Third, Table 4.6 also shows that the so-called better-off states



Metropolitan Districts

Per Capita Revenue 1991

Agra* Ahmedabad Allahabad Amritsar Asansol Bengaluru Bhopal Chennai Coimbatore* Delhi* Dhanbad Faridabad Hyderabad Indore Jabalpur Jaipur Jamshedpur Kanpur* Kochi Kolkata Lucknow Ludhiana Madurai Meerut* Mumbai Nagpur Nasik Patna Pune Rajkot Surat Vadodara Varanasi* Vijaywada Vishakhapatnam

149.56 408.72 170.34 545.71 47.30 281.33 183.91 131.88 190.86 1,170.26 8.21 170.46 3.91 164.43 143.39 120.10 3.75 177.20 129.97 479.29 155.88 228.09 214.04 109.13 747.58 321.13 731.95 58.77 551.62 798.85 533.78 503.58 121.06 268.91 373.62

2001 – 1,285.52 341.59 626.52 69.69 733.76 355.79 953.01 – – 66.23 508.57 3,152.01 749.73 436.44 350.98 475.32 – 320.31 541.38 834.34 65.98 865.32 – 148.06 1,032.31 186.49 183.01 1,562.83 109.81 147.44 1,345.61 – 442.61 1,272.01

Per Capita Expenditure 1991 180.47 425.02 178.85 544.70 26.71 251.33 199.69 174.44 212.06 1,170.08 7.99 166.17 281.74 182.18 141.70 119.55 2.73 171.59 132.23 518.30 124.41 224.99 200.92 110.97 728.27 300.29 579.78 29.86 551.62 799.83 474.05 387.99 130.82 280.95 387.10

Note: *Data not available for these metropolitan districts for 2001. Sources: Census of India, 1991 and 2001.

2001 – 1,133.74 309.7 590.69 65.71 740.57 303.26 1,023.95 – – 56.04 507.48 2,944.81 788.17 428.07 345.15 440.36 – 303.5 585.2 936.37 65.13 852.19 – 148.07 1,021.63 186.49 264.43 1,562.06 68.55 138.82 1,388.02 – 297.71 686.77


Amrita Anand

do not show a similar picture. Kolkata in West Bengal, which is a better-off state, also show decrease in its per capita revenue figures over time. And, cities in some ‘others’ states have shown better performance than those located in better-off states. This clearly indicates that there are other factors which influence the financial performance of the municipal corporations, location in better-off state or others is a very weak influence. When comparing the performance of the municipal corpora­ tions of the 35 metropolitan districts it is observed that most of the southern and western metropolizes had surplus budget both in 1991 and 2001, the exception being Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangaluru and Coimbatore. The common feature among these is that out of the four, three are capital cities. Another reason which can explain this is the fact that in Chennai and Bengaluru taxes form only one-third of the total revenue receipts. Apart from these, the districts with surplus budget are in better-off states. Some others which fall in this category are Indore, Bhopal, Allahabad, Kanpur, Jabalpur and Lucknow in 1991. In 2001, Agra, Asansol and Pune also joined the list. These cities have an exceptional feature that they generate a major part of their revenue from their own sources except Allahabad and Jamshedpur, who get most of their revenue from government grants. The pattern of expenditure of the corporations would reveal where its priorities lie. Any anomalies in expenditure would also be revealed. The composition of total expenditure is outlined in Table 4.8. This clearly shows the reality of how the resources are allocated and, what are the priorities of the municipal corpora­ tions of metropolitan districts. The table clearly depicts that for the corporations of Jamshedpur, Chennai, Kolkata and Pune, public works is the highest priority as they spend more than 50 per cent of their revenue on these works. At the other extreme end are the cities of Dhanbad and Patna, where not even 1 per cent of their expenditure is spent on public works. The situation is also bad in the districts of Vadodara, Nasik, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Lucknow and Asansol. This again brings out the fact that the performance of the local governments is not re­ lated to their location in better-off or other states. Nor is it related to the amount of revenue they generate, rather it is on the priori­

Financial Decentralization and Local Governance


TABLE 4.7: PER CENT COMPOSITION OF TOTAL REVENUE OF MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS (2001) Metropolitan Districts Ahmedabad Allahabad Amritsar Asansol Bengaluru Bhopal Chennai Coimbatore Dhanbad Faridabad Hyderabad Indore Jabalpur Jaipur Jamshedpur Kochi Kolkata Lucknow Ludhiana Madurai Mumbai Nagpur Nasik Patna Pune Rajkot Surat Vadodara Vijaywada Vishakhapatnam

Receipts from Taxes

Revenue from Municipal Properties

80.69 10.18 73.35 52.75 35.55 18.36 33.42 34.99 75.98 53.13 69.85 72.47 25.43 57.03 9.61 51.07 34.44 15.03 82.79 15.88 44.23 63.63 53.44 46.20 68.30 66.98 23.27 69.37 41.42 60.46

0.38 2.66 10.79 0.00 – 30.24 9.11 42.87 0.00 29.01 1.32 2.74 4.00 9.07 2.57 34.98 21.81 70.87 1.16 25.64 5.47 1.59 13.31 4.07 0.00 0.93 55.26 6.27 4.64 9.37

Government Other Grants Sources 11.76 79.98 0.00 26.88 31.33 42.50 3.13 2.70 6.19 12.86 9.70 2.38 20.40 18.06 87.83 5.41 43.60 13.82 0.00 18.48 1.86 21.33 3.25 31.68 7.70 4.81 6.89 13.29 18.59 21.50

7.17 7.18 15.87 20.37 33.12 8.90 54.34 19.45 17.83 5.00 19.13 22.42 50.17 15.83 0.00 8.55 0.16 0.28 16.06 40.00 48.44 13.45 30.00 18.05 24.00 27.29 14.59 11.07 35.36 8.67

Source: Census of India, 2001.

ties they have. For example, the cities of Lucknow, Dhanbad, Vishakhapatnam and Indore spend substantial amount of their revenue on general administration. This can only be explained for Lucknow which is the capital city of Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, one can say that some of the municipal corporations do a better


Amrita Anand


Ahmedabad Allahabad Amritsar Asansol Bengaluru Bhopal Chennai Coimbatore Dhanbad Faridabad Hyderabad Indore Jabalpur Jaipur Jamshedpur Kochi Kolkata Lucknow Ludhiana Madurai Mumbai Nagpur Nasik Patna Pune Rajkot Surat Vadodara Vijaywada Vishakhapatnam

General Administration

Public Safety

13.24 13.00 10.49 5.68 33.16 10.18 18.28 3.33 93.96 9.97 32.86 54.57 13.11 9.36 21.94 27.32 28.80 49.94 8.16 17.62 5.02 12.70 7.09 10.72 27.16 28.73 11.23 18.41 8.24 66.23

20.07 6.94 19.96 5.23 25.60 10.13 – 0.00 2.54 6.66 6.57 16.79 4.20 47.33 0.00 19.97 0.00 11.87 1.79 1.40 3.23 7.59 14.80 0.52 0.00 6.25 4.33 4.66 0.00 5.21

Public Public Health and Works Convenience

12.84 56.75 26.88 42.53 0.04 29.55 8.48 23.35 0.00 0.00 0.12 1.65 43.77 0.38 0.00 4.15 4.74 16.49 39.12 21.90 41.78 36.78 10.74 43.85 1.01 46.69 22.59 1.74 48.49 7.06

6.26 12.75 13.35 7.95 15.71 6.78 64.57 14.71 0.00 16.22 26.20 16.20 19.77 27.51 78.06 45.81 63.61 5.13 29.58 24.10 10.14 25.05 5.77 0.00 51.99 13.20 45.85 4.28 36.74 20.88

Public Other Institutions Ex­ penses

18.18 1.26 11.56 14.01 1.88 35.24 – 0.00 0.00 0.94 0.00 0.00 3.56 0.06 0.00 0.65 2.70 2.32 0.00 2.06 0.00 9.20 3.85 8.83 11.04 5.13 0.09 0.00 0.00 0.62

29.42 9.30 17.76 24.60 23.58 8.12 5.24 28.67 3.49 66.20 34.25 10.78 15.59 15.37 0.00 2.11 0.14 14.26 21.35 32.92 39.83 8.67 57.75 36.08 8.80 0.00 15.91 70.90 6.52 0.00

Source: Twelfth Finance Commission Report, GOI.

job in augmenting there resources than others. Some of them plan and manage their resources better than others. For further understanding, a decentralization index using (i) ratio of taxes to total own revenue receipts, (ii) ratio of government grants

Financial Decentralization and Local Governance


to ULBs to total own revenue of local, state and central govern­ ments from urban areas, (iii) ratio of expenditure on public works to total expenditure and (iv) per capita revenue deficit for 2001 has been prepared. The principal component analysis shows that from the first factor only 44 per cent of explanation can be derived. Here too, the level of development does not seem to be related to the performance of local government. The city of Jamshedpur has the highest value; here one can say that since it is an industrial area it provides more opportunities for population, so it becomes essential for the local bodies to provide basic amenities. But if one stands along this argument, the score of Dhanbad, another industrial town in same state, cannot be explained as it has the least score. This clearly points out that to study the performance of local governments one has to go deeper and analyse the scenario at the micro-level as the character as well as the administrative framework of each metro­ politan district is different from that of another. TABLE 4.9: COMPOSITE SCORE ON THE BASIS OF


Metropolitan Districts Jamshedpur Allahabad Kolkata Bhopal Madurai Surat Chennai Vijaywada Jabalpur Bengaluru Vishakhapatnam Lucknow Kochi Jaipur Patna


3.31807 1.99397 1.48399 0.86511 0.62359 0.57725 0.55462 0.42755 0.40033 0.37401 0.14996 0.12381 -0.00598 -0.15196 -0.15297

Metropolitan Districts


Asansol Pune Nagpur Coimbatore Faridabad Hyderabad Mumbai Nasik Rajkot Vadodara Ahmedabad Indore Ludhiana Amritsar Dhanbad

-0.19904 -0.20005 -0.24591 -0.29923 -0.39412 -0.48512 -0.58005 -0.80631 -0.88246 -0.94381 -1.03546 -1.05249 -1.05537 -1.12311 -1.27881

Source: Calcultated from the dataa in Twelfth Finance Commission Report, GOI.


Amrita Anand

The study of local factors is more important as in today’s era of globalization urban industrial growth will be regionally concen­ trated.21 A few large global centres will emerge, attracting much of the infrastructure and industrial development and the new indus­ trial units will be attracted towards such cities because of adminis­ trative convenience. Management of urban infrastructure and the supporting finan­ cial system changed significantly during the second half of the 1990s. This was the result of efforts in the Eighth and Ninth Five Year Plan which envisaged cost recovery into the municipal finance system.22 Now the municipal corporations of the metropolitan cities were expected to make capital investments of their own and this was done to make public agencies more accountable and finan­ cially viable. Several financial institutions came forward to fund the projects but most of these again got concentrated in the metropolitan areas with strong economic base as most of these institutions were pri­ vately owned. As a result the problem of resource scarcity for the basic services and infrastructure still prevails. This becomes alarm­ ing when it is realized that areas with weaker economic base are not sufficiently equipped to take up public works and social infra­ structure projects on their own. All this accentuates inter-city and intra-city inequalities in the availability of amenities, resulting in spatial segmentation, particularly in larger metropolises. CONCLUSION

Based on the above analysis one can point out that the central government should provide special assistance to the less developed states which are not in a position to allocate requisite funds for urban infrastructure. This also holds true for metropolitan dis­ tricts which are way down in the line. Moreover, there should be actual devolution of powers and responsibilities by the state govern­ ments so that the municipal bodies can use them optimally. And the government should come up with new programmes that are designed in such a manner that they cover entire urban hierarchy.

Financial Decentralization and Local Governance



1. M.A. Oommen (2006), ‘Fiscal Decentralisation to the Sub-State Level Governments’, Economic and Political Weekly, 11 March, p. 897. 2. J. Froomkin (1955), ‘Fiscal Management of Municipalities and Economic Development’, Economic Development and Cultural Change, vol. 3, no. 4, July, p. 309. 3. S. Chattopadhyay (2006), ‘Municipal Bond Market for Financing Urban Infrastructure’, Economic and Political Weekly, 30 June, p. 2787. 4. Ibid. 5. M.A. Oommen (2006), ‘Fiscal Decentralisation to the Sub-State Level Governments’, Economic and Political Weekly, 11 March, pp. 902-3. 6. A. Kundu (1999), ‘Empowerment of Urban Local Bodies in India: A Search without a Perspective’, Spatio-Economic Development Record, vol. 6, no. 6, November-December, p. 20. 7. A. Kundu (2001), ‘Institutional Innovations for Urban Infrastructural Development: The Indian Scenario’, in Good Governance Campaign: India Launch–Learning from One Another, Government of India, New Delhi, p. 170. 8. V. Suresh (2002), ‘Financing for Urban Infrastructure Development’, SpatioEconomic Development Record, vol. 9, no. 6, November-December, p. 5. 9. Ibid. 10. S. Bagchi and S. Chattopadhyay (2004), ‘Decentralised Urban Governance in India: Implications for Financing of Urban Infrastructure’, Economic and Political Weekly, 4 December, p. 5258. 11. G. Jha (2001), Local Finance in Metropolitan Cities, New Delhi: Mittal Publication, p. 35. 12. S. Chattopadhyay (2006), ‘Municipal Bond Market for Financing Urban Infrastructure’, Economic and Political Weekly, 30 June, p. 2791. 13. A. Kundu (2001), ‘Urban Development, Infrastructure Financing and Emerging System of Governance in India: A Perspective’, Management of Social Transformations—MOST, Discussion Paper No. 48, vol. 4, no. 15. 14. P.K. Chaubey (2003), ‘Urban Local Bodies in India: Quest for Making them Self-Reliant’, Indian Institute for Public Administration, New Delhi, p. 12. 15. Ibid., p. 13. 16. A. Bagchi and S. Chattopadhyay (2004), ‘Decentralized Urban Governance in India: Implications for Financing of Urban Infrastructure’, Economic and Political Weekly, 4 December, p. 5253. 17. Ibid., p. 5254.


Amrita Anand

18. Here range refers to the highest value minus the lowest value. Then on the basis of the difference the classes have been made. 19. A. Bagchi (2005), ‘Symposium on Report of Twelfth Finance Commission: Introduction and Overview’, Economic and Political Weekly, 30 July, p. 3394. 20. S. Sekhar and S. Bidarkar (1999), ‘Municipal Budgets in India: Comparison Across Five Cities’, Economic and Political Weekly, 15 May, p. 1202. 21. A. Kundu (2001), ‘Urban Development, Infrastructure Financing and Emerging System of Governance in India: A Perspective’, Management of Social Transformation, Discussion Paper No. 48, vol. 4, no.15, p. 1. 22. Ibid., p. 7.

REFERENCES Agrawal, A. and Elinor Ostrom (2001), ‘Collective Action, Property Rights, and Decentralization in Resource Use in India and Nepal’, Politics & Society 29, no. 4, pp. 485-514. Ahmad, J.K., D. Shantayanan, S. Khemani and S. Shah (2005), ‘Decentraliza­ tion and Service Delivery’,World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 3603. Bardhan, Pranab (2002), ‘Decentralization of Governance and Development’ Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 16, no. 4, pp.185-205. Bhagat, R.B. (2011), ‘Urbanisation and Access to Basic Amenities in India’, Census of India (2001), Series 1. Tables on Houses, Household Amenities and Assets. Chakrabarti, P.G.D. (2001), ‘Urban Crisis in India: New Initiatives for Sus­ tainable Cities’ Development in Practice, 11, nos. 2-3, pp. 260-72. Datta, S. and V. Varalakshmi (1999), ‘Decentralization: An Effective Method of Financial Management at the Grassroots (Evidence from India)’, Sustainable Development, 7, no. 3, pp. 113-20. Government of India, Planning Commission (2002), National Human Devel­ opment Report, 2001, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Kundu, A. (1993), In the Name of Urban Poor, New Delhi: Sage. —— (2000), ‘Urban Development, Infrastructure Financing, and Emerging System of Governance in India: A Perspective, MOST Discussion Paper, no. 48, 3 April 2001, UNESCO. —— (2006), ‘Introduction’, Social Development Report, Council for Social Development, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Financial Decentralization and Local Governance


—— (2001), ‘Institutional Innovations for Urban Infrastructural Develop­ ment: The Indian Scenario’, Development in Practice, 11, nos. 2-3, pp.174-89. Kundu, Amitabh, Soumen Bagchi and Debolina Kundu (1999), ‘Regional Distribution of Infrastructure and Basic Amenities in Urban India: Issues Concerning Empowerment of Local Bodies’, Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 34 (28), pp. 1893-1906. Kundu, Debolina (2006), ‘Globalisation, Decentralisation, and Crisis in Urban Governance’, Chapter 4, in Social Development Report, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Mehrotra, Santosh (2006), ‘Governance and Basic Social Services: Ensuring Accountability in Service Delivery through Deep Democratic Decentrali­ zation’, Journal of International Development, 18, no. 2, pp. 263-83. Rao, M.G. and R.M. Bird (2010), ‘Urban Governance and Finance in India’, Working Paper No. 2010-68, National Institute of Public Finance & Policy, New Delhi. Rao, M.G. (2003), ‘Fiscal Decentralization in China and India: A Comparative Perspective’, Asia Pacific Development Journal, 10, no. 1, pp. 25-46. Shaw, A. (2007), ‘Basic Amenities in Urban India: Analysis at State and Town Level’, Working Paper WPS No. 616, IIM, Kolkata.


Urban Space and

Environmental Urges


The present deliberation is purported to focus on urbanization, its process, causes involved, present and future consequences and also the ethics, as the measure of perilous omen in the swelling urban pockets. It is an insight to delve into the operational aspects of ethical urges imperative to save the urban ecology. With these object­ ives, an analysis of the spatial and temporal scenarios, giving world­ wide examples, prevailing as blatant urbanization is attempted. It ponders over how to develop urban eco-ethics and practice it as everybody’s religion. URBANIZATION

We are escaping the tyranny of time and space. Man-nature inter­ actions get varied in quantum and diversity in this shrinking world to emerge as a certain spatial pattern as shown in Figure 5.1. The mechanics of living has got a new dimension of thought and the indomitable as well as incessant human temptations for limitless progress and comfort. This has led to the convergence of time in the form of tele-mobility and of space as territorial cohesion and connectivity. And hey! the favoured spots on the surface of the earth evince the drastic modification of environment, morphology of space and society with the super-structure of swelling human population, non-agrarian workforce-based economic interactions together with non-conventional change-prone social order. The


Shree Kamaljee

Source: Developed by the author.

Figure 5.1: Spatial pattern: A conceptual framework

model of the urban growth given in Figure 5.2 certifies this. This human occupancy is urban. With varying attributes in different centuries, the urban points New of enlarged Industry

Initial multiplier effect

Enhanced possibility of invention of innovation

New local or regional threshold

Of invention in innovation

Source: After J. Herrington, Outer City, Harper & Row, London, 1984.

Figure 5.2: Model of urban growth

Urban Space and Environmental Urges


necessarily have commonalities with regard to the occupational structure of the working population and socio-psychological bend. Thus, urbanization is a spatial phenomenon inducing population aggregation, inter-sectoral shift of the workforce and longing for the changing value systems. The level of urbanization denotes the proportion of urban population practising urbanism, in relation to the total population of an area. Urbanization a = u/t × 100 where u: Urban Population t: Total Population With a long history of urbanization and varying temporal con­ centrations of the world population in the urban pockets, the urbanization remained 13 per cent (220 million) in 1900, 29 per cent (732 million) in 1950, and 49 per cent (3.2 billion) in 2005. It is projected to be 60 per cent (4.9 billion) by 2030. As to the spatial variation in urbanization (1990), the most eco­ nomically developed countries had 74 per cent as their proportion while less economically developed countries held 34 per cent only. Today as compared to Asian and African countries the USA and the UK have a higher level of urbanization. CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES

Though urban settlements can be traced back to the age of early river-valley civilizations, the growth of towns first moved about the fulcrums of the religious, historical, political and topographi­ cal interest and then got impetus in the medieval period in India and the Renaissance times in sixteenth century in Europe. A further boost for urbanization was created with the advent of the Indus­ trial Revolution. This continues even today. With the passage of time, there were agricultural improvements, industrialization, the presence of market forces and service sectors, trades, transport and communication structures, recreation-centres as also the natural increase of population, resulting in the spatial bulges of urbansprawls and agglomerations. We may have a look at the 15 largest glomerations (by size in AD 2000) of the world in Table 5.1.


Shree Kamaljee TABLE 5.1: URBAN AGGLOMERATION (AD 2000) (in million)



1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Tokyo Mexico City Mumbai Sao Paulo New York Lagos Los Angeles Kolkata Shangri Buenos Aires Dhaka Karachi Delhi Jakarta Osaka

Population 26.4 18.1 18.1 17.8 16.6 13.4 13.1 12.9 12.9 12.6 12.3 11.8 11.7 11.0 11.0

Source : UN (2000), World Urbanization Prospects (1999 Revision).

Such large urban agglomerations as given in Table 5.1 have ex­ panded beyond their resource limits and hygienic space content mainly because of mass-scale rural-urban migration which is looked upon as a horizontal response (Figure 5.3) to inter-sectoral mobil­ ity of population, i.e. from the primary to the secondary and ter­ tiary sectors of the economy. These urban centres as conurbations and megalopolis or as pri­ mate cities with a magnetic central business district and a large commanding umland as displayed in Figure 5.4, play the role of strategic vertices in attracting the rural and suburban poor for their socio-economic development. The resultant overcrowding and traffic congestion in the devel­ oped countries has led to suburbanization while in the developing countries there appears the phenomenon of over-urbanization in which the growth in urban population is not accompanied by the corresponding proportional growth in the workforce in nonagricultural sectors. It is pseudo-urbanization or merely an ‘urban accretion’ which denotes the distorted growth of urban centres

Source: J.B. Parr (1973), ‘Growth Poles, Regional Development and Central Place Theory’, Papers in Regional Science, 31(1).

Figure 5.3: The nature of spread and Backwash effect

Source: After H.C. Weinad (1973).

Figure 5.4: Hypothesized surface of spread and backwash effect


Shree Kamaljee

with regard to their own economic bases. Now urban misery and rural poverty co-exist in a symbiotic relationship. Here the adverse urban environment gets further deteriorated under weakened re­ source-population ratio. It has two elements: ● ●

Human environment Physical environment

No doubt man is benefitted by the efficiency, convenience, resource concentration, social integration and better economic environment of the cities. The newcomers have preferred the peripherization of the core and the process of counter-urbanization as suggested in Figure 5.5.

Source: J.S. Adams (1969).

Figure 5.5: Intra-urban migration

Urban Space and Environmental Urges


Cites losing population to rural areas are shrinking in the in­ dustrialized world. Besides, polycentric form of concentration is the emerging pattern of urbanization. Even the ‘sub-urban flight’ due to chronically high transport costs has started the phenom­ enon of re-urbanization. The urban poor unable to find work spend their lives in insecure, poorly paid jobs. Can we think of pro-poor urbanization? Evidently enough, the human environment in the cities has negative aspects such as excessive size, overcrowding, service shortcuts, housing problems, unemployment, widened socio­ economic gap, traffic congestion and transportation problems, crime and so on. All these horrendous traits may be visualized as crammed into slums and squatter settlements as clearly conceptualized in Figure 5.6.

City-Centre (job opportunities) Location for unuthorized Squatters

Industrial workshops Outer-Fringe area Small towns Countryside Area of Invasion and succession from towns

Source: After J.F.C. Terner (1967).

Figure 5.6: Conceptual location of squatter settlements


Shree Kamaljee

In India, 50 per cent of the total urban population is comprised of slums (taking the global definition of slums). The evident is from Table 5.2. The human environment of most of the cities modifies the physical environment in a very hostile way (Figure 5.7) and that describes how the physical and human environments are integrated over space. Man becomes the decision maker and affects the physical environment as per his needs, abilities and scientific know-how even at the cost of the future generation. Thus the process of urbanization coverts the green space (fields, trees, wetlands, etc.) into ‘black space’ (concrete and asphalt).

TABLE 5.2: POPULATION LIVING IN SLUMS State/Union Territories (India)

Urban Area of Population

More than a million

Between 1 lakh and 10 lakh + 1,000,000

India States Bihar Maharashtra West Bengal Andhra Pradesh Punjab Gujarat Tamil Nadu Orissa Assam Haryana Uttar Pradesh Madhya Pradesh Karnataka Rajasthan Kerala Union Territories Delhi Chandigarh




37.48 32.49 27.48 32.50 27.48 17.82 15.00 19.95 – 22.49 17.49 12.50 12.49 14.95 9.98

37.51 37.50 37.49 22.51 37.49 22.50 32.50 – – – 40.63 – 10.43 27.50 –

37.50 32.62 31.53 30.47 31.58 18.84 18.75 18.49 17.46 15.98 15.760 15.15 14.43 14.06 8.81

– 12.47

17.50 –

47.50 12.47

Source: Planning Commission, New Delhi, 1981.

Urban Space and Environmental Urges Human Environment


Physical Environment

Source: Developed by the author.

Figure 5.7: Perception of physical environment

If we observe, the principal pollutants affecting the physical environment—air, water and land—they are as follows: 1. Deposited matter—soot, smoke, tar, dust, grit, etc. 2. Gases—oxides of nitrogen (NO, NO2), sulphur (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), halogens. Figures 5.8 and 5.9 substantiate the facts on how the green­ house gases and other pollutants quantitatively harm and even destroy the physical system. THE CONTRIBUTION OF MAIN ANTHROPOGENIC GREENHOUSE GASES TO THE TOTAL INCREASE IN RADIATIVE FORCING Gas Carbon dioxide CFC-11 and CFC-12 Methane Other CFCs Nitrous Oxide

Contribution % 55 17 15 7 6


Shree Kamaljee

3. Acid droplets—sulphuric acid, nitric acid, etc. 4. Fluorides. 5. Metals—mercury, iead, iron, zinc, nickel, tin, cadmium, chro­ mium, etc. 6. Complex organic substances: benzene, ether, acetic acid, etc. 7. Photochemical oxidants—photochemical smog, ozone, peroxy­ acetyl nitrate (C2H3NO5), per oxybenzoyl nitrate (C7H5NO5), nitrogen oxides, aldehydes, ethyline etc. Tables 5.3 and 5.4 give details of vehicular emission inventories for Delhi and Mumbai, respectively. They reveal horrifying pictures of envi­ ronmental pollution endangering human life in these cities.

Related Temperature Rise above 1765/ oC

High Estimate

Best Estimate Low Estimate








Source: UN Environment Programme Report, New York, 1999.

Figure 5.8: Temperature change over time

Source: UN Environment Programme Report, New York, 1999.

Figure 5.9: Pollutants in smog



0 0 1,648 180 16,035



23,704 5,639 25,402 2,819 10,225



14,793 3,522 5,319 500 3,960






2,762 3,253 7,405 2,530 3,255



0 0 2,310 927 15,905




6,147 6,722 35,609 14,519 9,642



3,836 4,197 7,457 2,581 3,724



Source : Ministry of Transport, Government of India, Report, 2002.


2-Wheelers 4,426 3-Wheelers 5,210 Cars/Jeep 35,360 Taxis 14,193 Diesel Vehicles 8,428

Type of Vehicle

57,025 13,464 29,937 3,485 16,438


21,177 1,20,349

0 0 1,660 184 19,333



35,588 8,409 6,269 615 6,351



14,788 16,048 41,967 17,945 16,304


21,468 1,07,052

0 0 2,326 948 18,194


1991-2 NOx

30,736 28,140 60,219 26,265 39,757


37,502 34,683 1,85,117

9,229 0 10,020 0 8,788 2,742 3,166 1,172 6,299 30,769


18,520 23,609 43,008 5,100 40,012


33,203 2,30,249

0 0 1,956 228 31,019



Source: Ministr y of Transport, Government of India, Repor t, 2002.




10,651 2,730 5,282 491 3,285



2-Wheelers 17,067 3-Wheelers 4,371 Cars/Jeep 25,224 Taxis 2,756 Diesel Vehicles 8,482

Type of Vehicle




69,354 80,682

19,181 0 17,570 0 12,627 3,939 4,621 1,715 15,355 75,028



1,14,110 78,785

73,965 0 14,745 0 9,006 2,810 898 333 15,496 75,642




Shree Kamaljee

8 . Solid waste—Table 5.5 presents the comparative figures for some Indian cities about vehicular emission. This compel city dwellers to think responsibly. 9 . Radioactive waste. 10. Noise. These pollutants have imposed a heavy cost on the environ­ ment leading the following: 1 . Altering heat balance and heat exchange in the environment (Figure 5.10). 2 . Creating urban heat islands. 3 . Storing heat in building, asphalt, etc. 4 . Increasing night-time convective circulation. 5 . Producing urban wind alleys but reducing overall wind speed (about 20 per cent). 6 . Increasing condensation nuclei. 7 . Begetting greenhouse effect of the atmosphere. 8 . Causing acid rain. 9 . Lead for heavy emission of SO2. 10. Harming the ozone layer.

Source : UN Report on Climate Change, 1995.

Figure 5.10: Observed recent trends in global mean surface temperature

96 2,085 2,181 64 1,755 1,819 78 2,010 2,088

226 5,580 5,806 275 5,535 5,810

SO 2


14 0 14 5.6 0 5.6 11.22 0 11.2

24.5 0 24.5 25.9 0 25.9


0 198 198 0 166 166 0 190 190

0 528 528 0 524 524


101 2,253 2,354 74 2,152 2,226 90 2,571 2,661

274 6,727 7,001 313 6,331 6,644



16.1 0 16.1 6.3 0 6.3 13.3 0 13.3

30.1 0 30.1 29.4 0 29.4


Sources: Ministry of Transport, Government of India, Reports: 1982-3, 1984-5, 1992-3.




Gasoline Diesel Total Gasoline Diesel Total Gasoline Diesel Total

Gasoline Diesel Total Gasoline Diesel Total



Typle of Vehicles


0 214 214 0 203 203 0 244 244

0 637 637 0 600 600


179 3,786 3,965 132 3,617 3,749 161 4,320 4,481

486 11,306 11,792 556 10,640 11,196


28.7 0 28.7 11.2 0 11.2 23.8 0 23.8

53.2 0 53.2 52.5 0 52.5



0 359 359 0 324 324 0 410 410

0 1,071 1,071 0 1,008 1,008



126 11. 12. 13. 14.

Shree Kamaljee Creating photochemical smog. Increasing the eutrophication of water bodies. Disturbing the hydrological cycle. Depleting and damaging natural resources.

Our conscien should issue a clarion call to practice environ­ mental ethics forthwith. The urban habitat is at stake. The prin­ ciple of ecological control should be the pathway in the urban living space. This requires a historical ‘revolution in attitude’ to have a balance between the systems of man and the systems of nature. Human values and natural ethos must not be sacrificed on the altar of modernized urban living and technological advance­ ment. The urbanites need to evolve a way to best interact with nature. The management of the urban eco-system entails the man­ agement of the urban man and his environment as a whole rather than as separate entities. Therefore, the following ethical urges are highly imperative to be observed in the urban space by all: As an area of disciplined investigation, environmental ethics came into existence in the early 1970s in response to the sudden percep­ tion that the industrial culture had begotten an environmental crisis. Aldo Leopold (The Land Ethic, 1949, p. 202), a distinguished American conservationist, took ethics to impose ‘limitations on freedom of action in the Struggle for human existence’. Ethics denote restraints with social sanctions and not ones encoded into statutes or laws. Ethics exists by convention and not by the entities of nature. Ethics are normative and idealistic. In an attempt to revalue the Utopion urban society, it is very difficult for men to attain a perfect harmony with nature; neverthe­ less, the environmental moral sensibility brings forth a standard and a benchmark for man-nature interactions. Hence, ethics need to be embedded in urban approach to the environment. Environ­ mental ethics gives models to man’s living in the urban space. Far away from the sheer interpretations of cultural dynamics, there is an urgent need to have a humane search to the place of urban man in nature. Even the modern secular environmental ethics may be thought as a moral implication with the consideration of human welfare

Urban Space and Environmental Urges


and human right. Environmental science must be integrated with conventional value-judgements of secondary and tertiary activitybased civilization. This eco-centric environmental ethics infused in human environ­ mental behaviours could be ethically evaluated. This will help in cross-cultural comparison of environmental consciousness. In the twenty-first century, we have to think globally and locally with same environmental pain and pleasure, since we are one species of the same kind and our environmental crisis is more or less the same. This international environmental ethics based upon ecology and geophysics can ameliorate the urban environment. Environmental ethics must be the urban way of living. CONCLUSION

The whole range of urban space acts as the functional node or centre of a larger geographical scheme of cities, towns, villages and their resources for the territorial and functional organization of the whole country. The urban space having the ramified connotations to include eopolis, conurbation and megalopolis evolves through a combination of physical and socio-cultural factors, attains its various morphologies and exhibits the flow of man, material and message between the central business district (CBD) characterized by the intensive use of ground space and its vast umland. Thus, urban­ ization is an important index of the health and trend of the economy. The urban development is left to establish an urban-rural con­ tinuum, replacing the existing urban-rural dichotomy. Cities can be transformed to become engines of inclusive growth. In India, most towns and cities are over-grown villages and offer scope for functional appraisals. They represent different origins, diverse bases and environment setting within the historical frame-work of a rich, multi-faceted culture and civilization of their own. With the legacy of social segregation, the metropolises in India show all sorts of environmental ills including slums. Even the vetted city of Delhi has been classified as a slum by the Slum Areas Act of the country.


Shree Kamaljee

There appears a sheer disregard of environmental concerns which leads to lopsided development and annuls the choices of the future and present generations. As countervailing forces the Green Dis­ course that started from Rachel Carson’s classic, Silent Spring (1962), to the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth (1972) to Barbara Ward and Rene Dubos’ Only One Earth, culminating in the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment in 1972 needs renewed attention in the light of the United Nations. Sustainable City project for urban settlements. The concept of Eco-City is to be nourished. Ecologically integrated enterprises and developments are more likely to be sustainable. In the present post-Kyoto Protocol and Doha Summit, they required Green Climate Fund (GCF), an acceleration of Goal 7 of the Millennium Development Goals, 2000 of the United Nations (Ensure Environmental Sustainability) and specific Urban Renewal Programmes. In this regard the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission’s effort to set up Experi­ enced and Reflective Learning Programmes for facilitating net­ working among the participating cities is a praiseworthy step. CEPT University, Ahmedabad, functions as the knowledge management node for the mission’s cultural and religious cities. SUGGESTIONS

We should practice: 1 . Pollution-free vehicular transportation network in the urban sprawl. 2 . The use of public transport. 3 . Eco-management of slums. 4 . Sound urban waste disposal system. 5 . To plant trees with clear stands and considerable foliage cover away from urban parks. 6 . Sanitation for garbage dumping and collection points. 7 . Use of clean energy and no prodigial use of electrical appliances. 8 . Ring settlements separated by vegetation belts. 9 . Specific town planning for religious and mining towns. 10. Campaign and discourses for urban environmental ethics.

Urban Space and Environmental Urges


REFERENCES Breese, G. (1966), Urbanization in Nearly Developing Countries, N.J.: Englewood Cliffs. Brush, J.E. (1968), ‘Spatial Patterns of Population in Indian Cities’, Geographical Review, 58. Gallian, A.B. and S. Eisner (1963), The Urban Pattern: City Planning and Design, N.J. Gutkind, E.A. (1946), Revolution of Environment, London: Taylor and Francis. Harvey, D. (1973) ‘Social Justice and the City’, London: The University of Georgia Press. Parr, J.B. (1973), ‘Growth Poles, Regional Development and Central Place Theory’, Papers in Regional Science, 31(1): 173-212. Ralston, H. (1988), Environmental Ethics, Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Taylor, Griffith (1949), Urban Geography, London: Methuen. UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), ‘Our Earth-Our Future’, New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. Verma, L.N. (1991), Environment and Human Habitation, Udaipur: Himanshu Publishers, pp. 152-3. Yearly, S. (1992), The Green Case: A Sociology of Environmental Issues, Arguments and Politics, London: Routledge.




A Century of Urbanization in the Mineral Belt of India: Phases of Continuity and Change (1901-2011) TA N U S H R E E K U N D U

Where colonialism left off, development took over . . . RAJNI KOTHARI1

The developmental process in the mineral belt of India took place in three different phases: the colonial process of resource drain, the planned development during the post-Independence era when re­ source development took place within the framework of internal colonialism and the corporate resource grab in the present neo­ liberal era. The post-reforms corporate process of resource devel­ opment can be termed as the re-emergence of the colonial process of resource utilization as they both emanate from similar forms. The integration of the local-regional economy with the global economy has been executed similarly in both wherein the utiliza­ tion of the indigenous resources has been done not for the devel­ opment of the regional economy but for the benefit of a foreign economy. Such an alienated process of development has sweeping repercussions on the pattern and process of urbanization in the region. This paper investigates the continuity and changes in the pro­ cess of urbanization in the mineral belt of India during the three distinctive phases of its incorporation in the world system. The


Tanushree Kundu

region selected for the analysis is the south-east resource region of India comprising the mineral-bearing districts of Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, which form the prime mineral belt of India. A detailed empirical study has been undertaken based on the Censuses of India (1901-2011) analysing various aspects of urbanization—degree, concentration, speed and force; urban growth; and comparative factors of origin and decline of towns. The resource regions of the developed countries have a history of rapid urban development where the mineral belts were also the regions to urbanize first and in most of these countries the largest urban agglomerations developed around the coal and iron belts.2 But in developing countries like India, Latin America and in a very special case of the present study region, i.e. the south-east resource region of India, however, the experience has been on the contrary. In spite of being resource-rich and having undergone over a cen­ tury of mineral exploration, these regions have been suffering from perennial backwardness, the ramifications of which are evident in the spatial pattern and process of urbanization in the mineral belt. LITERATURE REVIEW

There is an extensive debate and plethora of viewpoints regarding the urbanization process in the developing countries. The Marxian interpretation of urbanization pays more attention to the ways in which urbanization processes are embedded in specific historical modes of production and postulates that push factors play an im­ portant role in the process of urbanization in the developing coun­ tries. Davis (1954) observed in the context of south and Southeast Asian countries that there is a process of ‘Over-Urbanization’, 3 which was later supported by McGee (1967) as ‘Pseudo Urban­ ization’ and Breese (1969) as ‘Subsistence Urbanization’. T.G. McGee argued that the process of urbanization might be more accurately labelled as ‘Pseudo Urbanization’ as in some Third World countries, city growth is not to be equated with urbanization. The

A Century of Urbanization in the Mineral Belt of India


marked absence of sectoral diversification along with redistribu­ tion of population from rural to urban areas raises questions re­ garding the possibilities of economic growth and the inevitability of urban revolution.4 In the context of India, the theory of ‘Over-Urbanization’ was first challenged by Sovani (1960) who observed that the argument regarding the economic burden of rapid urbanization hampering economic growth in underdeveloped areas through misallocation of scarce capital resources may not be correct.5 Raza and Kundu (1982) observed a causal relationship between growth of large cities, population and industrial workforce.6 However, the regional patterns of growth of economy and urban population do not con­ firm to this generalization as in the case of Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.7 STUDY REGION

This paper deals with a detailed empirical account of the mineral nelt of India, delineated as the South-East Resource Region of India8 which was drawn out by the Planning Commission in the early 1970s in association with the state governments concerned, the central government and the Town and Country Planning Organization of the Government of India, comprising the mineralbearing districts of Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, for the development of resources and subse­ quent overall regional development of this region. In order to make the spatial units comparable, the administrative boundaries con­ sidered here are as per the Census of India, 1971 with districts being the unit of study. COLONIAL PROCESS OF URBANIZATION

The process and pattern of urbanization in developing countries like India has been regarded as a vestige of its colonial past. Munshi (1975)9 spelled out the aftershocks of colonization on India’s urban­ ization process with a special emphasis on the Bengal province and

Sources : Censuses of India, 1971 and 2011.

Administrative Boundaries of the South-East Resource Region 2011

Figure 6.1: Map of Study Area

Location of the South-East Resource Region

A Century of Urbanization in the Mineral Belt of India


explained that this region underwent a process of underdevelop­ ment, de-industrialization and de-urbanization within the colonial framework during the crucial phase of the nineteenth century when the rest of the advanced world witnessed a technological revolution. This resulted in an irrecoverable ‘lag of a century’ which is responsi­ ble for the present backwardness. The imported manufactured goods cast peril over indigenous manufacturing and old urban centres which were dependent on domestic handicrafts and traditional cottage industries underwent deterioration and urban decay. The ‘old manufacturing towns and centres that were laid waste’10 witnessed out-migration of popula­ tion and resulted in de-urbanization due to such deindustrialization processes. The colonial cities acted as ‘nerve centres’ for colonial exploita­ tion.11 They were neither ‘consumer cities’ nor ‘producer cities’12 but rather ‘intermediaries between the metropolitan economy and the colonial hinterland’.13 Such colonial towns hampered the growth potentials of its rich hinterlands as can be witnessed in case of the present Resource Region. The railway network which traversed the mining enclave served the purpose of the foreign economy instead of creating growth impulse in the region. The colonial towns stood as ‘isolated foci of modernization in a backward region’.14 POST-INDEPENDENCE PATTERN OF URBANIZATION

The post-Independence pattern of urbanization in India was rather a continuation of the colonial pattern. While the Class-I cities witnessed unprecedented growth, the medium-sized towns de­ clined and small urban centres reflected complete stagnation. The ‘territorial industrial complexes’ surfaced in the ‘older economic regions’ which witnessed huge concentration of heavy industries like the Calcutta-Durgapur-Ranchi complex where heavy engi­ neering goods and chemical industries were located during 1951­ 61, the post-Independence era of industrialization in India. This was done in the initial years of planned development to locate major public sector industrial projects as development nuclei in backward regions.


Tanushree Kundu

The urban centres which contained large-scale industrial projects, like Jamshedpur, Durg, Bhilainagar, Rourkela, Bokaro Steel City, and Ranchi experienced rapid, unprecedented growth. Such ‘polarization’ led to the emergence of isolated urban-industrial islands which were surrounded by stagnating hinterlands. New planned industrial townships came up like Durgapur, DurgBhilainagar, Rourkela, Chittaranjan, etc., but they failed to generate any multiplier effect in the surrounding backward regions.15 This gave birth to an intra-regional dichotomy and dualism which further engraved the regional backwardness situation in the Resource Region. The rapid urbanization that was expected as a result of industrial growth remained concentrated in certain pockets only which became the core urban areas amidst surrounding back­ ward rural periphery. CHARACTERISTICS OF URBANIZATION IN


The process and pattern of urbanization in the developing countries deviates from the Western experiences. The coal towns of Pennsyl­ vania, West Virginia and Kentucky, iron mining-exporting town of Minnesota, iron industry in Middlesbrough (UK), and nine cities in the Ruhr and Saar regions (Germany) experienced rapid urbanization and urban development by the virtue of their situation, i.e. being located in proximity to the mineral resource regions.16 In the S.E. Resource Region of India, however, the impact of utili­ zation of indigenous mineral resources was quite in contrary to the developed countries and rather characteristically similar to the typi­ fied scenario in most resource regions of the developing countries. DEGREE OF URBANIZATION

The degree of urbanization is an indicator of the relative number of people residing in urban areas. It also reflects the level of develop­ ment of the given region as urbanization and economic develop­ ment are supposed to go hand in hand.17 There are a number of indices used to measure the degree of urbanization.

A Century of Urbanization in the Mineral Belt of India


LEVEL OF URBANIZATION The Level of Urbanization is the most commonly used index for measuring degree of urbanization. It gives the proportion of urban population to the total population expressed in terms of percent­ age. It is represented by: Levels of Urbanization (% Urban) = Urban Population × 100 Total Population

Levels of urbanization have been computed at the district level from 1901-2011 for the Mineral Belt. The computed figures indi­ cate that: ●

The degree of urbanization has been very low in the entire re­ gion as compared to the corresponding national average during the entire span of the study period. At the beginning of the period there were 6 districts with no urban population. By 1961 each and every district in the region was urbanized although at varying levels. During the pre-Independence era, the 2.00-4.99 per cent urban­ ization remained as the median and modal class with maximum number of districts lying in this category. By 1961 it shifted to 5.00-9.99 per cent urbanization and by 2001 it moved up fur­ ther to 10.00-19.99 per cent urbanization. This shows that there has been a very gradual increase in levels of urbanization for the region in general. Owing to such a gradual increase in the degree of urbanization in all the districts, the Census of India, 2011 reported only three districts which recorded higher degree of urbanization as compared to the national average of 31.2 per cent urbanization —Dhanbad (57.3 per cent), Singhbhum (36 per cent) and Sundergarh (35.3 per cent). The first to get a boost of urbanization was district Singhbhum, which recorded the highest level of urbanization in the region from 1921-51. This can be attributed to the establishment of the Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) at Jamshedpur. But Singhbhum was overtaken by district Dhanbad ever since 1961, mainly due to the spurt in coal mining activities in

Jharkhand Palamau Hazaribagh Ranchi Dhanbad Singhbhum Odisha Sambalpur Sundargarh Keonjhar Mayurbhanj Dhenkanal Phulbani Bolangir Kalahandi Koraput Chhattisgarh Bastar Durg Raipur Bilaspur Raigarh Surguja


1.7 2.9 3.4 0 1.7

1.9 0 0 0.8 2.1 0 2 1 0

0 3.9 3.9 2.7 2.4 0

1.6 0 0 0.9 2.2 0 2 0.9 0

2.1 2.7 3.3 3 2.8 0


1.5 3 3.2 0 1.1


0.8 5.4 4.4 3.4 2.6 0

2.5 0 0 0.8 2.2 0 1.6 1.1 1.2

2.7 3.5 3.9 2.6 8.2


2.3 5.7 4.7 3.3 3.3 0

2.7 0 0 0.7 2.2 0 2.3 1 1.1

2.9 3.3 4.1 3.1 10.3


2.1 6.5 6.2 4.1 4.1 4.1

3.3 0 1.7 0.8 2.9 1.3 3.4 1.4 1.8

2.5 3.4 4.6 9 15.9


2 5.3 7.7 3.9 6 2.6

4 2.8 1.6 0.9 3.3 1.2 4.4 1.4 4.3

3.8 6.9 6.7 10.9 19.5


2.3 12.5 11.4 8.3 5.8 4.2

7.6 17.9 4.3 2.4 4.6 1.2 4.6 2.8 5.1

4.7 8.4 9.5 25 21.5


3.7 16.1 12.4 10.8 5.9 6.7

12 23.3 7 2.8 4 3.1 6.9 4.9 8.2

4.7 12.9 13.7 43.5 26.2


6.1 24.4 25.4 13.8 8.4 8.7

15.5 30.6 11.3 5.7 7.8 5.3 9.1 6 11.3

5.6 14.7 20.9 50.6 32.1


7.1 27.9 19.7 17 9.5 12.1

17.2 33.4 12.5 6.2 9.9 5.9 9.6 6.5 11.2

5.4 16.9 22.3 51.3 33.3



8 28.8 24.2 23.1 10.1 12.2

18.4 34.4 13.6 7 11.4 6.1 10.3 7 11.5

5.4 20.3 24.4 47.1 35.5


13.5 28.8 29.7 24.6 13.7 14.8

22.2 35.3 14 7.7 13.1 7.9 10.9 7.1 12.2

8.7 19.1 26.5 57.3 36



0 1.3 1.6

0 1.3 1.6


5 3.5

4.8 3.4


0 1.2 1.4

6 4.1


0 1.5 1.7

6 4.1


0 2.3 2.9

7.1 5.6


0 8.4 5

7.2 6.7


0.9 7 5.7

7.3 6.8

7.5 8.3


1.2 11.8 7

Sources : Compiled from Censuses of India, 1901-2011 & Town Directory, Census of India, 2011.


West Bengal Bankura Purulia Madhya Pradesh Sidhi Shahdol Balaghat 23.3

2 17.8 8.7

7.6 9


6.5 21.1 9.5

8.3 9.4


14.3 23 12.9

7.4 10.1


13.9 21.8 14.4

8.3 12.7


Tanushree Kundu

Dhanbad and Jharia coalfields after the opening up of iron and steel industries in its surrounding areas of Burnpur, Hirapur, Kulti, Durgapur, etc. Dhanbad was the most urbanized district in the region in 2011. The urbanization scenario in the later decades reflects a distinct core-periphery pattern. Highest levels of urbanization being re­ corded in the Dhanbad-Singhbhum-Sundergarh-Ranchi core followed by Durg-Raipur-Bilaspur core. Both of these are mining-industrial regions where heavy industries have been located. Such cores are surrounded by peripheral districts like Palamau (8.7 per cent), Bankura (8.3 per cent), Kalahandi (7.1 per cent), Mayurbahnj (7.7 per cent) and Phulbani (7.9 per cent) which have been suffering from utter stagnation in case of urbanization. The steep gradient in the level of urbanization amongst adjacent districts has been most noticeable.


The Arriaga’s Index of Degree of Urbanization formulated by Arriaga (1970) is yet another measure which is a product of the urban proportion of the population and the average size of the urban centres in terms of population. Arriaga’s Degree of Urbanization is computed by obtaining the average of the size of cities where the population resides. The statistical concept of this index is the ex­ pected value of the size of the cities. The index18 is expressed as: Arriaga’s Index of Degree of Urbanization (U) = NCi ^2/P i = 1 where, Ci is the population of the city N is the total number of cities P is the total population of the region for which U is being calculated.

The degree of urbanization expressed in the form of mean city population size depicts the mean size of the urban centres. The computed figures illustrate that:

Level of Urbanization 1961 Level of Urbanization 2011

Figure 6.2: Level of urbanization in the study period (1901-2011)

Sources : Compiled from Censuses of India, 1901-2011 & Town Directory, Census of India, 2011.

Level of Urbanization 1901

144 ●

Tanushree Kundu

At the very start of the century in 1901, there were three districts which recorded the highest MC population of over 500 per­ sons: Bankura, Raipur and Ranchi in that order. Bankura and Raipur were the only two districts to cross the 1,000 mark dur­ ing the following decade of 1911. During the pre-Independence era, there was only one district, i.e. Singhbhum which recorded a mean city (MC) population size over 10,000 and that too only by 1941. The 1921 decade witnessed the phenomenal rise of district Singhbhum which rose from 134 persons as MC population in 1911 to a thumping 3,769 persons as the average city size in 1921. This can be accounted to the establishment of the Tata Iron and Steel factory at Jamshedpur in district Singhbhum. The successive decades scripted the unprecedented growth of district Singhbhum from 6,565 persons in 1931 to 16,983 per­ sons in 1941 as the mean city size, followed distantly by Bankura, Ranchi and Raipur which recorded just over 2,000 persons as the MC population. During the post-Independence era, while Singhbhum crossed the 30,000 mark quickly in 1951 itself, Ranchi and Raipur could only surpass the 5,000 mark. The stagnation of district Bankura is distinctly noticeable which took about four decades to cross the 5,000 mark. By 1961, all the districts recorded urban population. Apart from Singhbhum, Sundergarh and Raipur also emerged as the dis­ tricts with over 10,000 persons as MC population. District Sundergarh experienced phenomenal growth from 225 persons in 1951 to a whopping 11,711 persons as mean city size in 1961. This was mainly because of the establishment of the Raurkela Industrial Township in this district. Apart from Ranchi, Dhanbad and Durg also crossed the 5,000 mark by 1961. Durg rose from 870 to 6,648 persons as mean city size owing to the establish­ ment of the steel town of Bhilainagar. District Singhbhum recorded over 50,000 persons as the mean city size in 1971 and by 1981 Ranchi and Raipur too joined the 50,000 club closely followed by Sundergarh and Durg. By 2011, while all these five districts recorded over 50,000 as the

A Century of Urbanization in the Mineral Belt of India


MC population, districts Ranchi, Singhbhum and Raipur sur­ passed the 1 lakh MC population marks. Despite the early growth of Singhbhum district, Dhanbad witnessed enormous growth in the later decades and recorded the maximum 4,15,690 persons as the mean city size by 2011. The above analysis draws towards the following conclusions: ●

The constant increase in the MC population in the region has remained confined to only a few districts which had an initial comparative advantage of either an early start or the virtue of being mining-industrial districts. There are only select few districts which have been recording higher degree of urbanization almost throughout the study pe­ riod. While Singhbhum, Raipur and Ranchi enjoyed an earlystart advantage, Dhanbad, Sundergarh and Durg came up in the later decades owing either to the establishment of major industrial projects or enhanced mining activities. These districts form the distinct urban core. The rest of the region has remained peripheral and quite insig­ nificant in terms of its progress in mean city size. The low de­ gree of urbanization in this periphery during the initial phases was however followed by a constant but gradual increase. Rapid increase was noted only in the core region. Certain districts started off with high mean city size but later on faced a steep decline like in the case of Bankura. A majority of the districts (15 out of 25 districts) still have MC population of below 10,000 which indicates that urban develop­ ment has failed to trickle down in the rest of the region. The immense progress achieved by the core urban regions as early as during the colonial period and also later on in the postIndependence era had little effect on the rest of the region.

CONCENTRATION OF URBAN POPULATION The concentration of urban population gives the relative number of people who reside in centres designated as urban in a given sub­ region (districts in this case) as compared to the rest of the region.

Arriaga’s Degree of Urbanization (Mean City Size Population) 1961 Arriaga’s Degree of Urbanization (Mean City Size Population) 2011

Figure 6.3: Mean city size population in the study period (1901-2011)

Sources : Compiled from Censuses of India, 1901-2011 & Town Directory, Census of India, 2011.

Arriaga’s Degree of Urbanization (Mean City Size Population) 1901

A Century of Urbanization in the Mineral Belt of India


City Concentration Index based on the Arriaga’s mean city size has been considered as the measure for analysing the concentration of urban population. City Concentration Index The city concentration index or the index of concentration of urbanization is based on the Arriaga’s concept of the mean city population size.19 It can be obtained through the following method given by Arriaga: City Concentration Index (CC) =

Degree of urbanization (MC) Total population

The indexes which thus obtained were so small that they had to be indicated in units 10^3. The city concentration index shows that: ●

At the very beginning of the century in 1901, there were four districts which had relatively higher concentration of urbaniza­ tion of over 0.50 namely, Ranchi, Raipur, Purulia and Bankura. By 1921 Singhbhum attained a city concentration index of 4.13 followed by Bankura with 1.09. Those districts with above 0.50 concentrations were Dhanbad, Raipur, Ranchi, Durg and Purulia. Rest of the region remained below 0.50. During the following two decades of the pre-Independence period (1931 and 1941) the highest concentration value was retained by Singhbhum (5.88 in 1931 and 12.58 in 1941) followed by the three districts of Raipur, Dhanbad and Bankura which had concentration values of more than 1.50. In the post-Independence era, Sundergarh emerged all of a sud­ den (0.41 in 1951 to 15.44 in 1961) with huge concentration of urbanization. By 1981, Ranchi, Singhbhum, Sundergarh and Raipur recorded concentration index of over 25.00. While Ranchi and Sundergarh were successful in maintaining the ascending trend, Singhbhum and Raipur declined in the following de­ cades.

Concentration of Urbanization (City Concentration Index) 1961 Concentration of Urbanization (City Concentration Index) 2011

Figure 6.4: Concentration of urbanization over the study period (1901-2011)

Sources: Compiled from Censuses of India, 1901-2011 & Town Directory, Census of India, 2011.

Concentration of Urbanization (City Concentration Index) 1901

A Century of Urbanization in the Mineral Belt of India


The above analysis draws towards the following conclusions: ●

By 2011, the emergence of two distinct cores can be easily per­ ceived. The core with the highest concentration of urbanization is formed of Ranchi (35.87)—Singhbhum (26.42)—Sunder­ garh (35.07). The other core with high concentration is formed by Durg (18.33)—Raipur (22.13)—Bilaspur (10.39) and a distant district Sidhi (10.95). The rest of the 18 districts had concentration of urbanization lower than 10 out of which 17 districts had a concentration index even below 6.00 in 2011. This shows that initially the index of concentration was very low in all the districts, which although had been gradually in­ creasing in the region, but at an extremely slow pace. Urbaniza­ tion has been acutely concentrated in certain pockets, beyond which the region has been suffering from persistent stagnation and these peripheral districts lag almost by a century in case of urban development as compared to their core counterparts. There exists a very steep gradient among the adjacent districts as well. Those districts which had relatively higher concentration in earlier decades like Purulia and Bankura underwent utter stagnation in case of concentration of urbanization over the later years.

SPEED/TEMPO OF URBANIZATION The speed or tempo of urbanization is indicative of the change in the degree of urbanization over the given time period. This index reflects the annual rate of change in the urban population per 1,000 population in the district. The speed of urbanization20 has been calculated as follows: Speed of Urbanization =

% urban (t + 1) – % urban (t) × 100 N

Where, N = no. of years in between, t = Base year

The analysis on speed of urbanization in the mineral belt indi­ cates that: ●

The speed of urbanization has been gradually increasing in all the districts since the pre-Independence era, with certain de­

1.3 -1.8 2.0 0.0 5.9

3.0 0.0 0.0 -1.0 -0.5 0.0 0.6 1.1 0.0

-21.1 12.2 5.8 -2.7 -3.8 0.0

Odisha Sambalpur Sundargarh Keonjhar Mayurbhanj Dhenkanal Phulbani Bolangir Kalahandi Koraput

Chhattisgarh Bastar Durg Raipur Bilaspur Raigarh Surguja


Jharkhand Palamau Hazaribagh Ranchi Dhanbad Singhbhum


7.7 14.3 5.0 6.8 1.8 0.0

5.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.1 0.0 -4.8 0.5 12.0

10.0 5.9 5.1 26.4 64.3


15.7 3.7 2.8 -0.9 6.8 0.0

2.3 0.0 0.0 -1.2 -0.2 0.0 7.1 -0.6 -0.9

2.8 -1.1 2.4 5.0 20.8


-2.3 7.4 15.4 7.4 7.9 41.1

5.8 0.0 17.0 1.4 7.1 12.8 11.3 3.4 6.6

-4.5 0.7 4.7 58.9 56.0


-0.5 -11.8 14.7 -1.9 19.0 -15.2

6.7 27.8 -1.1 0.6 3.5 -0.7 10.3 0.1 25.4

12.7 34.5 21.3 18.3 36.6

2.6 72.1 37.2 44.7 -2.2 16.4

36.7 151.1 27.1 14.6 13.0 -0.2 2.1 14.6 8.3

9.7 15.2 27.5 141.6 19.9

1941-51 1951-61

14.3 36.4 10.4 24.9 1.9 24.9

43.7 53.6 27.5 4.3 -5.7 19.6 22.1 20.3 30.5

-4.7 44.8 42.0 184.9 47.5


23.3 82.4 130.1 30.2 24.5 19.8

34.7 73.4 42.9 29.4 38.1 21.2 22,7 11.6 31.3

9.5 18.6 72.5 71.1 58.2


10.7 35.7 -57.1 31.6 10.7 33.7

16.6 27.7 11.4 4.4 20.4 6.5 4.9 4.8 -1.1

-2.9 21.8 13.6 6.3 12.3

8.4 8.9 44.5 60.9 6.7 1.3

12.2 10.1 11.6 8.3 15.3 1.6 7.3 4.9 3.1

0.0 34.0 21.4 -41.8 21.8

55.6 0.0 55.3 15.3 36.0 26,5

38.5 8.9 4.1 6.5 17.5 18.1 6.0 1.5 6.9

33.6 -11.7 21.1 102.3 5.6

1981-91 1991-2001 2001-11


0.0 -0.3 0.0

Madhya Pradesh Sidhi Shahdol Balaghat

Source : Census of India, 2011.

2.5 0.8

West Bengal Bankura Purulia

0.0 -0.9 -1.3

9.5 6.7

0.0 2.6 2.8

0.8 -0.2 0.0 8.2 11.4

10.8 15.1 0.0 61.0 21.1

0.4 10.8 8.7 -14.2 7.8

1.7 0.9 3.4 48.7 12.1

1.3 14.6 7.8 59.8 17.4

1.6 7.4 44.8 33.0 8.1

6.6 4.4 77.9 19.0 34.5

-9.2 6.3 -3.8 -12.5 14.4

9.7 26.7

Speed of Urbanization 1951-61

Speed of Urbanization 2001-11

Figure 6.5: Speed of urbanization over the study period (1901-2011)

Sources: Compiled from Censuses of India, 1901-2011 & Town Directory, Census of India, 2011.

Speed of Urbanization 1901-11

A Century of Urbanization in the Mineral Belt of India


cades (1911-21 and 1931-41) seeing sudden spurt in almost all the districts. Districts with negative speed of urbanization were numerically higher during the pre-Independence period, which declined considerably in the later decades. The ratio between the dis­ tricts having positive speed to those having 0 or negative speed has also declined. Immediately after Independence, between 1951 and 1961, tremendous speed in urbanization was noted especially in Dhanbad, Sundergarh and Durg due to the mining-industrial activities taken up by the Government of India in the plan years. During 1971-81 yet another spurt in speed of urbanization was witnessed in Dhanbad, Sundergarh, Singhbhum, Ranchi, Durg, Raipur and Shahdol. The tempo however slowed down in the successive decades. By 2011, district Dhanbad witnessed tremendous speed in urban­ ization with Bastar and Raipur emerging as distant seconds; while, Sundergarh, Singhbhum and Durg underwent a downward trend, possibly due to reaching a near saturation in levels of urbaniza­ tion. A striking point to be noted here is regarding the backward districts like Kalahandi, Bastar, Phulbani, Koraput and Dhen­ kanal, which recorded a very slow pace of urbanization in the beginning of the century, picked up a little immediately after Independence, possibly due to the emphasis on backward area development in the five year plans, but later on again slowed down. Districts like Koraput and Keonjhar witnessed tremen­ dous speed in urbanization during 1961-81—almost around 30 per cent but declined sharply in the following decades. These are the areas of perennial backwardness and utter stagnation in case of urbanization.

URBAN GROWTH The most significant characteristic of the nature of urban develop­ ment in case of the Third World countries is urban growth. It has been widely discussed that instead of urbanization, i.e. increase in

37.3 0.0 0.0 6.3 1.0 0.0 43.7 35.1 0.0

-100.1 8.5 8.1

Odisha Sambalpur Sundargarh Keonjhar Mayurbhanj Dhenkanal Phulbani Bolangir Kalahandi Koraput

Chhattisgarh Bastar Durg Raipur

0.0 30.8 19.8

35.3 0.0 0.0 3.7 -8.4 0.0 -11.7 7.2 0.0

240.2 17.7 15.4

21.1 0.0 0.0 0.1 22.5 0.0 62.3 12.5 8.9

23.6 15.1 24.6 36.6 53.6

20.4 3.0 24.4 0.0 69.7

Jharkhand Palamau Hazaribagh Ranchi Dhanbad Singhbhum

70.9 19.7 10.9 0.0 407.3

1901-11 1911-21 1921-31


6.8 28.2 32.0

36.7 0.0 0.0 33.7 54.2 0.0 62.0 51.4 89.3

-5.7 17.8 19.1 221.8 87.0


13.6 30.4 33.6

30.0 0.0 3.8 12.0 26.8 -4.2 37.3 8.7 174.4

63.4 122.3 62.5 51.0 35.0

43.7 200.5 81.2

122.6 783.5 242.1 206.3 71.5 10.7 22.0 142.0 40.8

51.8 51.1 61.9 264.8 52.5

1941-51 1951-61

110.5 68.6 42.5

92.2 76.6 110.7 40.6 10.0 221.4 74.5 97.9 117.3

25.6 93.2 76.3 120.1 45.2


97.2 87.7 62.8

59.4 70.8 87.6 126.6 138.8 93.0 53.7 42.4 68.0

53.2 48.9 80.0 67.8 43.4


44.9 43.8 45.8

30.9 28.3 32.1 28.4 52.2 35.4 23.3 29.0 20.2

21.3 48.1 26.8 28.0 23.4

31.8 25.8 43.7

21.8 19.8 27.7 33.9 33.5 21.5 18.4 25.3 20.8

27.9 50.6 34.7 13.0 27.4

96.0 21.9 58.1

22.4 17.3 18.8 23.9 28.9 49.2 27.2 19.8 25.1

107.2 17.2 33.7 38.0 21.4

1981-91 1991-01 2001-11


7.4 16.5

0.0 11.7 18.9

West Bengal Bankura Purulia

Madhya Pradesh Sidhi Shahdol Balaghat

0.0 -13.3 -1.4

6.4 12.1

34.4 12.2 0.0

0.0 46.3 31.6

10.4 16.4

10.5 50.6 0.0

0.0 78.6 88.3

36.8 53.0

35.3 41.3 0.0

0.0 301.3 90.0

2.9 28.1

3.3 71.4 -26.0

0.0 5.9 34.7

29.1 17.9

159.8 9.1 105.9

86.5 110.9 46.7

24.2 43.1

56.8 26.8 103.3

Sources: Compiled from Censuses of India, 1901-2011 & Town Directory, Census of India, 2011.

3.0 11.9 0.0

Bilaspur Raigarh Surguja

109.9 96.7 46.9

19.4 26.0

54.8 59.5 59.4

352.1 53.7 30.0

28.3 25.9

57.7 34.6 76.9

193.8 30.7 49.5

1.2 21.6

54.9 24.9 24.2

22.6 11.2 26.2

27.4 46.2

35.3 58.3 43.7


Tanushree Kundu

percentage of urban population what has been occurring in the Third World countries is urban growth, i.e. absolute increase in total urban population. In order to take note of the urban growth, the decadal growth of urban population and force of urbanization, i.e. urban-rural growth difference have been taken into account. Decadal Growth Rate of urban Population The decadal growth of urban population gives the absolute in­ crease in urban population for any district over a span of ten years. It is computed by the following method: Decadal Growth Rate of Urban population =

(Ut +1)–Ut 100 Ut

Where, Ut = Urban population of a district at t point of time Ut + 1 = Urban population of the district at t + 1 point of time t = base year

The analysis on urban growth in the mineral belt indicates that: ●

The urban growth has remained quite low in most of the dis­ tricts prior to independence, with a few exceptions, but the spurt in urban growth is most marked in the post-Independence period, when the rate of growth of urban population multiplied tremendously. This was basically as a result of a huge number of new towns entering the urban arena. Negative urban growth rate was a frequent phenomenon in the pre-Independence era resulting mainly due to frequent declassi­ fication and decline of towns. This became passé after Indepen­ dence. However, declassifications still occurred in the immediate years after Independence, but it was balanced by the extremely high positive urban growth resulting from the addition of a large number of new towns. The level of urbanization in the entire region has been quite low with most of the districts recording a level much lower than 20 per cent and almost half of them having levels of urbaniza­ tion even below 10 per cent as per 2001 and 2011 figures. While the urban growth was above 20 per cent in most of the

A Century of Urbanization in the Mineral Belt of India


districts of the region in 2001 and 2011, only Dhanbad can be said to be urbanizing in the true sense with the highest level of urbanization (47 per cent in 2001) and lowest urban growth (13 per cent in 2001) but in 2011 it too recorded a high urban growth (38 per cent). Sundergarh is again a similar case where high level of urbaniza­ tion (35.3 per cent in 2011) has been accompanied by low urban growth (17.3 per cent in 2011). Otherwise the rest of the re­ gion has been experiencing high urban growth with high or low level of urbanization.

Force of Urbanization (Urban-Rural Growth Difference) ●

The Force of Urbanization takes into account the annual percetage growth rate of the urban population in relation to its correspond­ ing annual growth of rural population. This is comparatively better than the earlier one as it takes into account the rural counterpart as well and its corresponding growth.

Force of Urbanization (Uf ) = gu – gr where gu = annual percentage growth rate of urban population gr = annual percentage growth rate of rural population ●

In the earlier decades the force of urbanization was almost ab­ sent. And negative force of urbanization was not infrequent, which indicates that the rural growth was higher compared to the urban growth in those areas. The negative force however declined considerably in the later decades, and a tremendous spurt in force of urbanization was noted immediately after the Independence. The maximum force of urbanization can be noted in the period 1951-61 in the districts of Dhanbad, Sundergarh, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Durg and Bilaspur. The force of urbanization slowed down in the subsequent de­ cades. All the above districts with high force of urbanization immediately after Independence, recorded the least force of urban­ ization by 2001-11.

Growth of Urban Population 1951-1961

Growth of Urban Population 2001-2011

Figure 6.6: Growth of urban population (1901-2011)

Sources : Compiled from Censuses of India, 1901-2011 & Town Directory, Census of India, 2011.

Growth of Urban Population 1901-1911

Force of Urbanization Urban-Rural Growth Difference 1951-1961

Force of Urbanization Urban-Rural Growth Difference 2001-2011

Figure 6.7: Force of urbanization (1901-2011)

Sources : Compiled from Censuses of India, 1901-2011 & Town Directory, Census of India, 2011.

Force of Urbanization Urban-Rural Growth Difference 1901-1911


Tanushree Kundu

ORIGIN OF TOWNS An increase in the level of urbanization in the region was brought about either by the emergence of a number of towns during the period under study or by the increase in the population of the towns which already existed. At this point it becomes necessary to find out what were the factors which brought about the emer­ gence of towns in the region during this period. There were about 21 towns during 1872 which rose to about 91 during the 1941 Census and to a thumping figure of 412 towns during the 2001 Census in the mineral belt. The following exercise on origin of towns gives the total figure as 416 towns which means 4 towns have completely decayed and did not rise thereafter during the entire study period. There has been a phenomenal increase in the number of towns in the post-independence era, i.e. from 91 towns at the beginning to 412 towns till the recent census. The investigation into the origin of towns by their factors re­ flects the following characteristics: ●

A huge majority of the towns emerging in the pre-Indepen­ dence period were early administrative towns followed by trade centres and mining towns. The noticeable absence of mining towns until 1941 was a clear indication of the little importance that was attached to the de­ velopment of mines (except for export). The towns which did emerge had a small population. A marked shift in the factors for origin of towns can be noted here in the post-Independence period. New factors emerged like towns originating as a result of development projects like multi­ purpose projects, river dams, thermal and hydroelectric plants, etc. In the post-Independence period most of the new towns devel­ oped were administrative towns. They were either district head­ quarters, divisional or sub-divisional headquarters. The forma­ tion of new states and subsequent breaking up of the districts resulted in the emergence of many administrative towns, most of which even lacked in basic infrastructure like transportation linkages.

– – – – – –

– – – – – –




– 3 3

21 – –


Before 1872 1872 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941


Administration Early British


– 1 – 3 – 1

– 1 1




– 5 1 5 2 3

– 8 1




– 1 1 – 1 1

– 2 1




– 2 – 2 – 10

– 1 –




– – – 3 3 3

– – 1




7 9 2 13 6 18

21 15 7


Based on: The structure and methodology in the above table has been adopted from: Shubhra Dwivedy (1979): ‘Some Aspects of the Development and Utilization of Resources in a Colonial Setting: A Case Study of Mineral Belt of Bihar, Bengal, Central Province and Orissa (1857-1947)’, unpublished dissertation, Centre for Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Sources : Compiled from various volumes of the Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1908; L.S.S. O’Malley, Bengal District Gazetteers, 1907; M.G. Hallett, Bihar and Orissa Gazetteers, 1917; W.W. Hunter, Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1885 and 1887; Orissa District Gazetteers, 1973; Charles Grant,The Gazetteer of the Central Provinces of India, 1870; H. Coupland, District Gazetteer of Manbhum, 1911; Thornton Edward, A Gazetteer of the Territories under the Government of the Viceroy of India, 1886; and Town Directory, Census of India, 2001.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Year of Origin


162 ●

Tanushree Kundu

Unlike the pre-Independence era, this period was marked by the emergence of a substantial number of industrial towns. The opening up of many steel plants in this region in the Second Five Year Plan led to the growth of industrial towns like Bokaro Steel City, Rourkela and Bhilai which were typical industrial towns. While railway towns and market and trading towns became a thing of the past with a few exceptions like Gomoh and Chas being developed as major centres of trade market and by the virtue of being railway junctions, a trend was set in by the multi­ purpose projects and thermal plants. Maithon, Panchet, Chir­ kunda being developed under the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), Hirakud under the influence of Hirakud Dam, and Chandrapura being developed as a thermal power station. A substantial number of mining towns like Birmitrapur and Dalli Rajhara also came in with the development of industries. It can be noted here that while the administrative towns, which were themselves not substantially developed, could not bring about any development impetus in their surrounding region, the industrial towns and towns developed due to power projects contributed to the urbanization and urban development of their respective districts. Dhanbad district recorded the highest urbanization at the end of the decade, largely due to already developed centres like Dhanbad coupled with newly emerged power-project towns like Chandapura, Maithon and Panchet. Hazaribagh district, which remained quite backward for decades together found a new impetus in 1971 after the emergence of Bokaro Steel City as a major industrial town. In the same way the level of urbanization almost doubled in Durg district after the coming up of the Bhilai Steel Plant in Bhilainagar in 1961. The most striking feature about this region is that although these towns functioned as growth centres bringing about urban­ ization and urban development, it was mainly restricted to its immediate surroundings or in other words development could hardly spread. Their effect or development impetus was highly



– 1 –

11 18 9


7 1 2



1 8 15




– 4 4

1 12 4




5 7 8

2 9 8




19 27 21

3 13 13




4 1 2

8 4 4



– 3 11

– 2 –



4 4 14

2 – 3



3 8 13

– – 3


Power Communi- Satellite/ Other Projects cation Residential


46 73 82

– 49 52


Sources : Compiled from various volumes of Orissa District Gazetters, 1966, 1968, 1980, 1986; Gazetteer of India, Orissa State, 1991; Madhya Pradesh District Gazetteers, 1978; West Bengal District Gazetteers, 1968; Bihar District Gazetteers, 1957 and various other District Gazetteers (1951 to 1991), District Census Handbooks (1951 to 1991) of Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal States and Town Directory, Census of India 2001.

1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001

Year of Origin



Tanushree Kundu

localized, which goes a long way in proving why despite such rich mineral resources and huge industrial and development plants, the development of the overall region could not take place. CONCLUSION

The urbanization level has been persistently low and shows very little improvement marred further by high urban growth. The post-independence period witnessed an enormous growth of urban population. This follows the McGee’s idea of Third World urban­ ization, where urban growth is prominent but urbanization is neg­ ligible. The study of urbanization in this region reflected the emer­ gence of a distinct core-periphery pattern. The core was characterized by unprecedented speed of urbanization during the immediate post-Independence decades till 1981 and attained the highest levels of urbanization with huge concentration of urbanization and con­ stant increase in mean city sizes. Effective core formation took place around mining-industrial areas where heavy industries were located. Two core areas can be delineated here: Dhanbad-Singhbhum­ Sundergarh-Ranchi and Durg-Raipur-Bilaspur. These are the pockets where urbanization and entire urban development has remained concentrated. The rest of the region has persistently acted as the peripheral region to these two cores, which can be easily distinguished due to the steep gradient in the degree of urbanization even amongst adjacent districts. This peripheral region is characterized by low degrees of urbanization coupled with low speed and force of urban­ ization, lesser concentration of urbanization and mean city sizes of even below 10,000 persons. It has remained quite insignificant in terms of progress in mean city size. The periphery has been suffer­ ing from persistent stagnation and these districts lag almost by a century in case of urban development as compared to their core counterparts. The periphery consists of backward districts like Palamau, Kalahandi, Bastar, Phulbani, Koraput, Keonjhar, Dhen­ kanal and so on.

A Century of Urbanization in the Mineral Belt of India


These backward districts were able to accelerate their speed of urbanization a little immediately after Independence, possibly due to the emphasis on backward area development in the five year plans, but later slowed down again. Districts like Koraput and Keonjhar witnessed tremendous speed in urbanization during 1961­ 81 but declined sharply in the following decades. This indicates that the immense progress achieved by the core urban regions as early as during the colonial period and also later on in the post-Independence era had little effect on its peripheral areas and urban development has failed to trickle down to the rest of the region. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The idea and inspiration for this paper is entirely due to the inge­ nious vision of my MPhil Supervisor, Prof. Atiya Habeeb Kidwai (CSRD, JNU) and the untiring groundwork of her doctoral scholar Dr. Shubhra Dwivedy in her unpublished MPhil Dissertation (1979). My endeavour has been only to carry forward her base work of the colonial phase to the contemporary situation and make a pre- and post-Independence comparison of the urbanization sce­ nario in this region.

NOTES 1. Rajni Kothari (1988), Rethinking Development: In Search of a Humane Perspective, New Delhi: Ajanta Publications. 2. D.R. Gadgil (1971), The Industrial Evolution of India in Recent Times: 1860­ 1939, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, p. 155. 3. K. Davis and Golden Hertz (1954), ‘Urbanization and the Development of Pre-Industrial Areas’, Economic Development and Cultural Change, vol. 3, p. 16. 4. T.G. McGee (1971), The Urbanization Process in the Third World: Explorations in Search of a Theory, London: Bell & Sons, p. 25. 5. N.V. Sovani (1960), Urbanization and Urban India, New York: Asia Publishing House, p. 9.


Tanushree Kundu

6. Moonis Raza and A. Kundu (1982), Indian Economy: The Regional Dimension, New Delhi: CSRD, JNU. 7. A. Kundu and R.K. Sharma (1983), ‘Industrialization, Urbanization and Economic Development’, Urban India, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 52-3. 8. South East Resource Regional Plan, vol. I, Town and Country Planning Organization, Government of India, 1973. 9. S.K. Munshi (1975), Calcutta Metropolitan Explosion: Its Nature and Roots, New Delhi: People’s Publishing House. 10. R.P. Dutt (1970), India Today, Kolkata: Manisha Granthalaya, p. 129. 11. Abanti Kundu (1983), ‘Urbanization in India: A Contrast with Western Experience’, Social Scientist, vol. 11, no. 4, p. 40. 12. T.G. McGee (1967), The Southeast Asian City, London: G. Bell and Sons. 13. Kundu (1983), op. cit., p. 41. . 14. Ibid. 15. Ibid., pp. 43-6. 16. Shubhra Dwivedy (1979), ‘Some Aspects of the Development and Utilization of Resources in a Colonial Setting: A Case Study of Mineral Belt of Bihar, Bengal, Central Province and Orissa (1857-1947)’, unpublished dissertation, Centre for Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. 17. J.L. Brian Berry (1962), ‘Some Relations of Urbanization and Basic Patterns of Economic Development’, in Forrest R. Pitts (eds.), Urban Systems and Economic Development, Eugene: The School of Business Administration, University of Oregon, p. 15. 18. The methodology has been based on S. Goldstein and D.F. Sly (eds.) (1975), The Measurement of Urbanization and Projection, Ordina Editions, p. 71 and has been adopted from Shubhra Dwivedy (1979), op. cit., p. 213. 19. The methodology has been based on S. Goldstein and D.F. Sly (eds.) (1975), op. cit., p. 71 and has been adopted from Shubhra Dwivedy (1979), op. cit., p. 217. 20. The methodology is based on Goldstein and Sly, (1975), op. cit., p. 39 and has been adopted from Shubhra Dwivedy (1979), op. cit., p. 224.


Process and Pattern of Urbanization

in Jharkhand


Urbanization has been one of the most striking phenomena in the history of human progress. The spread of capitalism and techno­ logical advances had made the urban centre a hub of economic growth, innovation and employment generation. All these factors had resulted in millions of people migrating from the countryside to the city in the hope of a better life. People are forced to migrate to the cities due to lack of employment opportunities, health and other services in the rural areas of developing countries. Most of the Indian cities are also recording a very high increase in popula­ tion, which is resulting in serious shortfall in housing, public utili­ ties and urban services such as water supply, sanitation, drainage, sewage, lighting, transport, education and welfare facilities. These problems affect the quality of urban life adversely. In physical terms, urban centres are the habitat of a large population with economic strength, lifestyle, livelihood, organization, land use and institu­ tion (Singh et al., 1982). METHODOLOGY

The paper traces the evolution of urban centres in Jharkhand, trends and patterns of urbanization by state and districts. The distribu­ tion of urban centres as well as growth of population has been examined. While attempting to measure the different dimensions


Sarvottam Kumar

of urbanization in Jharkhand, certain statistical methods such as degree of urbanization, tempo of urbanization, primacy index, rank size rule, location quotient and nearest neighbour analysis have been used. EVOLUTION AND GROWTH OF


A study of evolution and growth of urban centres in Jharkhand possibly raises several issues on urbanization and urban develop­ ment of the region. The progress in urbanization is necessary to understand the nature and magnitude of the urban forces and pro­ cesses operating in the region and also to discern the pattern of urban growth itself. The history of urbanization in Jharkhand dates back to the seventeenth century. At that time several local chiefs ruled over the region and the centres of their residences grew pro­ gressively into cultural landscapes that were distinct from the dis­ persed rural settlements of the Chotanagpur Plateau. Even earlier, Chotanagpur Plateau was a virtual ‘no man’s land’ mainly due to the rugged topography and dense forests and hence was known as ‘Jharkhand’. It is stated that during the reign of Ashoka, the re­ gion was known as ‘Atavi’ or ‘forest state’. During the Mughal period the region was known as the ‘Kokrah’ (Bhatt, 2002). During the British invasions there were small princely states such as those of Ramgarh, Kharagdiha and Kendy. Roads and railways were con­ structed for the exploitation of minerals and forest products in the region by the British and this brought further development and some new settlements emerged in the region. The new adminis­ trative centres of the region also resulted in urban development. In the seventeenth century, Palamu was the capital of the ‘Chero’ chief. Another town that existed before the British period was Palkot, the capital of ‘Jharkhand Khas’. In 1772 Ichak turned into a town which supported a population of about 5,000 people. Apart from these sporadic developments, urban growth in Chotanagpur roughly coincidences with the rise of British rule in India. By 1854, several places were selected as administrative headquarters and they gradu­ ally flourished into towns. During the early British period, certain

Process and Pattern of Urbanization in Jharkhand


factors of secondary importance also encouraged urbanization. The British also stimulated the growth of pre-existing administrative centres. The urban centres that evolved during this period can be classified as regimental centres, Christian missionary centres and tea plantation centres. Ranchi and Hazaribagh were developed as centres of Christianity. Prior to 1901, nine towns already existed in Jharkhand and among them two were in Hazaribagh and two in Ranchi district. Lohardaga and Ranchi had the largest population at that time. Manbhum, Purulia, Raghunathpur, Daltonganj, Garhwa, Chaibasa and Jhalda were the other towns in 1911. Two new towns were included in 1921 and they were Dhanbad and Chakradharpur. Jugsalai was recognized as a town in 1931. It evolved as an urban sprawl of Jamshedpur, which was established in 1907. The decade of 1931-41 was significant as eight new towns came up. Several new mining towns also emerged during this period. They were Jharia, Bermo, Kargali, Bokaro, Musabani, Noamundi and Manoharpur. Most of the new towns were located in Dhanbad, Hazaribagh and Paschimi Singhbhum districts.

Figure 7.1: Trends of urban growth in India (1951-2011)


Sarvottam Kumar

During this period Jamshedpur became the first Class-I town in Jharkhand (Sinha, 1976). The state of Jharkhand ranks 15th in terms of the total area of the country. It comprised 2.72 per cent of the total population of India in 2011 and ranked 13th in terms of total population of the country. The total population of the state increased from 8.93 million to 32.97 million during 1951-2011—an increase of al­ most four times in 60 years. If we compare the population growth of Jharkhand with that of India, it can be observed that except the 1951-61 and 1971-81 decades the total population growth of Jharkhand had been higher than that of India. However, there are considerable differences between the urban population growths of Jharkhand and that of India. If we analyse the growth of urban population during various decades we find that contrary to the general population growth rate, urban population growth rate has been very high in Jharkhand. It was 76.80 per cent during 1951­ 61; however, during the same period population growth rate was only 25.84 per cent. But after that there was a regular decline in urban population growth rate in Jharkhand and even during 1981­ 1991, 1991-2001 and 2001-11, the growth rate was only 30.73, 33.32 and 32.45 per cent respectively. So one can assume that in the last three decades the process of urbanization in Jharkhand has slowed down. The reasons for a high urban growth rate in the 1950s and 1960s may be the post-Independence stress placed on developing the key and basic industries in the Chotanagpur mineral belt. DISTRICT-LEVEL URBAN POPULATION GROWTH

Urban population growth in the various districts of Jharkhand ex­ hibit unequal concentration of population. Those regions which are geographically favourable and industrially and commercially developed have been attracting migrants from the countryside in search of employment, which further accelerated the process of urbanization. A perusal of the figures given in Table 7.1 shows that during 1951-61, Dhanbad recorded exceptionally high urban growth, i.e. 264.78 per cent. The other district which had higher

Process and Pattern of Urbanization in Jharkhand



1951-61 1961-71

Godda 21.34 Sahibganj 36.58 Dumka 75.9 Deoghar 28.06 Dhanbad 264.78 Giridih 61.15 Hazaribagh 40.97 Palamu 51.76 Lohardaga 25.08 Gumla 25.76 Ranchi 46.97 Purbi Singhbhum 53.77 Paschimi Singhbhum 76.97 Jharkhand 76.8 India


1971-81 1981-91 1991-2001 2001-11

29.1 30.29 31.85 24.57 120.07 60.19 29.98 25.62 29.02 41.05 84.39 49.23 20.48 61.15

44.27 27.65 69.24 31.08 67.56 44.89 51.41 53.19 36.76 34.89 86 55.29 35.92 58.25

68.18 13.97 33.11 40.31 30 39.77 54.54 13.68 36.05 27.46 29.19 25.48 18.18 30.73

56.6 41.62 24.62 27.72 27.07 52.84 28.25 36.23 45.58 43.81 31.14 16.46 71.1 32.32

73.98 69.2 45.31 61.54 23.49 70.49 36.63 76.45 134.97 47.67 33.32 17.01 35.89 32.45






Source: Census of India, General Population Table & Provisional Population Table, 2011.

growth than the state average (76.78 per cent), was Paschimi Singh­ bhum (76.97 per cent). Dhanbad had registered rapid growth due to increase in the size of population by 190 per cent as well as due to the appearance of six new towns in the district. Low urban growth in Jharkhand was recorded in Lohardaga (25.08 per cent), Deoghar (28.06 per cent) and Sahibganj (36.58 per cent). The decadal growth during 1961-71 (61.15 per cent) also reveals high urban growth in Jharkhand. But it also shows a decline in urban growth rate in Jharkhand from the previous decade. This decelera­ tion during 1961-71 was witnessed in most districts of Jharkhand except Ranchi and Dhanbad. Ranchi recorded 84.39 per cent growth and Dhanbad once again registered the highest urban growth of 120.07 per cent. The table also reveals that there was a further decline in urban growth rate, i.e. 58.95 per cent in the 1970s. During the decade of 1971-81, most of the districts showed mod­ erate urban growth. In the previous decade only two or three districts had unprecedented growth rate which raised the state’s average urban growth. During this decade Ranchi had the highest


Sarvottam Kumar

urban growth rate at 86 per cent. Other districts which had higher growth rates than the state average were Dumka (69.24 per cent) and Dhanbad (67.36 per cent). The urban growth of Dhanbad was mainly due to the establishment of three industrial and min­ ing centres and the existing population of Dhanbad city had also increased by 39.2 per cent. In Ranchi district no new towns were included in 1981 but the population of Ranchi and Patratu town increased by 60 per cent. So the overall urban population increased considerably. During 1971-81, least urban growth was recorded in Sahibganj (27.65 per cent), which was slightly less than half of the state’s average growth. Deoghar, Gumla, Paschimi Singhbhum and Lohardaga also had lower growth rates of 31.00, 34.59, 35.92 and 30.76 per cent respectively. A phenomenal decrease in urban population growth rate of Jharkhand was recorded during 1981-91 as it was only 30.73 per cent. At the district level there was once again a variation in the urban growth rate. The districts which had higher growth during 1971-81 recorded lower urban population growth; for example, during 1971-81 Ranchi district had achieved only 29.19 per cent growth, as compared to 86 per cent during the previous decade. Dhanbad district had also recorded only 20.08 per cent increase during 1981-91 as compared to 67.56 per cent the 1970s. During this period, the highest growth rate was recorded in Godda district. Interestingly the district has only one town, i.e. Godda itself. Another district which had higher growth rate was Hazaribagh (54.5 per cent), which gained nine new towns in 1991. Palamu (36.05 per cent), Deoghar (40.31 per cent), Giridih (29.77 per cent) were the other districts which had higher growth rate than the overall state average. Urban growth rate had slightly increased during the 1991-2001 decade but it was only 32.32 per cent in Jharkhand. Again lower growth was discernible in most of the highly urbanized and industrialized districts. For example, the dis­ tricts of Purbi Singhbhum (16.46 per cent), Dhanbad (27.07 per cent) and Hazaribagh (28.25 per cent) had lower urban growth in 2001. On the other hand, urban growth was higher in the least urbanized districts like Godda (54.68 per cent), Lohardaga (45.58 per cent), Palamu (36.23 per cent) and Paschimi Singbhum (71.10 per

Process and Pattern of Urbanization in Jharkhand


cent). It seems that the towns which were highly urbanized got saturated in the absence of further growth of industries, commerce and other economic activities and they attracted fewer migrants. The rapid expansion of transportation facilities has also made it more convenient for people to move towards other parts of the state and country. Even in 2001, the low urban growth rate was found in high urbanized and industrialized districts of Jharkhand. The highest growth rate was observed in the districts of Santhal Pargana. Again, the districts of north-west region had high growth rate of urbanization. Moreover, the overall urban growth rate has slightly increased to 32.45 per cent during the last decade of 2001-11. So it can said that the urban population of Jharkhand increased rapidly during 1951-71 and to some extent between 1971 and 1981 due to the establishment and growth of several industrial complexes in Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Dhanbad, Bokaro, Sindri, Gomia, Patratu and others. But in the late 1980s and particularly in the 1990 there had been no further investments in industrial development. In the absence of additional industrial employment generation, opportunity of rural to urban migration considerably slowed down and this has affected urban growth in recent years. SPATIAL PATTERN OF URBANIZATION

The district-level analysis shows very high variation in the level of urbanization in Jharkhand. Some districts had higher level of urbanization since 1951. The concentration of population in cities and towns depends upon several factors. For instance, the ecology, initial population size, economic structure, functional characteristics and relationships with the hinterland, are the major factors that affect the growth of population in urban centres. Industrialization, mechanization, employment opportunities, accessibility created by new methods of transport and development in trade and com­ merce are other factors that cause an overall urban growth of a region. A city can be taken as an indicator of economic develop­ ment and social change. So the spatial pattern of the urbanization reflects the level of regional development across geographical space.











Godda Sahibganj Dumka Deoghar Dhanbad Giridih Hazaribagh Palamu Lohardaga Gumla Ranchi Purbi Singhbhum Paschimi Singhbhum Jharkhand

1.12 6.16 2.12 10.09 16.11 9.36 5.46 4.37 4.37 1.37 9.89 37.10 7.84 8.14

1.51 6.56 3.30 11.32 27.27 12.34 6.08 5.50 5.50 2.04 12.57 40.15 8.57 11.52

1.62 7.15 3.73 11.64 43.51 13.45 12.46 4.69 8.47 3.19 21.03 43.03 10.29 15.78

1.97 7.70 5.67 12.58 50.8 14.20 15.11 5.64 10.15 3.96 31.62 53.97 11.69 20.28

2.75 7.30 6.12 13.63 51.30 15.45 18.06 5.01 11.00 4.45 33.78 52.92 11.45 21.35

3.53 8.23 6.52 13.76 53.75 14.90 18.44 5.35 12.68 5.48 35.09 54.97 16.86 22.25

4.91 11.07 7.87 17.31 53.59 18.50 20.31 9.06 9.14 6.70 37.84 55.55 18.58 24.05









Source: Census of India, General Population Table & Provisional Population Table, 2011.

In order to bring out the distributional pattern of urbanization, Jharkhand can be broadly divided into five sub-regions on the basis of their level of urbanization. VERY HIGH CONCENTRATION (ABOVE 35 PER CENT) Dhanbad and Purbi Singhbhum have had higher concentration of urban population and level of urbanization since 1971. Ranchi district also achieved this level of urbanization in 2001. According to the 1971 Census this region had 14 of 61 towns in Jharkhand, where about half of the urban population (49.77 per cent) of Jharkhand resided. This area in particular coincides with several coal-mining centres of the Damodar basin and the industrial esta­ blishments of East Subarnarekha basin. According to Pandeya (1971), ‘there is a city/town for every 26 square miles in the Damo­ dar Basin, and almost all towns of this sub-region are related to mining and coal-based industries’, like Chaitudih, Malkera, Chandil, Bhojdih and Nirsa. Bokaro steel plant is also located in the region.

Process and Pattern of Urbanization in Jharkhand


Sindri is another important industrial centre here. The Damodar Valley Project has also led to the establishment of towns like Maithon, Panchet and others. Moreover, two Class-I cities are located here— Dhanbad, which became a million-plus city in 2001, and Bokaro Steel City. East Singhbhum had also experienced higher level of urbanization and Jamshedpur is the biggest and most representa­ tive city of the district. TISCO was established at Jamshedpur in 1907, which further stimulated other ancillary industries to grow like TELCO, tin plate industries and several subsidiary industries in Jugsalai and in other adjacent areas. Musabani (copper mining) and Ghatsila (copper mining) have also developed as important towns in Purbi Singhbhum. In 1991 and 2001, Ranchi became a part of this sub-region of high urban concentration, having seven towns. Out of these towns, Ranchi is a Class-I city since 1961, which is situated in the central part of state and is well connected by roads and railways with other parts of Jharkhand as well as India. This has resulted in the development of Ranchi as an ad­ ministrative and industrial centre. As of today, it is one of the most important business centre of eastern India. Lac Research Institute is located here. A commercial centre has developed along the Ranchi-Khunti Highway. The town of Muri has been developed as a railway junction and is also renowned for its aluminium plant. In 2001, Ranchi district had seven towns and was home to about 17 per cent of urban population of state. All these three districts namely, Purbi Singhbhum, Dhanbad and Ranchi had one metro­ politan city individually in 2011. HIGH CONCENTRATION (25-35 PER CENT) Ranchi was located in the sub-region of high urban concentration in 1981. The district is endowed with many industrial and min­ ing centres. For example, Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC) and Lac Research Institute have been established within Ranchi city. The other industries of the district are wire-rope and insula­ tor factory at Tatisilway, ball-bearing factory at Ratu, and so on. All these industries have led to Ranchi becoming an important urban centre of the region. Apart from Ranchi city, Khelari town


Sarvottam Kumar

is important for its cement industry, Itaki for horticulture, Khunti for commercial enterprises and Muri for an aluminium smelting plant. However, Ranchi moved up to very high concentration zone in 2001 though no district was found in this category in 2011. MEDIUM CONCENTRATION (15-25 PER


Medium urban concentration was found in Hazaribagh, Paschimi Singhbhum, Deoghar and Giridih districts in 2011. Most of the urban centres of these districts are based on mining activities and they have smaller population and are smaller in area. The urban centres of these districts spread over the entire sub-region. Mica production centres are found in Hazaribagh, Kodarma and Jhumri­ tilaiya. Ramgarh and Hazaribagh are important coal washery centres. Giridih is important for coal and mica trade and Chandra­ pura for coal mining and Giridih district for thermal power plant. Dugda town was also established for coal mining. Chaibasa town is an administrative as well as industrial centre in Paschimi Singh­ bhum. It also has a cement factory, a lac production unit and a wood production unit. Chakradharpur developed as an important centre for the South-Eastern Railway. Noamundi is famous for ironore mining. LOW CONCENTRATION (5-15 PER CENT) Low level of urbanization was found in Sahibganj, Dumka, Deoghar, Lohardaga, Palamu, Gumla and Giridih districts in 2001. Basi­ cally these districts are characterized by poor subsistence agriculture, absence of proper transport network and industrial development. Only a few small urban settlements have grown up here. Agricul­ ture dominates in the districts of Santhal Pargana. In the absence of industries, only a few administrative and service centres have de­ veloped here that cater to the need of surrounding regions. Palamu and Lohardaga districts are also economically backward. Their rugged terrain and forest cover also make agricultural activities difficult. In the absence of economic development, Lohardaga has only one Class-III town.

Process and Pattern of Urbanization in Jharkhand


VERY LOW CONCENTRATION (BELOW 5 PER CENT) There were two districts namely, Gumla and Godda in Jharkhand that had less than 5 per cent level of urbanization in 2001. The process of urbanization in both districts is very slow. Gumla district comprises steep slopes and scarps and this sub-region receives the highest amount of rainfall in Jharkhand, resulting into a luxuriant forest cover of bamboo and sal. Most parts of the district are not connected by transport facilities. There is also dearth of industrial units in the district. All these have restricted the evolution of a large urban centre. Only two towns namely, Simdega and Gumla existed in the district. Godda was the only district in 2011 which had an urbanization level below 5 per cent in 2011. It is an agri­ culture dominated, economically backward region. Godda town is the only Class-III town found in the sub-region. So in the absence of marked urban centres, urbanization level of Godda is very low. TEMPO OF URBANIZATION

Tempo of urbanization refers to the change in the degree of urban­ ization over a period of time. The tempo of urbanization has been inconsistent in Jharkhand. It was 0.34 during 1951-61, in the next two decades—1961-71 and 1971-81—it further increased to 0.43 and 0.45 respectively. It became very low during 1981-91 (0.11), 1991-2001 (0.05) and 2001-11 (0.18). So it can be said that in the last two decades, Jharkhand has seen urban growth without much urbanization. In spite of an increase in the number of urban centres as well as total urban population, the level of urbanization in the proportion of urban population to the total population has remained low. During 1971-81 all districts of Jharkhand had positive tempo of urbanization, but out of 13 dis­ tricts only 3 districts namely, Ranchi (1.06), Purbi Singhbhum (0.89), Dhanbad (0.73) had a higher tempo of urbanization than the state average. Most of mines and industries are located in these districts. All the remaining districts had lower tempo of urbaniza­ tion, the lowest being recorded in Sahibganj (0.05). The other districts, which recorded lower tempo were Godda (0.08), Giridih


Sarvottam Kumar

Administrative Units

Figure 7.2: Level of urbanization in Jharkhand and India, 2011

(0.08), Deoghar (0.09), Palamu (0.10) and Lohardaga (0.17). On the other hand, the Santhal Pargana region comprising the dis­ tricts of Godda, Sahibganj, Dumka, Deoghar as well as the Pat region comprising districts such as Gumla, Lohardaga and Palamu had been economically backward regions. Most of their popula­ tion was engaged in agricultural activities. Due to the absence of secondary and tertiary activities, these districts had very low tempo of urbanization. The situation did not change during 1981-91, 1991-2001 and 2001-11 in these districts except that the tempo of urbanization had further declined in almost each district, even Ranchi (0.27) which had registered a higher tempo of urbaniza­ tion during 1971-81 (1.06). This decline was also seen in Purbi Singhbhum (0.89 to 0.38) and Dhanbad (0.73 to 0.05). During 1981-91 Hazaribagh district achieved the highest tempo. The emergence of six towns and the establishment of some mining centers and coal washeries played a pivotal role in speeding up its pace of urbanization. In the last decade, the highest tempo was recorded in Dhanbad district and the growth of Dhanbad was a reflection of rapid expansion of coal mining and its allied industries.

Process and Pattern of Urbanization in Jharkhand




Godda Sahibganj Dumka Deoghar Dhanbad Giridih Hazaribagh Palamu Lohardaga Gumla Ranchi Purbi Singhbhum Paschimi Singhbhum Jharkhand

0.15 0.04 0.12 0.12 1.64 0.30 0.06 -0.23 0.11 0.20 0.27 0.31 0.07 0.34

1961-71 0.01 0.06 0.04 0.03 1.62 0.11 0.64 -0.91 0.30 0.11 0.85 0.29 0.17 0.43

1971-81 1981-91 1991-2001 2001-11 0.03 0.05 0.19 0.09 0.73 0.08 0.26 0.10 0.17 0.08 1.06 1.09 0.14 0.45

0.08 -0.04 0.05 0.1 0.05 0.12 0.30 -0.6 0.08 0.05 0.22 0.38 -0.02 0.11

0.08 0.09 0.04 0.24 -0.05 0.03 0.04 0.04 0.07 0.10 0.03 0.13 0.54 0.05

0.13 0.28 0.13 0.36 -0.02 -0.04 0.19 0.37 -0.35 0.12 0.27 0.05 0.17 0.18

Source: Census of India, General Population Table & Provisional Population Table, 2011.


It is clear from Table 7.4 that the primacy index is not marked in Jharkhand and there is an observable tendency towards decline in urban primacy from 1951 to 2001. The value of primacy index was 2.04 in 1951 and it reduced to 1.03 in 2001, thereby mark­ ing a significant decline and it slightly increased to 1.1 in 2011. TABLE 7.4: URBAN PRIMACY IN JHARKHAND Year 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2011

1st Rank City Jamshedpur (218162) Jamshedpur (328044) Dhanbad (458016) Dhanbad (678069) Jamshedpur (1101804) Jamshedpur (1101804) Jamshedpur (1337131)

2nd Rank City

3rd Rank City

Index of Primacy

Ranchi (1068490) Dhanbad (200618) Jamshedpur (434031) Jamshedpur (669580) Dhanbad (1064357) Dhanbad (1064357) Dhanbad (1195298)

Dhanbad (73602) Ranchi (140253) Ranchi (255551) Ranchi (502771) Ranchi (614795) Ranchi (862850) Ranchi (1126741)

2.04 1.63 1.05 1.01 1.03 1.03 1.10

Source: Census of India, General Population Table & Provisional Population Table, 2001.


Sarvottam Kumar

The two-city primacy cannot be applied to Jharkhand as most of the values are almost equal to unity. Before Independence, most parts of Jharkhand were isolated from other parts of the country. Jamshedpur emerged as the only big industrial centre of Jharkhand in 1951 and the second largest town was Ranchi which developed as a service and educational centre. The opening of the region be­ came more pronounced during the latter half of the twentieth century. In this period the newly-formed Indian government had established several mining and industrial units as a planning strat­ egy to develop the backward region of Jharkhand. This helped in the establishment of new urban centres in Jharkhand. These newlyestablished units had not only accelerated the pace of urbaniza­ tion but also led to a marked redistribution of urban centres in the state. This can be best exemplified by Dhanbad, which experi­ enced a large scale of migration from the peripheral areas and other parts of the country. Now Dhanbad specializes in mining, indus­ trial and tertiary activities. This also resulted in a dramatic rise in the population of Dhanbad during 1961-81 and forced Jamshed­ pur to lose its primacy. The other big town of Jharkhand is Ranchi and its population is also not far behind that of Jamshedpur and Dhanbad due to the establishment of industrial complexes, educational institutes and administrative capital of the state. URBAN POPULATION CONCENTRATION


Table 7.5 indicates that there were three districts in Jharkhand namely, Purbi Singhbhum, Ranchi and Dhanbad which had con­ sistently higher location quotients than the overall state values. In these districts therefore the level of urbanization had been higher than that of the state. The location quotient of Purbi Singhbhum has been very high since 1951, being more than that of the state in all decades. The location quotient of Purbi Singhbhum was as high as 4.56 in 1951, but there has been a regular decline in this value. The rest of the districts show very low levels of location quotient. For example, Godda, Palamu, Gumla and Dumka had

Process and Pattern of Urbanization in Jharkhand










Godda Sahibganj Dumka Deoghar Dhanbad Giridih Hazaribagh Palamu Lohardaga Gumla Ranchi Purbi Singhbhum Paschimi Singhbhum Jharkhand

1.23 0.76 1.24 0.26 1.33 1.15 0.67 0.54 1.98 1.12 1.21 4.56 0.96 1.00

0.13 0.57 0.98 0.29 2.37 1.07 0.53 0.48 1.20 0.18 1.09 3.48 0.74 1.00

0.10 0.44 0.23 0.72 2.69 0.83 0.77 0.29 0.83 0.20 1.30 3.04 0.58 1.00

0.10 0.38 0.28 0.62 2.51 0.70 0.75 0.28 0.5 0.20 1.56 2.66 0.58 1.00

0.13 0.34 0.29 0.64 2.40 0.72 0.84 0.23 0.51 0.21 1.58 2.7 0.54 1.00

0.15 0.36 0.28 0.60 2.33 1.01 0.80 0.23 0.55 0.24 1.52 2.38 0.73 1.00

0.20 0.46 0.33 0.72 2.23 0.35 0.84 0.13 0.13 0.24 1.57 2.31 0.77 1.00

Source: Census of India, General Population Table & Provisional Population Table, 2001.

0.15, 0.23, 0.24 and 0.25 values respectively in 2001. Purbi Singhbhum thus emerged as the most urbanized district of Jharkhand followed by Ranchi and Dhanbad districts. Basically, most of the industrial and mining units are clustered in these dis­ tricts. They are very rich in mineral resources which not only at­ tracts capital and industry but also attracts a large influx of labour force. Therefore there has been a high spatial imbalance in urban population concentration in Jharkhand. More or less the same level of location quotient was seen in 2011 as was found in 2001. CONCLUSION

Urbanization in Jharkhand is thus a post-Independence phenom­ enon. During ancient and medieval periods, few settlements were present in Jharkhand. It were the British who developed a few administrative centres, cantonments and hill towns for their own requirements and thus started modern urbanization in Jharkhand. After Independence, in response to the administrative changes as


Sarvottam Kumar

well as due to mining and industrial development, many regions of Jharkhand achieved unprecedented urban growth during 1951­ 81. The sudden spurt in urbanization, surprisingly, happened in the industrialized districts of Jharkhand. It may be true to some extent that after the 1980s the process of urbanization has slowed down. There were four districts which had higher number of towns and they were Dhanbad, Hazaribagh, Purbi Singhbhum and Paschimi Singhbhum. Again, the growth rate of different classes of towns shows that cities having a population more than one lakh are grow­ ing much faster than smaller towns. There is no urban primacy in Jharkhand as there are at least three cities that have almost equal population size. It is important to note that they are also located in different parts of the state. According to the computation of rank size rule, the actual population of larger towns is much lower than estimated population and towns of Jharkhand and it also does not fit into the rank size rule. The computed location quo­ tients indicate that Dhanbad, Purbi Singhbhum and Ranchi have high concentration of urban population. On the other hand, dis­ tricts such as Godda, Gumla, Lohardaga, Sahibganj and Dumka have very low concentration of urban population.

REFERENCES Bhatt, S.C. (2002), District Gazetteer of Jharkhand, New Delhi: Gyan, pp. 3-9. Mitra, A. (1992), ‘Pattern of Urbanization in India: An Overview’, The Indian Journal of Social Science, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 188-205. Pandeya, P. (1970), Impact of Industrialization on Urban Growth: A Case Study of Chotanagpur, Allahabad: Central Book Depot, pp. 35-6. Singh, J. and D.P. Singh (1982), ‘Recent Trends of Urbanization in Bihar’, Southern Economist, July, pp. 35-57. Sinha, V.N.P. (1976), Chotanagpur Plateau: A Study in Settlement Geography, New Delhi: K.B. Publications. Zipf, G.K. (1946), ‘The P1 P2/D Hypothesis: On the Inter City Movements of Persons’, American Sociological Review, December, vol. III, no. II (6), pp. 677-86.


Impact of Peri-Urbanization and

Its Policy Implications: A Case

Study of Varanasi’s Peri-Urban




The neo-liberal policies, i.e. structural adjustment programme (SAP) and liberalization, privatization and globalization adopted since the 1990s, has caused rapid changes in urban areas with their spontaneous expansion (Shaw, 2005) and a growth pattern defined as ‘peri-urbanization’ has been seen in the metropolitan areas. This new metropolitan growth pattern has been assimilated with low-density, leap-frog, scattered and sprawling development which is being experienced especially at the urban peripheries and outer areas of cities in search of surplus space. These have become the com­ mon characteristics of cities of developing countries (Maconachie, 2007) and India since then. Accordingly, the new settlements adja­ cent to existing urban areas merge with them due to changes in their functions. As a result, profound changes have come up mainly in the surrounding rural agricultural areas.1 The impact of expansion of cities on their peripheral areas is to turn them into emerging as breeding grounds of common problems, a trend seen in several countries in the twenty-first century (Dangalle and Narman, 2006). One of the most intricate aspects associated with urbanization


Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

in India is the spontaneous urban expansion beyond the city limit into its rural hinterland (Kundu, 2005). The cities are growing fast in size and gradually encroaching upon the surrounding rural areas. This skewed process of development has created a situation where land is being acquired at the cost of fertile agricultural fields, displacement of people, compromising with their livelihoods, lossing of natural habitats and the agony and sufferings of people pushed into the abyss of deprivation, marginalization and hard­ ships (Soni, 2009). In the process of expansion, rural-urban inter­ action intensifies and breeds an amalgamation of urban character­ istics which exhibits an intermixing and overlapping of urban and rural characters (Narain, 2009). The zone transforms into a transi­ tional one which is interspersed with change and continuity. The sprawling urban activities and the intensifying urban impact induce peri-urbanization in the rural environs whereby the city casts an organizing and integrative influence on the social, organiza­ tional, politico-economic sphere and the environment as a whole. The urban impact accentuates peri-urbanization of the villages and the typical rural landscape transforms vigorously with rapid changes in land use and livelihood. The gradual metamorphosis of the rural morphology into semi-urban has got some positive as well as some negative reflections. The peri-urban process and effect has made significant changes in the landscape of the affected villages; it has changed the pattern of life there in a number of ways (Dangalle and Narman, 2006), some of them distressing to the local people and some of them beneficial. Because of their relative nearness to the city, most of the original farmland in the villages has been taken over for non-agricultural uses, as they are constantly being invaded by thousands of outsiders. With alteration in land uses, the physical landscape has undergone a drastic change on the one hand while the cultural landscape is also being affected. Subject to urban influence, the social sphere has experienced a sea change (Mycoo, 2006). It has become tough for the people to retain their rooted culture and community associations, as processes of accul­ turation have uprooted the long-established social order.

Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications



A city never survives in isolation and is inextricably bound up with its surrounding area (Singh et al., 2010). In its process of growth and development it draws people from these areas by backwash effect. As and when development ripens, the fruits trickle down to the zones in the city’s vicinity in the form of spill-over effect. Thus, with time the ties strengthen and the influences become visible. The outward expansion of the cities have meant increasing and more complex interactions with the surrounding rural areas and gradual transformation in their land use and occupations, trans­ forming them into semi-urban or ‘peri-urban’ areas (Shaw, 2005). The city impacts upon the countryside and the intensity of inva­ sion of urbanism deepens mostly along the arteries. The impact is all over: on the physical, social and cultural attributes of the affected villages. The typical rurality of the villages withers away with the incessantly hitting urbanite culture and the area trans­ forms into a semi-urban one. Such areas have been studied in the past, particularly in terms of their economic and social linkages with the city (cf. Ramachandran, 1988). This indeterminate transitional zone surrounding the city and awaiting inclusion in the corporation limits becomes a battleground where rural and urban attributes clash, intermix and produce an amalgam of heterogeneous characteristics, some desirable and some undesirable (Singh and Singh, 2003). The haphazard and chaotic growth brings in a variety of changes, sometimes re-enforcing and at other times substituting the attributes, which are positive as well as negative.2 The positive aspects of these flows and interac­ tions at the rural-urban interface were also reflected in McGee’s concept of the ‘desakotta’ where both regions gain, the rural areas through increased earnings and larger markets; and, the urban areas through savings on housing cost and less congestion in the built-up areas (McGee, 1991). Since the 1990s, however, con­ cerns have been raised about the possible negative impact of spread­ ing urbanization and the multifaceted impacts of the spreading city on the peri-urban areas (Bentinck, 1996). These effects are


Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

the result of the process of change that such areas experience with spreading urbanization which includes changes in land use from agricultural to non-agricultural, changes in the use of natural re­ sources and in the socio-economic spheres (Sinha, 1997). Such concerns are also voiced by international development agencies for they seem to be common to developing countries, threatening the quality of life of a significant proportion of the population and endangering life systems over considerable area (Allen, 2003). Yet, these same areas, located at the periphery of the city, far away from the corridors of political power and often without any official (ur­ ban) status, generally lack the institutional capacities and gover­ nance structures to enable them to respond to the processes of change in a positive way and not be overcome by them (Shaw, 2005). The zones in the vicinity of the cities are dynamic, and conse­ quent upon urban invasion, they experience substantial changes in terms of function (non-physical) and morphology (physical). Such changes and phenomena are primarily associated with land use transformation. Though, under urban influence, changes in the socio-demographic, organizational domain is more clearly vis­ ible and understood, but these changes are in one way or the other inarguably and invariably associated with and a reflection of the transformation in the land uses. Indian society is an agrarian society; hence most of the economic and non-economic functions are con­ trolled by land. Land is also a symbol of status and the pivot around which the rural agrarian society manifests and sustains itself. This is mostly guaranteed through social recognition of long-term oc­ cupation and use of land. Land is both an economic and environ­ mental resource and is central to sustainable livelihoods. It is also a social, cultural and ontological resource, connoting social ident­ ity.3 From the environmental perspective, land provides support to not only human livelihood, but also all biotic matters upon which the livelihoods are dependent. Land is also an enormous political resource as it defines power relations ‘between’ and ‘among’ individuals, families and communities under established systems of governance (IFAD, 2006: 4). Rakodi (2002) and IFAD (2006) noted that physical capital, which entails land, livestock and housing,

Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications


is also an important resource in the peri-urban context as it sup­ ports agriculture for food production, shelter, income and social identity. It also provides support for other assets such as housing and animal-keeping to develop. As noted by IFAD (2006), land yields economic, environmental and political benefits. Therefore, access to and use of land is an important aspect to peri-urban households. Hence, an alteration in the land is likely to have wider implications on other non-economic attributes of a place and when the place falls in the urban periphery, the impacts are sure to ag­ gravate and trigger other changes. Land use change is perhaps the most essential characteristic of peri-urban zones. Most cities grow by acquiring the lands of their peripheral areas. This is often a source of great tension and conflict between peri-urban residents on the one hand and governments and urban authorities on the other. The causes of conflict can be many, ranging from forced acquisitions to delayed compensations. The acquisition of agricul­ tural lands often destroys the basis of rural livelihoods (Narain, 2009a). Even as agriculturists may be compensated through the process of land acquisition, often it is tenants and sharecroppers who suffer, as they receive no compensation. The landless lose out on their opportunities to earn a living on the lands of the land­ owners.4 The discrepancy between the low prices that farmers re­ ceive for their land sold to municipal authorities and the high prices that these lands fetch when sold to private entities has led to the situation of cynicism and social discontent among peri-urban dwellers. These areas provide the much needed land and water resources for urban expansion and serve as receptors of urban wastes. The residents are often portrayed as losers in urbanization and a case is made to involve them in the urbanization processes (Narain, 2009a). Often they come into conflict with residents of the core city over the use and allocation of land and water resources (Janakarajan, 2009). This influx of migrant labour and residents in peri-urban settlements alters their social composition and has several implications for economic activities as well as for the de­ mand for local resources (Narain, 2007). This makes them no dif­ ferent from the villages of ‘rural’ India but unlike these villages, they face a bigger overdose of urbanism stemming from their tran­


Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

sitional nature, which turns problematic with time. Some scholars have assigned it as the most contested areas on earth (Ryan and Walker, 2004; Furuseth and Lapping, 1999). It is essential that adequate institutional and policy structures and processes are in­ stituted for the protection and wise use of peri-urban areas before all their values are destroyed. But only a few countries have ad­ equately analysed the future needs and threats from the develop­ ment of their peri-urban regions, established clear and enforceable objectives, and put in place adequate policies, planning tools and governance arrangements to achieve targets. OBJECTIVES

The present study is an attempt to explore the dynamics of peri­ urbanization in Varanasi, and throw light on the fact that peri­ urbanization is equally impacting the comparatively smaller cities, as the bigger metropolitan cities.5 Varanasi city, like other metro cities of India, is sprawling beyond its municipal limit to accom­ modate the excess population growth. The quest for additional space has triggered the growth at the periphery and has trans­ formed it. The rapid population growth, consequent upon the natural as well as heavy influx of in-migrants from the adjoining districts, has witnessed tremendous development along with the meteoric rise in the population. The city is sprawling in all direc­ tions, crossing all physical and cultural barriers which were hith­ erto impeding its growth. With infrastructural development in the recent past, the built-up area has rushed unhesitatingly be­ yond the demarcated zone to a considerable distance from the city. The urban landscape has almost percolated to 8-12 km along major axial routes in all directions. This forms the peri-urban zone of the city. Though some 627 villages fall in this zone, only 212 of them exhibit peri-urban character. Villages are being engulfed by the expansion drive of the Varanasi Development Authority (VDA) through execution and implementation of various master plans to form the Varanasi Development Region (VDR) without satisfac­ tory policies which is compromising with the inherent identity and serenity of the age-old cultural capital of India.

Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications


In this connection, the broader objective of this paper is to seek an insight into the ongoing process of peri-urbanization and the nature of its fallouts. The other objectives are: 1. To study and understand the cause and effects of peri-urban­ ization in the study villages. 2. To analyse the extent of peri-urban changes in the social, physi­ cal, cultural and economic spheres of the people in general and the society in particular. 3. To explore the strategies and coping mechanisms adopted by the people and recommend some policy implications. MATERIALS AND METHODS

The paper uses the case study method of research which is an empirical inquiry, investigating a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context. The case study is used to present a portrait of a particular social phenomenon, and is often considered to be the most flexible of all research designs, largely because of the ability to draw from a number of data sources. Primary data was extracted from field survey and secondary data was collected from various published and unpublished records of the district, tahsil and village offices. Four sample villages were purposively selected, out of the three administrative blocks which surround the city and are contiguous to it. The study is mainly based on a qualitative research design, relying on ethnographic approach, and includes a mix of semi-structured interviews with peri-urban residents, interviews with key infor­ mants, direct observation and focus group discussions. Peri-urban residents were interviewed in order to ascertain the impacts of the land use changes on their livelihoods, especially regarding the shift in the agriculture and non-agricultural practices; linkages with the city; problems encountered therein and the coping strategies adopted; and to assess other direct and indirect fallouts of urban influence. In all, about 120 peri-urban residents were interviewed. Stratified random sampling technique was used to select the samples. Care was taken in the selection of respondents for inter­


Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

views so that they represented the existing groups in terms of social and economic strata, natives and outsiders and males and females. Key informants were interviewed in order to gauge information on crucial aspects of the village profile and transition. Members of the village panchayat, the unit of local governance at the village level, were interviewed to obtain a perspective on matters of village gov­ ernance. Interviews with other village members sought to explore their cropping and livestock practices, their interface with the towns and adjoining villages, and the impacts of the land transformation process on their lifestyles and livelihoods, social, and economic, respectively. LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

Unlike previous studies on Varanasi, either covering fewer issues of the peri-urban zone or representing them partially, the present work has sought to encompass more interlinked research issues. Nevertheless, there are certain limitations of the study. The se­ lected 4 village and 120 persons as samples might not represent the universe truly. Many pertinent issues, which could have por­ trayed a complete picture, do not find place in the discussions due to the focused scope of the research. Similarly, certain qualitatively perceived submissions by the authors and the information returned by respondents may suffer from biases. The policy implications and recommendations are with reference to specific findings in the study area and may not be applicable in other cases. STUDY AREA: RATIONALE FOR SELECTION


Varanasi, a major religious centre for Hindus, is a city widely known for its educational institutions and spirituality and for its ghats (riverbank areas), galis (narrow lanes) and silk weaving. It is con­ sidered one of the oldest living cities in the world, estimated to have come into existence over 3,000 years ago. It has a very dis­ tinct culture and way of life. Like most other Indian cities, Varanasi is facing huge developmental challenges. Its population has nearly

Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications


doubled over the last three decades. The area of the city is just 27 sq. km, with a population of 1.6 million persons (Census of India, 2011), and a daily floating population of 60,000 persons. Varanasi city is surrounded by three blocks namely, Kashi Vidyapeeth, Harahua and Chiraigaon. The peri-urban impact and changes have been maximum in these blocks which are contiguous to the city. The city has sprawled and invaded the villages of these blocks and therefore the intensity of peri-urbanization is higher in them. In accordance with the above reasons these blocks have been selected for the purpose of the present study. From amongst these blocks, four revenue villages have been selected, taking into account an array of demographic, socio-economic, land use (morphological) and occupational attributes, which reveal the peri-urban charac­ teristics (Table 8.1 and Figure 8.1). Two sets of villages (on the basis of distance from the city limit) have been taken. One set of village fall within 0-4 km from the municipal limit and the other set comprises of villages which are at a distance of 6-8 km from the municipal limit. The distance decay approach has been used to delimit the sample villages in the above two categories. The dis­ tance decay function stands out to be a more suitable approach to study land-use changes and livelihood transformation of villages in the peri-urban interface of a city. The infusion of urban charac­ teristics into these rural settlements, metamorphosing them slowly into semi-urban is guided by the distance from the city centre, as the peri-urban characteristics of the villages follow a gradient (of various characteristics) whose intensity is higher near the city boundary and that slowly decreases down the rural distant. The following attributes have been taken to select the sample villages. 1. Location (along major transport routes): Lamhi’s along SH 73 (Varanasi-Azamgarh); Birapatti along NH 56 (Varanasi-Jaun­ pur); Ramna along NH 2 By-pass (Varanasi-Delhi-Kolkata) and Puranpatti (along Varanasi-Ghazipur rail route). Lamhi and Ramna lie within 0-4 km and Birapatti and Puranpatti within 6-8 km radius from the city limit. 2. Demographic characteristics: Population density is above 400 persons/sq. km; population growth of above 30 per cent is recorded in the last census decade (1991-2001).


Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

Source: Based on Varanasi Development Region Map, 2011.

Figure 8.1: Varanasi city peri-urban zone

3. Percentage of non-agricultural workers: Above 50 per cent of the people are engaged in non-farm activities. 4. Other specific attributes of the villages: The selected sample villages have got some specific characteristics and if considered together, may give a heterogeneous view of the problem. Lamahi is related to Munshi Premchand and is culturally significant; a sewage treatment plant and a hi-tech city are planned in Ramna. Puran-patti has agricultural base and specializes in horticultural products catering to the needs of the city. Birapatti is character­ ized by the presence of a number of brick kilns, supplying bricks for construction works in the city. Land degradation is a major problem here, apart from air pollution which has destroyed the mango and guava orchards in the vicinity.


5.0 to 6.0 4.5 to 5.5 4.0 to 5.0 65-75 high 6.5 to 7.5

3.5 to 4.5 7.0 to 8.0 3.0 to 4.0 50-60 low 3.5 to 4.0

Moderate Commercial and subsistence Horticulture, dairy, informal activities, city based jobs A sewage treatment plant, broadening of NH 2 and a hi-tech city 4.5 to 5.5 5.5 to 6.0 3.5 to 4.5 60-65 Moderately high 6.5 to 7.0

High Commercial

Non-agricultural activities, business and services For a park and Munshi Premchand Memorial Trust 6.0 to 7.0 4.0 to 5.0

5.5 to 6.0 Above 80

High 4.0 to 5.0

Livelihood bases

Source : Personal survey, 2011. Computed by the authors on a ten-point scale from the data collected from the field.

Degree of urban impact1 Status of rural values, traditions, identity1 Status of female folk1 Per cent of non-agricultural workers1 Degree of land Use change1 Degree of social vices1

Land acquired, if any

Special feature

Accessibility to the city Nature of agriculture

6 8 Kurmi, Pal (Gaderia), Koeri, Brahmans, ‘Harijans’ ‘Harijans’ Has a strong agriculture Emerging as a trade base and can emerge as centre, plans are on way to develop it a major vegetable and into a railway flower supplier to terminus along the city Varanasi-Lucknow rail route Moderately high Low Commercial Commercial and subsistence Trade and commerce, Cereal farming, household industry dairy, horticulture, floriculture, wage labour A sub-power station None


5 Kurmi, Mallaha, Yadav Emerging as a major residential area


4 Srivastava, Kayastha, Kurmi Culturally fragile, efforts are being made to include it into a heritage village, a tourist centre


Proximity to the City (km) Social composition




Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

The sample villages are thus selected in such a manner that they give a complete look of the peri-urban zone of Varanasi, revealing its multiple characteristics be it land use, livelihood or the other ecological, social and cultural attributes (Table 8.1). IMPACT ON LAND AND AGRICULTURE

Expansion of cities has caused important changes in the cultural and natural landscapes (Catalan et al., 2008; Mas et al., 2004) and such changes are more in physical attributes of a place, more specifically in the land use (Lopez et al., 2001). The urban growth processes result to overspill that do not only engulf prime agricul­ tural and pasture land from the peri-urban areas (Andersen and Engelstoft, 2004), but also result in haphazard development of the incoherent urban land use over the farmlands of the peri­ urban areas. The land use of the peripheral villages of Varanasi city has been altered due to the incessant urban invasion. The urban land uses have taken over the rural land uses, primarily agricul­ tural, with regular the process of what Morello et al. (2000) called ‘Geophagy’, a concept that describes the interaction and competi­ tion between urban and rural land uses. Solon (2009) has demon­ strated in the context of Warsaw metropolitan area that constructed areas have achieved growth against land uses such as forest and agricultural areas due to rapid urbanization. Narain (2009) stated that urban expansion has affected the use of rural and natural sources and that housing zones specifically have expanded to the disad­ vantage of agricultural areas. The functional landscape and the population of Varanasi city have been changing with time (Kumar et al., 2010). Owing to the paucity of space to accommodate the growing population and in­ creasing private and public utilities, industries and other miscella­ neous functions, the city has shown a tendency to spread beyond its municipal limits. As a result the total area of the city has been growing in its peripheral zones. It is pertinent to note that the study by Dube and Dwivedi (1994) reported that the peri-urban area of Varanasi is experiencing much higher population growth rates than urban area proper because of in-migration and higher

Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications


natural growth rates. The area of the city has increased by two and half times during 1991-2001 a jump of 255.8 per cent. In 2001­ 11, the city area increased, but at a comparatively faster rate. How­ ever, the total area of the city increased by 316 per cent, i.e. from 14,494.4 to 17,927.4 ha. On the one hand, the sprawling city has engulfed villages lying in its immediate periphery and amal­ gamated them in the MC limits; on the other hand, the geographi­ cal distance between the villages lying beyond the immediate peri­ phery, i.e. in the secondary or tertiary rural fringes of the city, has decreased. The expanding limits of the MC have resulted in bring­ ing the far-off villages nearer. In this process of urban sprawl, the rural-urban dynamics have changed with time. The tertiary fringe of the yesteryears has transformed into secondary or primary urban fringe of today. The diminishing geographical distance coupled with communication and transportation and for the simple reason of its accessibility and proximity to the corporation limits, the urban land uses seem to gravitate in and around it and trigger the peri-urbanization process in the villages and transform land use on a massive scale (Table 8.2). Due to the urban impact and overspill of urban functions into the peri-urban zone, the homogeneity of land use is replaced by hybridity and heterogeneity (Singh and Singh, 2012). The land use is interlinked with land value. When demands for developable land are considerably high, the value of land in developed use will exceed its value in agricultural use. This enables developers to outbid farmers for use of the land (Soni, 2009). The demand for more land leads to appreciation in land values, and consequently this zone becomes land speculators’, developers’ and colonizers’ delight on the one hand, and, the landowners’ pride on the other (Singh and Singh, 2003). Strong development pres­ sures have led to high rates of growth in land value, which has appreciated from a mere 2,20,000-25,000 per bishwa 6 to a stagger­ ing Rs. 0.4-0.8 million per bishwa during the last 20 years. This in turn has speeded up the conversion of farmland to developed non-farm uses. As more land has shifted from farming, the local agrarian economy has suffered. However, a major chunk of farmers welcome the increase in farmland value, as land price appreciation




0.03 5.14


0.73 0.01 2.94 1.92 1.16


0.47 -4.16


-1.90 1.00 -3.65 -1.88 -0.36


Source: Adapted, compiled and modified after Kumar, 2006.



Change, 1991-2011 (%)

Kashi Vidyapeeth

Total reported 15,122 15,896 15,896 area (ha.) Forest (%) 1.53 1.30 2.00 Barren & 5.88 2.72 1.72 uncultivable land (%) Land put to non- 16.79 17.44 18.42 agricultural uses (%) Cultivable 2.13 1.93 0.23 waste (%) Pasture land 0.01 0.01 1.01 Current fallow (%) 5.11 1.46 1.46 Fallow other than 4.87 3.66 2.99 current (%) Land under 2.86 1.53 2.50 miscellaneous trees & groves (%) Net sown area (%) 64.48 69.98 69.98

Land Use Category



0.01 1.69 1.06



0.38 5.37





1.69 1.06 1.00



2.00 2.04






1.68 1.88 0.92



1.97 -3.10



0.01 3.73 2.10



0.39 1.40


Change, 1991 1991-2011 (%)



0.01 1.52 1.81



0.58 0.75





0.01 1.52 1.00



2.00 0.20







0 2.21 1.10



1.61 -1.20

Change, 1991-2011 (%)

Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications


has given them unexpected amounts which they use to acquire various new assets (vehicles, land and property in other places, etc.) and fulfil ‘unachieved’ dreams. The land prices have increased tremendously and hence agriculture has not been able to sustain itself vis-à-vis urban functions. Agriculture is apparently losing its foothold, unable to compete with the soaring land prices as it would not even yield a fraction of the bank interest the land may pay or the developers may offer (Brook and Davila, 2000). Due to land speculation, many plots of land are lying abandoned (fallow lands) for years and have turned into desert-like areas or into water­ logged, salinized grounds. Combined with insufficient drainage and sedimentation problems, these lands quickly become ‘reservoirs of pests and diseases’ as local garbage starts getting dumped there (Singh and Kumar, 2006). Urbanization has generated employment opportunities with increased and assured remuneration. Therefore, landowners have preferred to obtain jobs outside agriculture. So they, particularly small landowners are now disposing off their land to get surplus money. Agriculture is turning into a depressed activity as the cost of production is increasing and the profit margins are stagnant. The main reason, particularly for the small and marginal farmers, is that they are economically very poor and land mafia and property dealers easily lure them into selling their land by offering instant money. 7 Apart from lower economic returns from agriculture and alluring, high real-estate prices, another reason lands are disposed off and the money invested somewhere else for assured future could be that agricultural landholdings are generally inherited in Indian society. This transfer of land is mostly not documented properly and in some cases the person operating upon the land for a long period of time becomes the owner. Sometimes it leads to confron­ tation among family members. So landowners engaged in other sectors sell off their land to avoid such a confrontation. The large and medium landowners who do not see any future in the agricul­ ture sector dispose off their lands and invest it in other sectors. Small landowners are unable to sustain their family from the small landholding, so they dispose off their land to get some (instant)

Source: Based on village records and data generated through Landsat Images of 1991 and 2011.

Figure 8.2: Lamahi village (field pattern and land use)

Source: Based on village records and data generated through Landsat Images of 1991 and 2011.

Figure 8.3: Puranpatti village (field pattern and land use)

Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications


money for their pressing needs and start working as labourers in the urban areas. Property dealers and land developers pursue and pressurize landowners to sell their land as they need big areas for developing colonies. Uncertainty of assured profit margins in the agricultural sector due to variation in natural, social and economic conditions also leads to land dispossession. Urban land market also disrupts agricultural production and the livelihoods of those who depend on it. This has significant impact on the social fabric in the peripheral areas of the city. The increases in land value has resulted in prosperity among the big farmers as they had large landholdings to offer for urban uses getting good instant money in return. Their higher economic, social and political status has also contributed in bargaining for higher profits. The small and marginal farmers with their small landholdings are the worst suf­ ferers of this peri-urbanization process. They are forced by the land market mechanism to sell off their land at relatively lower rates. Thus they are pushed into unemployment and become eco­ nomically vulnerable because they do not possess any skill to be absorbed in the urban economy to which they are totally new. Since farmland owners are not compensated for the rural amenity value of their land, but make money from selling for development, they do not have an incentive to delay the conversion of farmland to developed uses. Though the peri-urban areas provide markets for a range of agri­ cultural products, encroaching urban development threatens the stability and continuation of farm operations. In the face of ad­ vancing suburban encroachment into rural areas, several notable changes occur including the rise of part-time farming, idle agri­ cultural lands, decline in agricultural capital investments, and changes in modes and types of farming (Furuseth and Pierce, 1982; also see Table 8.3). Change in population size, division in family and sale of land (by stakeholders) have led to a situation where land has got frag­ mented into smaller and smaller plots and a significant change can be noticed in the pattern of landownership (Table 8.4). Over time, a sharp decline in the number of bigger landholdings and a rise in smaller landholdings could be noticed. Dwindling landholdings


Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh TABLE 8.3: IMPACT OF LAND MARKET ON PERI-URBAN AGRICULTURE (n = 120)

Responses Land selling has fetched you more returns than agriculture Soaring land prices have motivated you to give up agriculture Land market has diversified the peri-urban agriculture Land selling is more lucrative than exhaustive agriculture Shortage of land, fragmentation of plots makes agricultural practices economically non-feasible Other reasons Total







23 24

19.16 20.0







Source : Field survey, 2011.




Reasons Division of family Increase in non-farm activities Acquired by government agencies Non-agricultural uses are more profitable/ luring agricultural practices economically non-feasible Fragmented holdings are no more feasible for agriculture Others Total



29 32 07 27

24.16 26.66 5.83 22.52







Source : Field survey, 2011.

have compelled people to adopt agricultural intensification and diversification and growing of horticultural crops in place of cereal farming. As such the net sown area has increased, with additional benefits of better irrigation, HYV (high yielding variety) seeds and larger use of fertilizers. The nearness to the city has provoked the conversion of land for miscellaneous uses, i.e. for recreation,

Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications


dumping, water supply, cemeteries, etc. In this way, in reality it has escalated the competition among land uses. It can also be sub­ mitted that a considerable share of total land goes into the miscel­ laneous land use category (mobile towers, etc.), which take away 2-3 bishwa of land for each unit. It is entirely a new phenomenon which did not exist 15-20 years ago. Further, large tracts of land are used as sites for quarries, clay, sand and gravel pits, sewage disposal tanks, and garbage dumps. The agricultural land use pattern is also getting converted rap­ idly (Figures 8.2 and 8.3). The net sown area is increasing but the total area under cultivation, cultivable waste and cereal farming is decreasing. The area under cash crops, mostly horticulture, is ex­ panding due to the lure of greater economic returns. The net sown area has registered two-and-a-half-fold increase; double-cropped area has increased three to four times; the area under cultivable waste and fallow land has decreased to one-fourth; land under water bodies has decreased to half. The non-agricultural land use has expanded voluminously as it has registered fourfold increase. Land use in settlements and roads category has increased five to six times. The village common land and water bodies are rapidly be­ ing encroached on, filled and used for settlements. The dramatic change in land use patterns in turn has led to falling agricultural employment in peri-urban areas, and serious livelihood concerns. Due to the urban effect, landowners face several operational prob­ lems such as shortage of labourers, higher wages of labourers, tres­ passing, garbage dumping and vandalism in pursuing agricultural activity in the peri-urban areas. Women and elderly who lose out on agricultural employment are the worst hit (cf. Soni, 2009). IMPACTS ON LIVELIHOOD

Rapid population growth amidst insufficient policies to regulate and guide urban expansion has resulted in widespread informal urbanization and undesirable overspill into the peri-urban areas. Land, whose supply is limited by its very nature, has been subject to rising and competing demands over the years as mentioned earlier. The economy and the society have not been able to cope


Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

up with the increasing relative scarcity of land because of two inter­ related reasons. First, a large part of the land is held by households who earn their livelihood from it. This means that if incremental demand were to be met, invariably some households have to give up land. Second, majority of the people dependent on land (in agriculture and related activities) do not have the skills to survive without land; nor are there enough job opportunities to absorb unskilled labour. So, the transition to an industrial or service eco­ nomy from an agrarian one is not easy for most people.8 Proximity to urban consumers and new output venues allow farmers to adapt their agricultural operations to higher value or specialty crops, such as flowers, fruits and vegetables. For poor peri-urban communities, agriculture forms a key part of often di­ verse livelihood strategies: meeting basic food requirements for some or all family members through home production, or as a source of income through sale of produce or employment opportunities as farm labourers.9 While peri-urban agriculture benefits from rela­ tively easy access to expanding markets (although poor marketing infrastructure and institutional support results in low prices to producers (Agarwal et al., 2003), the pressures to adopt alterna­ tive livelihood strategies and the obstacles to producing safe and affordable food that preserves environmental integrity are im­ mense. 10 However, as farmland is put to different farming uses, a shift in input suppliers has resulted. Suppliers providing goods and ser­ vices to more ‘traditional’ farming operations have been pushed to interior rural areas, replaced by suppliers whose products are suited to the new ‘specialty’ enterprises. Peri-urban households draw their income both from agricultural activities as well as casual or regular employment in the neighbouring Varanasi city and other urban areas. Further, inequalities tend to exist widely as the elite are able to pre-empt both urban and rural resources for accumulation while the not-so-well off negotiate and struggle for survival (Tacoli, 2003). In the context of this dispossession, people’s land-livelihood rela­ tions have transformed from largely agrarian production and sub­ sistence to labour exchange and formal activities. Though forced out of agriculture into the cash economy, the sustainability of this

Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications


economic shift has required the transformation of their perceptions of what they could or should do to earn a living (Dahiya, 2003). Where relocation is inevitable, it further results in disruption of economic and social set-ups, resulting in falling household incomes and displacement of informal employment which is the main oc­ cupation particularly among the poor peri-urban households (Rakodi, 1995). Market forces and restrictive frameworks exclude the poor from legally accessing land and shelter, making them resort to non-formal tenure categories; the adverse effects include proliferation of informal settlements. The urban forces have trans­ formed the social-cultural mindset of the population. Agricultural occupation was once considered to be of higher social status but now it has depreciated and agriculturists are considered backward in urban areas. The small farmers are switching from agricultural activity to non-agricultural activities due to low profit margins, low status in the society, uncertainty of income and operational problems (Table 8.5). This raises a very crucial issue in a predomi­ nantly agrarian economy that is endowed with fertile agricultural setting. The economically poor farmers are shedding their agri­ cultural land and getting instant money but they are becoming landless and unemployed. The urban sector is unable to cope with large population of landless unskilled workers looking for jobs. TABLE 8.5: COPING STRATEGIES TO LAND SHORTAGE,



Reasons Switched from cereal farming to horticulture Cropping intensity has increased Switched from subsistence to cash cropping Switched from purely agriculture to agriculture and allied activities Agricultural inputs have increased Adopted other measures Total Source : Field survey, 2011.



25 17 29 26

20.08 15.00 24.01 21.06

16 07

13.03 5.80




Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

This ultimately results in the emergence of different socio­ economic problems in the peri-urban zone. For many village households, while agriculture was the main­ stay, non-farm and off-farm economic activities in addition to agri­ cultural land were central components in the household security and accumulation strategies (Table 8.6). Likewise, for urban dwell­ ers, access to agricultural land, in addition to urban employment, was an important component of livelihood diversification strategy. Through processes of risk aversion, income diversification and multi-activity, straddle households were successful accumulators who generated wealth which was used inter-alia for acquiring/buy­ ing more land, acquiring more assets or improving the value of existing assets. People have started developing multiple sources of income in the area, as multiple income generation through involvement of children and women in economic activities are largely strategies of poor peri-urban families who do not have access to sufficient cash to guarantee access to the basic needs of life (Brook et al., 2003). Allen et al. (2006) show how the peri-urban poor rely mainly on a wide spectrum of informal practices to access services but these often remain ‘invisible’ to policy makers and lie outside formal support strategies and mechanisms. They distinguish between TABLE 8.6: ATTRIBUTED REASONS FOR LIVELIHOOD


ACTIVITIES (n = 120)

Reasons Farm activities are less profitable Non-farm activities are more lucrative Non-farm activities are more economically secured Family reasons Scarcity of land To avail the location benefit (proximity to the city) Other reasons Total Source : Field survey, 2011.



22 21 23 11 22 14 07

18.33 17.53 19.16 9.16 18.33 11.66 5.83



Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications


‘policy-driven’ mechanisms that are currently not addressing the needs of the peri-urban poor, and the ‘needs-driven’ coping strategies that appear more effective in enabling poor people to improve their access to services. The process can therefore be considered as highly unsustainable. For the people in the zone however, the same urbanization offers them more options for em­ ployment and improvement in welfare. But the possibilities and conditions of participation in an urbanized society are not equally distributed. Some sections of the poor people remain dependent on local resources like common land, which are deteriorating. For them urbanization is harmful or unsustainable both ecologically as well as economically. Development in the peri-urban zone is therefore selective: it can be considered as an arena for modern urban expansion and dynamism with the urban and suburban middle and upper classes as ‘winners’, and at the same time as a battlefield with a rough lawlessness for the majority of urban and rural poor as ‘wounded winners or victims’ (Druijiven, 2001). In between these two extremes are those farmers whose lands are not in demand (or suitable) for urban activities and who can no longer undertake successful cultivation due to lack of labour force and water, as traditional irrigation institutions such as tanks, wells and springs are becoming defunct. This class of farmers faces a dilemma of whether to stay in villages and pursue agriculture or seek different employment and leave the village. Prospects and opportunities for a decent living are not easily available. A few landless agricultural labourers who migrate temporarily or perma­ nently to look for jobs, are likewise better-off due to better wages. But for a majority, opportunities are scarcely available for a decent living (Janakarajan, 2005). The worst affected are women and the aged who are confined to villages and undertake all kinds of odd jobs for a meagre wage. Responses to all these pressures are not uniform. Some villages have meekly surrendered to the urban pres­ sure; in others, frustration with the situation has translated into widespread conflict and unrest. In response to these urban-driven changes, others have reshaped their livelihood strategies to deal with the current conditions in the village. These strategies, which today manage a degrading


Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

local environment and an unstable local and national economy, are centred on agriculture, and therefore it is not surprising to see that shifts in livelihoods and shifts in land use are closely related in these villages. However, the link between livelihoods and land use in these villages is not one of a simple causal relationship. While livelihood changes may superficially drive land use change, exist­ ing land uses are critical means not only of obtaining subsistence, but also of defining gender roles within households, recognizing threats to local livelihoods, and identifying solutions to those threats, and evaluating the efficacy of those solutions. In this sense, then, the relationship of livelihoods and land use is one where each con­ stantly influences the other (Agarwal, 1998). Peri-urbanization, for instance, affects not just land uses, but also livelihood decisions and even spatial decision-making. Economic shifts and shocks, such as those associated with the opening of economies in the Global South do not just change people’s livelihood opportunities and land-use choices, but can shake societies to the level of the house­ hold and gender relations (Shatkin, 2007). Thus, the shock to the livelihood system of the area has had a differential impact across and within households. In market households, the loss of non­ farm employment (NFE) may not have been crippling (even with­ out NFE, these households earned nearly three times as much as the diversified households), but it did fundamentally challenge the idea of earning as much money as possible to manage shocks (Table 8.7). This is especially true for women, who are losing nearly half of their income certainly noticed a much greater stress on their ability to provide for their households. For women, at least, this creates a disjoint between their discursive understanding of livelihood strategies and their material experience of its outcomes, which may have led them to question this livelihoods discourse, and their place in it. Challenges to this discourse exist in a mutu­ ally reinforcing relationship with gender roles in these households (McCusker and Carr, 2006). When the people sell their land and are forced to move to newer locations, they not only lose the physical capital but the whole gamut of social capital and network is dis­ rupted. Social capital is defined as the social resources (networks, norms, membership of groups, relationships of trust and reciprocity,

Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications




Diversified the livelihood alternatives Generated more livelihood opportunities Provided easy access to jobs in the city Raised the income level Threatened earning opportunities Paved opportunities for women and poor Total


22 19 16 21 24 18

18.33 15.83 13.33 17.05 20.00 15.00



Source: Personal survey, 2011.

access to wider institutions of society) on which people draw in pursuit of livelihoods. Such networks can be used to facilitate ac­ cess to loans, childcare support, food and accommodation. Social capital is helpful in reducing vulnerability especially during times of crisis and social and economic change in reducing vulnerability (Rakodi, 2002; Meikle et al., 2001; Meikle, 2002; Phillips, 2002). It is more important to the poor as a survival mechanism for people tend to rely on it due to absence of other assets (Jarosz, 2008). Examples of social networks include neighbourhood-based group­ ings, gender- and age-based networks, political-based networks, religious and ethnic linkages and associations, savings and credit groups (ibid.). ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS

The carrying capacity of land and infrastructure is greatly com­ promised due to excessive pressure of floating population; cities are not able to meet formal housing requirements and most of the in-migrants move to the peripheral areas of cities and have little access to planned water supply, sanitation, infrastructure, etc. Human interaction brings about a change in the organic relation­ ship and threatens the place where such changes occur. When land is properly managed through human activities like agriculture, pastoralism and those which are forestry based, the ecological


Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

system tends towards equilibrium; however, there is environmental degradation when the land is mismanaged and exploited (Douglas, 2006). Apart from deteriorating the physical environment, an­ thropogenic activities also deteriorate the social environment of the peri-urban ecosystem. The impact of environmental degrada­ tion brings about changes in the micro-climate, causes material damages (including resources) and health hazards. Disposal of industrial effluent and solid urban waste has changed the environ­ ment and paved way for pollution and consequent health hazards. Increased land-man ratio on the one hand leads to fragmentation of landholdings, thereby making it uneconomic, leading to en­ croachments. On the other hand, the aggravating biotic pressure brings in phenomenal changes in the land-use pattern in the peri­ urban interface which creates environment stress. Urban expansion has a profound impact on the functioning of the natural hydro­ logical cycle where it intercepts and rearranges the storage and pathways of water, alters water storages well outside the city limits and involves efforts to offset some of the adverse and inadvertent effects of the land-use changes (cf. Singh and Singh, 2003) and in the longer run, the micro-bio-geochemical cycles get disturbed. In addition to declining water table, the uncontrolled disposal of industrial effluent and sewage has contaminated the ground water to alarming levels. The intensification of agriculture has led to greater input of fertilizers, pesticides and other harmful chemical additives.11 These chemicals not only harm the top soil, but also percolate down and contaminate the water table which is more harmful. A general rising trend of heavy metals, total dissolved solids (TDS), chlorides, nitrates, sulphates, fluorides, electrical conductivity, etc., is noticed in the ground water, which violates water quality standards (Singh and Kumar, 2006). Similarly the presence of total coli forms and faecal coli forms are reported from hand pumps in the villages near the city (Dwivedi and Tripathi, 2007). Ponds, tanks, wells and other water sources are very much a part of Varanasi’s cultural fabric. Apart from being sources of water and religious importance, they are ecological entities and environmen­ tal resources. Due to the unbridled urban expansion and encroach­

Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications


ment on the surrounding area, the water bodies have shrunk in their areal extent and the ecosystem has come under pressure. These water bodies are now being used as local garbage dumping sites and are in a vulnerable condition due to encroachment by settle­ ments and other built-up lands. Peri-urbanization also brings along with it physical congestion that manifests into the negative features of housing, utility and infrastructure shortages that cause pollution and insanitation, lead­ ing to innumerable public health problems. Moreover, the Varanasi peri-urban zone has become congested, as the open green spaces are shrinking and the village aesthetics and serenity is lost. There is rapid intrusion of urban activities in the agricultural landscape of the peri-urban area. The physical expansion of the city reduces the proportion of rural agricultural lands. These lands were used for raising agricultural products, using the liquid urban waste gen­ erated within the city for agricultural purposes (including horti­ culture and pisciculture), but with shrinkage in the total agricul­ tural land, the urban waste remains unutilized and drains directly into the Ganga and Varuna. This zone which worked as a buffer zone, a green belt, has now lost its identity. Apart from satisfying the urban needs with market gardening, livestock production and aquaculture which augmented food supply to the city, this zone also contributed to the quality of the urban environment as an excellent assimilator of forms of urban waste, thereby immensely curbing the urban heat island effect. Being close to the city, the area also contributed in cutting down the cost of perishable pro­ ducts for the consumers, handling the cheap and ready availability of labour needs, using the recycled bio-degradable waste, reduc­ ing the solid waste management costs and at the same time eco­ nomic use of the liquid waste. Now these additional benefits are no more in existence and the loss and excess load has increased due to the spontaneous urban development in the area, which has oblit­ erated such practices which indirectly had a hand in the sustain­ able management of the city. Reductions in biomass accumulation and yield at sites having high levels of SO2, NO2 and ozone clearly depict a marked nega­ tive influence of air quality on plants grown at different sites in the


Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

peri-urban fringes of Varanasi city. As a result, the extremely hos­ tile environmental conditions, mostly in the form of air pollution, originating from the urban centres has emerged as a major con­ straint on peri-urban crop yield and its nutritional quality in India (Agarwal et al., 2003). There is a direct impact of air pollut­ ants emanating from the cities on crop yield which has implica­ tions in terms of the livelihoods of producers and food security for inhabitants of urban and peri-urban areas. In contrast to many industrialized countries, increased food production is a major goal in the developing world, and urban and peri-urban agriculture plays a vital role in the nutrition of city dwellers, particularly the poor, in many developing countries (Singh and Chandra Sen, 2001). SOCIAL IMPACTS

The social characteristics of the people living in the peri-urban zone exhibit intermediate nature. Urban activities having spilled onto the villages and taken over their characteristics and traditions, transition is quite apparent. It is sparsely rural or semi-urban, inhabitated by urbanites, outsiders, who are socially and economi­ cally not of the village. The area is characterized by incoherence of physical and social attributes. There is noticed unprecedented upheaval in the social arena, as socio-cultural grievances are caused by dissemination of extended urban culture. The peri-urban area is a mixed zone of socio-economic characteristics in which rural activities, traditions and modes of life are in rapid retreat, and urban-oriented social attributes are intruding. The ‘deep rooted’ rural culture, values and ethics are getting immolated at the hands of uninterrupted urban culture, which is uprooting and toppling the long-established traditions and reshuffling the caste pyramid, with intrusion of multicultural and multilingual people (Shatkin, 2007). Peri-urban zones are culturally more diverse, and are likely to be less safe and more socially fragmented than generally more stable rural areas. Peri-urban neighbourhoods contain a diversity of family types which are often fluid in their structure. This social diversity is likely to create tensions and the need for different survival strategies from those practised in rural areas (cf. Wratten,

Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications


1995; Rakodi, 1993). Clashes of interest may develop between traditional locals and recent immigrants since the services of local builders and workmen are sought by both groups, but to the satis­ faction of neither. The peri-urban society is clearly divided into two groups: natives and outsiders. The natives have a separate com­ munity of their own. The outsiders do not participate in local community affairs and occasions. The communication gap slowly breeds into a segregated society which is visible in these villages with formation of social groups (Table 8.8). The settlement pattern also reveals segregation clearly. The outsiders have built their houses adjacent to the roads, in open spaces away from the inhabited parts of the village concerned which is found mostly in the inner part. The opening face of the village, roadside land, etc., are pre­ ferred by outsiders for whom connectivity to the city is more im­ portant than the village. Such re-orientation and re-organization of space in the village has given birth to a new type of segregation within settlement and society which has torn apart the social fabric and dismantled the long-established social order, social cohesion (Sharma, 2003). TABLE 8.8: BASIS OF FORMATION OF SOCIAL GROUPS






Professional similarity



Caste similarity



Social status



Place of origin



Economic status









Source: Field survey, 2011.

Remarks Occupation; working in the similar domain The basis of hamlets/colony formation is on caste lines Social hierarchy is visible; social stratification Natives vs. outsiders; same district/state Poor vs. rich: secure vs. insecure Relatives, knowns, etc.


Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

The family system has also suffered at the hands of extended urbanism. The joint family system has become less conspicuous; and in place of that nuclear families and single individuals dominate the scene. The feeling of familial bondage and interdependency (the base of joint family system in Indian society) is diminishing and is getting replaced by ego-centric, self-centric feelings which lead to helplessness, dejection among the elderly, inter-personal clashes and rivalry which slowly graduates into social stratification (Agarwal, 1998). The villages were already class ridden but due to peri-urbanization and incoming ‘newcomers’ the class gets reflected in social as well as economic differences. There is also noticed a dividing line in the demographic composition, residential structure and societal morphology. The residential structure of the natives is ‘caste’ oriented with relatively low income and education but that of the outsiders is class (income) oriented with higher level of socio­ economic status (Sengupta, 1988 and Shekhar et al., 2000). The ‘outsiders’ or ‘newcomers’ show a heavy bias towards the natives. Social and economic status become the core issues. The wide gulf due to socio-economic status has pulled an iron curtain between the natives and outsiders. The village affairs are excessively restricted within the same class. In terms of social organization, the social life and professions of the newcomers differ sharply from those of the native residents. Gradually, the social life of the village changes to meet and adapt to the demands of the newcomers. There is often a silent clash between traditional and modern cultures. The (older generation of the) natives want to retain their traditional identity whereas the ‘intruders’ give tend to disapprove traditional structures, blaming it to be rigid, a sign of backward­ ness and narrow mindedness. The natives are more ‘social’, have higher percentage of joint family system, reluctant to change while the outsiders have nuclear families, have a more economic mindset and are apt to accept radical changes. The cases of social delinquency such as alcoholism, prostitution, destitution, theft, etc., have gone up in the recent past which is increasingly deteriorating the socio­ cultural structure and is shaking the base of Indian village identity. Due to a change in the consumption pattern, shops, boutiques, beauty parlours, tea and snacks stalls and many more are coming

Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications


up to cater to the needs of the residents. Peri-urban villages are exhibiting the co-existence rather than the integration of new social groups. If at all any social link develops, it is confined to economic relations. The natives work as gardeners and domestic help for the outsiders. IMPACTS ON GENDER ISSUES

The status and condition of women in India reveals the obscure rural-urban divide. On the basis of generally used indicators, the women are said to be better placed in cities compared to their rural counterparts. In the case of the peri-urban interface zones around cities, which exhibit a character midway between the rural and the urban, it is presumed that the condition of women would be at least better than that of the typical rural women, if not like their city counterparts. Our field survey (Table 8.9), reveals that the females have pro­ gressed in all spheres and their condition has improved with time, under city’s influence, as they reported. They have become so­ cially, economically, and politically better off and are marching forward on the road to gender equality. The number of female

TABLE 8.9: PERI-URBAN IMPACTS ON GENDER (n = 120) Attributes Positve Participation in social and political affairs Participation in decisionmaking (home affairs) Enrolment in higher and technical education Females as family heads Participation in economic decision making Source: Field survey, 2011.

Change (%) Negative None Cannot Total say











73 57

05 08

07 27

15 08

100 100







Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

workforce is continuously on the rise, due to assistance from sev­ eral government schemes, self-help groups (SHG) and the chang­ ing mindset of the people, especially the menfolk. People have become ‘softer’ to the ‘suppressed sex’, as they want even the girl child to attend good schools as the male child. A visit to a primary school in the village reflected the growing share of girl students in the total strength. The outsiders are softer to gender issues and therefore the condition of females is comparatively better among them than that of the natives. Since these outsiders carry with them city culture, they have been a potent force of change and a source of inspiration in promoting gender equality and infusing women empowerment in the villages. Participation of women has increased in self-employment, trade and commerce and services sectors which speaks of economic empowerment and improved standard of living. Percentage of housewives and agricul­ tural labourers is decreasing rapidly and the shift is towards other economically independent and productive sectors, which could be taken as a healthy sign (Table 8.10). The dwindling nature of agriculture, shortage of land, lure of smart professions and the support of male members of the family have helped in fostering the economic empowerment of women. TABLE 8.10: CHANGING EMPLOYMENT PATTERNS


Employment category

Housewives Services Agriculture labour Trade and commerce Wage labour Self-employed Others Total Source : Field survey, 2011.

Till 1991 1991-2001 (in %) (in %)

2001-11 (in %)

Change (1991­ 2011 (in %)

43 04 21 07 14 03 08

32 09 18 11 15 08 07

19 13 07 21 17 15 08

44.18 325.0 33.33 300.0 121.4 500.0 –




Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications


Livelihood vulnerabilities cannot be ignored due to landlessness and joblessness arising out of lack of skill and expertise in the urban work culture. This group which was hitherto an economic asset becomes an economic burden on the working population due to the sudden upsurge in family expenditure as indicated ear­ lier. The aggravating load on family expenses compels the women­ folk to engage themselves in activities which are ‘unethical, unhy­ gienic and which were traditionally not acceptable in the society, which has wider implications on their health, status and thus affects the social ecology and dismantles the social structures’ (Thukral, 1996). There is clear distance-decay in terms of these positive impacts as the villages located away from cities show lesser signs of gender equality compared to those near the city. Similarly, the women from the socially marginalized and lower groups are readily adopt­ ing changes than their counterparts among the higher groups. The outsiders are more open to these changes and stronger than the natives on the gender front. The natives (of mostly older genera­ tions) are more reluctant to the changes taking place in the gender sphere. But the younger generation has a broader outlook on this issue. The outlook on the gender issue also varies along the lines of social and economic status. The sense and taste of modernity has got infused in these villages which can be easily observed in the process of interaction with villagers. There are major changes in their dressing, mode of transport (females riding two-wheelers), food habits, and also frequency of visits to cities. The women who were usually behind the curtains in the yesteryears are seen roam­ ing freely, going for shopping without being escorted by the male members of the family. The neighbourhood effect (which mostly comes from the outsiders) has played a significant role in bringing this radical and progressive change. POLICY IMPLICATIONS

Cities are the engines for economic and social development of a

country. The massive agglomeration of population not only influ­ ences the overall city structures but also causes rapid consumption


Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

of environmental resources in the vicinity of the cities, particularly in the peri-urban areas. Balanced development of peri-urban inter­ face zones is now a challenge for urban planning where the on­ slaught of urbanization is quite obvious (Shaw and Satish, 2007). In the course of urban spread, valuable agricultural land is being converted for building, homes, industries and transport facilities. Land being inadequate, government need to develop policies to maintain it, as unplanned decisions may result in misery for large segments of the local population and destruction of valuable rural ecosystem. Old cities like Varanasi have both planned and un­ planned urban set-ups in close vicinity (Kumar et al., 2010). Al­ though urban expansion cannot be stopped, with proper manage­ ment and planning it can be directed in a desirable and sustain­ able way which can help in protecting fertile agricultural lands too. There needs to be a stricter implementation of agricultural land conversion laws and greater encouragement to farmers to re­ main in farming activities. These would on the one hand make farming attractive and on the other reduce the incentive for ruralto-urban migration. Although urban interests are deeply committed to making the most of the available land and water resources in rural and peri­ urban areas, hardly any state agencies pay sufficient attention to documenting or analysing patterns and intensities of vulnerabili­ ties and their long-term implications. The peri-urban population depends upon land for livelihood. Therefore, the whole range of livelihood options is affected when land is converted to urban uses. These areas are in a state of decay, in particular for those who depend upon agriculture for their livelihoods, who make up the majority population. Those who benefit from the spill-over effects of urban development (e.g. enhanced land values, or land specula­ tion) constitute a minority. It is important to focus on how the majority, whose livelihoods are affected, cope with these effects. Are there any institutional mechanisms to cope with peri-urban issues relating to natural resource management? Are panchayat bodies aware of this and what concrete actions have they taken so far to deal with urban expansion? The state institutions do not take any coordinated action to preserve the local natural resources;

Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications


instead they pull in opposite directions due to a fractured institu­ tional set-up. There is no legal mechanism to protect livelihoods and the ecology of peri-urban areas. Integrated and holistic tech­ niques for the planning and management of land resources will help maintain long-term quality of the land for human use, pre­ vent or resolve social conflicts related to land use and livelihoods, and the conversion of ecosystens (Bryant, 1995). Peri-urbanization, the consequent rural transformation and myriad of inter-connected phenomena receive inadequate attention from relevant institutions owing to a number of reasons including juris­ dictional conflict, the lack of relevant policy, lack of human and financial resources, and so on.12 Therefore, it has been recommended that this institutional confusion or gap should be addressed by integrating the peri-urban areas within the urban planning system, promotion of urban good governance and coordination between related organizations like the ones responsible for land use plan­ ning, pollution control and waste management, the framing of relevant policies and so on. Devising policy interventions for the peri-urban interface requires explicit attention to strengthening rural-urban linkages that materialize through the two-way flow of goods and services between villages and urban centres. Improving transportation and connectivity have a clear role in this, and this requires collaboration across not only rural and urban governments but also across authorities at various levels: village, district, state and country (cf. Kundu, 2011). As the peri-urban interface emerges, there is a need for protecting common property resources that are diverted to other activities and purposes, or to provide an alterna­ tive to those who have conventionally depended on them for their sustenance (Narain and Nischel, 2007). At the same time, peri­ urban dwellers are confronted with both urban and rural laws and institutions, breeding a situation of legal pluralism. This contri­ butes further to the challenge of addressing peri-urban as a policy space. There is now an urgent need to view urban, peri-urban and rural segments of a region as parts of an integrated livelihood and ecosystem. In other words, all three segments are very much a part of an integrated socio-economic developmental process of an economy. Bhagat (2011) observes ‘rural (R), peri-urban (PU) and


Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

urban (U) form a linked system (R-PU-U), which constitutes an uneven multi-dimensional continuum’. A fragmented approach would only bring about rural/urban and peri-urban/urban divide, besides contributing to the destruction of ecology, environment and livelihood options in the rural and peri-urban areas. For many purposes, it is important to consider the peri-urban zone as an extension of the city rather than as an entirely separate area. Con­ versely, the peri-urban zone should also be considered as part of the adjacent rural area for a holistic approach to rural research and development since there are two-way influences and interactions (Simon et al., 2006: 9-10). With the 74th Constitution Amendment Act of 1992, some hope for peri-urban areas had emerged with the act’s recognition of ‘transitional areas’ and the granting of civic status to them as Nagar Panchayats or Town Panchayats (Shaw, 2005). But in the case of peri-urban areas, the data is largely non-existent because most of these areas lie outside the legal limits of the city or town. Any plan to provide a regular and systematic service would require these data (Kundu et al., 2002). This unsatisfactory state of affairs in most peri-urban areas is largely due to official neglect and non­ recognition of these areas as deserving of urban civic status. This again has been the outcome of the dichotomous way the census has defined peri-urban areas as those settlements that are economi­ cally and demographically urban but are not granted ‘urban civic status’ and are governed by rural local bodies (Bhagat, 2003). There exist no estimates of population or workers living in peripheral urban (peri-urban) areas. At best, estimates of population residing in peri-urban areas can be inferred from Census of India but these estimates are far from precise. Despite the data deficit and without precise definition what constitutes a peri-urban area, discussions typically veer towards abject living conditions of people living in these areas (Kundu et al., 2002). There are, however, choices for policy planners as well as state-level bureaucrats and politicians that can lead to an amelioration of the current state of utter ne­ glect of peri-urban areas (Rakodi, 2001). As Indian cities continue to spread outwards, the problems faced by peri-urban areas will assume greater visibility and importance. Policy-makers must be­

Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications


gin to act now and either give such areas more civic autonomy or provide, via the state government, a modicum of basic civic ser­ vices. Local-level initiatives can clearly augment such efforts but local-level initiatives with no backing by local government or state are unlikely to succeed (Shaw, 1999). Different policy solutions are clearly needed for peri-urban areas, different from those ad­ vanced for rural or urban areas. The peri-urban poor depend to a greater extent on access to natural resources than do wealthier, urban-based groups. Conse­ quently, the peri-urban poor are adversely affected when these re­ sources are lost or degraded by influxes of people from expanding urban areas; solid waste disposal and untreated liquid waste from residential and industrial areas. Active support to the poorer and more vulnerable groups and a search for environmental sustainability demands creative management of the problems and opportunities arising from the meeting of urban and rural activities. Land-use policies that help to enhance livelihoods and promote better use of scarce resources and urban waste are crucial. Equally important are appropriate policies concerning basic infrastructure, training, information and improved governance for the peri-urban inter­ face. The multidimensional marginal existence of the peri-urban zones and its population will continue as long as scientific, polit­ ical and bureaucratic interests locate them in the margins of scien­ tific and societal interest, decision-making and adequate policy making. CONCLUSION

Peri-urbanization is an important element of growth and develop­ ment but peri-urbanization at the cost of productive agricultural lands and creating joblessness, threatening livelihoods, and caus­ ing socio-cultural disruptions and ecological degradation becomes a debatable point. Urban-driven development in the name of rural transformation, bringing in unsustainable livelihoods, deprivation and marginalization, creates a vulnerable situation and finally dis­ rupts the agrarian economy and social order which is wholly un­ desirable. The dynamics of peri-urbanization in cities like Varanasi


Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

cannot be on the lines of cities of developed nations because twothirds of the population here still thrives on agriculture to make both ends meet. The peri-urban zones, if efficiently managed, can act as buffer zones to bridge the rural-urban divide, accommodate the sprawling cities, act as green belts and continue, as a place with the dual role of maintaining rural sustainability and identity but with urban amenities. Due to the haphazard expansion of urban areas and intrusion of urban attributes in the peri-urban interfaces, the geographical harmony and symbiotic relationship between the city and its periphery is likely to perish and degenerate which can never be fruitful as far as the dynamics of city-periphery is con­ cerned. NOTES 1. In developing countries, an estimated 4,76,000 ha of arable land is con­ verted to urban uses yearly. By the year 2025, 61 per cent of the world population will be urban and about 85 per cent of these developments will occur at the urban hinterland widely referred to as peri-urban zones (The UN-Habitat Annual Report, 2006). 2. There are two dominant perspectives on the rural-urban divide. The anti­ urban view bemoans the perceived disappearance of rural life. The prourban view sees urbanization as a progressive driving force for positive change (see Kundu et al., 2002). 3. Access to land is recognized as being fundamental to most family asset bases and to social sustainability in terms of food security, capital, buffer against external shocks and as a safety net. In agrarian societies, right to land is the basis for social relationships and cultural values and a source of prestige, power and political status. The way that land tenure arrangements promote or inhibit on-farm and off-farm diversification as well as political and social rights to land has important implications for human security and sustainability. Security of tenure emerges as crucial for sustainability (see Shinde, 2010). 4. In the peri-urban interface settlements, urbanization processes impact upon the nature of land tenure arrangements such as sharecropping or tenancy which play an important role in maintaining the relationship of peri-urban residents with their home assets in rural areas, even as they migrate to cities. That is, they provide a mechanism for peri-urban residents to engage with urban as well as with rural livelihoods. Even as they migrate to cities, they

Impact of Peri-Urbanization and Its Policy Implications


maintain a hold over their rural assets by giving them out on contract (see Narain, 2009b). 5. Studies on the peri-urban interface of Varanasi city are limited. The existing ones like Dube and Dwivedi, 1994; Singh and Singh, 2003; Agrawal et al., 2003; Kumar et al., 2010; Sharma et al., 2008; Singh and Sen, 2001; Mukherjee and Jaiswal, 2006; and Pandey, 2010 have covered only agri­ culture and environmental issues; other related issues have been left un­ touched. 6. One bishwa of land is equivalent to 1,365 sq. ft or 126.8 sq. m. 7. The villagers described land not only as the ecological basis for growing food, but also as the source of power and social standing. It is perceived as the basis for accessing other inputs like credit, as a hedge against inflation and as an avenue to increase their net worth, because land prices are on the rise. As the state is able to acquire land for development, many farmers are forced to sell to private developers in advance and at a higher price. Some people hope to buy land further away from the city. However, the negative psychological impact of land acquisition was apparent. 8. In a village setting, the productive land is a source of livelihood not only to its owners but also to the indirectly affected families like the agricultural labourers, and other service caste groups. The directly affected are some­ how able to cope up with the situation. However, the indirectly affected are left without any social and financial security (see Sharma, 2003). 9. Urban agriculture may function as an important strategy for poverty alle­ viation and social integration of disadvantaged groups with the aim to integrate them more strongly into the urban network, provide them with a decent livelihood safety net, and prevent social problems and community building (see Novo and Murphy, 2000). 10. Commercial peri-urban agricultural production has increased proportion­ ately to urbanization. The city provides an ever-expanding cash market for such crops, and not just for basic food crops. Besides growing demand from its middle-class, the impact of these commercial changes is felt far beyond the immediate environs of the city (see Briggs, 1991). 11. Peri-urban agriculture (PUA) is subjected to increasing amount of agricul­ tural pollution as well as from industrial, domestic and vehicular sources. This sub-aerial and waterborne pollution can be associated with dramatic reductions in crop yield, visible quality and rapid post-harvest deteriora­ tion of produce (see Marshall et al., 1997; Marshall et al., 2005; Sharma et al., 2008; Agrawal et al., 2003). 12. While municipal corporations, housing boards and water supply boards collectively negotiate claims over land and water rights on behalf of urban


Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh areas, the peri-urban areas are represented individually and are often subject to threats. Such negotiations are often one-sided because of the unequal bargaining power enjoyed by these agencies. This is precisely the context in which a collective multi-stakeholder dialogue approach and a participatory planning process would be useful for a better-negotiated democratic settlement.

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Dahiya, B. (2003), ‘Peri-urban Environments and Community-driven Devel­ opment: Chennai, India’, Cities, 20 (5): 341-52. Dangalle, N. and N. Anders (2006), ‘Peri-urban Development in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka’, in D. McGregor, D. Simon and D. Thompson (eds.), The Peri-urban Interface: Approaches to Sustainable Natural and Human Resource Use, Earthscan, VA, pp. 165-80. Douglas, I. (2006), ‘Peri-urban Ecosystems and Societies: Transitional Zones and Contrasting Values’, in D. McGregor, D. Simon and D. Thompson (eds.), The Peri-urban Interface: Approaches to Sustainable Natural and Human Resource Use, Earthscan, VA, pp. 18-29. Druijven, P.C.J. (2001), ‘Environmental Aspects in the Urban Fringe: A Kalei­ doscopic View’, Geographical Review of India, 64(3): 233-43. Dube, K.K. and J. Dwivedi (1994), ‘Characteristics of Rural-Urban Fringe in Indian Cities (Varanasi)’, in H.H. Singh et al. (eds.), Patterns of Urban Change in India, Varanasi: Indrasini Devi Publications, pp. 183-99. Dwivedi, A.K. and B.D. Tripathi (2007), ‘Pollution Tolerance and Distribution Pattern of Plants in Surrounding Area of Coal-fired Industries’, Journal of Environmental Biology, 28(2): 257-63. Fazal, S. (2001), ‘Dynamics of Urban Land Transformation in Developing Economy’, Indian Journal of Regional Sciences, 33(1): 98-111. International Fund for Agricultural Development (2006), Land Tenure Security for Poverty Reduction in Eastern and Southern Africa, A Workshop Report, 27 to 29 June 2006, Kampala. Janakarajan, S. (2009), ‘Urbanization and Periurbanization: Aggressive Com­ petition and Unresolved Conflicts: The Case of Chennai City in India’, South Asian Water Studies, 1(1): 51-76. Jarosz, L. (2008), ‘The City in the Country: Growing Alternative Food Net­ works in Metropolitan Areas’, Journal of Rural Studies, 24: 231-44. Khan, M. and S. Shekhar (2000), ‘Changing Face of the Rural Hinterland of a Fast Growing Town, Case Study: Gurgaon and Its Hinterland’, Indian Journal of Regional Science, 32(1): 106-17. Kumar, M. et al. (2010), ‘Land Use Patterns and Urbanization in the Holy City of Varanasi, India: A Scenario’, Environ Monit Assess, 167: 417-22. Kumar, B. (2006), ‘District Model Land Use Plan: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh’, Final Report of the State Land Use Board, Uttar Pradesh, Department of Planning, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow. Retrieved in March 2012 from use board/Varanasi.pdf Kundu, A. (2011), ‘Politics and Economics of Urban Growth’, Economic and Political Weekly, 46 (20): 10-12. Kundu, A. et al. (2002), ‘Dichotomy or Continuum: Analysis of Impact of


Ravi S. Singh and Satyendra Narayan Singh

Urban Centres on Their Periphery’, Economic and Political Weekly, 37(50): 5039-46. Lopez, E. et al. (2001), ‘Predicting Land-cover and Land-use Change in the Urban Fringe: A Case in Morelia City, Mexico’, Landscape Urban Planning, 55: 271-85. Maconachie, R. (2007), Urban Growth and Land Degradation in Developing Cities: Change and Challenges in Kano, Nigeria, London: Ashgate Pub. Mas, J.F. et al. (2004), ‘Assessing Land Use/Cover Changes: A Nationwide Multidate Spatial Database for Mexico’, International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 5: 249-61. McCusker, B. and E.R. Carr (2006), ‘The Co-production of Livelihoods and Land Use Change: Case Studies from South Africa and Ghana’, Geoforum, 37 (5): 790-804. McGee, T.G. (1991), ‘The Emergence of Desakota Regions in Asia: Expanding a Hypothesis’, in N. Ginsburg, B. Koppel and T.G. McGee (eds.), The Extended Metropolis: Settlement Transition in Asia, Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press, pp. 3-25. Meikle, S. (2002), ‘The Urban Context and Poor People’, in C. Rakodi and T. Lloyd-Jones (eds.), Urban Livelihoods: A People-Centred Approach to Reducing Poverty, London: Earthscan Publication, pp. 37-51. Meikle, S., R. Tamsin and W. Julian, (2001), Sustainable Urban Livelihoods: Concepts and Implications for Policy, Working Paper No. 112, London, Retrieved in March 2012 from Sustainable_Urban%20Livelihoods.pdf Morello, J. et al. (2000), ‘Urbanization and the Consumption of Fertile Land and Other Ecological Changes: The Case of Buenos Aires’, Environment and Urbanization, 12(2): 119-32. Mycoo, M. (2006), ‘Sustainable Livelihoods in the Periurban Interface: Anse La Raye, St. Lucia’, in D. McGregor, D. Simon and D. Thompson (eds.), The Peri-urban Interface: Approaches to Sustainable Natural and Human Resource Use, VA: Earthscan, pp. 134-48. Narain, V. (2009 a), ‘Growing City, Shrinking Hinterland: Land Acquisition, Transition and Conflict in Peri-urban Gurgaon, India’, Environment and Urbanisation, 21: 501-12. —— (2009 b), ‘Gone Land, Gone Water: Crossing Fluid Boundaries in Periurban Gurgaon and Faridabad, India’, South Asian Water Studies, 1(2): 143-58. Narain, V. and S. Nischal (2007), ‘The Peri-urban Interface in Shahpur Khurd and Karnera, India’, Environment and Urbanization, 19(1): 261-73.

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Novo, M. Gonzalez and C. Murphy (2000), ‘Urban Agriculture in the City of Havana: A Popular Response to Crisis’, in N. Bakker et al. (eds.), Growing Cities, Growing Food, Urban Agriculture on the Policy Agenda, DSE, Feldafing, pp. 329-48. Phillips, S. (2002), ‘Social Capital, Local Networks and Community Develop­ ment’, in C. Rakodi and T. Lloyd-Jones (eds.), Urban Livelihoods: A PeopleCentred Approach to Reducing Poverty, Sterling: Earthscan Publication, pp. 133-50. Rakodi, C. (1995), ‘The Household Strategies of the Urban Poor: Coping with Poverty and Recession in Gweru, Zimbabwe’, Habitat International Journal, 19(4): 447-71. —— (2002), ‘A Livelihoods Approach: Conceptual Issues and Definitions’, in C. Rakodi and T. Lloyd-Jones (eds.), Urban Livelihoods: A People-Centred Approach to Reducing Poverty, Sterling: Earthscan Publication, pp. 3-22. —— (2001), ‘Urban Governance and Poverty-addressing Needs, Asserting Claims: An Editorial Introduction’, International Planning Studies, 6 (4): 343-56. Ramchandran, R. (1988), Urbanisation and Urban System in India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Ryan, R.L. and J.T.H. Walker (2004), ‘Protecting and Managing Private Farm­ land and Public Greenways in the Urban Fringe’, Landscape and Urban Planning, 68: 183-98. Sengupta, Smita (1988), ‘Problems of Changing Land use Pattern in the Urban Fringe of Ahmedabad’, Geographical Review of India, 50(1): 77-83. Sharma, R.K., M. Agrawal and F. Marshall (2008), ‘Heavy Metal (Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb) Contamination of Vegetables in Urban India: A Case Study in Varanasi’, Environmental Pollution, 154(2): 254-63. Sharma, R.N. (2003), ‘Involuntary Displacement: A Few Encounters’, Economic and Political Weekly, 38(9): 907-12. Shatkin, G. (2007), ‘Global Cities of the South: Emerging Perspectives on Growth and Inequality, Cities, 24(1): 1-15. Shaw, A. and M.K. Satish (2007), ‘Metropolitan Restructuring in Post-Liberal­ ized India: Separating the Global and the Local’, Cities, 24(2): 148-63. Shaw, A. (1999), ‘Emerging Patterns of Urban Growth in India’, Economic and Political Weekly 34(16-17): 969-78. —— (2005), ‘Peri-urban Interface of Indian Cities: Growth, Governance and Local Initiatives’, Economic and Political Weekly, 40(2): 129-36. Shindhe, K.C. (2010), ‘The National Highway By-pass Around Hubli-Dharwar and its Impact on Peri-urban Livelihoods’, in D. McGregor, D. Simon


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Reconfiguring Urban Space: Loss

of Green Space in Varanasi

B I K R A M A D I T Y A K . C H O U D H A RY



Industrialization and consequent urbanization over last two cen­ turies has produced an accelerated affluent economic system with higher levels of diversification. Apart from benefits like locales of opportunities for entrepreneurs as well as a seedbed of democratic change, ‘the mothers of economic development’ (Soja, 2000); cities are also held responsible for upcoming of large slums, squatters, fragmentation of society, poverty and more importantly unsustain­ able environmental damages. For this obvious reason, the process of urbanization is always contested between economists and environ­ mentalists (Satterthwaite, 1997). The dominant branch of eco­ nomists understands urbanization as the higher stage of civiliza­ tion which can produce ‘surplus’ to sustain growing population; while the environmentalists consider that great cities are planned and grow without any regard for the fact that they are parasite on the countryside, which must somehow supply food, water, air and generate huge quantities of waste.1 Most urban areas especially large cities of the Third World countries face growing problems of urban sprawl, loss of natural resources like vegetation, open space, streams and so on and a consequent decline of natural landscape in totality. Urbanization does have had its by-products as increasing levels of pollution and an increasing tendency to create fragmentation in


Bikramaditya K. Choudhary and Rakesh Arya

urban society. Urban growth and concentration of people in large number across cities and towns create different kinds of societal and environmental problems worldwide. Urban areas are thus considered by far the most serious pollutant of environment. Pol­ lution is an intrusion/change in existing system that seizes capa­ bility of the system to revert back to equilibrium condition.2 Many irreversible changes are noticed in cities. Most conspicuous being change in land use from agricultural to non-agricultural practices. This has a multiplier effect on both positive and negative counts. Later type of land use provides more job opportunities at the same time also results in release of larger quantity of effluents in water and air and also creates social fragmentation and exclusion. Change in land-use pattern has been primary criteria for identifi­ cation of urban areas and also primary concern for urban planners, ecologist and environmentalists. Change from agricultural or forest land to built-up areas or concrete structure is prime worry for those who work for sustainability of cities and a major challenge to planner and policy makers, who try to convert lands for more profit­ able and attractive ventures. Condition is more worrisome in cities of the Third World, as there is unchecked and unplanned expan­ sion outward and even inside cities frequent change in land use is noticed due to absence of proper planning and lack of timely imple­ mentation. The public associate themselves with problem only when they see residential and commercial activities replacing un­ developed natural landscape in their own neighbourhoods. Landuse change is shaped by timeline of historical events and also shapes the current pattern of economic and social landscape of the city that is key to sustainability attainment. Still, different characteristics of land-use changes and various features associated with it espe­ cially people’s perception and suitability aspects are less researched. In this context the paper aims to review urban land-use changes in the city of Varanasi since 2000 primarily for green-space, water bodies and built-up areas. Analysis of land-use is important as it can be one primary component for creation of a sound basis for analysis of challenges to sustainability and evolving policy to address them. In this paper, we have prepared retrospective land-use database using LANDSAT satellite data and have analysed quantum of change

Reconfiguring Urban Space


within municipal wards of Varanasi. The paper on the basis of census data analyses the ward level shift from green space to builtup area and correlate with ward level Scheduled Caste population. THE CITY OF VARANASI IN THE PAST

The city has emerged over several centuries. The extent of city limit has been expanding overtime and though Varanasi had been divided twice, the area under urban limits increased from 116.6 sq. km in 1961 to 157.7 sq. km in 1981 meaning an increase of 35.25 per cent during two decades. The city of Varanasi is spread over 1,550 sq. km. The present paper has considered three major categories of land use namely, vegetation, built-up and water bodies for analysis. All other types of land use is put together in category ‘others’. We are doing ward level analysis to show spatial character­ istics of the variation in the land use. Mainly wards which have larger per cent of built-up are located in the centre (Figure 9.1). Different wards in the city of Varanasi had varying proportion of built-up area in 2002 ranging from less than 2 per cent like Sarnath, Konia Goan, Tarna, etc., to more than 90 per cent like Jangambari, Madanpura, Rampura, Kaal Bhairav (Tables 9.1 and 9.2). Wards including Shivala, Nadeshar, Sigra, Raj Mandir, Laksha Beniya were the regions which housed large scale open area belonging to chieftains and started getting densely populated lately and in 2002 is moderately built-up. The wards showing less than 57 per cent built-up areas were the outgrowth in year 2002. The densely built-up wards naturally have sparse vegetation or less than 5 per cent of green-cover. These wards, like Raj Mandir, Dashashwamedh, Lallapura, Madanpura, Rampura, etc., are located in the centre of the city (Table 9.3 and Figure 9.2). However, there are wards which had more than 90 per cent area under green-cover in 2002 like Tarna, which is located on the back of Ganga and was included in city limit only then. Thirty eight wards out of 90 has at least 38 per cent of area under green cover. About 39 wards out of 90 wards are place in the lowest quartile as proportion of the built-up area to total geographical area of the ward. Interesting



Ward Name Basniya Sarnath Mawaiya Pahadiya Ramrepur Pandeypur Nai Basti Tarna Shivpur Indrapur Narayanpur Sikrol Sarsoli Dithori Mahal Khajuri Hukul Ganj Deendyalpur Nevada Sunderpur Nariya Saray Surjan Jolha Bajardeeha Raneepur Bhadaini Khojwan Nagwa Raja Bajar Chowkaghat Dhup Chandi Kajee Sadullapura Alaipura Jalali Pura Saraiya Koniya Gaon Tulsipur Birdopur Vinayak



Water Bodies


14.85 87.17 89.44 65.00 69.64 75.00 43.19 92.23 75.42 88.38 82.28 73.46 74.98 53.80 69.18 59.69 77.73 77.52 77.64 66.50 53.58 36.26 62.09 55.02 17.57 12.24 73.20 56.43 61.80 78.68 27.19 68.36 57.61 56.02 96.26 42.01 54.89 45.04

76.24 1.45 6.66 17.58 17.05 23.41 50.97 3.29 15.00 3.63 13.47 20.37 23.21 39.19 26.33 25.47 11.50 15.55 11.11 28.65 44.14 54.07 32.70 41.70 71.96 84.42 22.98 35.83 27.30 16.24 69.59 23.94 38.30 32.86 0.60 50.59 44.63 49.23

6.93 3.15 0.15 0.45 0.88 0.16 0.41 0.30 4.17 4.09 0.74 2.16 1.25 1.18 3.63 5.90 3.06 1.05 1.28 0.14 0.44 7.03 1.18 0.00 2.03 2.97 0.61 5.46 5.12 2.03 1.46 1.84 2.05 1.94 2.05 4.62 0.48 4.74

1.98 8.24 3.75 16.97 12.43 1.43 5.42 4.17 5.41 3.90 3.51 4.01 0.56 5.82 0.85 8.95 7.70 5.88 9.97 4.70 1.84 2.64 4.03 3.28 8.45 0.37 3.21 2.28 5.78 3.05 1.75 5.85 2.05 9.18 1.09 2.77 0.00 0.99 contd.

TABLE 9.1 contd. Ward Name Bhelupur Nawabganj Shivala Baghara Pandey Haveli Rewadi Talaab Jangam Bari Bengali Tola Madan Pura Nadeshar Lahartara Laksha Sigra Loco Chittupur Shivpurva Jagatganj Habeeb Pura Lallapura Khurd Harha Beniya Dashashwamedh Rampura Sarai Gobardhan Paan Dareeba Lallapura Kala Lahang Pura Kajee Pura Kamalpura Jamaluddeenpura Bandhu Kachhibagh Rasul Pura Gola Deenanath Chetganj Piyari Kala Ishwar Gangi Raajghat Omkaleshwar Prahlad Ghat Pathani Tola



Water Bodies


44.27 27.57 28.35 2.93 15.92 41.90 0.69 0.00 0.59 34.96 35.00 21.88 36.94 42.28 27.47 16.72 12.22 55.99 3.92 14.83 1.23 0.65 7.69 4.10 2.36 18.64 4.20 7.83 9.23 1.81 12.32 7.62 14.62 28.57 21.66 76.16 27.54 2.83 11.28

48.47 71.69 59.28 88.28 84.08 54.24 99.31 83.61 95.86 61.20 61.32 76.85 62.67 48.83 71.43 81.42 77.27 35.54 96.08 78.28 90.18 97.40 92.31 90.44 94.88 80.51 93.51 91.30 83.85 95.78 85.22 91.77 83.57 70.00 68.15 11.32 70.65 66.51 87.22

2.61 0.74 2.06 2.20 0.00 1.29 0.00 0.00 3.55 3.84 2.04 1.27 0.39 3.43 1.10 1.24 9.94 5.34 0.00 0.69 0.00 0.00 0.00 5.46 2.76 0.85 2.29 0.87 6.92 2.41 2.46 0.61 1.26 0.48 1.27 7.74 1.81 8.02 1.50

4.65 0.00 10.31 6.59 0.00 2.57 0.00 16.39 0.00 0.00 1.64 0.00 0.00 5.46 0.00 0.62 0.57 3.13 0.00 6.21 8.59 1.95 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.54 0.95 8.92 4.78 0.00 22.64 0.00 contd.


Bikramaditya K. Choudhary and Rakesh Arya

TABLE 9.1 contd. Ward Name Kamal Garha Nawapura Garhwasi Tola Raj Mandir Aaga Ganj Kaal Bhairav Kameshwar Mahadev Daranagar Katua Pura Chhittan Pura Madhya Maheshwar Baluabeer Katehar



Water Bodies


6.42 21.31 0.47 0.00 12.25 3.18 7.90 15.46 11.46 3.60 0.00 6.35 10.71

91.74 77.66 91.14 77.12 84.58 93.18 73.20 84.19 88.54 90.99 99.51 88.89 89.29

0.92 1.03 3.03 4.24 2.37 0.00 2.41 0.34 0.00 5.41 0.00 4.76 0.00

0.92 0.00 5.36 18.64 0.79 3.64 16.49 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.49 0.00 0.00

Source: Satellite Imagery Landsat TM, 26 April 2002.

wards are like Sigra, Nadeshar, Chetganj, Bengali tola which are located in the centre of the city but fall in second quartile in terms of proportion of area under green-cover (Table 9.3). These were are wards which had large sizes of plots with house and open area occupied by Chieftains at one point of time and continued till early 2000. THE CITY TODAY

The city of Varanasi in 2016 is projected as an aspiring habitat comparable to Kyoto of Japan. The rationale of such illusive com­ parison needs to be judged on the basis of planning strategies and also on the basis of existing land use in Varanasi. The configuration of traditional and modernizing activities, the access to new ameni­ ties and changed land market has resulted in the transformation of city’s land-use pattern. The new formal and informal players enter the land market to appropriate the available opportunity. The densely populated wards continue to remain centrally lo­ cated and hence Figure 9.4 indicates concentration of wards with more than 90 per cent built-up area in the central part of the city. Interesting to note here is the increase in number of wards with

Source : Based on data derived from Satellite Imagery Landsat TM, 26 April 2002.

Figure 9.2: Ward-wise percentage of Forest, 2002 (Varanasi City)

Source : Based on data derived from Satellite Imagery Landsat TM, 26 April 2002.

Figure 9.1: Ward-wise percentage of Built-up, 2002 (Varanasi City)


Bikramaditya K. Choudhary and Rakesh Arya TABLE 9.2: WARD-WISE PERCENTAGE OF BUILT-UP AREA 2002


No. of wards









Ward name Koniya Gaon, Sarnath, Tarna, Indrapur, Mawaiya, Sunderpur, Raajghat, Deendyalpur, Narayanpur, Shivpur, Nevada, Dhup Chandi, Ramrepur, Pahadiya, Sikrol, Nagwa, Sarsoli, Pandeypur, Alaipura, Hukul Ganj, Khajuri, Chowkaghat, Nariya, Bajardeeha, Saraiya, Lallapura Khurd, Raja Bajar, Jalali Pura, Dithori Mahal, Raneepur, Saray Surjan, Birdopur, Bhelupur, Loco Chittupur, Vinayak, Tulsipur, Nai Basti, Jolha, Rewadi Talaab Shivala, Nadeshar, Lahartara, Sigra, Prahlad Ghat, Ishwar Gangi, Kajee Sadullapura, Piyari Kala, Omkaleshwar, Shivpurva, Nawabganj, Bhadaini, Kameshwar Mahadev, Basniya, Laksha, Raj Mandir, Habeeb Pura, Nawapura, Beniya, Lahang Pura, Jagatganj Chetganj, Bengali Tola, Jamaluddeenpura, Pandey Haveli, Daranagar, Khojwan, Aaga Ganj, Rasul Pura, Pathani Tola, Baghara, Katua Pura, Baluabeer, Katehar, Dashashwamedh, Paan Dareeba, Chhittan Pura, Garhwasi Tola, Kamalpura, Kamal Garha, Gola Deenanath, Sarai Gobardhan Kaal Bhairav, Kajee Pura, Lallapura Kala, Bandhu Kachhibagh, Madan Pura, Harha, Rampura, Jangam Bari, Madhya Maheshwar

Source: Based on Satellite data of Landsat TM, 26 April 2002.

90 per cent built-up area. In 2002 there were only 9 such wards, while in 2016 there are 22 such wards having more than 90 per cent built-up area (Tables 9.2 and 9.5). Similarly a significant decrease in number of wards having about 50 per cent built-up area is noticed and during 2002-16 number of such wards went down from 39 to 17. As a consequence of rise in built-up areas, the area under green cover systematically declined. In 2002 there were 17 wards with less than 5 per cent green cover, which added 8 more wards in losing green-cover and in 2016 23 wards are reported with less

Reconfiguring Urban Space



No. of wards









Ward name Raj Mandir, Bengali Tola, Madhya Maheshwar, Garhwasi Tola, Madan Pura, Rampura, Jangam Bari, Dashashwamedh, Bandhu Kachhibagh, Lallapura Kala, Prahlad Ghat, Baghara, Kaal Bhairav, Chhittan Pura, Harha, Paan Dareeba, Kajee Pura Baluabeer, Kamal Garha, Gola Deenanath, Sarai Gobardhan, Kamalpura, Kameshwar Mahadev, Jamaluddeenpura, Katehar, Pathani Tola, Katua Pura, Habeeb Pura, Khojwan, Aaga Ganj, Rasul Pura Chetganj, Beniya, Basniya, Daranagar, Pandey Haveli, Jagatganj, Bhadaini, Lahang Pura, Nawapura, Ishwar Gangi, Laksha, Kajee Sadullapura, Shivpurva, Omkaleshwar, Nawabganj, Shivala, Piyari Kala, Nadeshar, Lahartara, Jolha, Sigra Rewadi Talaab, Tulsipur, Loco Chittupur, Nai Basti, Bhelupur, Vinayak, Saray Surjan, Dithori Mahal, Birdopur, Raneepur, Lallapura Khurd, Saraiya, Raja Bajar, Jalali Pura, Hukul Ganj, Chowkaghat, Bajardeeha, Pahadiya, Nariya, Alaipura, Khajuri, Ramrepur, Nagwa, Sikrol, Sarsoli, Pandeypur, Shivpur, Raajghat, Nevada, Sunderpur, Deendyalpur, Dhup Chandi, Narayanpur, Sarnath, Indrapur, Mawaiya, Tarna, Koniya Gaon

Source: Based on Satellite data of Landsat TM, 26 April 2002.

than 5 per cent area under green cover (Table 9.6). There were 38 wards with area under green cover between 38 and 79 per cent, which declined to 22 wards only in 2016 (Figure 9.4). RECONFIGURED URBAN SPACE

Different categories of land during 2002-16 have undergone sub­ stantive change. In the year 2016 multi-storeyed buildings have

occupied maximum area of green-cover, i.e. 67.22 per cent of total

Source : Based on data derived from Satellite Imagery Landsat OLI, 15 April 2016.

Figure 9.4: Ward-wise percentage of forest, 2016 (Varanasi City)

Source : Based on data derived from Satellite Imagery Landsat OLI, 15 April 2016.

Figure 9.3: Ward-wise percentage of built-up, 2016 (Varanasi City)



Ward Name Basniya Sarnath Mawaiya Pahadiya Ramrepur Pandeypur Nai Basti Tarna Shivpur Indrapur Narayanpur Sikrol Sarsoli Dithori Mahal Khajuri Hukul Ganj Deendyalpur Nevada Sunderpur Nariya Saray Surjan Jolha Bajardeeha Raneepur Bhadaini Khojwan Nagwa Raja Bajar Chowkaghat Dhup Chandi Kajee Sadullapura Alaipura Jalali Pura Saraiya Koniya Gaon Tulsipur Birdopur



Water Bodies

Barren/ Others

17.82 79.05 63.37 37.02 50.35 39.25 20.04 68.13 41.33 66.89 46.78 48.52 39.37 38.10 39.15 22.12 50.50 59.60 65.93 42.55 16.51 15.16 18.72 14.37 9.46 7.05 45.19 49.03 27.30 54.06 7.60 39.54 16.14 34.68 77.93 18.61 20.29

81.19 7.38 33.28 46.57 44.50 57.17 75.90 22.07 49.67 25.09 47.91 46.73 56.17 53.41 55.59 57.62 37.89 36.03 23.77 51.30 82.61 81.54 77.01 83.50 77.70 89.05 51.08 48.21 65.12 40.61 90.35 53.41 82.16 57.40 21.83 78.05 78.76

0.00 0.23 0.03 0.66 0.00 0.00 0.24 0.12 3.95 3.47 0.09 2.59 0.14 1.48 3.99 12.49 5.80 0.32 0.88 0.00 0.00 0.22 0.24 0.00 1.69 1.86 0.18 1.79 2.56 0.00 0.00 1.95 0.45 0.52 0.24 0.40 0.00

0.99 13.34 3.31 15.76 5.15 3.58 3.83 9.69 5.05 4.56 5.23 2.16 4.32 7.01 1.28 7.77 5.80 4.04 9.43 6.15 0.88 3.08 4.03 2.14 11.15 2.04 3.56 0.97 5.02 5.33 2.05 5.09 1.25 7.40 0.00 2.95 0.95 contd.

TABLE 9.4 contd. Ward Name Vinayak Bhelupur Nawabganj Shivala Baghara Pandey Haveli Rewadi Talaab Jangam Bari Bengali Tola Madan Pura Nadeshar Lahartara Laksha Sigra Loco Chittupur Shivpurva Jagatganj Habeeb Pura Lallapura Khurd Harha Beniya Dashashwamedh Rampura Sarai Gobardhan Paan Dareeba Lallapura Kala Lahang Pura Kajee Pura Kamalpura Jamaluddeenpura Bandhu Kachhibagh Rasul Pura Gola Deenanath Chetganj Piyari Kala Ishwar Gangi Raajghat Omkaleshwar

Vegetation 23.90 32.12 18.38 15.46 1.83 8.96 33.16 0.00 0.82 1.18 22.41 20.10 6.15 14.00 38.53 13.05 10.84 8.81 35.91 2.94 19.66 0.61 0.00 5.77 5.12 5.51 14.41 3.82 6.09 6.92 0.60 5.91 2.44 10.47 7.14 13.06 61.47 8.33

Built-up 74.67 60.27 80.15 70.10 87.55 91.04 63.24 100.00 81.97 98.82 75.36 78.15 93.49 85.80 58.50 86.46 87.62 85.51 58.20 97.06 77.59 87.73 96.10 94.23 92.83 94.49 85.59 96.18 93.91 93.08 99.40 92.12 97.56 88.99 92.38 76.43 30.78 91.67

Water Bodies

Barren/ Others

0.11 3.86 0.37 1.03 1.47 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.50 0.36 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 4.83 2.21 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.05 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.36 0.00 1.91 1.94 0.00

1.32 3.75 1.10 13.40 9.16 0.00 3.60 0.00 17.21 0.00 2.23 1.25 0.00 0.20 2.96 0.49 1.55 0.85 3.68 0.00 2.76 11.66 3.90 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.97 0.00 0.18 0.48 8.60 5.82 0.00 contd.

Reconfiguring Urban Space


TABLE 9.4: contd. Ward Name Prahlad Ghat Pathani Tola Kamal Garha Nawapura Garhwasi Tola Raj Mandir Aaga Ganj Kaal Bhairav Kameshwar Mahadev Daranagar Katua Pura Chhittan Pura Madhya Maheshwar Baluabeer Katehar

Vegetation 2.83 3.01 5.50 5.50 0.23 0.00 6.32 4.09 5.50 12.71 9.38 0.90 0.97 0.00 3.57

Built-up 66.04 96.24 94.50 94.50 92.07 76.27 93.68 92.73 74.23 86.25 90.63 99.10 98.54 100.00 96.43

Water Bodies

Barren/ Others

7.08 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.80 3.39 0.00 0.00 2.06 1.03 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00

24.06 0.75 0.00 0.00 4.90 20.34 0.00 3.18 18.21 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.49 0.00 0.00

Source: Based on Satellite Imagery Landsat OLI TS, 15 April 2016.

multi-storey area as shown in Table 9.7; whereas 26.52 per cent land under current multi-storey were already built-up during 2002. This means that renewed construction of high rise has come up on already constructed areas. About 1.48 per cent such buildings have come up where there used to be water bodies. This is a dangerous development as the city slowly losing its small and large water bodies to these rather mindless constructions. Hence, it clearly indicates that vertical expansion of city is mainly consuming green spaces of the city. Table 9.8 elaborates the exchange of land-use among various classes during 2002-16 in form of matrix. It shows that the veg­ etation in the year 2016 is reduced to 32.030 sq. km from 46.312 sq. km, whereas 28.883 sq. km vegetated area remained unchanged. In the year 2016 15 sq. km has been lost to built-up and 2.263 sq. km becomes barren. The area of water bodies also declines from 5.092 to 4.021 sq. km in the same duration. In descending order water bodies has been lost to vegetation (0.511 sq. km), barren (0.446 sq. km) and built-up (0.395 sq. km) is also significant and


Bikramaditya K. Choudhary and Rakesh Arya TABLE 9.5: WARD-WISE PERCENTAGE OF BUILT-UP AREA 2002


No. of wards









Ward name Sarnath, Koniya Gaon, Tarna, Sunderpur, Indrapur, Raajghat, Mawaiya, Nevada, Deendyalpur, Dhup Chandi, Ramrepur, Pahadiya, Sikrol, Narayanpur, Raja Bajar, Shivpur, Nagwa Nariya, Alaipura, Dithori Mahal, Khajuri, Sarsoli, Pandeypur, Saraiya, Hukul Ganj, Lallapura Khurd, Loco Chittupur, Bhelupur, Rewadi Talaab, Chowkaghat, Prahlad Ghat, Shivala, Kameshwar Mahadev, Vinayak, Nadeshar, Nai Basti, Raj Mandir, Ishwar Gangi, Bajardeeha, Beniya, Bhadaini, Tulsipur, Lahartara, Birdopur, Nawabganj, Basniya Jolha, Bengali Tola, Jalali Pura, Saray Surjan, Raneepur, Habeeb Pura, Lahang Pura, Sigra, Daranagar, Shivpurva, Baghara, Jagatganj, Dashashwamedh, Chetganj, Khojwan, Kajee Sadullapura, Katua Pura, Pandey Haveli, Omkaleshwar, Garhwasi Tola, Rasul Pura, Piyari Kala Kaal Bhairav, Paan Dareeba, Jamaluddeenpura, Laksha, Aaga Ganj, Kamalpura, Sarai Gobardhan, Lallapura Kala, Nawapura, Kamal Garha, Rampura, Kajee Pura, Pathani Tola, Katehar, Harha, Gola Deenanath, Madhya Maheshwar, Madan Pura, Chhittan Pura, Bandhu Kachhibagh, Baluabeer, Jangam Bari

Source: Based on Satellite data Landsat TM, 26 April 2002.

indicates increased pollutant, negligence and unplanned urban growth. 3 During last 15 years there has been change in vegetation cover and Table 9.9 and Figure 9.5 shows that except 6 wards all wards have lost area under green-cover during 2002-16 and these wards are clustered in the pre existed core city and have very little or nil option for the loss of green-cover. These ward already had compact built-up area as verified from Table 9.1. Most of the wards which

Reconfiguring Urban Space



No. of wards









Ward name Raj Mandir, Rampura, Jangam Bari, Baluabeer, Garhwasi Tola, Bandhu Kachhibagh, Dashashwamedh, Bengali Tola, Chhittan Pura, Madhya Maheshwar, Madan Pura, Baghara, Gola Deenanath, Prahlad Ghat, Harha, Pathani Tola, Katehar, Kajee Pura, Kaal Bhairav, Paan Dareeba, Kamal Garha, Kameshwar Mahadev, Nawapura Lallapura Kala, Sarai Gobardhan, Rasul Pura, Kamalpura, Laksha, Aaga Ganj, Jamaluddeen­ pura, Khojwan, Piyari Kala, Kajee Sadullapura, Omkaleshwar, Habeeb Pura, Pandey Haveli, Katua Pura, Bhadaini, Chetganj, Jagatganj, Daranagar, Shivpurva, Ishwar Gangi, Sigra, Raneepur, Lahang Pura Jolha, Shivala, Jalali Pura, Saray Surjan, Basniya, Nawabganj, Tulsipur, Bajardeeha, Beniya, Nai Basti, Lahartara, Birdopur, Hukul Ganj, Nadeshar, Vinayak, Chowkaghat, Bhelupur, Rewadi Talaab, Saraiya, Lallapura Khurd, Pahadiya, Dithori Mahal Loco Chittupur, Khajuri, Pandeypur, Sarsoli, Alaipura, Shivpur, Nariya, Nagwa, Narayanpur, Sikrol, Raja Bajar, Ramrepur, Deendyalpur, Dhup Chandi, Nevada, Raajghat, Mawaiya, Sunderpur, Indrapur, Tarna, Koniya Gaon, Sarnath

Source: Based on Satellite Imagery Landsat OLI TS, 15 April 2016.

show large number of multi-storey building except Saray Surjan are not those which reported large scale loss of green-cover during the period. This means that multi-storey buildings have come up on either agricultural land or after demolition of existing built-up areas in these wards. Wards like Laksha, Gola Deenanath, Rampura which have lost large proportion of green-spaces are those where built-up area has increase during the period. Wards like Sirkol,


Bikramaditya K. Choudhary and Rakesh Arya


Multi-storey Percentage



Water Bodies


0.367 67.22

0.145 26.52

0.008 1.48



Source: Based on Satellite Image Processing 2002 & 2016.

TABLE 9.8: LAND-USE CHANGE MATRIX 2002-16 (in sq. km) Vegetation


Water Bodies

Barren/ Others


Vegetation Built-up Water Bodies Others

28.883 1.272 0.511 1.364

15.000 19.724 0.395 0.868

0.167 0.000 3.740 0.033

2.263 0.358 0.446 3.931

46.312 21.353 5.092 6.197







Source: Based on Satellite Image Processing 2002 & 2016.

Nagwa, Lallapura, where more multi-storey buildings have come up during period are wards which fall in second quartile in terms of loss of green-space. The fast growing urban areas have generated demand for more houses both residential and commercial. We have seen area under forest has gone for built-up. The Figure 9.6 shows that areas near newly developed highway have attracted more construction. The land which got diverted to built-up areas was earlier under culti­ vation. For this exercise, difference between cultivated land and other green-cover was not done for keeping the analysis simple. What is important in this analysis is that city has witnessed irre­ versible change in its land-use pattern that would have impli­ cation not only for sustainable city life but also for land market and ownership of the city itself. Slowly the private individuals and firms will own the city rather than the Municipal bodies or Development agencies. Urban Local Bodies (ULB) have got more responsibilities and autonomy after 74th Constitutional Amend­

Figure 9.5: Ward-wise percentage change of vegetation, 2002-16 (Varanasi City)

Source : Satellite Image Processing 2002 & 2016.

Figure 9.6: Ward-wise percentage change of built-up, 2002-16 (Varanasi City)

Source : Satellite Image Processing 2002 & 2016.


Bikramaditya K. Choudhary and Rakesh Arya TABLE 9.9: PERCENTAGE CHANGE IN GREEN-COVER 2002-16

Classes -100.00-62.09




Ward name Rampura, Baluabeer, Piyari Kala, Chhittan Pura, Nawapura, Raneepur, Pathani Tola, Kajee Sadullapura, Jalali Pura, Laksha, Bajardeeha, Omkaleshwar, Saray Surjan, Gola Deenanath, Bandhu Kachhibagh, Katehar, Birdopur, Hukul Ganj, Sigra Jolha, Chowkaghat, Tulsipur, Nai Basti, Shivpurva, Rasul Pura, Dashashwamedh, Garhwasi Tola, Aaga Ganj, Pandeypur, Sarsoli, Vinayak, Bhadaini, Shivala, Shivpur, Pandey Haveli, Khajuri, Narayanpur, Pahadiya, Lahartara, Khojwan, Alaipura, Ishwar Gangi, Nagwa, Saraiya, Baghara, Nariya, Nadeshar, Lallapura Khurd, Jagatganj, Deendyalpur, Sikrol, Nawabganj Dhup Chandi, Kameshwar Mahadev, Dithori Mahal, Mawaiya, Chetganj, Habeeb Pura, Ramrepur, Bhelupur, Tarna, Harha, Sarai Gobardhan, Jamaluddeenpura, Indrapur, Nevada, Lahang Pura, Kamalpura, Rewadi Talaab, Raajghat, Koniya Gaon, Katua Pura, Daranagar, Sunderpur, Kamal Garha, Raja Bajar, Sarnath, Kajee Pura, Loco Chittupur, Prahlad Ghat Basniya, Paan Dareeba, Kaal Bhairav, Beniya, Madan Pura, Lallapura Kala

Source: Calculated from Landsat TM, 26 April 2002 & Landsat OLI TS, 15 April 2016.

ment Act, but they are losing ownership of the city is a contradic­ tion in itself. In the process, the water-bodies have been the worst to be deal with. The city has lost its water-bodies. These small lakes were filled up with silt and sand and new housing projects have come up over that disregarding the fact this can create havoc during rainy season. Table 9.11 clearly shows that 80 out of 90 wards in the city of Varanasi have lost areas which were under water-bodies during 2002-16. In Some of the wards like Madanpura, Nadeshar and Lallapura, a large percentage of area that used to be covered under water is converted to other land-use (Figure 9.7). One of the significant changes the city has observed is the up­ coming of high-rise buildings during last decade and half. Ten or

Reconfiguring Urban Space


TABLE 9.10: PERCENTAGE CHANGE IN BUILT-UP AREA 2002-16 Classes -200.00-26.42




Ward Name Rampura, Dashashwamedh, Baghara, Prahlad Ghat, Lallapura Kala, Kaal Bhairav, Beniya, Sarnath, Kameshwar Mahadev, Daranagar, Sunderpur, Katua Pura, Tarna, Rewadi Talaab, Raja Bajar, Koniya Gaon, Loco Chittupur, Indrapur, Harha, Sarai Gobardhan, Raajghat, Dithori Mahal Nevada, Bhelupur, Lahang Pura, Mawaiya, Nawabganj, Dhup Chandi, Bhadaini, Kamalpura, Basniya, Deendyalpur, Nariya, Sikrol, Jagatganj, Chetganj, Khojwan, Shivala, Ishwar Gangi, Nagwa, Ramrepur, Lallapura Khurd, Nadeshar, Narayanpur Khajuri, Kamal Garha, Alaipura, Pandey Haveli, Saraiya, Sarsoli, Pahadiya, Pandeypur, Shivpur, Lahartara, Hukul Ganj, Shivpurva, Rasul Pura, Vinayak, Nai Basti, Paan areeba, Chowkaghat, Birdopur, Sigra, Kajee Pura, Tulsipur, Katehar Habeeb Pura, Bajardeeha, Saray Surjan, Aaga Ganj, Jolha, Raneepur, Gola Deenanath, Laksha, Jalali Pura, Omkaleshwar, Kajee Sadullapura, Piyari Kala, Nawapura, Pathani Tola, Jangam Bari, Jamaluddeenpura, Baluabeer, Bandhu Kachhibagh, Garhwasi Tola, Chhittan Pura, Madan Pura

Source: Calculated from Landsat TM, 26 April 2002 & Landsat OLI TS, 15 April 2016.

more than ten multi-storey buildings are existing as of today in at least eleven out of 90 wards. Most significant ward is Nevada where as many as 42 multi-storey buildings have been mapped. Other wards like Raja Bazar, Lahartara are significant as these were the wards with larger proportion of green-space in 2002 and these have been converted to high-rise building. The ownership of land has undergone a significant change in terms of quality and quantity both. As part of flats the FSA has changed and so is the ownership. The large profit generated out of the construction of high-rise has been appropriated by private builders of different kinds. The urban area where Varanasi Development Authority (VDA) has the land ownership and they allot land the private


Bikramaditya K. Choudhary and Rakesh Arya TABLE 9.11: PERCENTAGE CHANGE IN AREA COVERED BY WATER-BODIES 2002-16

Classes -600.00-10.05




Ward name Madan Pura, Chhittan Pura, Bandhu Kachhibagh, Lallapura Kala, Paan Dareeba, Jamaluddeenpura, Baluabeer, Kajee Pura, Garhwasi Tola, Basniya, Habeeb Pura, Prahlad Ghat, Baghara, Rasul Pura, Aaga Ganj, Jolha, Kamal Garha, Pathani Tola, Kamalpura, Nadeshar, Vinayak, Tulsipur Khojwan, Loco Chittupur, Gola Deenanath, Raajghat, Jagatganj, Omkaleshwar, Raja Bajar, Chetganj, Lallapura Khurd, Kajee Sadullapura, Nawapura, Beniya, Lahang Pura, Lahartara, Kameshwar Mahadev, Chowkaghat, Laksha, Shivpurva, Shivala, Sarnath, Rewadi Talaab, Jalali Pura Dhup Chandi, Saraiya, Bhadaini, Koniya Gaon, Piyari Kala, Bajardeeha, Sarsoli, Nawabganj, Ramrepur, Sigra, Nevada, Birdopur, Saray Surjan, Narayanpur, Indrapur, Nagwa, Sunderpur, Nai Basti, Shivpur, Nariya, Pandeypur, Tarna, Mawaiya, Rampura, Dashashwamedh, Kaal Bhairav, Katua Pura, Harha, Sarai Gobardhan, Pandey Haveli, Katehar, Raneepur, Jangam Bari Alaipura, Pahadiya, Khajuri, Dithori Mahal, Sikrol, Bhelupur, Ishwar Gangi, Deendyalpur, Daranagar, Hukul Ganj

Source: Calculated from Landsat TM, 26 April 2002 & Landsat OLI TS, 15 April 2016.

individuals for construction on a 99 year lease has been trans­ formed and land is now sold to private builders as ‘free-hold’ with­ out VDA being in picture. POSTSCRIPT

The massive changes especially stratified expansion that have hap­ pened in a growing number of cities worldwide in the last few years cannot be totally explained with existing concepts including gentrification. In mid-2014 to 2015 alone, more than a trillion dollars was invested in real estate, in just 100 cities across North America, Europe and Asia; this is excluding properties priced under

Reconfiguring Urban Space


Source: Satellite Image Processing 2002 & 2016.

Figure 9.7: Ward-wise percentage change of water-bodies, 2002-16 (Varanasi City)

US $5 million and sites available for development. In the process urban land—not just buildings, but also undeveloped lots—is considered a good investment at a time when financial markets are shaky. Individual and firms are investing in land and are greatly modifying not only the terms and characteristics of urban land market but also the land-use pattern and sustainability concerns of citizens of cities. As a result, worldwide investment in urban land is increasing rapidly, Indian cities not being an exception.

TABLE 9.12: WARD-WISE MULTI-STOREY BUILDING PATCH AND AREA COVERED (in sq. km) Ward Name Alaipura Baluabeer Bengali Tola Deendyalpur Habeeb Pura Kaal Bhairav Kajee Sadullapura Katua Pura Madan Pura Pandeypur Raneepur Baghara Bajardeeha Bhadaini Chetganj Chowkaghat Dhup Chandi Jolha Nadeshar Pahadiya Pandey Haveli Piyari Kala Ramrepur Khojwan Loco Chittupur Mawaiya Nariya Laksha Lallapura Khurd Bhelupur Nai Basti Sigra Indrapur Khajuri Sunderpur Shivpurva

No. of Patches

Surface Area of Multi-storey Buildings

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 6 7 7 8

0.00018 0.00025 0.00001 0.00090 0.00090 0.00090 0.00090 0.00065 0.00027 0.00090 0.00090 0.00190 0.00180 0.00180 0.00810 0.00612 0.00180 0.00180 0.00180 0.00180 0.00093 0.00360 0.00450 0.00270 0.00428 0.00810 0.00900 0.00785 0.00360 0.00769 0.00900 0.00490 0.11292 0.03330 0.00754 0.00720 contd.

Reconfiguring Urban Space


TABLE 9.12: contd. Ward Name

No. of Patches

Surface Area of Multi-storey Buildings

Vinayak Lahartara Birdopur Narayanpur Nagwa Tarna Shivpur Raja Bajar Tulsipur Saray Surjan Sikrol Nevada

9 10 11 11 12 14 15 16 16 18 18 42

0.00731 0.01530 0.01626 0.01460 0.01863 0.02340 0.03110 0.02070 0.02302 0.01551 0.04207 0.05685

Source: As in Table 9.11.

One of the visible outcome that can be seen in Varanasi is sudden increase in number of multi-storey buildings in the city (Map 9.9). There are ranges of indicators which Sessen (2014) has explained in depth in her book Expulsions.4 She explained that the top 100 cities—as ranked by level of property investment—account for 10 per cent of the world population, but 30 per cent of the world’s GDP (its overall economic output) and 76 per cent of the world’s property investment. So wealth is clearly being concentrated into a select group of urban areas especially those who deal with land and real estate. Savill’s (a leading real estate company) study re­ veals that worldwide real estate assets amount to US $217 trillion. This represents 60 per cent of the value of all global assets, includ­ ing equities, bonds and gold. It is important to keep things in perspective. Interesting fact here is that the interplay of finance and individual entrepreneurs is not limited to one country or one type of economy; it is becoming a characteristic of almost all types of economies across urban centres. HOUSE, HOME AND THE DREAM

The trend of market and advertisement suggest that in contempo­ rary cities of today housing is the most thriving sector especially in


Bikramaditya K. Choudhary and Rakesh Arya

the cities of the global south. The reason for such a reality is the balance between demand of housing and supply of units of houses available. It seems to be true with the increasing number of people in cities and higher proportion of those who can afford houses. The nature of advertisement that links marriage with ‘own house’, arrival of newborn in ‘own house’ and so on strengthen the argu­ ment. However, there is couple of signals that indicate that this trend has something to do with investment, rather than, say, more people moving to these cities to buy a house and start a family. The report of housing in India showed that about 11 million houses are laying vacant in India (Kundu, 2012). Sessen (2014) took example of the most desirable luxury buildings in Manhattan in New York and showed the desirability of investment not only in property but, perhaps especially, in urban land. This is significant in a world where much land is dying—due to irreversible transfor­ mation of land including desertification, floods, mining, built-up, by landfill or poisoning from mining operations. Some relevant cases for the last few years can be cited. In the Warner Center in Manhattan, 122 of the 192 condos are owned by people who used shell companies, which hide their identities. In the Bloomberg Tower, 57 per cent of condos are owned by shell companies. In The Plaza, 69 per cent of condos are owned by shell companies. We can observe the same trend in other cities, such as London, where 22,000 properties had been left empty for more than six months (Sessen, 2014). Several major US cities saw rising investments (both national and foreign) in urban properties, from offices to high-rise apart­ ment buildings, hotels and retail. New York led, with US $70 billion from mid-2014 to 2015, followed by Los Angeles and San Francisco. These top recipient cities were followed by Chicago, Washington DC, Dallas and several others. Similar trends were visible in London, Paris and Tokyo among the major recipients. In some cities, it was mostly foreign invest­ ment: for example, in London, Dublin, and Amsterdam-Randstad. In others, it was primarily domestic investment, such as New York, Moscow and Beijing. And in many it was 50:50, as a result of the growth of foreign investment—notably in Paris, Sydney, and

Reconfiguring Urban Space


Vienna. Periods of high levels of foreign investment have recurred in cities such as New York, London and Hong Kong over the de­ cades. Multiple nationalities in the ownership of much of the City of London were noticed. In New York and Los Angeles, the acqui­ sitions by Japanese and Middle Eastern investors had become more prominent, alongside the long-standing European investments. One noticeable feature across global cities is that individuals now own more urban properties than municipalities. These days both types of investment foreign or national belong to corporate. Corporate investment tends toward large-scale pro­ jects; either in large developments, or in smaller urban plots that are assembled into one larger plot. In Varanasi, a significant per­ centage of built-up area got transformed into multi-storey build­ ings where with large corporate investment existing properties are torn down to build entire new mega-projects—taller, larger, fancier than what went before. This kind of large-scale urban develop­ ment entails significant shifts in ownership; from small or medium businesses to large corporate, and from public like municipality or development agencies to private individuals and entrepreneurs. The cities across globe are witnessing a deep history in the mak­ ing: a systematic transformation in the pattern of land ownership in some of our major cities. Whether it’s national or foreign, largescale corporate investment absorbs much of the public tissue of streets and squares, and street-level commerce. It shrinks the texture and scale of spaces that are accessible to the public, and ultimately changes the very character of the city.

NOTES 1. Some economists also consider urbanization as parasitic for the region as such urbanization process siphoned out all resources and labour from the hinterland, especially in the cities of Third World countries. For details on the role of cities as generative and parasitic, see; Jackobson and Prakash, 1971; Kidwai, 2006; McGee, 1971, 1976; Richardson, 1996; Wellisz, 1971 and so on; Odem (1971) in his book on ecology led ecologist to have this understanding for the cities due to environmental reasons.


Bikramaditya K. Choudhary and Rakesh Arya

2. Pollution is commonly understood as water, air and land pollution where external agents like pesticide contents or other chemical contents affects the quality of soil or water, or increase in proportion of certain gases in atmo­ sphere from the expected level. 3. Water pixel lost to vegetation may be due to algal growth, to barren means recharge is neglected and to built-up means unplanned construction. 4. Saskia Sassen (2014), Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy, Harvard University Press, MA.

REFERENCES Jakobson, L. and V.L.S. Prakash Rao (eds.) (1971), Urbanisation and National Development, California: Sage. Kidwai, A.H. (2006), ‘Reform, Restructuring and the Third World City’, in Sujatha Patel and Kushal Deb (eds.), Urban Studies, Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 103-24. Kundu, A. (2012), ‘Globalization and Urban Growth in the Developing World with Special Reference to Asian Countires’, in The Oxford Handbook of Urban Economics and Planning. McGee, T.G. (1971), The Urbanization Process in the Third World, London: G. Bell and Sons. —— (1976), ‘The Persistence of the Proto-Proletariat: Occupational Structures and Planning the Future of Third World Cities, Progress in Geography, 9, 1-38. Odem, E.P. (1971), Fundaments of Ecology, WB Sunders Comp. Pa., USA. Gordon, P. and H.W. Richardson (1996), ‘Beyond Polycentricity: The Dispersed Metropolis, Los Angeles, 1970-1990’, Journal of the American Planning Associations, 62(3), 289-95. Sassen, S. (2014), Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Satterthwaite, D. (1997), Sustainable Cities or Cities that Contribute to Sustainable Development? Urban Studies, 34(10), 1667-91. Soja, E.W. (2000), ‘Putting Cities First: Remapping the Origins of Urbanism’, A Companion to the City, 26. Wellisz, S.H. (1971), ‘Economic Development and Urbanisation’, in L. Jakobson et al. (eds.), Urbanisation and National Development, California: Sage, pp. 39-56.

C H A P T E R 10

Urban Poverty Revisited:

An Enquiry into KUSP Initiative

in West Bengal


The cities—their needs, their future, their financing—these are the great unspoken, overlooked, underplayed problems of our times. JOHN F. KENNEDY

One of the most glaring and deep-rooted of all social problems that continues to plague developing societies across the globe even in the twenty-first century is that of ‘poverty’. As a multidimen­ sional phenomenon it often manifests itself in more complex forms thereby intensifying the already existing differences and divisions. In this context the phenomenon of ‘poverty’ has attracted particular attention of policy makers, social researchers, development practi­ tioners and above all the media, both nationally and internationally. A serious thinking on the issue together with suggesting suitable ways to deal with it has, therefore, been the focus of almost every major policy document on development and today there is a uni­ versal agreement on the urgency of the need for poverty reduction worldwide. It needs to be mentioned here that the World Bank declares poverty reduction to be the fundamental objective of eco­ nomic development. Also, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) as set forth by the UN at the turn of the last century accords topmost priority to the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger all over the world. It takes an expanded vision of poverty reduction and pro-poor growth, vigorously placing human develop­


Payel Sen

ment at the centre of social and economic progress in all countries. The new approach thus makes poverty eradication both an ethical and moral imperative. Against this general backdrop the paper looks to revisit urban poverty in four broad sections. Section I offers a very brief account of conceptual issues in poverty in general and urban poverty in particular. Section II highlights the discrete nature and the rising scale of urban poverty emphasizing the need for focused policy intervention for its alleviation. Section III looks at urban poverty scenario in the State of West Bengal. Finally, Section IV seeks to critically review an initiative taken in this state for alleviation of urban poverty by presenting a case study of Kolkata Urban Service for the Poor (KUSP) programme. I. POVERTY: A BRIEF CONCEPTUAL FRAME

In our daily lives we frequently come across the term ‘poverty’ as an elusive concept which offers an abstract description of the life situation of a group of people or a community in terms of certain insufficiencies and deprivations that render a decent life impos­ sible. Available literature on poverty, until recently, exhibited a strong bias towards understanding poverty in purely quantifiable terms, the most commonly used measures being poverty lines and Gini-coefficients whereby level of income was taken to be the sole determinant. A careful analysis of poverty, however, reveals that the lack of income is merely symptomatic of a real and deeper cause hidden elsewhere. Such a narrow conceptualization, thus, often loses sight of the broader ‘humane’ dimension in the analysis of poverty including some of its subtle and not-so-visible diversities and complexities that nevertheless have an important bearing on living conditions of the poor. In the light of the ambiguities clouding the definition of poverty together with the methodological dilemmas that prevail, poverty studies currently tend to move beyond the conventional uni­ dimensional understanding of income-based poverty. Critics often urge the need for using indicators such as quality of life, infant mortality, life expectancy, illiteracy, access to drinking water and

Urban Poverty Revisited


sanitation as useful counterweights to the crude measures of in­ come or consumption. Writers like Chambers (1983, 1997) and Satterthwaite (1997) have dubbed the conventional approaches to measuring poverty as reductionist. To them a range of factors converge to make poverty an interlocking multi-dimensional phe­ nomenon characterized by contextual specificities. With the idea of human development gaining in prominence, participatory ap­ proaches have been introduced since the 1990s to capture how poverty is perceived by the poverty group. At the same time, focus has been broadened out from a focus on the poverty condition to one that includes the processes and dynamics of poverty and a discussion on the relation between them. Instead of defining poverty solely in terms of low incomes, broader concepts such as deprivation, vulnerability, and insecurity have begun to be used. Deprivation occurs when people are unable to reach a certain level of functioning or capability. Here we may refer to the works of Robert Chambers, an eminent scholar of poverty. He refers to the deprivation trap, which according to him consists of five intercon­ nected clusters—powerlessness, isolation, lack of income and assets, physical weakness and vulnerability (Chambers, 1983). These to­ gether, as Chambers points out, ‘interlock like a web and trap people in deprivation’. Poverty, therefore, being dependent on more than one cause, keeps a person permanently entrenched in it. Baulch (1996) identifies a pyramid, starting from income poverty as the most measurable, to access to common pool of resources, stateprovided commodities, assets, dignity and autonomy. Also worth mentioning in this regard is the valuable contribu­ tion made by Amartya Sen. Here one can refer specifically to three of his core concepts/theses, viz., ‘exchange entitlement’, ‘public action’ and ‘poverty as capability deprivation’ which he developed in his respective classic works, Poverty and Famine: Hunger and Public Action and Development as Freedom. Sen (1999) defines pov­ erty as the deprivation of basic capabilities that provide a person with the freedom to choose the life he or she has reason to value. These capabilities include good health, education, social networks, command over economic resources, and influence on decision­


Payel Sen

making that affects one’s life. Income is important because money allows a person to develop his or her capabilities, but it is only a means to live a valuable life. From this perspective, poverty is a condition with many inter­ dependent and closely related dimensions which can be summa­ rized under three broad categories: (a) Lack of regular income and employment, productive assets (such as land and housing) and, access to social safety nets; (b) Lack of access to services such as education, health care, infor­ mation, credit, water supply and sanitation; (c) Lack of political power, participation, dignity and respect. Sen’s ‘capability’ approach that attempts to transcend the narrow confines of the poverty measurement paradigm has now acquired central importance in the discourse on human development. The new perspective also finds vivid expression in the World Bank conceptualization whereby poverty is defined as pronounced depri­ vation in well-being resulting out of lack of opportunities, power­ lessness, and vulnerability. This broadens the definition of poverty to include poor quality of life, food insecurity, undernutrition, illiteracy, low levels of income, deprivations in various forms and low human resource base development (World Bank, 2000). Ex­ treme poverty has been recognized by the General Assembly as a violation of human rights, even of the right to life itself (UN, 2010). EXPLORING URBAN POVERTY: UNIQUE FEATURES While the issue of poverty has constituted the direct or indirect focus of post-colonial development initiatives in the developing societies, the issue of urban poverty has gained prominence only in the last two to three decades. Earlier development literature was primarily concerned with the rural poor; poverty was viewed as a typically rural problem. It was largely guided by the general feel­ ing that as cities take away a lion’s share of national investment, the greatest number of poor live in rural areas. Currently, however, as a chunk of the poor people is found to live in urban areas there is a growing realization that unless urban poverty is properly ad­

Urban Poverty Revisited


dressed, continued urbanization will result in sharp increases in urban poverty and inequality. There are scholars who undermine the attempts to conceptual­ ize urban and rural poverty as separate definitional categories as they do not reflect reality. It needs to be understood that although poverty, both rural and urban, share some common characteristics, in practice the nature of urban poverty is different and distinct from rural poverty in many respects largely due to variations in the two contexts: economic, environmental, social and political each of which impinge upon the availability, access and use of resources needed for a secured livelihood (Meikle, 2002). Moreover, urban poverty is not due to lack of regular income and employment or absence of basic services as the case is in the rural areas. The urban poor are not without income. According to the 2007 report of the ESCAP on poverty reduction, almost all urban poor in the AsiaPacific region are ‘working poor’ having an income higher than that of the rural poor. But despite having a higher income, the urban poor cannot live a decent life, because the higher income is taken away by a number of additional (often urban-specific) costs which usually vary not only between countries but also within a country. In a nutshell, some of the basic distinguishing features of urban poverty as different from that in the rural areas may be listed as under: (a) urban livelihood systems are different from those in the coun­ tryside; (b) urban labour markets and the position of poor within them provide the single most important determinant of poverty in urban areas; (c) the poorest of the poor are found among the unemployed and casually employed; (d) the urban poor are forced to pay more for their goods and services and are often more vulnerable than the rural poor to fluctuating market conditions along with rising prices owing to the heavily monetized nature of city living; (e) operation of the urban land market is a particular feature of urban areas which adversely affects the poor, who are squeezed


Payel Sen

out of valuable land and are compelled to live in peripheral or marginal locations; (f ) what distinguishes the day-to-day life of the poor urban dwellers from their rural counterparts is their relationship with the built environment of the city characterized by appalling overcrowd­ ing, inhabitable shanties, contaminated water, poor or absent sanitation, lack of basic services, and so on. Thus the urban poor are more exposed to severe environmental health risks than the rural poor. II. ‘URBANIZATION’ OF POVERTY:


For the last few years there has been a marked growth of cities in the developing countries. Driven by economic growth and devel­ opment the urban population today is growing two to three times faster than the rural population, a greater part of it being in the developing world. This is reflected in the UN projections of the world urban population by continents (Table 10.1). Along with this rapid spread of urbanization there has also been a prolific growth of slums and shanties. Currently, slum settlements repre­ sent about one-third of the urban population in all developing countries. During the late 1980s, 72 out of every 100 new house­ holds in urban areas of the Less Developed Countries (LDC) were located in slums and shanties. TABLE 10.1: PERCENTAGE OF URBAN POPULATION Name(s) of Continents Africa Asia Europe Latin America North America




23 24 64 58 73

34 35 73 74 77

54 56 82 85 84

Source : World Resources Institute et al., 1996, as reproduced in Financing and Pricing of Urban Infrastructure, 1999.

Urban Poverty Revisited


In view of these developments, urban poverty presently attracts the urgent attention of policy makers as there has been a significant increase in the number of urban dwellers living below poverty line since the 1980s and 1990s throughout the world, clearly indicat­ ing that it is becoming more an urban rather than a rural problem. Ravallion and others estimate that rural poverty in Asia is declin­ ing significantly, while urban poverty has been increasing, from 136 million people in 1993 to 142 million in 2002. Figures show that half of the world’s poor today live in urban areas. It is esti­ mated that 60 per cent of the urban population in the developing countries is poor. In this light ‘urbanization of poverty’ as a global phenomenon is seen to be fast emerging. In addition to growing urbanization and the factors explained above, the crisis can also be explained in terms of mixed impact of the twin forces of economic liberalization and globalization on the urban life. Urban economy does not operate in a vacuum. It affects as is also affected by the national, international and local happenings. With the neo-liberal economic policies in effect across the globe, loss of secured public sector employment, withdrawal of state subsidies in social-sector investment coupled with the decline of the organized sector have had an adverse effect on the living conditions of the urban poor excluding them from reaping the fruits of urban economic devel­ opment. THE INDIAN REALITY: TRAITS AND TRENDS

Historically, urbanization in India began during the colonial days and the growth of cities in India revolved around trading and com­ mercial activities which subsequently developed into industrial agglomerations. Since then the country has witnessed a steady rise in the number and percentage of urban population, a process that is still continuing. The Census data 2001 shows that the percent­ age of people living in urban areas in the country increased from 11 per cent in 1901 to 17 per cent in the mid-twentieth century and it reached close to 32 per cent in 2011. As per the figures of the latest 2011 Census, out of a total population of 1028.6 mil­ lion in India, about 377 million live in the urban areas. In India


Payel Sen

the growth of urban population during the past decade has also been reflected in the higher growth in the number of metro cities (from 35 in 2001 to 53 in 2011) as it is the case with other towns/ cities which go on to accommodate a big share (about 75 per cent) of the total urban population of the country. Urban poverty is said to be an integral part of the process of urbanization. Urban centres being the hub of intense economic activity brought about by agglomeration economies, attract mi­ grants who flock to the cities and towns in search of livelihood. The rapid increase in urban population coupled with the slow pace of urbanization creates problems of accommodation in the urban areas that have low level of infrastructure, serviced land and other basic services. This puts tremendous pressure on planning, management of service delivery and resource capabilities of the government at all levels—national, state and local (India Urban Poverty Report, 2009). Therefore, despite the inception of eco­ nomic liberalization since the 1990s, leading to higher economic growth, touching 8 per cent, in the last couple of years with the cities contributing to over 60 per cent of the country’s GDP— there has also been an increase in the proportion of poor people living in urban areas as is depicted in the related facts and figures. As per the latest NSSO (2009) survey reports there are over 80 million poor people living in the cities and towns of India. At the turn of the century, India alone accounted for nearly one-fourth (364 million) of the world’s poor. Official projections suggest that while urban population is expected to double in the next ten years, the urban poor shall double in just five years. Recent years have also witnessed an increase in the slum population and as per TCPO estimates of 2001, over 61.80 million people were living in slums. The 2001 slum census data reveals that about one-fourth of the population in metropolitan cities in 2001 live in slums. Greater Mumbai with 6.5 million slum dwellers has the highest slum popu­ lation among all the cities followed by Delhi (1.9 million), Kolkata (1.5 million) and Chennai (0.8 million). Out of 35 metropolitan cities having population of 1 million and above in the country in 2001, 27 metropolitan cities have reported slums. 640 cities/towns in 26 states/UTs in 2001 have reported slum populations. Andhra

Urban Poverty Revisited


Pradesh has the largest number of towns (77) reporting slums followed by Uttar Pradesh (69), Tamil Nadu (63) and Maharashtra (61). III. URBAN MILIEU IN WEST BENGAL:


The ‘urban’ context in West Bengal bears a very close resemblance to the global and the national scene. The process of urbanization in West Bengal is faster than the average for the country as a whole. The level of urbanization in West Bengal has increased from about 28 per cent in 2001 to 31.89 per cent in 2011 which is marginally higher than that of India (31.16 per cent). Also, in conformity with the situation in India, the urban poor constitute a consider­ able proportion of the urban population in West Bengal. Although in terms of the absolute size of the urban population, West Bengal ranks fourth amongst all Indian states, in terms of the average den­ sity of the urban population (6,798 sq. km) it stands the highest in the country. Thus 28.03 per cent of the state’s urban popula­ tion resides in only 2.93 per cent of the state’s land. The rapid pace of urbanization in the state has thrown a potent challenge to the urban planners as well as the city managers by exerting tremendous pressure on the existing infrastructure and public services besides causing environmental pollution. Related figures reveal that out of 28 per cent of the total population of urbanites, about 30 per cent fall in the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category and 40 per cent are slum dwellers constituting the most vulnerable and marginalized categories. Long years of negligence coupled with non-recognition of the acuteness of the problem has lead to uneven, unplanned and spatially skewed patterns of urban growth in and around Kolkata. Migration of people in large num­ bers from time to time since Independence, both from within and across the nation has further added to the complexities. In recog­ nition of the mounting crisis, much attention has been devoted since the 1980s to creating adequate infrastructure and providing basic amenities both to cater to the needs of the increasing urban population as well as to sustain the momentum of economic growth.


Payel Sen

The years that followed saw the launching of several development schemes and anti-poverty programmes sponsored by the central government and the state government. During this time the Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA) as the dominant urban agglomeration in the state, took the lead in implementing several slum develop­ ment programmes. In the wake of the Constitution (Seventy-Fourth Amendment) Act, 1992 which opened up new vistas in the arena of municipal governance, urban poverty alleviation was incorporated in the 12th Schedule as one of the core functions of the ULBs. Accordingly, the West Bengal Municipal Act clearly spelt out the role of the ULBs in reducing urban poverty. Also, necessary guidelines were issued for building up an appropriate institutional set-up and to improve service delivery mechanisms. More recently, during the Eleventh Plan period (2007-12), the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) launched by the Government of India in 2005 has set forth a new paradigm for building ‘inclusive cities’ and promoting ‘pro-poor’ city development. This has given a new fillip to the integrated development of infrastructural ser­ vices within the KMA and the Asansol area. IV. ALLEVIATING URBAN POVERTY:


Since lack of basic services in the slums is identified as one of the most important factors contributing to urban poverty, this com­ ponent has found place in many of the donor-supported urban development programmes. The KUSP programme falls within this framework. Driven by the successful implementation of the Depart­ ment for International Development (DFID) funded Slum Im­ provement Projects (SIP) within the territorial jurisdiction of the KMC to improve infrastructure and health, the GoWB in collabo­ ration with the DFID, UK, devised the KUSP programme that was formally launched in March 2004. The programme, scheduled to run for eight years until February 2012 was to be implemented in two phases thereby covering all the ULBs under the KMA. KUSP takes a three-pronged approach towards urban poverty reduction

Urban Poverty Revisited


through improving urban planning and governance, provisioning better access to basic services for the poor and, promoting eco­ nomic growth in the KMA (Mukherjee and Mitra, 2008). Unlike the earlier initiatives which viewed urban poor as passive recipients of services in municipal governance, the programme lays emphasis on capacitating of the ULBs for effective and responsive service delivery based on participatory ‘bottom-up’ approach. A greater role has been envisaged for the civil society organizations for pro­ moting integrated development of infrastructural service along with securing essential linkages between asset creation and management so as to ensure long-run project sustainability and inclusive urban governance. KUSP being an innovative programme for alleviation of urban poverty, the following section attempts to make an empirical en­ quiry into the efficacy of slum-level infrastructural development as one of the core means adopted under the aegis of the KUSP programme and thereby examining the extent to which it has im­ pacted poverty reduction. In doing so special emphasis is laid on assessing the role and performance of community-based organiza­ tions in the slum areas in the whole exercise. For the purpose of conducting the field survey a set of pre-designed questionnaires was canvassed amongst a select group of slum population numbering 500 that was uniformly spread across 10 ULBs within the KMA. This was followed by several rounds of intensive interactions in the form of Focus Group Discussions (FGD) held with them along with the elected local councillors of the concerned municipal bodies on repeated occasions to gather valuable insights into the intricacies of their functioning. DEVELOPMENT OF SLUM INFRASTRUCTURE UNDER KUSP: INITIATIVE AND IMPACT Development of basic infrastructure being a necessary precondition for better living has for long been one of the basic agenda of all development programmes. It is believed that unsatisfactory living conditions coupled with inadequate public provisioning of basic services leads to low income, low productivity and poor quality of


Payel Sen

life. Recognizing the dire circumstances in which the world’s urban poor live, the United Nations Millennium Declaration articulated the member states’ commitment to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by the year 2020. Investments in infra­ structure underpin virtually all the UN Millennium Development Goals, particularly those of poverty eradication. The manifold bene­ fits of infrastructure have also been confirmed by the United Nations Millennium Project (2005), which advocates a major increase in basic infrastructure investments to assist developing countries es­ cape the poverty trap. Currently, therefore, there is a growing real­ ization that infrastructural development can create an enabling environment for economic growth and social equity both of which have a significant bearing on poverty alleviation. Besides creating conducive conditions for generating employment opportunities, infrastructure also affects non-income aspects of poverty, contri­ buting to improvements in health, nutrition, education and social cohesion. The urban poor occupy the lowest rungs of the social hierarchy and are often deprived of even basic services and amenities. ‘Poverty of access’ today is considered to be inextricably associated with the phenomenon of poverty, especially in the urban areas. In line with this perspective, poor people’s access to land, shelter and basic services is seen as vital not only for their physical well- being but also to enable them to earn a living. However, related figures on the level and availability of basic municipal services and amenities in India present a gloomy picture indeed. About 30 per cent of India’s populations have no access to safe drinking water, 57 per cent have no access to electricity, 59 per cent have no pucca houses and over 70 per cent have no access to latrines. The surveys on slums conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) from time to time throw light on the problems related to inadequate access to basic requirements such as drinking water and sanitation along with availability of other services. By its very definition, a slum denotes the poor living conditions of the dwellers largely emanating from glaring infrastructure defi­ ciencies. As mentioned earlier, improvement of physical infrastruc­ ture for ensuring better quality of life in slums forms one of the

Urban Poverty Revisited


core components of the KUSP programme. As such, the impact of this special intervention could be best felt with regard to the de­ velopment of slum infrastructure. In course of the field visits it was found that most of the newly-built infrastructures in slums have been created out of KUSP funds. In keeping with the general urban policy framework to promote inclusive pro-poor development and governance, the KUSP programme adopted strategies to ensure stakeholders’ participation at all stages. As per the figures gener­ ated by the CMU the major infrastructural works undertaken in the slums falling under the purview of the programme include: improvement of conditions with regard to supply of drinking water, sanitation, construction of drains and roads. There is also provi­ sion for the construction of community centres in order to provide for space in the slums for community mobilization and participation. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SOCIETIES


Ever since its birth in the 1990s as part of the SJSRY programme the Community Development Societies (CDS) function as one of the key agents of slum development and governance in West Bengal. Backed by statutory recognition, the CDS as a formal association of slum-dwelling women living below the poverty line today stands as a powerful and potential platform wherefrom the poor and the vulnerable as a collectivity cannot only make their voices heard but also exercise their choices so as to resist their marginalization and exclusion in any form. Entrusted with the prime responsibil­ ity of implementing urban poverty alleviation programmes in their respective areas of jurisdiction, the CDS constituted the spring­ board of the KUSP programme. Accordingly, infrastructures in slums under this programme were sought to be created through active involvement of the slum dwellers organized under the um­ brella of CDS. It was guided by the belief that the involvement of the CDS in the construction of slum infrastructures would not only empower the poor women who constitute the CDS but would also inculcate in them a sense of ownership and attachment to the assets created. Moreover, under the KUSP programme, the CDS


Payel Sen

members were assigned the role of contractors for doing small work in their local areas. The developmental works undertaken were left to be executed not by contractors but by the CDS comprised of poor women. Financial support was also made available to them for initiating innovative activities under the Innovative Challenge Fund which too formed part of the KUSP programme. However, the field findings reveal that the CDS as one of the driving forces of the KUSP intervention has not been found to be as proactive as to yield desired results. Their linkages with the slums are not consolidating. Their links with the slum dwellers has been found to be weak and their approach towards them ‘casual’. An overwhelming majority (about 60 per cent) of the ordinary slum dwellers are ignorant of their formation even in areas where they already exist. The growing disconnect may lead one to pre­ sume that the urban poor are still to organize themselves under the aegis of the CDSs which were supposedly meant for upholding their interests. This evidently has a negative impact on the effective implementation of poverty alleviation programmes in slums. The legal empowerment of the CDS in the state has further created a problem in the sense that the existing members leave no stone unturned to cling on to their present status and if possible to pass it on to their kins. The CDS are, under the circumstances, merely reduced to pawns in the hands of politicians to mobilize the slum dwellers on the one hand and a steady source of power and distribution of patronage on the other. It is creating an everwidening chasm between a section of slum dwellers who form part of the CDS and others who stay out of the processes of decisionmaking willy-nilly. There has developed among the CDS members what can be called a ‘creamy layer’ who not only usurp power but also manage to grab a big slice of the benefits. PERFORMANCE OF BUSTEE WORKS MANAGEMENT COMMITTEES: AS WATCHDOGS For the purpose of monitoring construction and maintenance of newly-created assets through active participation of the beneficia­ ries there was a provision for constituting Bustee Works Manage­

Urban Poverty Revisited


ment Committees (BWMC) as an institutional contrivance under the KUSP programme. The BWMC consisting of members from amongst the residents of the concerned slum, is a bustee (slum) level broad-based democratic committee. Although this commit­ tee has been constituted in all the ULBs under study, the experi­ ence of their working has been an unhappy one. In terms of the guidelines of the composition of BWMC, CDS expectedly had a vital role to play in the sense that such locality-specific commit­ tees were to be democratically constituted by mobilizing large mass of slum population residing in the area. The study, however, re­ veals that in most cases, BWMCs are formed without the wider involvement and open participation of the slum dwellers. Thus the slum dwellers remain insulated from the twin processes of its formation and functioning. Moreover, while meetings of the BWMC are held at regular intervals, advices given by the ordinary slum dwellers are seldom acted upon by the members. In the opinion of nearly 60 per cent of the respondents, even before the commence­ ment of the construction of new infrastructure out of KUSP funds, they were never taken into confidence thus leaving enough room for manipulation. Intensive interactions with them revealed that in most cases consultation turned out to be mere intimation or passing of information rather than eliciting their reactions and responses. Any consultation prior to or at the stage of construction of infrastructure was kept confined to the members of the CDS and the Ward Committees; it could not assume the form of the much desired horizontal consultation amongst the stakeholders. In some places the poor slum dwellers were compelled to make monetary contributions for the purpose of, say, erecting lamp posts by the side of the drains. This apart, lack of consultation led more than half of the respondents to openly question the very usefulness or qualitative worth of the newly-created infrastructures under the programme. To the rest, however, a little addition irrespective of quality seems to be encouraging, especially in view of their pro­ longed absence or inadequate presence in the area of their habitat. This being the case, the already formed BWMC working in close unison with the CDS actually had little or no acceptance in the eyes of the larger community. One of the obvious outcomes was,


Payel Sen

therefore, a yawning divide in the slums which dampened com­ munity spirit. This adversely affected the proper management and preservation of community assets, on the one hand, and the suc­ cess of the programme, on the other. It is unfortunate to note that although about 85 per cent of the members reported their general awareness of the rules and regula­ tions governing the functioning of the BWMC, the legal knowl­ edge and awareness failed to have any meaningful bearing on their motivation to work well. While nearly 27 per cent of the BWMC members were found to be actively engaged in the maintenance of infrastructure, only 20 per cent among them expressed their de­ sire to take immediate action in case of any damage to the newlycreated assets. Despite a predominant presence (more than 50 per cent) of female members in the BWMC, they were more often than not sidelined by their male counterparts who being more articulate and reactive ended up stealing the show. The BWMC also failed to motivate people to contribute towards the mainte­ nance of infrastructure in terms of the guidelines of KUSP. While the beneficiaries over the decades have developed a feeling that it is solely the duty of the government to create and maintain infrastruc­ ture in the slums, the BWMC, which was expected to generate this new consciousness in tune with the changed policy of the government too proved to be a failure. Besides their lack of proper education and training, the members of the BWMC or for that matter the CDS also did not feel sufficiently motivated to work well as they received no financial incentives for their better role performance. IMPLICATIONS FOR POVERTY ERADICATION: MISSING LINKS In the reigning paradigmatic framework of inclusive pro-poor governance, urban development programmes like KUSP are so designed as to bring about twofold changes, viz., objective and subjective. While in case of the former the outcomes are tangible and measurable, in case of the latter the outcomes having cognitive connotations can hardly be physically measured with the help of specific parameters. The impact of the KUSP programme can be best

Urban Poverty Revisited


felt particularly with regard to the development of slum infra­ structure, one of the core components of the programme. Although it cannot be denied that a lot of infrastructures have been created in slums under the KUSP programme leading to better living conditions for the dwellers, ground realities have an altogether different story to tell. The discussion in the earlier sections points to the fact that the beneficiaries were not always consulted either prior to the construction of the infrastructures or when the work was going on. Even in cases where advice had been solicited, it was never acted upon. In some cases consultation turned out to be mere intimation or passing on of information rather than eliciting their reactions and responses. This led to adverse reactions in some slums and the slum dwellers did not seem to develop ownership of the assets which is likely to pose a problem for the maintenance of the assets. Also, participation in the formal sense failed to ensure usefulness or quality of the infrastructures created. Another serious lacuna relates to the rationale for selection of slums to be included within the KUSP programme. Confusion clouded the minds of the slum dwellers and the CDS members alike on this as hardly any attempt was made by the municipal authorities to clinch the issue. Driven by a deep sense of discrimination there was a strong refusal on part of the slum dwellers to make any monetary contribution towards the maintenance of infrastructure when they see that their fellow residents in the neighbouring slums or wards kept outside the purview of the KUSP are exempted from it. Thus even in places where they have been formed, the BWMC have become defunct in the wake of irregular collections by the members. The failures may be explained with reference to the apathy and indifference of the municipal functionaries towards motivating the CDS members on the one hand and strengthening their links with the BWMCs on the other. It is now a widely accepted fact that there is a need for regular and continuous surveillance on the processes and stages of imple­ mentation of all developmental programmes. More so in the case of developing countries to ensure that the fruits of development are reaped by the target groups. In a democratic system supervi­ sion and monitoring may be exercized either by the politicians,


Payel Sen

the administrators or by the people themselves. However, in West Bengal, of late a steady decline of surveillance both by the politicians and the administrators is quite conspicuous. This may presum­ ably be due to the deeprooted culture of political complacency, on the one hand, and lack of a steady and potent opposition, on the other. The study findings are reflective of some of the glaring and in­ herent weaknesses of the top-down supervision from both the con­ cerned municipality and the KUSP management. Apparently, the Urban Poverty Cell in the ULBs seems to have failed to live up to the occasion. Interactions with the concerned officials reveal that they are still guarded by traditional consideration of paying more attention to building more number of infrastructures than to en­ lighten and empower the poor as was aspired for in the KUSP programme. Cultural change in urban governance being an evolu­ tionary process is to be backed by attempts at changing basic per­ ceptions regarding work culture. It calls for overhauling the mindset, perception and attitude of those who are at the helm of affairs, a change that is yet to begin. It is significant to note that while the poor in the slums have of late started realizing the significance of education, sanitation, health, etc., for the improvement of their quality of life, the key actors still seem to be slow in realizing and responding to their needs. This is indeed a matter of great concern necessitating serious politico-administrative interventions at all levels in the form of proactive support and surveillance. For the achievement of the programme initiatives there is an imperative need to introduce new work culture and practices for bringing about professionalization of the municipal staff and functionaries at all levels. Most importantly, sensitivity towards needs and prob­ lems of the poor also needs to be inculcated in the day-to-day functioning of the ULBs. It also seems very relevant to mention here that there is need for taking much greater care and caution while creating a network of multi-level administrative arrangements (such as the CDS and the BWMC) to deal with the implementation of different devel­ opmental programmes which widens the gap between the mu­ nicipal authorities, on the one hand, and the ordinary slum dwell­

Urban Poverty Revisited


ers, on the other. It seems imperative to establish a more direct linkage between them by holding meetings more frequently and at regular intervals. The empirical findings clearly indicate that there is a need for proactive top-down support and surveillance to make CDS more active and effective as is evident from the experi­ ence in Kalyani. The respondent CDS members in Kalyani were found to be emotionally charged and capable of playing their roles effectively and with ease. Their success cannot but be attributed to the role of the concerned municipality which has been able to provide in the municipal office itself a separate working space for the CDS which has both objective and subjective implications. Objectively speaking, it helps them work closely in collaboration with the concerned ULBs providing them with an opportunity for interacting with the municipal functionaries in their own office for aid and advice on a sustained basis. Subjectively speaking, it helps them in developing a sense of being a part of the larger mu­ nicipal system that is sought to be ensured through the granting of statutory recognition. They took pride in being formally lo­ cated in a space where the municipal office is housed. MILES COVERED: THE ROAD AHEAD Although improvement of slum infrastructure has been one of the basic agenda of the urban development programmes in the developing societies, the uniqueness of the KUSP programme lies in its participatory intent whereby stakeholders’ involvement is emphasized in the whole process. However, formal participation institutionalized through the creation of invited spaces is seldom found to deliver the desired results as is evident from the mode of functioning of the CDS and the BWMC. Institutional behaviour being dynamic often transcends the legal confines to acquire and exhibit deviant patterns of behaviour. Caught in the vortex of power politics, these participatory spaces instead of functioning as key local resources for the poor, actually go on to accentuate and insti­ tutionalize the already existing disparities and diversities in the slums. Currently, all attempts at poverty reduction are thwarted by a


Payel Sen

myopic vision of poverty. The multidimensionality of the problem, especially the socio-cultural aspects are yet to catch the attention of our policy makers and administrators who are lured by mere introduction of cosmetic changes which serve as an easy means of political advocacy. In addition to the material deficiencies, espe­ cially those linked with the absence of or inadequacy of access to infrastructures and basic amenities, the social issue of poverty also entails a range of non-material concerns relating to lack of repre­ sentation and freedom which in turn lead to a state of powerless­ ness and voicelessness (Narayan et al., 2000). The field data and the impressions gathered while conducting FGDs indicate that the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable are yet to be mainstreamed and integrated into the structures and processes of governance. This is really the basic paradox of all poverty allevia­ tion programmes as has been vindicated by the findings of this study. The unhappy experience of the functioning of the BWMCs also proves that it is a deep-seated structural problem and hence mere administrative tinkering even in the form of administrative innovations is not likely to yield the desired results. Poverty is often embedded in social structures that exclude the poor. The persistence of poverty flouts the elementary absolute standards of social justice. Social exclusion can be understood as those socially constructed processes of discrimination that deprive people of their human rights and result in inequitable and fractured societies. Different forms of identity-based exclusion actually tend to undermine the effectiveness of efforts at poverty reduction by perpetuating the material poverty and low socio-economic status of the marginalized groups. The exclusion of the slum dwellers from the crucial stages of consultation and decision-making, as gathered from the field findings, raises the pertinent question as to who among the poor have been able to influence the processes of implementation of the programmes and policies meant for their betterment. This underlines the need not just for sound public policies, but for new social norms conducive to better social integration. Conducive politico-administrative conditions as necessary pre­

Urban Poverty Revisited


requisites are yet to be created to facilitate the process. Participa­ tory strategies to be efficacious call for increased democratization of governance. Interestingly, it is not much in tune with the polit­ ical tradition and environment in West Bengal marked by gross absence of democratic vibrancy. The strong trend towards oneparty domination both at the level of the state and that of the municipalities has led to severe organizational imbalance between the ruling party and the opposition which is fast heading towards a situation of political stagnancy and decay. It needs to be pointed out that amidst such stifling imbalance the responsibility of the political party or parties in power in the municipalities entails not only a greater degree of tolerance of the opposition but also gesture(s) and instances of encouragement to those at the other end of the political spectrum. Participatory democracy to be implanted at the grassroots level cannot encourage alienation of the opposition as it would rob such form of democracy of its basic spirit and purpose. Paradoxically, it is regrettable to note that there is over­ whelming degree of indifference, lack of concern and even lack of respect for the opposition at all levels which no less alarmingly result in an attitude of complacency mingled with arrogance among the members of the ruling parties, curbing even the slightest pos­ sibility of improvement in the performance levels. In order to correct the existing ills, the state-led interventions need to be target-specific and explicit in nature, both in terms of scope and coverage. These should holistically address the socio­ economic and cultural dimensions of urban poverty guided by the zeal to improve the quality of life and living in slums. Given the uniformity of purpose and operational overlaps there is an urgent need to converge and establish essential linkages between all-existing anti-poverty activities and agencies. Merely having a pro-poor com­ ponent in design and implementation of urban poverty alleviation programmes is not enough. They need to be strategically woven into the grand scheme of decentralized participatory governance as envisaged in the Seventy-Fourth Constitution Amendment Act. This underscores the need for erecting a prudently structured and well coordinated institutional mechanism under the general


Payel Sen

supervision and control of the municipal authorities so as to en­ sure effective mobilization, organization and participation of the poor people at all stages of development. Besides creating appro­ priate formal institutional structures, informally organized civil society groupings also need to be encouraged so as to enable poor people to coordinate collective action. It is only when social groups are cohesive and their associational life vital that they are better positioned to attract and enjoy the benefits accruing from sound public policies and resources.

REFERENCES Baulch, Bob (1996), ‘Neglected Trade-offs in Poverty Measurement’, IDS Bulletin: Poverty, Policy and Aid, vol. 27, no. 1. Chambers, Robert (1983), Rural Development: Putting the Last First, Essex, England: Longmans Scientific and Technical Publishers; New York: John Wiley. Chambers, Robert (1997), ‘Rethinking Poverty Report on the World Social Situation 2010’, cited in United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2010), ST/ESA/324, New York. India Urban Poverty Report 2009, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India, Supported by UNDP, Oxford University Press, New Delhi. Ravallion, Martin, Shaohua Chen and Prem Sangraula (2007), ‘New Evidence on the Urbanization of Global Poverty’, World Bank Policy Research Work­ ing Paper 4199, April. Sheilah, Meikle (2002), ‘The Urban Context and Poor People’, in Carole Rakodi with Tony Lloyd-Jones (eds.), Urban Livelihoods: A People-centred Approach to Reducing Poverty, London: Earthscan Publication. Mukherjee, K. and Sujoy Mitra (2008), ‘Integrated and Inclusive Development of Urban West Bengal: KUSP Perspective’, Urban Manage-ment, 13th issue. Narayan, Deepa (2000), Voices of the Poor: Can Anyone Hear Us?, New York: Oxford University Press. Satterthwaite, David (1997), ‘Urban Poverty: Reconsidering its Scale and Nature’, IDS Bulletin, vol. 28, no. 2, April, pp. 9-23. Sen, Amartya (1999), Development as Freedom, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Urban Poverty Revisited


United Nations, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (2007), ‘Persistent and Emerging Issues in Rural Poverty Reduction’, ST/ ESCAP/2433, Bangkok. World Bank (2000), Attacking Poverty: World Development Report 2000/1, Washington, DC: World Bank.

C H A P T E R 11

Nutritional Status and Tuberculosis

Disease in the City of Varanasi, UP:

A Perspective on Urban

Health Ecology



Human ecology and its changing patterns at different develop­ mental stages in emerging civilizations of varying social organiza­ tions have great significance for understanding the problems of human health. There are growing epidemiological research evidences to indicate a great co-relationship between health of tuber­ culosis patients and various socio-economic and political aspects such as housing, working environment, transportation, overcrowding, residential densities, industrial growth, migration, urbanization, slums, quality of life, poverty, illiteracy, poor sanitation facility and nutrition coupled with already overburdened health-care facilities in the developing countries in general and India in parti­ cular. The ecology of human health and tuberculosis disease in the context of urban health is concerned with human behaviour in its cultural and socio-economic context, and is interaction with environ­ mental conditions to produce or prevent disease among suscept­ ible people. This constitutes the etiology, or causal evolution, of health and disease. Population genetics physiology and immu­ nological and nutritional status are important to disease processes and must be understood as prerequisites to sound research into

278 Ajay Kumar Giri, G.N. Srivastava & Anand Prasad Mishra these processes. Geography is also important, as its roots are firmly anchored in the study of cultural and environmental interactions (Meade and Earickson, 2000). Geography has traditionally studied the creation of landscape, the mortality and composition of population, the determinants of economic activity and its location, and diffusion of things, ideas, and technology. All these are of subjects of medical geography. The landscape is composed of insects, medicinal herbs, and hospi­ tals as well as topography, vegetation, animals, water resources, house types and clothing. Mortality is usually an outcome of ex­ posure to and transmission of disease. Elements of population com­ position include not only age structure, ethnicity, and literature but also immunological and nutritional status and genetic suscep­ tibility. Health service delivery relates to economic activity as well as health hazards. Disease agents and medical technology are sub­ ject to diffusion. Habitat, population, and behaviour form the vertices of a triangle that encloses the state of human health depicted in Figure 11.1. Habitat is that part of the environment within which people live, that which directly affects them. Houses and workplaces, settle­ ment patterns, naturally occurring biotic and physical phenomena, health-care services, transportation systems, schools, and govern­ ments are parts of the habitat thus broadly conceived. Population is concerned with humans as biological organisms as potential hosts of disease. The ability of a population to cope with insults of all kinds depends on its immunological status and its immediate physio­ logical status with regard to time of day or year. Behaviour is the observable aspect of culture. It springs from cultural precepts, economic constraints, social norms, and individual psychology. It includes mortality, roles, cultural practices, and technological inter­ ventions. The triangular ecological model differs from sociological models in its separate consideration of behaviour and population. Education, for example, is an element of behaviour rather than population status. Education involves behavioural exposures to an opportunity in the habitat, an experience that can influence behaviour in a way that improves health status by reducing harm­ ful exposures, increasing protective buffering, and including alter­

Nutritional Status and Tuberculosis Disease


Figuare 11.1: The triangle of ecology of human health (after Meade and Erickson, 2000)

ation of the habitat itself through technology. The social theories of structural or political/economic/social construction and percep­ tion are concerned with this leg of the triangle. Through their behaviour, people create habitat conditions, expose themselves to or protect themselves from habitat conditions, and move element of the habitat from place to place. The habitat presents opportuni­ ties and hazards to population genetics, nutrition, and immuno­ logy. The status of population affects the health outcome from the habitat stimuli and the energy and collective vigour needed to alter behaviour and habitat (Meade and Earickson, 2000). BRIEF DISCUSSION ON TUBERCULOSIS


Among the emerging health problems, tuberculosis is a common and a serious issue in underdeveloped nations. Pulmonary tuber­ culosis is a common and in many cases lethal infectious disease

280 Ajay Kumar Giri, G.N. Srivastava & Anand Prasad Mishra caused by various strains of Mycobacterium, and is mainly caused due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This disease is found in humans as well as in animals (bovine type) and infects the lungs as well as other body organs. Tuberculosis, once known as White Plague, and as Captain of the Death, is contagious and spreads through drop­ lets in the air when an infected person coughs, talks or sneezes (Sutherland, 1977). Human poverty, low vitality, over-crowding, nutritional deficiency, distorted Body Mass Index (BMI), social ecology, large family sizes, poor socio-economic conditions, lack of timely and adequate medical aid and poor sanitation are the main factors affecting the development of tuberculosis. The severity of the problem in India is evident from the fact that today two deaths occur from tuberculosis every three minutes. But these deaths can be prevented with proper care and treatment. About 90 per cent of tuberculosis cases occur in developing countries, while 75 per cent of the fatal cases occur in the 15-54 years of population. TB kills more adults in India than Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), sexually transmitted diseases (STD), malaria, lep­ rosy, and other tropical diseases combined. Every year, 30,000 children are forced to leave or discontinue school because their parents have tuberculosis. One lakh women lose their status as mothers and wives because of the social stigma still (Suryanarayana, et al. 1993) attached to the disease. The National TB Programme (NTP) in India was started in 1962, which could not achieve its desired targets in terms of case find­ ings and treatment success. In 1992, the Government of India, together with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Swed­ ish International Development Agency (SIDA), reviewed the NTP and concluded that it suffered from numerous bottlenecks and as a result, a Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) was designed to adopt Directly Observed TreatmentShort Course (DOTS) as a comprehensive and effective strategy for TB control and canvassed all the states and districts of India. In the recent years, TB as a disease has raised its head not only as a health concern but also as a social menace (TB India 2006, RNTCP Status Report, First quarter 2005). For instance, general

Nutritional Status and Tuberculosis Disease


factors, such as poor living conditions, debility and malnutrition, cigarette smoking, low socio-economic status, inadequate genital hygiene and the incidence of tuberculosis, apply widely to explain about the geography of health. In the recent period, in spite of development and advancement in medical sciences, tuberculosis continues to threaten common masses as a chronic disease. It has raised its head as the most commonly occurring epidemic in a developing society which is inflicted with already existing social menaces such as poverty, low vitality, nutritional deficiency, large family size, lack of sanitation, and dearth of health facilities. Varanasi district lies in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh which is one of the most backward regions of India. Varanasi has a dismal record of tuberculosis—its distribution, prevalence or the mea­ sures to control it (Giri, Srivastava and Mishra, 2010). The state of tuberculosis disease in the district reflects spatio-temporal and structural variations. In the study area there is found demographic, economic, religious, social as well as spatial (rural-urban) variation as far as the prevalence and control of tuberculosis and the resultant mortality ratio is concerned. Tuberculosis is more prominent in the working age-group than the non-working; males are more prone to it, mostly in the age-group of 15-34 years, followed by 35-60 years; Hindus are more inflicted than Muslims; among the Mus­ lims weavers outnumber others. The poor, especially low-paid daily wage earners are more in the grip of the disease. The rate of preva­ lence of tuberculosis disease decreases as one moves up the ladder of economic classes; the urban residents are more prone than their rural counterparts (Giri, Srivastava and Mishra, 2011 and 2012). In India, deaths from tuberculosis are 27-41 per cent higher among young women and children in the year 5-24 years com­ pared to males in the same age bracket. Tuberculosis disease poses a major threat to women’s health security. Population growth, HIV epidemic, increasing poverty and rising levels of drug resistance will inevitably increase the burden of this disease on humans (WHO, GTC, 2009). Women are at increased risk of progression of disease during their reproductive years. However, in most low-income countries, twice as many men are notified with tuberculosis as women (WHO, ‘Gender and Tuberculosis’, 2002). Biological

282 Ajay Kumar Giri, G.N. Srivastava & Anand Prasad Mishra mechanisms may account for these differences but socio-economic and cultural factors leading to barriers in accessing health care may also cause under-notification in women (Dharmadhikari et al., 2009). Unmarried females often search for treatment at far-away health-care centres because they fear that disclosure of the diagnosis could cause them problems in finding a partner for marriage. Widows (17.5 per cent) face a high level of emotional, psychological and economic burden if they are suffering from tuberculosis (Morankar and Suryawanshi, 2000). About half of the females who accepted their disease as tubercu­ losis reported that they were hiding the fact from the community due to the fear of social isolation and rejection. About two-thirds of these women reported loss of self-esteem due to the disease. Tuberculosis patient who are older than 40 years, and who have completed their family responsibilities and roles (marriage and departure of children), feel lonely and have often no will to live and be cured. Tuberculosis is perceived as a ‘bad disease’, ‘dangerous illness’ or a ‘serious disease’ (Morankar and Suryawanshi, 2000). There are many erroneous perceptions regarding the concept of cure like ‘it may be cured completely but a small portion always remains uncured and can occur again in future’. This perception has an impact on female patients’ help-seeking behaviour and often leads to their missing doses and eventually becoming treatment defaulters. India has the highest burden of TB globally, accounting for onefifth of the global incidence and two-thirds of the cases in SouthEast Asia. Nearly 40 per cent of the Indian population is infected with the tuberculosis bacillus. Each year, 1.9 million new cases of tuberculosis occur in the country, of which about 0.8 million are infectious new smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis cases (TB India, 2008). Every day, more than 5,000 people develop tuber­ culosis disease, and nearly 1,000 people die of it, i.e. two deaths every three minutes. As per WHO estimates, in 2006, nearly 3,22,000 persons in India died of tuberculosis (mortality rate of 28 per 1,00,000 persons), which was estimated at over 5,00,000 annually at the beginning of the RNTCP (WHO Report, 2006). WHO estimates suggest that the prevalence of all forms of TB

Nutritional Status and Tuberculosis Disease


decreased from 506 per 1,00,000 population in 1995 to 280 in 2007, at a rate of about 6 per cent per year, while the new smear positive TB decreased from 190 cases per 1,00,000 in 1995 to 100 in 2007, at a rate of about 6 per cent per year. WHO esti­ mates that the TB mortality rate decreased from 44 per 1,00,000 population in 1995 to 29 in 2007, a rate of about 4 per cent decline per year, totalling about 3,35,000 deaths due to TB in 2007 (GTC, WHO, 2009). According to the RNTCP 2007 report, the usual victims of tuberculosis are migrant labourers, slum dwellers, residents of back­ ward areas, and tribal groups. Known as the disease of the poor, tuberculosis often appears where malnutrition, shanty housing, and overcrowding are common. Despite treatment for the infec­ tious disease, living and working in a small space without adequate ventilation can seriously affect patients suffering from tubercu­ losis. It is therefore no surprise that many weavers are infected with tuberculosis; working in closed spaces filled with dust and thrums (from their looms and cloth) for prolonged periods has great risk of infection. Moreover, the cure for tuberculosis requires the consistent intake of a large number of drugs, which is difficult to manage for many patients (Jin Ju, 2008). The old and religious city of Varanasi has attracted a large number of migrants from various parts of India and abroad. The threats of tuberculosis is a major challenge facing the city. A serious study of the disease and its mitigation is therefore important for any policy maker. THE STUDY AREA

Geographically, Varanasi district extends between 25° 10' North and 25° 37' North latitudes and 82° 39' East and 83° 10' East longitudes in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, in the north-eastern part of India. It is bounded by Bhadohi district in the west, Jaunpur in the north and north-west, Ghazipur in the north and north­ east, Chandauli in the east and Mirzapur district in the south. River Ganga forms its natural boundary in the east and south-east while the northern boundary is marked by the river Gomti. It has

284 Ajay Kumar Giri, G.N. Srivastava & Anand Prasad Mishra an area of 1,535 sq. km and a total population of 3,682,194 as per Census of India 2011. The decadal growth of population was 17.23 per cent from 2001-11. Literacy rate of the district was 77.05 per cent as per the Census of 2011 in which male literacy was 85.12 per cent and the female literacy rate was 68.20 per cent. The gap of literacy among males and females was 16.92 per cent as per the Census of India 2011. The rural population in Varanasi district numbered 2,082,934 and the urban population 1,599,260. Varanasi city is an ancient and holy city of India. It situated on the left crescent bank of the holy river Ganga with an areal spread of about 80 km2 and a population of about 1.2 million (Census of India 2011). Varanasi has a long and continuous history since 1500 BC and finds mention in Atharvaveda and in the epics and Puranas. The city is known by various names. The names Kashi or Kashipuri and Varanasi find mention and were in usage way back in Puranic times. In Buddhist literature, it is referred to as Banaras, a name used by the Muslim rulers and the British too. The British spelled Banaras in their own way as Benares. Even today, Benares is used as much as Kashi and Varanasi, though officially the city carries the name Varanasi. As per the Census of India 2011, Varanasi city has population of 1,201,815 in which 52.99 per cent are males and 47.01 per cent are females. The urban or metropolitan population is 1,435,113 of which 53.03 per cent are males and 46.97 per cent are females. The average literacy rate of the city is 80.12 per cent; 84.11 per cent of the males are literate and 75.63 per cent of the females (Census of India 2011). The average literacy rate is higher than that of India as a whole. The malefemale sex ratio is 887 per 1,000 females. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

For the analysis of tuberculosis disease and its treatment in Varanasi city there are four types of objectives identified: 1. To study the spatio-temporal distribution of the prevalence of TB patients. 2. To analyse structural dimension of tuberculosis patients in study area.

Source: Developed by the authors.

Figuare 11.2: Location and extent of Varanasi city

286 Ajay Kumar Giri, G.N. Srivastava & Anand Prasad Mishra 3. To assess the symptoms experienced during the treatment of tuberculosis. 4. To examine the nutritional consumption and its deficiency in TB patients. DATABASE AND METHODOLOGY

The critical evaluation of tuberculosis eradication programmes require multi-level data, which reveals the nature of quantification on the issues for this purpose. All required data for the purpose hand was collected mostly from secondary sources. These included District Tuberculosis Office, District Tuberculosis Centre of Varanasi District. The district of Varanasi is covered under the Revised Na­ tional Tuberculosis Programme (RNTCP). Under the programme, the study area was divided into four units and several sub-units. These four units working under the District Tuberculosis Centre (DTC) at District Hospital, Kabir Chaura; Vivekanand Smarak Hospital at Bhelupur; and Shivpur and Misirpur community health centres. Multiple indicators were selected to identify the level of prevalence of tuberculosis patients under the coverage of DOT to treat the disease. The study also gives unit-wise analysis of the prevalence of tuberculosis in Varanasi city which was fully covered under the RNTCP from the first quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2010 (January 2009 to June 2010). The prevalence is evaluated on key parameters/indicators such as New Smear Posi­ tive, New Smear Negative, Extra-pulmonary, Relapse, Failure, Treatment after Default and Others. The selected indicators reveal the characteristics of tuberculosis patients and its analysis repre­ sents the entire dynamics of tropical health. A detailed survey of the study area was conducted and the samples were randomly selected as purposive sampling in all the above institutions. A total of 214 clinically diagnosed tuberculosis patients were interviewed using a structural questionnaire. The questionnaire sought background information, information about tuberculosis disease and TB programmes, and daily dietary intake of patients. Patients were interested and cooperative with the re­

Nutritional Status and Tuberculosis Disease


searchers and they were registered at the DOTS centres for pul­ monary and extra-pulmonary tuberculosis diseases who could not afford the recommended diet. The data collection included height and weight measurements of the patients using to standard methods (WHO, 1995). Dietary intake of the patients was determined by a 24-hour dietary recall method and daily diet consumption re-commended for tuberculosis. Energy and protein intake were determined by the ‘Nutritive Value of Indian Food’, National Insti­ tute of Nutrition, ICMR, Hyderabad (Gopalan et al., 2004). The prescription identified the type, amount and frequency of feeding, specified the caloric and protein level to attain limited and in­ creased individual dietary components. ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS

SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE PREVALENCE OF TUBERCULOSIS The observed secondary data on tuberculosis explains the nature of the prevalence of disease in its spatio-temporal context in study area. The data covered the period of first quarter of 2009 to second quarter of 2010. The prevalence of tuberculosis was recorded at four units of different centres in the study area. To demarcate char­ acteristics of the tuberculosis patients, the traits were divided into seven categories namely, New Smear Positive, New Smear Negative, Extra-Pulmonary, Relapse, Failure, Treatment after Default and Others. Table 11.1 depicts the prevalence of tuberculosis in Varanasi district, giving with the percentage distribution of total number of patients at the different DOTS centres between January 2009 and June 2010, i.e. a period of 18 months. The highest percentage of cases were registered at the Bhelupur centre, which shows a percentage share of 28.63 per cent of the total registered cases. Bhelupur enjoys greatest locational benefit, being in the midst of the city with a wide catchment area as far as the unit’s areal cover­ age is concerned. It is located in the centre of the most congested part of the city and is the prime centre catering to the needs of

288 Ajay Kumar Giri, G.N. Srivastava & Anand Prasad Mishra TABLE 11.1: PREVALENCE OF TUBERCULOSIS IN VARANASI DISTRICT TB Units

Total Patients (per cent)

DTC Bhelupur Shivpur Misirpur

25.70 28.63 25.45 20.24



Source : District Tuberculosis Office; District Tuberculosis Hospital, Kabir Chaura, Varanasi, January 2009 to June 2010.

weavers, who are often infected with tuberculosis. The other cen­ tres which registered a major percentage of such cases are DTC, Kabir Chaura (25.70 per cent) and the Shivpur unit (25.45 per cent). DTC Kabir Chaura, again enjoys the benefit of prime locat­ ion but the congestion is lower than in Bhelupur. Both the DTC and Shivpur centres are located in the city, therefore it is likely that they will register more number of cases. The remaining unit have registered comparatively lower number of cases. The rural centres cover only local patients but, contrary to this the centres in the urban areas not only cover the local patients, but also patients coming from the adjoining districts of Uttar Pradesh as well as Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The number of TB cases is less in the rural areas due to fresh air, less pollution and healthy environment, whereas reverse is the case in the urban areas which are congested, polluted and bear unhygienic environment. The awareness level is high in urban areas and is low in their rural counterparts. Though there may be other reasons accountable for this gap in the rural and urban centres, they have insignificant bearing on the issue. PERFORMANCE OF SPATIO-TEMPORAL DISTRIBUTION PREVALENCE OF TUBERCULOSIS


To know about the spatio-temporal nature of prevalence of tuber­ culosis in Varanasi district, the secondary data collected from Dis­

Nutritional Status and Tuberculosis Disease


trict Tuberculosis Office of the District Hospital, Kabir Chaura, Varanasi. To demarcate characteristics of the tuberculosis patients, the traits were divided into seven categories namely, New Smear Positive, New Smear Negative, Extra-Pulmonary, Relapse, Failure, Treatment after Default and Others. There are four tuberculosis units in the city, viz., DTC Kabir Chaura, Bhelupur, Shivpur, and Misirpur. In all 6,081 tuberculosis patients enlisted in the defined time frame from all the centres showed heterogeneity in the spatio­ temporal context. The highest number of patients enlisted was in the second quarter of 2009, whereas the lowest was in the fourth quarter of 2009. As far as the unit-wise distribution of prevalence of tuberculosis is considered, it was found that the highest number of patients (1,741) were registered at Bhelupur centre while the lowest (1,231) were identified at Misirpur centre. The pollution of the city, filthy living conditions, more number of labourers in the city, prominence of sari weavers (who are more affected from tuberculosis), unhygienic environment, workplace problems are some reasons attributed for the more number of patients regis­ tered at centres located in the city. Apart from this some patients from the neighbouring districts travel to the city for treatment; this raises the number of patients at these centres. The characteristics of the patients were sub-categorized into seven groups. Taking these characteristics (at different centres) into con­ sideration, it is noticed that the highest number of cases for new smear positive were found at Shivpur (604) and the lowest was registered at DTC (502). Likewise, the highest number of cases of new smear negative was found at Shivpur (639) and the lowest at Misirpur (312). Bhelupur topped the list in extra-pulmonary cases (607). The cases under relapse category were highest at Bhelupur with 123 patients whereas DTC got the lost rank with 55 cases only. As far as the total number of cases under failure category is considered, Misirpur registered the highest number of cases (12) while Bhelupur accounted for only one case, thus ranking lowest among the four centres. In the ‘Others’ category, the DTC (Kabir Chaura) accounted for the maximum cases (131) whereas Shivpur for the minimum cases (34).

113 67 70 21 1 – 13 285

New Smear Positive New Smear Negative New Extra-Pulmonary Relapse Failure Treatment After Default Other





82 81 33 12 1 17 17

New Smear Positive New Smear Negative New Extra-Pulmonary Relapse Failure Treatment After Default Other


I Qtr

Nature of Tuberculosis

TB Units


94 60 150 16 – – 12


85 118 39 8 2 13 15

II Qtr


101 68 86 28 – – 5


88 96 41 10 1 10 14




96 42 104 21 – – 9


65 59 42 8 1 8 26

IV Qtr


97 65 95 19 – – 10


90 77 45 10 1 11 25

I Qtr


96 45 102 18 – 3 14


92 122 38 7 2 15 34

II Qtr




597 347 607 123 1 3 63


502 553 238 55 8 74 131



34.2 19.9 34.8 07.0 – 0.2 3.6


32.1 35.4 15.2 03.5 0.5 4.7 8.4

Total (%)

81 41 16 16 3 14 4 175 957


Grand Total



New Smear Positive New Smear Negative New Extra-Pulmonary Relapse Failure Treatment After Default Other

104 103 30 13 1 1 2

New Smear Positive New Smear Negative New Extra-Pulmonary Relapse Failure Treatment After Default Other



113 65 28 18 2 17 5


94 118 30 14 1 1 7



91 63 30 10 1 14 7


100 98 40 9 1 – 7



74 43 14 9 0 9 3


99 94 26 10 – – 7



89 49 27 10 3 12 7


105 98 32 9 1 2 6



105 51 41 19 3 15 9


102 128 42 7 – 1 5



553 312 156 82 12 81 35


604 639 200 62 4 5 34



44.9 25.3 12.6 06.6 0.9 06.5 02.8


38.9 41.2 12.9 04.0 0.2 0.3 2.2

Source : District Tuberculosis Office; District Tuberculosis Centre of District Hospital, Kabir Chaura, Varanasi; from the period of First Quarter, 2009 to Second Quarter, 2010 (January 2009 to June 2010).



292 Ajay Kumar Giri, G.N. Srivastava & Anand Prasad Mishra UNIT-WISE VARIATION IN DISTRIBUTION OF PATIENTS There were found profound variations in the number of cases of tuberculosis. At DTC, Kabir Chaura centre, a total of 1,561 cases were registered in the six quarters, from the first quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2010. The highest number of cases were registered in the second quarter of 2010 (310), but the lowest numbers of cases got registration in fourth quarter of 2009 (209). At Bhelupur centre 1,741 cases were found, which is also the highest figure among all the centres. The highest number of cases (332) was registered in the second quarter of 2009, while the lowest (272) was in fourth quarter of 2009. A total of 1,548 cases were registered at Shivpur centre with 285 cases (highest) in the second quarter and 236 (lowest) in the fourth quarter of 2009. New Smear Positive Case: Tuberculosis in a patient with at least two out of three initial sputum smear examination (direct smear microscopy) positive for Acid Fast Bacilli (AFB) is considered a new smear positive case. A patient who has not taken anti-tuber­ culosis drugs or taken the drugs for less than one month is known as a new smear positive patient. Out of 6,081 (total cases including all characteristics of tuberculosis patients) 2,256 were new smear positive cases, accounting for 39.6 per cent of the total cases reported. Thus it can be seen that about one-third of the cases fall into the category of new smear positive. The remaining two-third cases are shared among the other six categories of cases. The percentage of new smear positive among all DOTS was highest at Misirpur centre with 44.9 per cent of the total cases reported at the centre, followed by Shivpur. The lowest percentage was registered at DTC, Kabir Chaura with 32.1 per cent of the total cases, i.e. 1,561. New Smear Negative Case: Tuberculosis in a patient with symp­ toms suggestive of the disease and all three sputum smear exami­ nations negative for AFB, and chest x-ray showing abnormalities consistent with active pulmonary tuberculosis confirmed by the treating medical officer is called a new smeas negative case. The total number of new smear negative cases out of 6,081 were 1,851 which comes out to be 30.4 per cent, thus accounting for almost one-third of the cases registered in these 18 months. Percentage­

Nutritional Status and Tuberculosis Disease


wise, the highest registered cases under new smear negative category were at Shivpur (41.2 per cent) and the lowest in the same category were at Bhelupur (19.9 per cent). New Extra-Pulmonary: This is tuberculosis of any organ other than the lungs (pulmonary), such as the pleura (TB pleura), lymph nodes, intestines, genito-urinary tract, skin, joints and bones, men­ inges of the brain, etc. Out of the 6,081 cases, the number of new extra-pulmonary cases was 1,201 which forms 19.7 per cent of the total number of tuberculosis patients. In the new extra-pulmonary category, the highest number of cases were registered at Bhelupur centre with (34.8 per cent) while the lowest cases registered were at Misirpur (15.6 per cent). Relapse Case: A tuberculosis patient who was declared cured or whose treatment was completed by a physician, but who reports back to the health service and it now found to be sputum smear positive is considered a relapse case. Table 11.2 depict that the Bhelupur centre leads with the highest per cent of relapse cases (7.06 per cent). The minimum cases were registered at the DTC centre (3.52 per cent) of the total cases reported at the centre. Failure: A tuberculosis patient who is found to be smear positive five months after starting treatment is considered a failure. Failure also includes a patient who was treated with category III (extra­ pulmonary non-serious) regimen but who becomes smear positive during treatment. The total number of failure cases were 25 out of 6,081, which forms a negligible percentage of the total, accounting for just 0.50 per cent. In this category Misirpur tops the list (0.9 per cent). Bhelupur had just one case under this head. Treatment after Default: This implies a tuberculosis patient who received anti-tuberculosis treatment for one month or more from any source and returns to treatment after having defaulted, i.e. not taking anti-tuberculosis drugs consecutively for two months or more, and is found to be sputum smear positive. The highest per cent of cases in this category was registered at Misirpur (6.5 per cent) and the lowest was at Bhelupur centre (0.2 per cent). Others: Tuberculosis patients who do not fit into smear positive, smear negative, relapse, failure, treatment after default fall into this category. Reasons for putting a patient in this type must be

294 Ajay Kumar Giri, G.N. Srivastava & Anand Prasad Mishra specified (Managing of RNTCP: A Training Course, April 2005). A total of 382 cases fell under this category. It was noticed that DTC topped the list with 8.39 per cent; the lost position in this category was registered as Shivpur (2.2 per cent). PREVALENCE AND MORTALITY OF TUBERCULOSIS PATIENTS In order to analyse the performance of RNTCP in Varanasi dis­ trict, the mortality pattern of tuberculosis patients using DOTS was comparatively studied, using data for the period between 2005 and 2009. In these five years, the total number of patients put on DOTS shows a varying trend, i.e. both negative as well as a posi­ tive change. The total number of patients put on DOTS in 2005 was 4,191 which increased to 6,036 in 2009, but the percentage growth of patients between these two years (i.e. the present year and the preceding year) depicts an entirely different pattern. The percentage growth of patients in 2005-6 was 2.3 per cent, which decreased to 2.5 per cent in 2006-7, registering almost at about 27 per cent. Between 2007 and 2008 the percentage growth again rose to 2006-7 levels, adding almost 700 patients more than the preceding year. But in 2008-9, the total number of patients registered a negative growth of –2.7 per cent which represents serious crisis in health-care facilities. As far as mortality rate among the patients put on DOTS in these five years is concerned, it can be seen from Table 11.3 that in 2005, the mortality rate was 3.2 per cent which decreased to 2.5 per cent in the year 2006. From 2006 onwards the mortality rate has shown an increasing trend, i.e. rising from 2.5 per cent in 2006 to 3.3 per cent in the year 2009. Thus in the period 2006-9 the mortality rate has shown a progressive increase over the preceding period which indicates serious flaws in the performance of RNTCP. The general neglect of people, discontinuity in using medicines, etc., are the accountable reasons for this trend. This period of increasing trend of mortality has consequences, especially on work­ ing population, and ultimately added new dimension in tubercu­ losis patients.

Nutritional Status and Tuberculosis Disease



Total Patients put on DOTS

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

4,191 5,441 5,584 6,205 6,036

Percentage Growth of Patients

Mortality (per cent)

– 2.29 2.56 10.0 –02.72

3.2 2.5 2.8 3.1 3.3

Source : District Tuberculosis Office; District Tuberculosis Centre of Hospital, Kabir Chaura, Varanasi (first quarter 2009 to second quarter 2010; January 2009 to June 2010).

SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE RESPONDENTS (TB PATIENTS) Table 11.4 depicts the uneven pattern of spatial distribution of tuberculosis at different units, sub-centres and tuberculosis hos­ pitals in Benares city. The DTC Kabir Chaura, Bhelupur and Shiv­ pur units and SSL Hospital are located in the city and the LBS TB Hospital is located in Ramnagar area across Ganga River. Table 11.2 reveals the total distribution of 214 tuberculosis patients in Varanasi city across five units and hospitals. The high­ est number of distribution of tuberculosis patients was at DTC TABLE 11.4: SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE PREVALENCE


TB Units/Sub-centres/ Hospitals DTC Bhelupur Shivpur LBS TB Hospital SSL TB Hospital Total


Per cent

60 50 36 49 19

28.0 23.4 16.8 22.9 8.9



Source : Field survey (September 2010 to December 2010).

296 Ajay Kumar Giri, G.N. Srivastava & Anand Prasad Mishra Kabir Chaura (60) with 28.0 per cent followed by Bhelupur (23.4 per cent), LBS Hospital, Ram Nagar (22.9 per cent) and Shivpur (16.8 per cent) respectively. The high population density, very low per capita income, low educational standard, air pollution, lack of sanitation, nutritional deficiency, low standard of living conditions and lack of awareness about health are factors respon­ sible for the prevalence of tuberculosis in urban centres (Giri, Srivastava and Mishra, 2011 and 2012). Unhealthy habits of drink­ ing and smoking increase the risk of spread of tuberculosis among humans. SSL Hospital is like a hub for the patients of surrounding regions of Varanasi city and many states of India such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh. Out of a total of 214 patients, 8.9 per cent were treated at SSL hospital, BHU. SOCIAL DIMENSIONS OF THE RESPONDENTS (TB PATIENTS) The general profile including background information and socio­ economic structure of tuberculosis patients are depicted in Table 11.5. Education is the main cause to explain the status of tuberculosis patients which denotes the poor living condition of the 214 samples, 53.7 per cent (115 TB patients) tuberculosis patients were male while 46.3 per cent (99 patients) were female. A major group of TB patients treated were in the 15-34 age groups (46.3 per cent) and 36.0 per cent in the 35-59 age group. Patients up to 14 years numbered 9.8 per cent of the total patients. Similarly, the older age group (60 years and above) shared 12.1 per cent of the total TB patients. Banaras city has higher density of population with a high level of pollution, low daily and monthly wages, large family sizes and high in-migration of labourers from surrounding villages, districts and also nearest states. Table 11.5 depicts the prevalence of tuberculosis among differ­ ent social groups in the study area. It is seen that 55.6 per cent patients were from Other Backward Classes. This is because the majority of Muslims were from this class. Twenty-eight per cent patients belonged to the Scheduled Castes and 6.5 per cent to the Scheduled Tribes. Only 9.8 per cent tuberculosis patients were from the general caste because of their moderately higher socio­

Nutritional Status and Tuberculosis Disease


TABLE 11.5: GENERAL PROFILE OF TUBERCULOSIS PATIENTS IN VARANASI CITY Attributes Sex Male Female Age Group Up to 14 15-34 35-59 60 and above Social Group GEN OBC SC ST Religion Hindu Muslim Level of Education Illiterate Primary Secondary Graduate & above Level of Occupation Government Employee Private Employee Cultivators Daily Wage Non-worker Level of Income (INR) 4500 Total


Per cent

115 99

53.7 46.3

21 99 68 26

9.8 46.3 31.8 12.1

21 119 60 14

9.8 55.6 28.0 6.5

132 82

61.7 38.3

72 89 47 6

33.6 41.6 22.0 2.8

6 41 12 55 100

2.8 19.2 5.6 25.7 46.7

152 49 5 8

71.0 22.9 2.3 3.7



Source : Field survey (September 2010 to December 2010).

economic condition than other castes in the district. It is noted that 61.7 per cent of the patients were Hindu and 38.3 per cent Muslims. As per the Census of India about 85.0 per cent of Varanasi

298 Ajay Kumar Giri, G.N. Srivastava & Anand Prasad Mishra city’s population are Hindus and 15.0 per cent are Muslims. According to this figure, the ratio of the prevalence of tuberculosis is higher in Muslims than Hindus in the city. As far as the education level of the patients is concerned, patients with primary and secondary education are more (about 41.6 and 22.0 per cent respectively); and 2.8 per cent are graduate and above graduate level. It seems that the highly educated class pre­ fers private hospitals over government hospitals for treatment. Out of the total, 33.6 per cent patients are illiterates, affected by poverty and lack of awareness. Many illiterate patients belong to the Muslim community. It is pinpointed that the occupational status of the patients are poor. Out of the 214 tuberculosis patients, 19.2 per cent are private employees and 25.7 per cent are daily wages while 46.7 per cent are non-workers. Similarly, 71.0 per cent of the patients earned below 1500 INR and 22.9 per cent earned 1500-3000 INR per month respectively. Rest of them earned above 3000 INR per month in Varanasi city. SYMPTOMS EXPERIENCED IN TB PATIENTS


In the study, it was found that 82.2 per cent of the patients suf­ fered from weakness and tiredness, which is highest in the case of symptoms of TB before diagnosis. It is followed by cough (regular/ intermittent) for three-four weeks (91.6 per cent); long fever cases (69.6 per cent). Loss of appetite accounted for 49.1 per cent of the total symptoms; chest pain was another major symptom with 52.8 per cent of the cases. These are major preliminary symptoms, but apart from them there are some other symptoms which indi­ cated the disease before diagnosis. Such symptoms were sweating during nights (17.3 per cent); loss of sleep (10.7 per cent) and breathlessness (12.6 per cent) due to the shrinking of the alveoli in the lungs. There were some other symptoms (8.4 per cent) which indicated symptoms of TB before diagnosis; they were nau­ sea, weightloss, eosino philia, etc. These preliminary symptoms help dated TB and can be very useful in easy recovery and avoiding severity.

Nutritional Status and Tuberculosis Disease



No. of Patients (214) for Each Symptoms


Cough Weakness/Tiredness Long Fever Chest Pain Loss of Appetite Night Sweats Loss of Sleep Breathlessness Others

196 176 149 113 105 37 23 27 18

91.6 82.2 69.6 52.8 49.1 17.3 10.7 12.6 8.4

Source : Field survey (September 2010 to December 2010).



All over the world, poor nutritional status is more common in people with active tuberculosis than in people without tuberculo­ sis (Van Lettow, 2003), and weight loss, including loss of lean body mass, is a well-recognized symptom of the disease. Tubercu­ losis may lead to underweight and micronutrient deficiencies by increasing energy requirements, changing metabolic processes, and by decreasing appetite, causing a reduction in food intake (Macallan, 1999). Also, poor nutrition is thought to make people more sus­ ceptible to tuberculosis and to delay recovery by depressing im­ mune functions (Chandra, 1996). Being underweight and poorly nourished can also cause weakness and lack of energy, affecting quality of life and level of physical functioning (Paton, 2004). This is particularly important in low income and middle-income coun­ tries where many people may be unable to afford long periods off work (Abba and Sudarsanam et al., 2010). Nutritional status is one of the most important determinants of resistance to infection. It is well established that nutritional defi­ ciency is associated with impaired immune functions (Perronne, 1999). While malnutrition limits cell mediated immunity and

300 Ajay Kumar Giri, G.N. Srivastava & Anand Prasad Mishra increases susceptibility to infection, infection can lead to nutri­ tional stress and weight loss, thereby weakening immune function and nutritional status (Chandra, & McCollum, 1991). A balance consumption of different foods helps to repair and build body tissue, maintain body weight, build body cells, and improve the performance of the immune system. A balanced consumption of diet is critical for the quick recovery of a tuberculosis patient. Ndungi (1982: 1) asserts that, ‘all invalid diets should not lack any of the nutrients, except for medical reasons’. This means that tuberculosis infected people diet should also consist of all nutri­ ents required for normal body functioning, thus, repair and growth as well as development and maintenance of the immune system. The diet should be suitable for the patient with regards to consis­ tency and digestibility of the food (Manwa, 2010). Chigumira (1999) suggests that it is necessary for tuberculosis infected people to be given food sources of different necessary nutrients to help them recover from illness, although these should be supplied in small frequent amounts. Tuberculosis infected people require carbo­ hydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals to regain the de­ pleted nutrient level. It is considered that, death related infectious diseases and the levels at which people are infected could be drastically reduced if proper nutrition and knowledge about good nutrition is delivered to every individual in the society. The sources of food and the availability of locally available foods have an impact on therapeutic diets. Food provisions determine the nature of diet and how bal­ anced it is. Tuberculosis patients at the hospital are in a geographical area, where fruits are not in abundance hence fruits are expensive and not readily available. Food sources are limited to carbohy­ drates, while other nutrients are in limited supplies (Manwa, 2010). King and Burgess (1992) explained that tuberculosis patients need a high calorie intake because the bacteria will use a lot of energy. A good supply of well cooked carbohydrates enhances easy digestion and absorption. Carbohydrates should be supplied ac­ companied by any phosphorus food sources for an easy breakdown of carbohydrates. Cameron (1978) points out that phosphorus helps in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. For that reason,

Nutritional Status and Tuberculosis Disease


the supply of phosphorus should be in the form of fish, eggs, and milk. Intake of proteins, from both plant and animal origins, is import­ ant to everyone. World Health Organization (1996) suggests that the intake of protein, particularly of animal source, should be taken in moderation. Since high levels of fat and over consumption of red meat leads to elevated blood fat levels, which increases the chances of tuberculosis patients of having heart diseases and suf­ fering from diarrhoea. World Health Organisation (1998) and Chigumira (1999) added that red meat, when taken in modera­ tion, is also a good source of protein and a natural way to acquire zinc. Iron and Vitamin B6 (Pynodixine) functions as enzymes, which are concerned with the reconstitution of amino acids de­ rived from the proteins of the body’s own tissues, such as haemo­ globin, hence the need for red meat to be taken in small amounts. It is important to consume a balanced diet to provide your body with the nutrients that you need to fight tuberculosis. It particu­ larly is important to avoid consuming any alcohol during the entire course of your treatment as this could result in treatment compli­ cations and side effects. In the present study the nutritional status of tuberculosis patients are regarded by dietary intake, it was elicited by ‘24 hour recall method’ preferably by interviewing the patients of the study area. Nutritive values of foods were calculated in terms of calories, proteins, calcium and iron by taking values from ‘Nutritive Value of Indian Foods, National Institute of Nutrition, 2004, ICMR, Hyderabad’. Appropriate statistical procedures were adopted to analyse the observations. NUTRITIONAL INTAKE BY SEX AND AGE-GROUP


Table 11.7 explains per day (within 24 hours) nutritional con­ sumption (kcal/d, Protein g/d, calcium gm/d and Iron gm/d) of tuberculosis patients by sex and age groups in study area. It is noted that about 84.7 per cent of the male patients consumed 1800-2100 calories (kcal/d) but only 2.4 per cent of the male

Male Female Up to 14 15-34

35-59 60 & above Residence Urban Rural Religion Hindu Muslim SocialGen group OBC SC ST Occupation Govt. empl. Pri. Empl. Cult.




7.8 6.8 7.9 6.4 16.7 6.5 6.3 4.8 16.7 12.0 6.5

3.3 2.0 2.6 2.8 – 3.2 3.2

16.7 4.0 4.3


9.4 4.6 – 9.6

86.1 93.8 81.0 83.0 82.2 81.7 80.0 83.8 82.1 71.4 66.7 82.0 87.0

84.7 78.5 37.5 83.8

4.0 2.2

1.9 6.2 3.9 2.0 4.2 0.9 3.3 1.9 4.2 4.8

4.1 1.5 4.2 2.9


2.0 2.2

6.2 7.8 8.2 7.3 9.2 3.3 6.5 8.4 23.8

3.5 13.8 62.5 5.1 –

2100- 1800- 18002400 2100


2.4 3.1 – 1.5



50.9 53.1 42.5 48.3 49.2 38.5 56.7 41.6 45.3 57.1 66.7 52.0 56.5

50.0 39.2 16.7 44.1

49.0 4.6 47.6 2.0 44.5 2.1 55.0 5.5 – 40.0 52.6 3.9 49.5 1.1 23.8 14.3 33.3 – 44.0 – 41.3 –

43.5 2.4 54.6 4.6 37.5 41.7 52.9 – 47.2 – 40.6 –

2.0 2.7 3.1 0.9 3.3 2.6 2.1 – – 2.0 –


1.8 3.1 4.2 3.7

12.0 6.2 11.1 13.6 12.6 11.9 10.0 13.0 12.6 9.5 16.7 6.0 15.2

12.4 12.3 20.8 12.5

Iron (mg/d)

44.4 40.6 35.9 46.9 42.9 38.5 43.3 38.3 45.3 42.9 66.7 48.0 60.9

45.9 35.4 12.5 44.1

42.6 53.1 51.0 36.7 41.4 48.6 43.3 46.1 40.0 47.6 16.7 44.0 23.9

4.6 4.6 8.5 4.1 8.4 2.8 6.7 5.2 8.4 4.8 16.7 4.0 6.5

40.0 8.2 49.2 3.8 62.5 4.2 39.7 8.1

36.1 36.1 35.9 45.6 40.3 41.3 40.0 41.6 41.1 33.3 – 40.0 47.8

31.2 53.1 16.7 50.7

58.3 58.3 49.7 47.6 46.6 52.3 53.3 50.6 45.3 42.9 83.3 56.0 43.5

2.6 5.3 19.0 – – 2.2

0.9 0.9 5.9 2.7 4.7 3.7

58.8 1.8 35.4 7.7 33.3 45.8 40.4 0.7

300- 25 20-25 15-20 5000 25.0 3000-5000 – 1000-3000 0.8