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Urban Governance and Local Democracy in South India
 9780367219208, 9780429281907

Table of contents :
Cover
Half Title
Title Page
Copyright Page
Contents
List of figures and tables
Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgements
1 Introduction
2 Why urban governance? Why not rural?
3 Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh: urban primacy and urban centralization
4 Kerala and Tamil Nadu: rapid urbanization and dispersed urban growth
5 Urban governance, local democracy and the future
Index

Citation preview

‘Spatially speaking, India’s social science research has been predominantly focused on the countryside. Urban India, as an object of inquiry, has remained on the fringes. This was understandable for India was overwhelmingly rural for the first six decades of its independence. By 2011, however, India was 32 per cent urban and by 2031, not less than 40 per cent of the nation’s population will be in the cities. Therefore, it is highly important to start studying urban governance carefully. Those studies that have already emerged have focused on one city or two. This book is the first to compare urban governance across states, covering all of South India, a region which has experienced among the highest rates of urbanization, especially in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Scholars and practitioners of urban governance will greatly benefit from the insights and learning presented in this book.’ Ashutosh Varshney, Director, Center for Contemporary South Asia; Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences; and Professor of Political Science, Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University, USA

URBAN GOVERNANCE AND LOCAL DEMOCRACY IN SOUTH INDIA

This book examines the issues of urban governance and local democracy in South India. It is the first comprehensive volume that offers comparative frameworks on urban governance across all states in the region: Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The book focuses on governance in small district-level cities and raises crucial questions such as the nature of urban planning, major outstanding issues for urban local governance, conditions of civic amenities such as drinking water and sanitation and problems of social capital in making urban governance work in these states. It emphasizes on both efficient urban governance and effective local democracy to meet the challenges of fast-paced urbanization in these states while presenting policy lessons from their urbanization processes. Rich in empirical data, this book will be useful to scholars and researchers of political studies, public administration, governance, public policy, development studies and urban studies, as well as practitioners and non-governmental organizations. Anil Kumar Vaddiraju is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Centre for Political Institutions, Governance and Development, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru, India. He pursued his education from Kakatiya University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and the University of Delhi and is the author of several books, including Federalism and Local Government in India (2017), Sisyphean Efforts? State Policy and Child Labour in Karnataka (2013), Peasantry Capitalism and State: Political Economy of Agrarian Societies (2013), Decentralized Governance and Planning in Karnataka (2011) and Land, Labour and Caste: Agrarian Change and Grassroots Politics in Andhra Pradesh (2008).

URBAN GOVERNANCE AND LOCAL DEMOCRACY IN SOUTH INDIA

Anil Kumar Vaddiraju

First published 2021 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 © 2021 Anil Kumar Vaddiraju The right of Anil Kumar Vaddiraju to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him 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. 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: 978-0-367-21920-8 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-429-28190-7 (ebk) Typeset in Sabon by Apex CoVantage, LLC

CONTENTS

List of figures and tables Foreword by Amitabh Kundu Preface Acknowledgements

viii ix xiii xvii

1

Introduction

2

Why urban governance? Why not rural?

14

3

Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh: urban primacy and urban centralization

30

Kerala and Tamil Nadu: rapid urbanization and dispersed urban growth

57

Urban governance, local democracy and the future

72

Index

90 

4

5

1

vii

FIGURES AND TABLES

Figures 3.1 4.1 4.2 4.3

Population of Bangalore and Hyderabad, 1991–2019 Urbanization in Kerala, 1981–2011 Number of urban agglomerations in South India Urbanization in four South Indian states, 1991–2011 (percentages)

32 59 63 65

Tables 1.1 1.2 1.3 2.1 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4

Urban population in states and union territories, 2018 Urbanization in four South Indian states, 1991–2011 (urban population figures in percentages) Number of urban agglomerations in South India and all of India Contribution of cities to the national income in India (approximate estimates) Population figures of Bangalore and Hyderabad, 1991–2019 The structure of urban system in Karnataka The structure of urban system in Andhra Pradesh A profile of Udupi and Dharwad in 2011 Urbanization in Kerala, 2001–2011: a panoptic view The growth of Class III, IV and V towns in Kerala Population figures of Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram, 1991–2019 Percentage of urban population under the poverty line: four southern states

viii

9 10 10 16 35 35 35 40 60 60 62 66

FOREWORD

Intermediate or middle-order towns play a critical role in the development of the regional economy in most developing countries, India being no exception. A large part of contemporary urban growth in India occurs outside the hegemonic power structure of globalization and metropolitanization. There is, therefore, a need to build a narrative from below, focusing on the small and intermediate towns and to bring dispersed urbanization into the centre of research and policy agenda, without remaining confined to the narratives linked with the global and national markets, state-level institutions and formal programmes and missions. Unfortunately, these middle-order towns have not received the importance they deserve in the context of India’s economic development. While it is true that a section among political scientists, geographers, regional planners, sociologists and economists have studied trends and pattern of growth of select such towns, they have focused on physical, morphological and cultural dimensions. Their researches mostly had a localized context, were descriptive in nature and rarely posed questions pertaining to the paradigm of development in the country. The volume by Dr. Anil Kumar Vaddiraju may be seen as an attempt to rescue urban studies from the paradigm of metropolis-based urbanization, a paradigm which envisions urban processes in the developing world responding passively to forces in global capital. The scholar takes four southern states of India as case studies and focuses the analysis to district-tier cities, whose patterns of demographic growth, economic base, socio-economic characteristics and so forth have received little attention in understanding the political economy of development in the country. He highlights the diverse scenarios of urbanization across the states, comparing and contrasting the processes in the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh with those of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, based primarily on an analysis of secondary data. Several international agencies have put forward the proposition that the success of globalization and development strategy in a less developed country depends on the speed with which producing, trading and banking institutions in its large cities get linked with the global capital market. They make ix

FOREWORD

a strong plea for metropolis-centred urban development strategy, backed up by the globalized institutional system, technology and ‘modern’ values, as attempted in some of the Latin American and East Asian countries. This dominant paradigm of urbanization, which is primate city–based and top heavy, is considered necessary if not sufficient for the success of capitalism. Due to this mindset, the process of urbanization at the grass-roots level, at least a large part of it, goes unnoticed, resulting in systematic underreporting of the level of urbanization. The book suggests that the large-city bias in Indian planning, manifest in central government missions such as Smart Cities, has shaped the development interventions in several states, including Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, often resulting in a technological and digital divide between rural and urban areas and across urban centres. Furthermore, these lead to serious infrastructural problems, such as that of drinking water, sanitation and basic amenities in cities and towns, due to lack of local self-governance and democracy, as revealed through the case studies such as that of Dharwad in Karnataka. Planners, policy makers and administrators in these states have been pursuing the goal of building ‘global cities’ by developing their ‘metropolises into even larger hubs of investment’. The political powers, as well as the material affluence in these states, have, consequently, been concentrated in select cities, creating inherent structural deficiencies that, the scholar argues, can lead to destabilization of the rural economy. A development strategy, centred on metropolitan demand, indeed can lead to premature deindustrialization in India, a phenomenon empirically investigated by the Harvard economist Dani Rodrik and others in the context of many countries in the developing world. Importantly, a large section of the country’s urban population lives in middle-order towns, whose growth can, to an extent, be controlled by the district’s administrative set-up. These are characterized by low levels of infrastructure and basic amenities and exhibit demographic and economic features, distinct from those of large metropolises. These deficiencies could adversely affect the future growth of these towns, as well as the overall process of regional and urban development, unless major interventions are initiated at the central and state levels to remedy the situation. A window of opportunity, however, seems to have opened up through the alternate pathways of urbanization. There is a demand potential that is spatially dispersed which is manifest in the growth of several small and medium-sized towns, particularly in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, besides West Bengal in the east between2001 and 2011. The analysis in the volume reveals that a decentralized industrialization strategy, whereby the development of manufacturing is dispersed over many districts instead of concentrating it in or around one metropolitan city, has been fairly successful in these states. Regrettably, the national government, as well as development-cum-banking agencies at the global level, has paid scant attention to the cultural and institutional factors specific to these towns. The volume makes a strong case x

FOREWORD

for studying these factors and their linked problems and, more important, addressing them at the micro level for promoting balanced and sustainable development. There is an urgent need to make them ‘a part of India’s future urbanization’. Policies and programmes to provide infrastructural support to this process are the need of the hour for realizing inclusive and spatially dispersed urbanization. Given this macro context, the present study underlines the need to build an alternate macro-economic framework for research on these middle-order towns. The case studies of select towns included in the volume suggest that their inter-settlement linkages and socio-economic contexts are different from those existing around the metropolises. This puts a question mark on the advocacy of a uniform system of governance as a solution to all urban problems. Many of these towns have exhibited fairly high demographic and economic growth in recent years, despite their not belonging to any metropolitan hierarchy or receiving major support from public agencies. This is primarily due to strong local factors, delinked from the global or national economy. The volume suggests that city-specific innovative arrangements, operationalized at the local level through social and financial institutions, can positively impact their development. Indeed, these can make a significant impact on the nexus of exogenous and endogenous factors evolving over time. The scholar, however, warns that not all medium-level towns are oriented to sustainable development or backed up by modern and progressive values. The case of a well-developed city of Salem in Tamil Nadu, a state having fairly dispersed urbanization, has been cited as an example, wherein the problems of infrastructural efficiency and a lack of basic amenities are as serious as in same-sized cities in Karnataka or Andhra Pradesh. Several of these towns are ‘stagnant or, at best, transitory spaces between the cosmopolitan modernity and the vast rural world’. Caste-, class-, kinship- and gender-related factors play major roles in shaping the sociology and politics in these cities. A few may be culturally rich, but the most carry the burdens of the traditional values, casteism and parochialism, among others, that constrain individual freedom. While welcoming the general spread of the internet and digital technology in cities and recognizing their importance in urban governance, the author cautions that this is Janus-faced as it can create serious problems of the privacy and security for the people. He argues that sustainable urban living necessitates the rule of law, accountability and transparency in governance. He regrets that the governance at the district level is bureaucratic, making integration of urban and rural planning a casualty. Also, the weakness of democratic institutions, particularly in urban areas, has led to non-implementation of the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act. The scholar, therefore, recommends a spatially distributed, socially just and inclusive urbanization supported by vibrant local democracy for effective governance. The key point emerging from the volume, to my mind, is that simple dualistic models postulating categories such as rural and urban, small and big xi

FOREWORD

cities, concentrated and dispersed urbanization and so on are inappropriate for understanding the dynamics of urban development in South India, let alone the whole country. The spatial pattern of development is continuously blurring their distinctions, and one must focus on the relationships emerging across both the hierarchical and the non-hierarchical arrangement of the settlements in order to intervene effectively in the dynamics of development. The study nonetheless makes a case for larger assistance from the central government to small towns for addressing the deficiencies in their infrastructure and revenue-generating capacity. The volume rightly takes the position that a market-based urban system, dependent on a few metropolitan cities, need not be the only paradigm of development for South India and, for that matter, many other countries in the developing world. The ongoing process of urbanization has created an extremely top-heavy urban structure. This can, in turn, adversely impact on the development process. An alternate strategy for a more balanced urban economic development can be built through the strengthening of economic, ecological and social sustainability. The small district cities that have developed historically as trading towns depend on their surrounding rural areas for economic sustainability. Their ecological sustainability depends on whether the growth of economic activities has taken place in a planned manner in the context of the local resource base. The author argues rightly that the chaotic urban growth in many of these cities is due to the absence of a planning framework. Social sustainability depends on communal harmony and realization of demographic dividend. The southern states, which have effectively controlled their population growth, can make their cities efficient and inclusive through the engagement of their growing youth population in constructive activities. Addressing the constraints and strengthening appropriate institutions and practices at the local level can promote a balanced and sustainable urbanization in the country. I would therefore congratulate Dr. Vaddiraju for underscoring the importance of urban governance and democracy at the local level, taking the ‘time-tested unit of governance called the district’ as a basis for intervention. The volume has done a service to academia by identifying diverse forces of urbanization operating at ground level. These make urban processes extremely complex, which ought to be studied with empirical rigour. Although the economies of the small towns are currently localized, they can be linked to the regional economy through innovative interventions, implying that alternatives to the dominant development model do exist and need to be promoted in the developing world. Amitabh Kundu Senior Fellow/Adviser, World Resources Institute, Research and Information System for Developing Countries and Oxfam India; former Adviser/Consultant, UNESCWA and Sri Lankan Government; Professor and Dean, Jawaharlal Nehru University; and Member, National Statistical Commission, Government of India xii

PREFACE

There exists considerable tension between the state and urban local bodies with the former unwilling to relinquish its control over the urban. It is seen, for instance, in the slow compliance of most states to the 74th (Constitution Amendment) Act, 1992. This will affect the speed with which urban areas are able to become vibrant, democratic units of self-governance, accountable to the local population. Until this transition is made from the state to the local level, policy making will remain mostly rhetorical with little impact on the day-to-day living conditions in our cities. – Annapurna Shaw (1996:227–228)

This book deals with urban governance and local democracy. By urban we mean district-tier cities. This is a study neither of megalopolises nor of very small urban habitations. In this book, we do not deal with what are called census towns (CTs) and statutory towns (STs). Nor are we dealing with urban outgrowths. We are taking here district cities, all of which have a population of more than 100,000. We are not interested in the ‘bottom of urban the structure’ in this book. The focus is on the time-tested unit of governance called the district, wherein there are definite laws to plan and govern the urban areas according to the Constitution. The geographical location of the book is situated in four states of India: Karnataka, (United) Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The book is partly based on an Indian Council for Social Science Research study, which began originally as a comparative study of two states: Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Karnataka is the seventhlargest state in India, with a large rural sector. As much as 62 percent of the state is rural. United Andhra Pradesh was the fifth-largest state, with about 66.5 percent of the population being rural. Tamil Nadu is the sixth-largest state, with 50 percent population in rural areas. When these states have such large agricultural sectors, why are we addressing the urban scenario here? It is because these states, among other reasons, have been following highly urbancentric policies of development. Politicians in the first two states have been xiii

P R E FAC E

talking about building ‘global cities’. Ever since liberalization reforms and globalization took over, the focus has been on developing metropolises into ever-larger hubs of investment. These states have also been competing with each other in this regard. On the other hand, Karnataka’s agricultural sector, such as that of United Andhra Pradesh, had been afflicted by myriad issues, such as farmers’ indebtedness, distress and suicides. Nevertheless, there is a need to study urban transition in these states. In this book, we discuss the state of cities and their citizens because political power, as well as material affluence, has been getting concentrated in the cities of these states. This is in spite of the fact that the votes are in the rural areas. Rural disarray and urban development have been taking place simultaneously. It would be entirely wrong to see them separately. This skewed pattern of development puts urban areas, too, in disarray. That is what this book argues. We intended to follow the path that Rob Jenkins elaborated in his book Regional Reflections: Comparing Politics across India’s States (2004) by following the method of comparing ‘one-policy-in -two-states’. We set out to compare Karnataka with Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu with Kerala. The book is based on the 2011 data; therefore, in this book, we do not consider the later developments, such as the formation of Telangana. One major reason for this is also that the incumbent census has not yet been conducted. We wait eagerly for the forthcoming census to see how the trends discussed in the book appear in 2021. There are three reasons for taking up these states. One, broadly, all the South Indian states have witnessed higher levels of urbanization than the national average of 31.2 percent.1 Two, within the South Indian states, Karnataka erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have witnessed a rapid rise in urbanization. And three, the states Karnataka, (Telangana and) Andhra Pradesh have high ‘urban primacy’. The phrase ‘urban primacy’ connotes a special meaning, which is the metropolization of urban development and urban concentration of population through what Amitabh Kundu earlier termed a ‘top-heavy’ urban development process. The development of these characteristics has implications for all the other sectors and other cities of the region, amidst which the process takes place. We should hasten to add that by ‘urban primacy’ we do not mean that the urban sector is the primary sector (more about this in the book). These three reasons make it relevant to study urbanization and urban local governance in these states. While doing this, the book concentrates essentially on district-tier cities and not on megalopolises alone. The fourth reason, and a very important one, is that governance in these district-tier cities has received little attention in both urban studies and political science. Most scholars have focused on metropolitan urban agglomerations and have not devoted much time or writing to the governance of cities below that level. Hence, these are the reasons for examining the governance of these cities. This book is a modest attempt towards this. Here we would xiv

P R E FAC E

like to bring to the notice of the reader a perceptive observation by Annapurna Shaw regarding the medium-sized and small cities in the following words: For a realistic assessment of urban policy in this country since independence, one must keep in mind the fact that much of what has been written on paper remained ineffectual on the ground or at least has not affected a large part of the urban environment. Here I am referring to the small towns and non-metropolitan areas which for all practical purposes have grown on their own and in their own way. (1996: 224–225; emphasis added) This book is written from the perspective of political science, which has a significant and distinct relationship with the city as a concept. The focus of the book is on understanding both the patterns of urbanization and urban governance. A note of caution is necessary to the reader regarding the subject matter. Although we are discussing the condition of small district-level cities in this book, we by no way are carried away by their virtues. They are not the epitomes of modernity. They are often stagnant or, at best, transitory spaces between cosmopolitan modernity and the vast rural world. They are not fully modern. Social categories such as caste, gender and class play a major role in the sociology and politics of these cities. Sometimes, they might be culturally or intellectually rich; however, they carry the burdens of the traditions and are even downright backward. Often, they are urban without being urbane (not to speak here of CTs and STs). The promise of urbanity is not fulfilled by these cities for aspirants to these cities. Impersonality, anonymity and individual liberty or freedom are not the forte of the smaller cities. Individuals are largely observed under the strict lens and norms of social control, often with backlashes in equal measure. Therefore, readers may bear this caveat in mind as they proceed to read this book.

Note 1 Bhagat has this to say regarding ‘State-Level Patterns’: ‘At the state level, the pattern of urbanisation is very diverse, but economically advanced states more or less show higher levels of urbanisation. All the southern states, along with Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra and West Bengal, have higher urbanisation levels than the national average, but small states like Goa continue to top the list among states (62% urban), followed by Mizoram (51.5%). Among the major states, Tamil Nadu continues to be ahead of others with levels of urbanization at 48.4% in 2011. States which lag are Himachal Pradesh at the bottom with 10% level of urbanisation, followed by Bihar (11.3%), Assam (14%) and Orissa (16.6%). Other states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand also continue to have lower levels of urbanisation than the national average’ (2011: 11–12).

xv

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References Bhagat, R.B. (2011) ‘Emerging Pattern of Urbanization in India’ Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. XVI, No. 34, pp. 10–12. Jenkins, Rob (2004) Regional Reflections: Comparing Politics Across India’s States, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Shaw, Annapurna (1996) ‘Urban Policy in Post-Independent India’ Economic and Political Weekly, 27 January 1996.

xvi

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This book has evolved over time, and during this time I have incurred many intellectual debts. First, I thank the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) for providing financial support for a study, on which this book is partly based. I thank the ICSSR for funding the study and for the review comments, which helped me revise the study report. I immensely thank Professor Amitabh Kundu for accepting to write and writing the foreword to the book. I thank Professor Abdul Aziz for reading the entire draft and encouraging me to publish it. I am grateful to Professor N. Sivanna for again reading the entire manuscript and providing comments. Parts of the draft have been read and commented on by the following people to whom I owe my profound gratitude: Professor Kala Seetharam Sridhar, Dr. S. Manasi, Professor C.M. Lakshmana and Professor D. Rajasekhar. I owe special thanks to Professor M.V. Nadkarni for commenting on my papers based on this work and, above all, for being a continued source of inspiration. Much grateful thanks to the anonymous referees of Routledge who have directed me to think hard on the previous ideas and material in the manuscript. I thank all the scholars of the following institutions who helped shape this study: Centre for Multi-Disciplinary Development Research, Dharwad; Palamuru University, Mahabubnagar; Mangalore University, Mangalore; and Central University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad. I thank all the scholars of the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS), Chennai, who have helped me in the study. I thank the librarian of Institute for Social and Economic Change, Dr. B.B. Chand, for all the support and help. This book has benefitted from the research assistance of a number of research assistants from time to time. In this regard, I thank Ms. G. Aruna, Mr. Sujit Thakur and Mr. Srinivas Murthy. Without Mr. Murthy’s help, I could not have been able to process the secondary data into presentable form; much grateful to Mr. Murthy for all the research help. Finally, I thank the excellent Routledge team, Dr. Shashank Shekhar Sinha, Ms. Antara Ray Choudhury and Ms. Rimina Mohapatra, for their wonderful cooperation in bringing this book to fruition. xvii

1 INTRODUCTION

There is an ongoing debate in Indian urban studies that urbanization in India is essentially ‘topheavy’ and that only the megalopolises are developing and attracting ever more flows of migration of people into them. In opposition to this argument, another view is that there is an unacknowledged urbanization process from below, that is the development of small towns known in the literature as census towns (CTs) and statutory towns (STs). However, protagonists of both arguments believe that the process of urbanization has of late been rapid and has crossed what the 2011 census has projected as 31.2 percent. Today, India is estimated to be urbanized at a much higher level than that. This is supposed to be an accelerating process, and India is not alone in this as several regions across the world are undergoing a similar process. For the first time in human history, 50 percent of the world population lives in urban areas, and therefore, the 21st century is said to be the ‘first urban century’ (Avis, 2016). However, while the study of urbanization is not new, the study of urban governance is still at an incipient stage in India. This lacuna is more pronounced in India, where the prime focus of political science has been rural governance and politics rather than urban. Therefore, this book aims at filling that lacuna to some extent. Urbanization is a historical process which involves demographic, economic, sociological, and geographic/region-oriented processes. The study of the process of urbanization has received sufficient attention in India. There have been a number of studies on the urbanization process. Regional study specialists and sociologists have been at the forefront of these studies. Urbanization has been studied both as a process entailing the development of metropolitanization and ‘top-heavy’ development and as a process entailing urbanization from below, that is ‘subaltern urbanisation’. Also, the process of urbanization has been called ‘sluggish’ in India and, on the other hand, from a different point of view, ‘rapid’ in India. The process has also been examined from the point of view of exclusion/inclusion studies. The process of urbanization has been described as ‘top heavy’ and ‘exclusionary’ and as ‘dispersed’ and more or less ‘inclusive’ of social and geographical 1

INTRODUCTION

groups. Thus, urbanization, as a historical process, has received sufficient attention in India. Urban governance, however, has not received the same amount of examination. Urban governance is the process of directing and channeling this process of urbanization in a democratic manner. Urbanization when unaccompanied by urban governance can become chaotic and anarchic. Urban governance entails planning and directing and channeling this process of urbanization in a democratic, transparent, accountable and participatory manner. The state, market and social and political forces play important roles in this process. This book is a modest attempt in understanding the process of urban governance in the context of rapidly progressing urbanization. The book examines whether such a process of urban governance is taking place or not at the district level in the context of South India. As the title of the book makes clear, this book deals with two key dimensions of urban politics: ‘urban governance’ and ‘local democracy’. The dimension of urban governance has begun receiving some attention of late after the promulgation of the 74th Amendment to the Constitution whereas the focus on the dimension of local democracy in the context of urban reality has been very limited. The difference between ‘urban governance’ and ‘local democracy’ is the same as that between ‘governance’ and ‘democracy’. While the former, in spite of its emphasis on participation, has a top-down connotation and overtones, the latter means more active engagement by the people in government in opposition to policies and contestation over either specific policies or over the nature of the urban politics itself. Arguably, the concept of local democracy goes beyond participation in local elections. While the media has never shied away from reporting on urban politics and contestations over issues, resources and developments, the academic writing on urban local democracy has been less. Among all the sub-disciplines of urban studies, urban governance and politics are the most neglected. For example John (Davies and Imbroscio, 2009:17–24) asks the question, ‘Why study Urban Politics?’(emphasis in the original) and provides a persuasive answer. Furthermore, Stern (Davies and Imbroscio, 2009:153–168) provides an overview and the raison d’être for studying third-world cities facing the forces of globalization in his article titled ‘Globalisation and Urban Issues in the Non-Western World’. In India, however, there are strong traditions of urban sociology, geography, demography and urban economics, but there is hardly any tradition of studying urban politics. The absence of urban politics studies and the intellectual vacuum itself should be a major justification for this book. But it is only a beginning and a modest one at that. In social science research, the big cities often hog all the limelight while smaller cities are consigned to academic oblivion. This book follows the definition of the urban governance provided by Avis (2016): 2

INTRODUCTION

Urban governance is the process by which governments, (local, regional and national) and stakeholders collectively decide how to plan, finance and manage urban areas. It influences whether the poor benefit from economic growth, and determines how they bring their influence to bear and whether political and institutional systems processes and mechanisms facilitate inclusive and pro-poor decisions and outcomes. It involves a continuous process of negotiation and contestation over the allocation of social and material resources and political power. It is not just about the formal structures of city government but encompasses a host of economic and social forces, institutions and relationships, formal and informal. (pp. 1–2) ‘Governance’ itself is a broad thematic area within political science, the broadest definition of which is provided by Bevir (2011) as that of a ‘pattern of rule’. There are many other definitions of governance (Bevir, 2011), and the one that has most salience at present is that of neo-liberal governance, which attempts to subordinate politics and ‘pattern of rule’ to markets. This definition of governance excludes, and attempts to suppress, the questions about social cohesion, communal harmony and social capital. Neo-liberal governance also envisages governance reforms in the ‘pattern of rule’ to make the same effective, economic and efficient for markets. The relationship between governance and markets is important for neo-liberal theory whereas, for political science in India, there are questions of good governance, affordable and effective delivery of services, social capital and social cohesion. Social capital and social cohesion are not just means to economic ends. They are ends in themselves. Being intrinsically important, they determine the very individual and social well-being. It is known that neo-liberal theory is more concerned with well-being of markets than society. Therefore, for this theory, governance is a tool to facilitate markets. The problem with neo-liberal world view is that governance itself is seen as operating, or should operate, with a profit motive. Therefore, the privatization of public-sector undertakings, restructuring of enterprises, casualization and informalization of labour, marketization of urban services and restructuring them on market-driven tenets are part of the agenda of neo-liberalism. Neoliberalism puts profits over people. However, governance in its true sense should put people and society over markets and profits. In this book, I do not adopt the neo-liberal definition of governance. Instead, I ask questions pertaining to constitutional governance at the district level. I also ask questions pertaining to what makes constitutionally guaranteed institutions work better. In this context, I adopt social capital theory as the framework for the study of district-level cities. In the following, I dwell on the latter at some length. 3

INTRODUCTION

Theoretical framework The work presented here follows social capital theory. Social capital theory came to prominence in the 1990s and was made popular in political science and governance studies by Robert Putnam. Putnam’s major study, Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, published in 1993, has set the tone for an entire range of studies on social capital and its relationship to governance, specifically local governance. Putnam’s major contribution was to bring social capital theory to the study of politics. Putnam argued that for good governance to be secured, there should be trust, reciprocity and norms between institutions of governance and civic associations. If the relationships between institutions and civic associations are characterized by mutual suspicion and antipathy instead of trust, reciprocity and norms, it is difficult to obtain good governance. In Putnam’s words: [f]irst, networks of civic engagement foster sturdy norms of generalized reciprocity. . . . Networks of civic engagement also facilitate coordination and communication and amplify information about the trustworthiness of individuals.  .  .  .Finally, networks of civic engagement embody past success at collaboration, which can serve as a cultural template for future collaboration. (1993:35–42) Putnam argues that when such networks are dense and the relationship between them and institutions of governance is one of mutual reciprocity, then good and effective governance is possible (Maloney and Stevenson, 2003). The theory of social capital has been developed further, and Michael Woolcock classifies social capital into three types: ‘bonding capital’, that is between family members, kin networks and similar types that form close human bonds; ‘bridging capital’, that is ‘distant ties of like persons’ as in professional associations for example; and ‘linking capital’, that is ties between ‘unlike people in dissimilar situations’ across ethnic groups, religious groups and others. Besides Putnam and Woolcock, there are others who have provided definitions of social capital in different terms. While there are many definitions of social capital, a broad overall definition is provided by Sullivan (2009): Social capital can be defined as a resource that is generated via regularized interactions between actors who have developed relationships with each other based upon shared values, and who can use this resource for attainment of individual or collective benefits that would not otherwise have been (easily) obtainable. Social capital draws attention to the role of networks, shared values and norms of reciprocity lubricated through trust, in generating and maintaining 4

INTRODUCTION

social order. It valorizes the contribution of relationships in analyses of governance, staking a claim alongside structural and behavioural approaches. (pp. 220–221) In the following, we use the concept of social capital and try to operationalize the same in order to examine the governance and politics of small district cities in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The basic argument we make is similar to that of Putnam; that is the better the social capital, the better the urban governance at the local level. The significance of social capital for our study is twofold: first, in terms of making urban local government work effectively and, second, in terms of communal cohesion. In the course of the study, we also comment on the associational life of the cities, particularly in the form of the prevalence or lack thereof of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). We would like to elaborate these two previously mentioned aspects here to some extent to provide a prelude to what we are going to argue. The argument is as follows: provided the fact that we are concerned about districtlevel cities, their governance and local democracy (both taken in terms of the functioning of institutions and everyday life) will be effective if there is better social capital amongst their citizens. The cities under question are not megalopolises to such an extent that mutual recognition, literally, is not possible. In fact, in these relatively smaller cities, social capital can be effective in governance because smaller cities can foster face-to-face communities. The citizens in these cities, if they demonstrate marked associational life and utilize that associational life to make the urban local governments work, there can be effective local development and local democracy. Second, social capital in terms of associational life is significant for communal questions in these cities. That cities are small does not mean they are less complex. The complexity of cities derives from their internal sociological heterogeneity in terms of different religious communities, caste communities and the ubiquitous question of gender in society. Therefore, social cohesion, social cooperation and social harmony in terms of respecting plurality in these societies while at the same time retaining sufficient social capital for making institutions and local democracy function effectively are important. We are not just alluding to the communal question. In fact, we observed that religious communalism is increasingly spreading in district-level cities, and there is a need for social capital between different religious communities to offset this phenomenon. Communal harmony and communal peace require better social capital. The need for social capital involving trust, reciprocity and norms and invoking Putnam’s work cannot be exaggerated any more in such contexts. Local democracy is what local people make of it. In a certain manner, the urban development programmes and schemes always had the component of participation of individuals and communities 5

INTRODUCTION

explicitly stated in them. The programmes such as the JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) make community participation and effective implementation of 74th Amendment conditional on which the grants of the programmes are said to be released to the state governments. This is a regular and ongoing process of tokenism on the part of the Indian state’s urban development policies to mention participation, consultation and local democracy as part of its programmes. The reality, however, is different. The programmes of the central government (major urban development initiatives come largely from the centre in India) which emphasize participation, consultation and participatory governance are diluted in practice when it comes to implementation by the state governments. We need not examine every scheme and programme to state this. Even in broad terms, the implementation of the 74th Amendment itself, over which the state governments have the discretionary power, is done in a very half-hearted manner. In the implementation of other urban renewal schemes, where there are considerable financial resources involved, the situation is no better. Therefore, participatory governance, citizen consultation, citizen consent and the practice of local democracy are as much held aloft both from above as they are normatively from below. These are the terms on which there is often contestation in terms of definitions. For example what is termed as citizen participation or consultative processes by the government may not be considered the same by the urban activist groups and NGOs. The governments at various levels, in principle, do envisage and encourage participatory urban governance and local democracy, however, when it translates into practice, it may turn out to be different. Increasingly in India, with the envisioning of the ‘Smart City Mission’ (SCM), the discourse on urban local democracy is increasingly shifting to technological means by which citizens are expected to participate in the decisions of the government. Citizen participation in the SCM is projected to take place through digital technologies and ever-increasing digitization. It is important for us to consider this here, as at least two major cities of the total five cities that we discuss come under the SCM. We will, however, turn to these dimensions of digital governance and local democracy towards the end of the book.

Methodology The study follows the approach developed by Rob Jenkins (2004) of comparing multiple states. Jenkins developed this approach of comparing two states to study the politics of economic reforms. In this study, we compare two sets of states: United Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, on one hand, and Tamil Nadu and Kerala, on the other. The following effort deals with the urban scenario in the entirety of South India. We depend on the 2011 census for secondary data and on our primary fieldwork for elaborating on governance and local democracy. In 2011, there was no Telangana state. 6

INTRODUCTION

The division of Andhra Pradesh into two states and the creation of Telangana happened in 2014. Therefore, since we are depending on the 2011 census, for all practical purposes, in this study we deal with the condition as it obtained in United Andhra Pradesh only. In discussing the other South Indian states, however, no such problem exists. A snapshot of the 2011 census data tells us that a great degree of urban concentration exists in the two states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, with ‘urban primacy’ being pronounced in the urbanization process, whereas concerning the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, we find a dispersed urbanization process, wherein there was more than one major urban centre in each state. In Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, on the other hand, Hyderabad and Bangalore stand out as the major urban metropolises, and the urbanization process is largely centred on them. The study on which this book is based began with the approach of comparing two states, namely Karnataka and (United) Andhra Pradesh. Within Karnataka, we have taken two cities, namely Dharwad from North Karnataka and Udupi from South Karnataka. And from (United) Andhra Pradesh, we have taken Mahabubnagar and Kurnool. Given the common thread of constitutional governance, we have ensured that there is sufficient diversity in our sample of the cities. Later, we have expanded the study, incorporating Tamil Nadu and Kerala into the research. And owing to various limitations, we could complete the research in only one city in Tamil Nadu, namely Salem. The projected primary research in Kerala did not take off. Therefore, in this book, for Kerala, we rely entirely on secondary information. What we present here follows the qualitative methodology supplemented with secondary data. Within qualitative methodology, we have relied on the interview method. Following this method, empirical data were collected from both the elite and the ordinary citizens of the cities. The book is based on firsthand field visits, interviews and participant observation in the selected cities. There are distinct problems with secondary data pertaining to these cities. For example, among the districts and cities chosen, Udupi and Dharwad in Karnataka have district-level human development reports. Mahabubnagar and Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh have none. Again, within Karnataka, the Udupi and Dharwad district-level human development reports differ. While the Dharwad report has an excellent chapter devoted to the urban scenario of the district, the Udupi report does not have a specific chapter devoted to the city of Udupi. There are problems with data, and processed qualitative and quantitative information is hard to get at the level of district cities. In this regard, the Dharwad Human Development Report, which has an urban component, was particularly impressive. Therefore, our data are not of similar quality for all the cities. We attempt to use quantitative figures, where available, and rely on our qualitative fieldwork for the rest of the book. Overall, the balance is toward qualitative 7

INTRODUCTION

research. We do not, for example, attempt to quantitatively measure social capital in these cities. This study deals with urban governance and local democracy in four states at the district level. It examines whether the constitutional provisions envisaged for the said purposes have been practised or not and, if so, how they take place within the larger state-level policy context. The macro-policy of urban governance in all the Indian states is to be guided by the 74th Constitutional Amendment. But in implementation, the policy is highly neglected. This is true at all levels of cities and particularly so at the district level. Here, bureaucracy determines all the decisions. In Karnataka, it is the office of the deputy commissioner that determines all the matters of governance. In Andhra Pradesh, it is the municipal commissioner and municipal administration that determine the decisions. In addition to the preceding, the municipal laws that existed prior to the 74th Amendment Act still prevail in urban governance, although, in principle, the older laws were to be overruled once the constitutional amendment came into force. In the governance of districts, the attention paid to the cities is minimal, because the officials are burdened with far too many responsibilities at that level to pay attention to the governance of the city in question. Urban local government bodies are often weak, and the functions, funds and functionaries devolved to them and the resources they can mobilize on their own are limited. This is at a time when economic growth is rapid and the private sector is expanding into these cities at a rapid pace. There is hardly sufficient local governance at the district-level cities commensurate with economic growth at that level. As a result, the cities are becoming chaotic, with basic civic services such as sanitation, drinking water and solid waste management being often overlooked and neglected. In this book, we are primarily concerned with the following four questions that we asked during the empirical study: How is the district city planning taking place? How is the delivery of basic services such as drinking water and sanitation? To what extent is the governance of the city effective? Finally, are there issues of social capital? To reiterate, district-level cities and towns below them are often neglected in terms of governance, and this is true for the entire country. The main reason for this is the policy bias of the successive governments towards metropolises, mega-urban centres and agglomerations. The entire attention in urban governance has largely been towards the megacities. In policy formulation, policy practice, academic research and media coverage, sufficient attention has not been paid to the district-level cities (Gill, 2013). Central and state-level governments change, but the policy towards these cities has not undergone drastic change. Even if some policies are announced and implemented, such as JNNURM and others, such as the ongoing scheme Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), their effect on the ground is minimal. 8

INTRODUCTION

As Table 1.1 shows, in the overall urbanization scenario in the country, along with Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab and Goa, the South Indian states are ahead. In Kerala, urbanization is at 47.72 percent; in Tamil Nadu, 48.45 percent; in Karnataka, 38.57 per cent; and in AP, 33.49 percent. Including United Andhra Pradesh, urbanization in all the South Indian states is above the national average.

Table 1.1 Urban population in states and union territories, 2018 Sl. No.

States and Union Regions

Population

Percentage of Total Urban Population

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Uttar Pradesh Maharashtra Bihar West Bengal Andhra Pradesh Madhya Pradesh Tamil Nadu Rajasthan Karnataka Gujarat Orissa Kerala Jharkhand Assam Punjab Haryana Chhattisgarh Jammu and Kashmir Uttarakhand Himachal Pradesh Tripura Meghalaya Manipur Nagaland Goa Arunachal Pradesh Mizoram Sikkim Delhi Pondicherry Chandigarh Andaman and Nicobar Dadra and Nagar Haveli Daman and Diu Lakshadweep India

44,470,455 50,827,531 11,729,609 29,134,060 28,353,745 20,059,666 34,949,729 17,080,776 23,578,175 25,712,811 6,996,124 15,932,171 7,929,292 4,388,756 10,387,436 8,821,588 5,936,538 3,414,106 3,091,169 688,704 960,981 595,036 822,132 573,741 906,309 313,446 561,997 151,726 16,333,916 850,123 1,025,682 135,533 159,829 182,580 50,308 377,105,780

22.28 45.23 11.3 31.89 33.49 27.63 48.45 24.89 38.57 42.58 16.68 47.72 24.05 14.08 37.49 24.25 23.24 27.21 30.55 10.04 26.18 20.08 20.21 28.97 62.17 22.67 51.51 24.97 97.5 68.31 97.25 35.67 46.62 75.16 78.08 36.80%

Source: State Institute of Urban Development, Mysore, Karnataka.

9

INTRODUCTION

Table 1.2 shows a steady urbanization across all the South Indian states over the census periods from 1991 to 2011. With respect to Karnataka, urbanization shows an increase from 30.9 percent in 1991 to 38.67 percent in 2011 and, in the case of Andhra Pradesh, from 26.9 percent in 1991 to 33.49 percent in 2011. Similarly, with respect to Tamil Nadu, urbanization shows an increase from 34.2 percent in 1991 to 48.4 percent in 2011 while in the case of Kerala, it increased from 26.4 percent in 1991 to 47.7 percent in 2011(although with a dip in 2001). Thus, while all the South Indian states have been observed urbanizing, their trajectories over the past three decades have differed. Table 1.3 clearly shows that the number of urban agglomerations with a million-plus population has actually come down in Tamil Nadu from 34 to 25 over the period from 1991 to 2011, while they have remained more or less stable at 22 in Karnataka between 1991 and 2011. The two states that have seen a fair growth of urban agglomerations are Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. Andhra Pradesh has seen a steep rise in urban agglomerations from 15 in 1991 to 58 in 2011, while Kerala has seen a rise in agglomerations from 16 to 19 – an increase not as steep as in the case of Andhra Pradesh. However, together, these present an interesting picture. In Andhra Pradesh in particular, we observe a spectacular growth of Hyderabad as well as other urban agglomerations, while with respect to Karnataka, it is that of Bangalore alone. In Tamil Nadu, we see a growth in the population of Chennai while finding a decline in the number of other urban agglomerations. In Kerala, we see a fair growth of statutory towns, census towns and, more Table 1.2 Urbanization in four South Indian states, 1991–2011 (urban population figures in percentages) State/Year

1991

2001

2011

Karnataka Andhra Pradesh Tamil Nadu Kerala

30.9 26.9 34.2 26.4

33.99 27.30 44.0 26.0

38.67 33.49 48.4 47.7

Source: Census of India (1991, 2001, 2011).

Table 1.3 Number of urban agglomerations in South India and all of India State/Year

1991

2001

2011

Karnataka Andhra Pradesh Tamil Nadu Kerala All of India

22 15 34 16 374

24 37 27 17 384

22 58 25 19 474

Source: Census of India (1991, 2001, 2011).

10

INTRODUCTION

important, a steady, although marginal, growth of agglomerations. Thus, it is undeniable that South India has been urbanizing at a steady pace over the past 30 years, although each state in its own way and according to its earlier-set trajectory. In Karnataka, we find that the urbanization process is spatially concentrated in the metropolitan city of Bangalore, causing serious problems of urban governance and management. This is particularly the case when the urban population is growing at a faster pace than the rural population as in Karnataka. The same is the case with Andhra Pradesh, where Hyderabad is overwhelming in its presence and population compared to all other cities in these two states. In the work that follows, we discuss this phenomenon of the prevalence of a single-city dominance over all other cities. In the next chapter, we revisit the significance of studying urban local governance and urban local democracy, and why there is an urgent need to do that. Why study urban governance at all? The organization of the present book is on the following lines: In this Introduction, we dealt with the raison d’être for the book and elaborated the concepts of local governance and local democracy. This chapter explained how social capital theory and governance are related. The chapter also delineated the difference between the concepts of governance and local democracy. The second chapter attempts to further strengthen the rationale for the book by asking the question as to why one should examine urbanization as well as governance and local democracy. This chapter highlights the special need to study the district-level cities within the context of rapid urbanization that is taking place in India. The chapter provides an overview of urbanization patterns in South India. The third chapter focuses on United Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. This chapter argues that there has been urban concentration and that the urbanization process in the two states has been ‘topheavy’ and is basically taking place around Bangalore in Karnataka and Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh. The chapter makes clear that while in Karnataka, Bangalore alone has been growing rapidly, in Andhra Pradesh, the district cities, too, have registered impressive growth along with the spectacular rise of Hyderabad. However, both in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the basic feature is that of ‘urban primacy’, with the ‘primate cities’ of Bangalore and Hyderabad grabbing all the policy attention while the district cities make do with whatever governance and local democracy they may have. This chapter consists of micro studies of Udupi and Hubballi-Dharwad from Karnataka and Mahabubnagar and Kurnool from Andhra Pradesh. The fourth chapter deals with urbanization pattern in Tamil Nadu and Kerala – these are the two states which are at the forefront of the 11

INTRODUCTION

urbanization in south India. The chapter shows how the pattern of urbanization was dispersed and not capital city–centric; in Tamil Nadu and in Kerala, the urbanization process has been highly dispersed. The fifth chapter sums up the book and discusses some of the contemporary questions of digitalization and the sustainability of the cities and discusses some of the recent programmes and schemes, such as the SCM, and how they contribute to the future of these small districtlevel cities. Urbanization is a historical process. Urban governance is a process of coming to consciousness about the process and channeling it in a democratic, just, equitable, transparent and accountable manner. We argued in this chapter that while in India, urbanization as a historical process received sufficient attention by geographers, sociologists, economists, demographers and regional study specialists, urban governance has not received sufficient attention. Political scientists have been virtually silent on urban politics. We contend that, given the rapid urbanization in South India, there is an urgent need for paying attention to this process. In paying such attention to the urban governance process, we also hope to cover some ground on urban local democracy. In order to do that, the book adopts the theoretical framework of social capital provided by Robert Putnam and methodological approach of two-state comparison approach exemplified earlier in the work of Rob Jenkins. With this framework and methodology, we investigate urban governance and local democracy in rapidly urbanizing South Indian states.

References Avis, W.R. (2016) Urban Governance (Topic Guide), Birmingham: Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham. Bevir, Mark (2011) ‘Governance as Theory, Practice and Dilemmas’ in Mark Bevir (ed.) The Sage Handbook of Governance, London: Sage Publications, pp. 1–16. Gill, Rajesh (2013) ‘The Academic Bias against Towns: A Cultural Audit’ in R.N. Sharma and R.S. Sandhu (eds.) Small Cities and Towns in Global Era: Emerging Changes and Perspectives, Jaipur: Rawat Publications, pp. 84–98. Jenkins, Rob (2004) Regional Reflections: Comparing Politics Across Indian States, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. John, Peter (2009) ‘Why Study Urban Politics’ in Jonathan S. Davies and David L. Imbroscio (eds.) Theories of Urban Politics, Los Angeles, London and New Delhi: Sage Publications, pp. 17–24. Maloney, William A. and Linda Stevenson (2003) ‘Social Capital’ in Ronald Axtman (ed.) Understanding Democratic Politics, London, Thousand Oakes and New Delhi: Sage Publications, pp. 187–195. Putnam, Robert (1993) Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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INTRODUCTION

Stern, Richard (2009) ‘Globalisation and Urban Issues in the Non-Western World’ in Jonathan S. Davies and David L. Imborscio (eds.) Theories of Urban Politics, Los Angeles, London and New Delhi: Sage Publications, pp. 153–164. Sullivan, Helen (2009) ‘Social Capital’ in Jonathan S. Davies and David L. Imborscio (eds.) Theories of Urban Politics, Los Angeles, London and New Delhi: Sage Publications, pp. 221–238.

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2 WHY URBAN GOVERNANCE? WHY NOT RURAL?

The contemporary urbanization process in South India is an offshoot of the economic reforms. Ever since the liberalization of the economy, the South Indian states have been at the forefront of the adoption of economic and governance reforms, following which the state-level economies have been opening up to investments. These investments and the accompanying economic growth have been happening largely in and around the cities of South Indian states. As the economic growth has been rapid in these states since 1991, so has the urbanization process. It is not only that the impersonal forces of the economy have spurred the urbanization process; the governments and policy elites of these states also have determined the diverse patterns of urbanization that are to be found in these states. Often, a general argument is made following Mahatma Gandhi: that since the majority of Indian population lives in rural areas, therefore, the adage goes, ‘India lives in its villages’ (it is altogether a different matter that the governments and elites that make this argument fail to live up to both the Mahatma and the rural world). However, the argument is increasingly not true so far as South India is concerned. Now about 50 percent of South India lives in its cities. Along with the urbanization process, the populations of these states, too, have been shifting to urban areas. Therefore, it is imperative to study the process of this urbanization, its governance and to what extent these urban localities are governed democratically, participatorily and according to the constitution. According to the 2011 census, the urban population of India is 31.2 percent. The rest of the 68.8 percent are in the primary sector, that is the agricultural sector. The percentages tell us that only one in three people lives in urban areas, and therefore, this small fraction is less important. There are two very important objections to this point of view. First, the absolute figures that these percentages represent are huge; India’s 31.2 percent, or 377 million, urban population is more than even the total population of the United States (Shaw, 2012). Second, the qualitative and strategic significance of this urban population goes beyond the statistics; state power is always concentrated and flows from the city. State bureaucracies and state elites are 14

W H Y U R B A N G OV E R N A N C E ? W H Y N OT R U R A L ?

often located in the cities and travel to rural areas. Decision-making – even regarding rural areas – is done in the cities and urban centres. Every rural expert lives in an urban area, rural anthropologists included. To say that rural governance alone is important and urban does not matter, in however bad a condition it is, is reminiscent of an argument called ‘agrarian populism’; it even smacks of nostalgia and rural romanticism. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had quite an effective antidote to remind to such arguments when he said, ‘What is the village but a sink of localism, a den of ignorance, narrow mindedness and communalism?’(cited from Rajasekhar et al., 2018: 20–21). Often it is argued that the rural world is poor whereas the urban world is rich; therefore, we need to study the rural areas. This argument is true to some extent. However, poverty is not limited to rural areas. In some respects, the rural poor may be better off than the squalor-ridden urban poor. Poverty is not only rural;it is also urban. Urban poverty is worse than rural poverty in absolute terms, with the burden of relative and structural inequality being added in the urban areas (e.g. India: Urban Poverty Report:2009 (GoI, 2009) provides the details of urban poverty in the country). Thus, at least so far as southern India is concerned, this book makes a fervent plea for taking urban governance, in general, and that of small cities, in particular, seriously. Since the scenario of urbanization is at the halfway mark in the population in South India, and this is particularly true with Tamil Nadu and Kerala, we think the plea is not an exaggeration. And because, as the previously mentioned Report makes clear, most of the urban poverty is concentrated in small and medium-sized towns in India, while the large agglomerations are not free of poverty. The urban centres, the national capital, the state capitals, the district capitals and even the taluk towns often form a well-integrated urban system through which the state system, its administration and the economic system operate. The administration of the Indian state operates through the national capital city, New Delhi;29 state capital cities; and 640 district capital cities and thousands of taluk towns. Power is exercised from these urban centres. Together, they form the urban system of the Indian state. The connections within the urban system are the sinews through which the power of the state flows downwards. And moreover, the cities, particularly the mega-urban agglomerations, are the centres of education, health, culture, commerce and industry.1 Their qualitative significance in the economy even when measured by the quantitative indicator of gross domestic product (GDP) is enormous. In 2011 the cities contributed 60 percent to GDP; by 2030, this is estimated to go up to 75 percent. Table 2.1 makes this trend clear. Therefore, this study takes up urban governance as its object of examination. While the economic contribution of the cities is enormous, the cities suffer from an anti-urban bias in the government, official policy circles and in the academia/intellectuals. This is because while the economy is increasingly getting concentrated in cities, the votes are in the rural areas. The 15

W H Y U R B A N G OV E R N A N C E ? W H Y N OT R U R A L ?

Table 2.1 Contribution of cities to the national income in India (approximate estimates) Year

Percentage of Urban to Total Population

Estimated Contribution of Urban Area to National Income (%)

1951 1981 1991 2001

17.3 23.3 25.7 30.5

29 47 55 60

Source: National Commission on Urbanisation, 2001.

generation of democratic legitimacy through periodic elections requires that a visible bias towards rural areas is maintained and cultivated. Within the anti-urban bias, again there is anti-small city bias. Whenever policies for urban areas are envisaged, it is the larger agglomerations which garner attention, while the small district-level cities do not have the requisite visibility to catch the attention of the policy makers. Thus, these districtlevel cities – and the cities below them – are sandwiched between the shiny ‘bright lights of the (mega)city’ and the majority of people in the rural areas (Sharma and Sandhu, 2014). Indian democracy ignores the small cities in both ways, while it secures legitimacy by appealing to the rural voter and, post the election process, showers attention on the megacities. Thus, the district-level cities do not have the requisite policy clout for claiming the attention of the governments and policy makers both at the centre and in the states. However, as mentioned earlier, it is from the megacities and cities as such that hegemony and dominance spread out in India. Therefore, the cities are of vital importance. We concentrate on urban governance also because a large amount of work has already been done on rural governance (Mathew, 1995, 2013; Jha and Mathur, 1999; Mathur, 2013; Mathew and Baviskar, 2008; Singh and Sharma, 2007; Aziz et al., 2002; Nadkarni et al., 2017; Jayal et al., 2007; Singh and Sharma, 2007; Rajasekhar et al., 2018; Vaddiraju and Sangita, 2011; Vaddiraju, 2017, to name only a few. There are also innumerable and countless articles being written in different journals on rural governance. This literature, for all the valid reasons, is still growing). The 73rd Amendment to the Constitution was relatively successful in terms of implementation when compared to its urban counterpart, the 74th Amendment. The former generated great interest among academics, civil society and activists and engendered substantial scholarly, NGO and activist literature. The same, however, does not appear to be the case with the 74th Amendment, dealing with the urban laws. The dearth of discussion on urban governance in scholarly literature is one major reason for this book. The second reason is

16

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because rapid urban growth is a relatively new phenomenon in South Indian states and has not been sufficiently studied. Again, within the academic literature on urbanization, governance is a neglected subject, let alone local self-governance. Often, the studies done are from the disciplinary vantage points of economics, sociology, demography and geography or from the standpoint of critical urban studies focusing on the political economy of the megacities. In this context, we consider that focusing squarely on the governance of small district cities is important. We discuss this in some detail in what follows.

Governance or political economy? When it comes to urbanization, it is often assumed that while the cities of the Western world have governance problems, those of the developing countries only have issues of political economy, such as those characteristic of the informal economies and the prevalence of a highly casualized tertiary sector. While the global cities of the West form the core subject of urban governance, those in developing countries do not. Furthermore, it is held that the cities of the developing countries are ‘peripheral’ not only in the global political economy but also in urban governance. This view holds that the cities in developing countries are the products of colonialism and, therefore, are nothing other than the outposts of the Western world. This point of view is presented by Flanagan (1993) in his Contemporary Urban Sociology: Among the major issues addressed by Third World urban sociology traditionally, perhaps the informal sector is the most indicative of the importance and the maturation of political economy under the world-system approach. This is because it illustrates the seamlessness of the structural forces that impact the cities of the world. Today the restructuring of the world economy displaces large segments of working class of the industrialized nations while generating a proto-working-class force in Third World cities. On the periphery the pool of would-be industrial workers concentrated in cities grows too rapidly while in the core the pool of displaced workers fails to evaporate. Cities are overpopulated with workers; we say ‘overurbanized’. As workers find their way into the shadowy realms created or left by dynamics of capitalism, we say that their employment has become ‘informal’. (pp. 130–131) The preceding point of view needs correction. The cities of developing countries have not remained on the global periphery; in fact, the urban growth

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since the 1990s has changed their landscape as well as the issues involved. However much political economy may be important, these cities have also acquired new features and problems of governance. And the governance dimension of these cities is crucial for the well-being of the dwellers of these cities, in general, and of the poor, in particular. In contrast to the viewpoint taken by Flanagan, developing country urbanization has received positive attention in the texts of urban politics (Davies and Imbroscio, 2009). Here, greater appreciation is shown towards urban politics and governance of developing countries than by Flanagan. The political economy approach taken by Flanagan largely describes developing country urbanization in negative terms. On the other hand, Stern (2009), after reviewing the state of the art in developing country urban studies, says the following: As the growing importance (socially and economically) of cities is recognised, urban political studies will undoubtedly gain more traction in the comparative field. Just as political studies have followed urbanisation patterns in the United States and Western Europe, the force of practical issues – such as dealing with poverty, disease, inequity, social diversity and infrastructural scarcity – will demand imaginative ideas that can help us to understand the complex politics of urban development of 80 percent of the world’s population. For the future of urban political studies in developing countries, there is nowhere to go but up. (pp. 164–165) The preceding paragraphs by Stern (2009) are indicative of a positive approach indicated by an urban politics text. The reasons for Flanagan taking a negative view, and later urban politics texts taking a more positive approach to urban reality and urban studies, are both ideological and temporal. First, Flanagan takes an explicitly Marxian approach rooted in the third-world studies of the 1980s and 1990s. Second, ever since Flanagan wrote his text in 1993, urbanization has gained momentum in the developing world and in South Asia. With the increasing momentum of urbanization in the developing world, which remains largely unplanned, ad hoc and haphazard, several urban politics and governance issues have come to the fore. Therefore, while we do not underestimate the theoretical approach taken by Flanagan, the issues that have emerged today in the urban context of the developing world and South Asia are to do with urban governance, politics and planning. Another important point is that not all cities in the developing countries have equal degrees of colonial past; there are cities in the developing world which do not have much colonial past. Those cities in India with a noncolonial past, hailing predominantly from a princely past, have their own 18

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significant ethnic diversities and related issues. An approach exclusively of class politics and political economy glosses over these dimensions of ethnicity and identity and sidesteps the issues pertaining to politics and governance. Politics of class, which political economy significantly focuses on, is only a marginal dimension of the politics and governance of these cities. Sure, classes exist, often all too glaringly, but they exist as classes-in-themselves rather than as classes-for-themselves. The dichotomizing of governance and political economy may not appear to be correct, as some would argue, and that both are important. The point of stressing on governance in this book is because so far, there has been a tendency to over-emphasize the urban political economy at the expense of governance and politics. This exclusive focus on political economy ignores the complex aspects of politics and governance. Second, most of the political economy studies have been on metropolitan agglomerations with little focus on district-level cities. With some honourable exceptions, this is the state of affairs in studies on cities of developing countries. Flanagan’s book, mentioned earlier, falls in the same pattern of political economy studies. Flanagan discounts all other approaches to urban reality in the developing world while highlighting the political economy/world system approach. In contrast to Flanagan, what we argue is true of both the developing world and South Asia. South Asia, which once happened to be the least urbanized part of the developing world, has undergone a drastic change. Urbanization in South Asia has been so strong recently that the Human Development Report of South Asia has devoted its Annual Report to this subject in 2014. This fact indicates that between 1993 and 2014, there certainly has been a change in the urbanization of developing countries. In the following, we elaborate some of the highlights of the Report. The South Asia Human Development Report of 2014, for example, says: The challenges posed by urbanisation in South Asia are complex and multi-faceted, especially when that urbanization has been rapid, mostly unplanned and disorganized. When these are compounded by pollution, congestion and inadequate basic services including water, power and transport, urbanization can become a nightmare for all, including policy makers. . . . On the contrary, urbanization also provides opportunities. Urbanization can be a major force of wealth creation and freedom from deprivation. It is the driving force for modernization, economic growth and human development. (pp. iv–v) The preceding paragraphs illuminate the dilemmas of urbanization in developing countries and South Asia. The key words for urbanization in South Asia today are, as mentioned earlier, ‘rapid, mostly unplanned and disorganised’. 19

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The major findings of the South Asia Human Development Report 2014 are as follows (MahabubulHaq Human Development Centre, 2014): 1 2

3

4 5

Urbanization in South Asia has been rapid, unplanned and uneven, with a large share of the population concentrated in a few large cities Urbanization has emerged as a key contributor to economic growth for the South Asia region, with three fourths of total growth being generated in the cities While urbanization has generated many opportunities in terms of urban-led economic growth for countries in South Asia, urban centres subsume wide disparities in access to key infrastructure and services like water, sanitation, adequate housing, public transport, health and education. These disparities are particularly pronounced between the slum and non-slum populations of the cities Though the process of urbanization has been fairly recent, many of South Asia’s mega cities are already experiencing a decaying urban environment The challenge for urban governance in South Asia is to go beyond creating wealth for only some of its urban residents. Urban governance in the region must work on critical issues including effective decentralization of power and resources; mobilizing revenues for financing urban infrastructure and municipal services; focusing on synergies between urban growth and informal employment; and improving the quality of urban environment for the vast majority of the urban poor. (pp. 2–3)

In this context, this study focuses on urban governance at district-level cities in India. We look at both urban governance and local democracy.

The concept of governance From the foregoing, it should be clear that the governance of cities is as important as their political economy. The concept of governance has multiple connotations. The concept came to be used essentially as neo-liberal concept wherein the state retreats and no more functions as a regulator or provider but only as a facilitator. In this definition, the state essentially has to facilitate markets and market-led economic development. A state of this type is envisaged as consisting of a thin bureaucracy, with a majority of its functions being outsourced to either private markets or civil society. This definition of the state builds on the ‘failure’ of the commandist state in delivering high rates of economic growth. This is essentially an economistic definition of the state and defined on the basis of its ability to promote markets and market-led development. The definition of a facilitator state came into prominence essentially in the 1990s. On the other hand, Mark Bevir (2011) defines governance more generally as a ‘pattern of rule’ in which 20

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the state is characterized by certain hybridness. That is the state combines its functions with the outsourcing of its major functions to markets and civil society actors. Another definition of governance is provided by United Nations Development Programme, according to which the state has to function in partnership with markets and civil society in a tri-sector (state, markets and civil society) pattern. Governance is also defined as making government accessible, economic, efficient, transparent, accountable, responsive and responsible. However, the definitions discussed earlier have implicit in them roles for markets and civil society in different degrees. Another dimension of governance is its relation to social capital. According to this definition, governance becomes effective, efficient and economic only if there is social capital in its surrounding society. That is the denser the civil society organizations that collaborate and pressure the state to work, the better the governance will be. It is the density of civil society organizations, according to this point of view, which matters. According to this theory, the state–civil society relationship is crucial, whether synergistic or contestatory. We can also view governance simply as constitutional governance. In this study, by governance we mean constitutional governance, that is governance as laid out by the Indian Constitution and the 74th Amendment Act. This study examines whether the governance at the district-level cities follows these mandatory stipulations. This is the minimum that we can expect from political and governance institutions.

Discussions on urban governance in India Some recent discussions on urban governance in India have solely focused on three aspects: urban infrastructure and its deficit, financing urban development and service delivery (Ahluwalia, 2019; Bagchi and Chattopadhyay, 2004). This book differs in its view on urban governance from such an approach. We focus more on urban governance in terms of decision-making powers, urban planning and provision of two essential basic amenities: drinking water and sanitation. Urban infrastructure and finance are certainly not the focus of this book.

The concept of local democracy The studies on decentralization most often focus on governance. The focus, to a large extent, is laid on participatory governance. The term governance, however, has connotations of ‘top-down’ approaches to the patterns of rule. The concept of local democracy, on the other hand, emphasizes an even balance between the holders of power and the opposition. Local democracy involves not only participation but also contestation over power, resources and spaces. Local democracy involves the questions of rights. This crucially 21

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involves not only rights that are provided by the Constitution, such as the right to life and liberty, but also specific rights to basic amenities, such as drinking water and sanitation, and to the use common spaces, such as libraries, parks and temples, equitably and without being discriminated against. To illustrate the point, urban drinking water is a right that the local population can claim in a local democracy. It is not a privilege. Sanitation is a human right. These types of basic rights are part of the basic democratic local and supra-local political set-up. Therefore, while the term governance still has an aura of managerial finesse, local democracy, on the other hand, elevates these questions. This raises issues of contestation over commons, urban commons such as parks, pavements, green areas, playgrounds, libraries and so on. These urban commons ought not to be monopolized by any one section of the locale but rather to be equitably enjoyed by all members that form the local democracy. And questioning the reality when it is not so is an essential part of local democracy. Questioning and contestation over power, resources, rights and urban commons can happen both electorally and outside the arena of electoral politics and are normatively necessary as long as they do not degenerate into violence. Thus, the concept of local democracy is deeper and broader than the concept of governance. The concept of governance has government as the chief protagonist whereas in the concept of local democracy, it is the people who are the chief protagonists. The two concepts are not the same. Some concepts and practices of governance go against the interests of local democracy. For example neo-liberal models of governance and technocratic forms of governance may go against the concept of local democracy. While there is a great amount of discussion on the governance question in India both in rural and urban contexts, there is little discussion on local democracy in both rural and urban contexts. As is known, democracy means ‘rule by demos (people)’, and local democracy is rule by local people. This is without every will having been imposed on them by way of any some form of governance from above.

The Constitution and the 74th Amendment Act On the macro-policy for urban governance at the district level, the 74th Constitutional Amendment provides for conducting regular periodic elections with affirmative action for scheduled castes (SCs), scheduled tribes (STs) and other backward classes; 33 percent reservation for women; planning for the town/city through District Planning Committees; planning for the metropolitan cities through metropolitan planning committees; and constituting ward committees for citizen participation in governance. According to the Twelfth Schedule of the Constitution, that is Article 243W, 18aspects2 of governance are to be devolved to urban local bodies (Jha and Mathur, 1999). Therefore, the macro-policy towards district urban planning and governance is clear. The Constitution is also clear on the 22

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devolution of powers and the functions on which powers are to be devolved to the local bodies. However, while the Constitution is promulgated by the central government and legislature, powers to the local bodies are to be devolved by state governments. The interesting point is that the Indian state and its bureaucracy have to adapt to both the facilitator paradigm of governance and the constitutional decentralization process. The Indian state’s response in adapting to both is imperfect and leaves much to be desired. Das (2013) notes the same point regarding the bureaucracy. And it comes out in this study that this is the crucial dilemma around which the district-level governance revolves. This dilemma defines the very essence of the functioning or otherwise of local democracy, which is defined by the Constitution as local self-government. Besides bureaucracy, other structures of the state, such as parastatals, also resist local self-government in urban areas at different levels. The Indian bureaucracy is markedly reluctant to accept the concepts of state-as-facilitator and urban local self-government. This is noted by Das (2013) well: As regards the facilitator’s role, there have been significant problems. For example, the provisions of the 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution provide for passing on power to the elected members of the local bodies. . . .The previous development administration in the district was centred on the Collector, with development programmes implemented by civil servants. The new system has reduced the role of the Collector and other civil servants, and brought in new institutions such as zilla, intermediate and gram panchayats. This has altered the role of the civil servants working at the district and local levels from that of implementers to facilitators. Unfortunately, most civil servants working at the field level are yet to come to terms with their diminished role. (pp. 56–57; emphasis added) Governance of cities and that, too, of self-governance does not mean bureaucratic governance. Here, we should also make clear that governance just does not also mean finances and infrastructure. We need to make this point explicit here because in some writings on urban governance, the subject is taken essentially and largely to mean urban infrastructure and finance (e.g. Bagchi and Chattopadhyay, 2004; Ahluwalia, 2019). No doubt the latter are important; however, they only enable governance and self-governance; they, by themselves, do not exhaust its purview.

Comparing Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh The method of this book is comparative. We, at first, compare Karnataka with Andhra Pradesh. Why these states? Because, at the outset, we may 23

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note that the economic reforms initiated since 1991 have led to tremendous regional disparities in the country. Not all states of the country have been growing evenly. The southern states, along with western states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat and Punjab, have been growing at a greater pace than the eastern and northern states. The growth of the southern states has been rapid. Karnataka and erstwhile Andhra Pradesh have been part of this. Indeed, these two states adopted the economic and governance reforms early; as a consequence, investments have been flowing to these states significantly into the sectors such as IT (information technology) and ITES (information technology–enabled services), biotechnology and the service sector. Today, Karnataka, more specifically Bangalore, which is known as the ‘Silicon Valley of India’, alone accounts for 38 percent of the software exports from the country and Andhra Pradesh (read Hyderabad), 14 percent (Das and Sagara, 2017). The then chief ministers of these states, S.M. Krishna in Karnataka and Chandrababu Naidu in United Andhra Pradesh, have been more than enthusiastic about the economic and governance reforms. The latter was even called at that time by popular media the poster boy of economic and governance reforms. The reforms initiated by these two chief ministers in the early 1990s have been continuing irrespective of the change of governments, change of chief ministers and even bifurcation of one of the states. In fact, both Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have been competing with each other for investments. The politics of these reforms have been well noted (Mooij, 2004; Assadi, 2017; Srinivasulu, 2017). In scholarly literature, there are three explicit comparisons of these two states, one by Balasubramanyam and Balasubramanyam (2012) and the other by Manor (2006). The first one compares the political economy of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and holds that these are ‘disparate twins’. The second paper, by Manor (2006), compares the ‘successful governance reforms’ in both the states. Balasubramanyam and Balasubramanyam (2012) hold that the Karnataka model of development, led by software technology and the tertiary sector, could not reduce rural poverty, and that this, along with the rural–urban inequality, makes Karnataka’s growth ‘elitist’. They call it ‘Karnataka’s Elitist Growth Model’. However, they believe that the Andhra Pradesh model of development could reduce rural poverty better. Describing it as a ‘populist model of development?’ (with a question mark), they state that the Andhra Pradesh model could substantially reduce rural and urban poverty, and this reduction is achieved through the populist policies of the successive governments (Balasubramanyam and Balasubramanyam, 2012). Their observations are as follows: Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, though geographically contiguous, exhibit distinctly different growth and development trajectories. AP’s [Andhra Pradesh’s] record on reduction of poverty and fertil24

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ity is commendable though it ranks lower than most other states, including Karnataka on other development indicators, such as literacy rates and absolute levels of mortality. Growth in Karnataka is driven mostly by the tertiary sector and skill intensive manufactures. The sort of growth experienced by Karnataka has provided jobs for the skilled and earned it kudos for its contribution to the production and export of software from the country. But its record on poverty reduction and creation of employment is relatively poor. The growth and development experience of the two states illustrates the influence of history and institutions in shaping policies for development and implementing them. (pp. 50–51) In the second instance of comparison, Manor (2006) discusses governance reforms that have been successfully implemented in both states. He discusses some prominent governance reforms, such as the Bhoomi project, the Bangalore Action Task Force initiatives in Karnataka, the programmes of women’s self-help groups and Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas and Hyderabad Metro water reforms. In this regard, he discusses the political leadership that has steered these reforms successfully. Manor (2004) has also compared the political developments in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The two adjacent states also have strong linguistic and cultural similarities. What we are trying to do in this book is in a vein similar to the previously discussed literature. The two states have been growing at a rapid pace, and they are also moving ahead with the reforms. The point, however, is that growth in these two states as a result of the early adoption of economic and governance reforms has been taking place in and around the capital cities of Bangalore and Hyderabad, resulting in an urban growth that has come at the cost of the surrounding agricultural regions, which remain relatively deprived and neglected. Thus, the growth story has basically been urban and sectorally uneven. It is not without reason that the growth initiated by Chandrababu Naidu has been called ‘Hyderabad-centric’ (Srinivasulu, 2017), and the same goes for Bangalore. It is also true that the agricultural sectors in these states have been in dire straits. Farmers’ suicides have been taking place in both states. It is precisely because growth has been taking place in urban areas and has been largely urban-centric that we need to examine the nature of urbanization in these two states. In the context of this pattern of development, what has been happening to the governance of the district-tier cities in these states?

Comparing Tamil Nadu and Kerala There is a compelling reason to consider this research as the differential patterns and processes of urbanization in Kerala and Tamil Nadu hold crucial 25

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public policy learning for Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh/Telangana. Thus, the diversity of the urbanization process within South India helps enormously in mutual public policy learning for South Indian states. The learning can be beneficial in avoiding further urban concentration, in focusing toward decentralization in the urbanization process and thereby avoiding the problems that are associated with the concentrated urbanization process. Tamil Nadu and Kerala are two contiguous states of South India with rapid urbanization; according to the 2011 census, the percentage of urbanization in Tamil Nadu is 48.45 and in Kerala, about 48. These two are rapidly growing states of India. The percentage of urbanization in both states is above the national average of 31.2. This is sufficient raison d’être for studying the nature of urban governance and urban local democracy in these two states. In an overall comparative perspective of South Indian states, when we compare these two sets of states, that is Tamil Nadu and Kerala, with the other South Indian states, that is Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, we find that the latter show a marked urban ‘primacy’, with the primate cities of Bangalore and Hyderabad being pre-eminent in the urbanization process, whereas in the case of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the urbanization process appears to be more dispersed and spread across many districts, with the respective capital cities of Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram not being the sole ‘primate’ cities. For example, according to the 2011 census, in the case of Kerala, Ernakulum (3,282,388) and Kozhikode (3,086,293) seem, more or less, closer in population to Thiruvananthapuram (3,301,437). Likewise, according to the census of 2011, in Tamil Nadu, Vellore (3,936,331), Kancheepuram (3,998,252) and Coimbatore (3,458,045) have populations nearer to that of Chennai (4,636,732). Therefore, urban ‘primacy’ does not seem to play a major role in the cases of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. This may also be owing to other processes, such as the industrialization process which is dispersed, or owing to specific policies of development and urbanization. In this chapter, we asked the questions, ‘Why urban governance? Why not rural?’ We argued that so far, urban governance has been a neglected subject. We have focused on urban, but we have not said anywhere that the rural is any less important. We argued that whatever focus there is, is on metropolitan cities and that it is also from a political economy point of view. In contrast to that, we argued for studies of smaller cities from a governance point of view. We also made clear that in this book, we are going to do the earlier exercise in the context of a comparison of Karnataka with Andhra Pradesh and Kerala with Tamil Nadu. We think nowhere is the case stronger than to study urban governance in these states and, too, at the district level. Following the preceding template, the following chapter focuses on the comparison of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. There are many interesting points to discern in this comparison and some noteworthy policy lessons to learn.

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Notes 1 Shaw, for example, notes as follows: ‘capital accumulation has been primarily concentrated in the modern sector, the dynamic element in the national economy. Although there is no one-to-one correspondence between the modern sector and the urban, a sizeable part of the modern sector is concentrated in urban areas of the country. Urban areas, and in particular, the largest metropolitan cities, are the nerve centres of industry, trade and commerce. Containing the headquarters of all major industrial and financial houses, government institutions and professional services, the urban areas represent a large proportion of the dynamic element in the spatial economy of the country’ (1996: 224–225). 2 The ‘Twelfth Schedule’ of the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act consists of the following: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Urban planning including town planning. Regulation of land-use and construction of buildings. Planning for economic and social development. Roads and bridges. Water supply for domestic, industrial and commercial purposes. Public health, sanitation, conservancy and solid waste management. Fire services. Urban forestry, protection of the environment and promotion of ecological aspects. Safeguarding the interests of weaker sections of society, including the handicapped and mentally retarded. Slum improvement and upgradation. Urban poverty alleviation. Provision of urban amenities and facilities such as parks, gardens, playgrounds. Promotion of cultural, educational and aesthetic aspects. Burials and burial grounds, cremations, cremation grounds and electric crematoriums. Cattle ponds, prevention of cruelty to animals. Vital statistics including registration of births and deaths. Public amenities including streetlighting, parking lots, bus stops and public conveniences. Regulation of slaughter houses and tanneries. (Jha and Mathur, 1999: 304–305)

References Ahluwalia, Isher Judge (2019) ‘Urban Governance in India’ Journal of Urban Affairs, Vol.41, No.1, pp. 83–102. Assadi, Muzaffar (2017) ‘State, Society and Identity Politics in Karnataka: Shifting Paradigms’ in Himanshu Roy, M.P. Singh and A.P.S. Chouhan (eds.) State Politics in India, Delhi: Primus, pp. 387–408. Abdul Aziz, M. Devendra Babu, N. Sivanna, Madhushree Sekhar and C. Charles Nelson (2002) Decentralized Governance and Planning: A Comparative Study in Three South Indian States, New Delhi: Macmillan. Bagchi, Soumen and Soumyadeep Chattopadhyay (2004, December) ‘Decentralised Urban Governance in India: Implications for Financing Urban Infrastructure’ Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 39, No. 49, pp. 5253–5260.

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Balasubramanyam, V.N. and A. Balasubramanyam (2012) ‘Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh: The Disparate Twins’ in K. Pushpangadan and V.N.Balasubramanyam (eds.) Growth, Development and Diversity: India’s Record Since Liberalization, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 23–54. Bevir, Mark (ed.) (2011) The Sage Handbook of Governance, London: Sage Publications. Das, Keshab and Hastimal Sagara (2017) ‘State and IT Industry in India: An Overview’ Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. LII, No. 41, pp. 56–64. Das, S.K. (2013) The Civil Services in India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Davies, Jonathan S. and David L. Imbroscio (eds.) (2009) Theories of Urban Politics, Los Angeles and London: Sage Publications. Flanagan, William G. (1993) ‘The Third World and the World-system’ in Contemporary Urban Sociology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 108–136. Government of India (2009) Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, India: Urban Poverty Report, New Delhi: Government of India. Jayal, Niraja Gopal, Amit Prakash and Pradip K. Sharma (eds.) (2007) Local Governance in India: Decentralization and Beyond, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Jha, S.N. and P.C. Mathur (1999) Decentralisation and Local Politics, New Delhi: Sage Publications. MahabubulHaq Human Development Centre (2014) Human Development in South Asia, 2014: Urbanization: Challenges and Opportunities, Lahore: MahabubulHaq Human Development Centre. Manor, James (2004) ‘Explaining Political Trajectories in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka’ in Rob Jenkins (ed.) Regional Reflections: Comparing Politics Across Indian States, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Manor, James (2006) ‘Successful Governance Reforms in Two States: Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh’ IDS, Sussex Working Paper No. Brighton, Sussex: Institute of Development Studies. Mathew, George (1995) Status of Panchayati Raj in States of India, 1994, New Delhi: Institute of Social Sciences and Concept Publishers. Mathew, George (2013) Status of Panchayati Raj in States and Union Territories of India, New Delhi: Institute of Social Sciences and Concept Publishers. Mathew, George and B.S. Baviskar (2008) Inclusion and Exclusion in Local Governance: Field Studies from Rural India, New Delhi: Sage Publications. Mathur, Kuldeep (2013) Panchayati Raj, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Mooij, Jos (2004) The Politics of Economic Reforms in India, New Delhi: Sage Publications. Nadkarni, M.V., N. Sivanna and Lavanya Suresh (2017) Decentralized Democracy in India: Gandhi’s Vision and Reality, New Delhi: Routledge. Rajasekhar, D., R. Manjula and M. Devendra Babu (2018)  Decentralised Governance, Development Programmes and Elite Capture, Singapore: Springer. Sharma, R.N. and R.S. Sandhu (2014) Small Cities and Towns in Global Era: Emerging Changes and Perspectives, Jaipur: Rawat Publications. Shaw, Annapurna (1996) ‘Urban Policy in Post-Independent India’ Economic and Political Weekly, 27 January 1996. Shaw, Annapurna (2012) Indian Cities, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Singh, Satyajit and Pradep K. Sharma (eds.) (2007) Decentralization: Institutions and Politics in Rural India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

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Srinivasulu, K. (2017) ‘Region, Caste and Politics in Andhra Pradesh: Mapping the Paradigm Shift in the State Politics’ in Himanshu Roy, M.P. Singh and A.P.S. Chouhan (eds.) State Politics in India, Delhi: Primus, pp. 1–34. Stern, Richard (2009) ‘Globalisation and Urban Issues in the Non-Western World’ in Jonathan S. Davies and David L. Imbroscio (eds.) Theories of Urban Politics, Los Angeles: Sage Publications. Vaddiraju, Anil Kumar (2017) Federalism and Local Government in India, Delhi: Studium Press. Vaddiraju, Anil Kumar and Satyanarayana Sangita (2011) Decentralized Governance and Planning in Karnataka, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

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3 KARNATAKA AND ANDHRA PRADESH Urban primacy and urban centralization1

With the industrial/business class on the ascendency, greater attention will be focused on the urban – the headquarter location of major industry and business and the place of residency of this class. State governments will compete with one another to provide the best urban facilities in order to attract new industries and business, particularly, those involving foreign equity. This will necessitate major investments in urban infrastructure and the largest metro cities with their already developed markets and basic infrastructure would receive the greatest attention. – Shaw (1996:227–228)

Written five years after the liberalization process, Annapurna Shaw’s article (1996) sounds almost oracular. Most of her predictions regarding the future of urbanization under a liberalized economy have come true regarding Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Amitabh Kundu (2009) had earlier characterized the Indian urban development as ‘exclusionary urban development’. While this is true, what is taking place is not only exclusionary for social groups but also spatially unequal and uneven. The pattern of urbanization in the three South Indian states under consideration is so characterized by ‘urban primacy’ and spatial inequality that it is similar to what was earlier evidenced in Latin America. Here, only one city in each state dominates in urban development, and the rest of the cities are either comparatively small or their development and governance are stunted. The qualitative and quantitative nature of development in ‘primate cities’ and the cities surrounding them is different in terms of demography, political economy, civic amenities and governance. We discuss the same in the following.

‘Urban primacy’ in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh Urban primacy is a significant factor in the urban development in these two states. The concept of urban primacy was introduced first by geographer Mark Jefferson (1939). As Jordanian scholar ServetMutlu (1989:611–612) puts it, 30

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[p]rimacy, in the original Jeffersonian [Mark Jefferson, 1939] sense of the term, means that the size of the first city in a country [or a State of a country] is disproportionately large in relation to the size of the second city. The literature on urban primacy says that this is a feature that usually takes place in the pattern of development of today’s developing countries. This phenomenon is particularly pronounced in Latin America (Browning, 1989). Browning says: The urban system of most Latin American countries is dominated by a primate city which overwhelms the cultural, economic, political and social life of the nation. And Browning goes on to say, Latin America, among the world’s regions, is most characterized by high primacy. Most Latin American countries not only have a primate city, they exhibit strong or prominent primacy. A disturbing recent trend is the growth of many of the primate cities into giant cities with populations exceeding six million. (1989: 71–72) The urban development process in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh is spatially concentrated; there is a serious absence of spatial de-concentration or decentralization of urban development. The consequence of this urban primacy is that the district-tier cities get neglected in development, governance and local democracy. The literature on urban primacy suggests that the phenomenon is associated with inequality among cities within the urban system and intra-city inequality among social groups and that this pattern of development is highly elitist. The following figures attest to the phenomenon of primate city development (See Figure 3.1): Karnataka • •

According to the 2011 census, Bangalore, with 8.426 million people, is 9.49 times bigger than Mysore, which has a population of 8,87,446. According to the 2011 census, Bangalore, with a population of 8.426 million, is 8.9 times bigger than the second-biggest city of Karnataka Hubballi, with a population of 943,857.

Andhra Pradesh •

According to the 2011 census, Hyderabad, with a population of 6.81 million, is 8.3 times bigger than the next biggest city in Telangana, Warangal, which has a population of 8,11,844 (close to Mysore’s population). 31

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Figure 3.1 Population of Bangalore and Hyderabad, 1991–2019 Source: Census of India (1991, 2001, 2011 while the 2019 figures are approximate). Government of India.



According to the 2011 census, Hyderabad, with a population of 6.81 million, is 9.15 times bigger than the next biggest city in Andhra Pradesh, Guntur, whose population is 7,43,654.

What we present here reminds us of what Amitabh Kundu earlier called ‘top-heavy’ urbanization process. We need to unpack this concept. First, this ‘top-heavy’ urbanization process is partly a historical product of colonialism, and second, the process of primate city development is further accentuated by the economic reform process started since 1991. The state governments, which want to attract industries such as IT (information technology) and ITES (information technology–enabled services), biotechnology and other investments to the capital cities, have caused the development of ‘top-heavy’ urbanization. For example Shaw (1996) says the following regarding Hyderabad in her article calling the latter ‘The Rising Star: Hyderabad’: No other city has been hailed as much by the media as Hyderabad symbolising an information-based economy exporting to global markets and drawing on high quality professionals and technology as Hyderabad. And no other state has received as much media attention in this context as Andhra Pradesh. Though Bangalore is still ahead in terms of its software output, Hyderabad is predicted 32

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to overtake it in the 21st century. The thrust towards software and information systems of Andhra Pradesh and Hyderabad received a big boost in the mid-nineties with Chandrababu Naidu coming to power in the state. (pp. 976–977) Regarding Karnataka, the official document ‘Urban Development Policy for Karnataka’ (MoUD, GoK, 2009) has this to say: As in the case of economic and human development, there are serious regional imbalances in urban development in Karnataka. . . . Much of the imbalance is caused by the huge gap between the size and economic role of Bangalore and the next largest cities in the State or what may be called the “Bangalore-centric” development. (pp. 7–8) Some implications of the process are the following: urban primacy means the spatial concentration of the urban population. One large city develops in terms of population over the others, acquiring the position of a mega-urban agglomeration. The service sector, industry and the informal economies get concentrated in the mega-urban agglomerations. This pattern of urban growth is highly and fallaciously recommended by economists because it is said to carry economies of scale and positive externalities. However, it has serious negative implications for politics and governance. Some of them are discussed below. Urban primacy means political concentration. Political power flows from the cities. What takes place is a spatial concentration of political and bureaucratic power. The offices of government, bureaucracy, justice and law and order are all concentrated in the mega-urban agglomerations, leading to the spatial concentration of the decision-making power. Urban primacy also means domination of a single city over the others. The mega-urban agglomerations tend to dominate economically, politically and culturally over all the other cities and surrounding rural areas of the region. The mega-urban agglomerations become centres of the economic, political and cultural elite around which form the paraphernalia of media, technocracy and political middlemen. The culture industries of particular languages or ethnic groups, too, are concentrated in these mega-urban agglomerations, making them sources of cultural hegemony. Their economies wield enormous power and dominance. The financial services of an entire economy, too, are often concentrated in the megacities, which become hubs and headquarters of finance from which financial services branch out to other cities and places of the region. Urban primacy, being coterminous with political centralization, runs counter to the tenets of decentralization and the subsidiarity principle. Both intra-city 33

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and inter-city decision-making powers get concentrated in the top political elite as these mega-urban agglomerations also serve as political capitals. Urban development of this kind leads to the concentration of health and educational services both public and private in one city. Elite university and higher education centres, hospitals and healthcare industries are concentrated in mega-urban agglomerations, causing difficulty for the citizens from other places in accessing the services. Gradually these education and health industries develop their own elite. Thus, the primate city becomes the only repository of high-quality services such as super-specialty hospitals and elite institutions of higher learning. Browning (1989), while noting the consequences of urban primacy, states that: [i]t should be noted at the outset that the consequences of high urban primacy need to be viewed in the context in which they are found. In Latin America, for example, many of the countries are so small in area and population that it makes sense to have most of the high order urban functions in one city. Primate cities in these countries can easily serve the entire country and are in no danger of becoming excessively large. In larger countries, however, the concentration of so much of a country’s population, political power, wealth, brains and talent often comes at the expense of the regional centres. The siphoning off from the provinces of these able and ambitious people deprives these regions of people with leadership qualities. (p. 76) A more telling consequence, as Browning says, is that [g]rowth of the larger primate cities has worsened already severe urban problems: traffic, pollution (air and water), the provision of water and waste disposal, and increase in land prices and crime levels. Politicians and political parties are often particularly sensitive to the needs of primate city, traditionally a symbol of national pride and achievement. The political authorities also view these giant cities as potential tinder boxes of discontent. Thus there is a tendency to favour the primate city at the expense of the smaller towns and rural areas who are left to muddle through because they pose less of a threat to political stability. (p. 78) Tables 3.1 through 3.3 clearly point to population concentration in two major capitals. Based on the 2011 census, these data alert us to the process and nature of urban development.

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Table 3.1 Population figures of Bangalore and Hyderabad, 1991–2019 City/Population

1991

2001

2011

2019 Projected Figure

Bangalore Hyderabad

4,130,000 4,300,000

5,101,000 3,829,753

8,421,970 6,810,000

13,000,000 11,572,000

Source: Census of India (1991, 2001, 2011).

Table 3.2 The structure of urban system in Karnataka City

Level of the City

Population (2011)

Bangalore Hubballi-Dharwad Navalgund Kalghatgi Kundagol Udupi Karkala Kundapur Udupi

State Capital District Capital Taluka of Dharwad District Taluka of Dharwad District Taluka of Dharwad District District Capital Taluka of Udupi District Taluka of Udupi District Taluka of Udupi District

8.426 Million 9,43,857 24,613 14,676 16,837 1,65,401 25,824 1,60,000

Source: Census of India (2011).

Table 3.3 The structure of urban system in Andhra Pradesh City

Level of the City

Population (2011)

Hyderabad Mahabubnagar Mahabubnagar Badepally Narayanpet Kurnool Nandyal Adoni Yemmiganur Dhone

State Capital District Capital Mandal of Mahabubnagar District Mandal of Mahabubnagar District Mandal of Mahabubnagar District District Capital Mandal of Kurnool District Mandal of Kurnool District Mandal of Kurnool District Mandal of Kurnool District

6.81 Million 2,17,942 32,598 41,752 4,24,920 2,11,000 1,66,344 95,149 59,272

Source: Census of India (2011).

Another consequence of this pattern of growth is that district-and taluktier cities get short shrift in urban governance and development. Within these, the condition of the district-tier cities – which serve as district capitals – is somewhat better as they catch the immediate attention of the bureaucrats who live in them. When compared to these, the taluk-tier cities, which are home to taluk/nagar panchayats, suffer most. Their development and governance are nobody’s concern, and usually they fall outside the attention of

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politicians, bureaucrats and planners. There is none to champion their cause. They are at various stages of growth and decay, and their woes regarding basic services such as sanitation, drinking water and solid waste disposal are hardly paid attention to. The people in these cities become second-or thirdrate citizens in the urban hierarchy and the hierarchy of urbanity. They are neither rural nor urban; they have neither gram sabhas to vent their grievances nor a vocal media to speak on behalf of them. Thus, the cities that serve as nagar panchayats/taluk headquarters/census towns are in a state of limbo between the rural and the urban, and they are neglected both by the authorities that care for rural areas and those that care for urban. Often, they lack industries, viable economic activities and largely consist of marginal economic activities. These taluk headquarters/nagar panchayats/census towns, as a consequence, become massive hubs of out-migration to the large cities. According to the Constitution, urban decentralization following the 74th Amendment is a state subject. Most state governments are reluctant to implement this law in letter and spirit. The Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh governments are no different. So far as laws, per se, are concerned, in Karnataka, the previous laws, such as the Karnataka Municipalities Act of 1964 and the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act of 1976, are still prevalent and operative. Under the Constitution, the older laws have to be abolished, and the 74th Amendment should be fully adopted for the governance of cities. This, however, is not done in either Karnataka or Andhra Pradesh or Telangana. And city-level municipal governance still utilizes the laws prior to the 74th Amendment. In the following section, we focus on the case studies of Dharwad and Udupi in Karnataka, followed by Mahabubnagar and Kurnool. All of them are district cities, and the problems they face demonstrate the arguments of this book.

Karnataka Urbanization in Karnataka A recent report on urbanization in Karnataka titled ‘Regional Inequality of Urban Growth: A Study in Karnataka’(Lakshmana, 2018) has interesting findings. Some of the salient excerpts from the report are as follows: Of the total state population, the capital city of Bengaluru alone has 38 percent of population, and southern region[of Karnataka] accounts around 55 percent (including Bengaluru). (pp. 74–75;emphasis added) Dharwad (central region) tops the list in regard to the number of statutory towns as of the latest census year (2011), whereas Vijaya36

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pura (northern region) is at a top position in regard to total population of statutory towns, the absolute figure being 6.1 lakh in 2011. (pp. 76–77) The report summarizes the findings regarding urbanization in Karnataka as follows: A detailed investigation of population growth in Karnataka from 1971 to 2011 reveals that across the four regions, the coastal and southern regions dominate in the number of UAs [Urban Agglomerations] and census town populations. Hence, it can be stated that the main component of urban growth in the above regions is the growth of census town and UA populations. At the same time, the growth in statutory town population is also found strengthening the urban growth. On the other hand, continued urban growth in the statutory towns in central and the northern regions [of Karnataka] has emerged as the major contributor to increase in the urban population. It is also seen that growth of population in census towns and UAs has certainly weakened urban growth in these regions. The study reveals that there has been a shift of population from class IV and V towns to class I and II cities in Karnataka during the decades [1971–2011] under study. (pp. 76–77; emphasis added) Dharwad Dharwad is a major educational and cultural centre of North Karnataka. It is famous for its musicians, litterateurs and writers and is governed by a municipal corporation. Dharwad is rich in culture and cultural heritage. Bhimsen Joshi, Gangubhai Hangal, Mallikarjuna Mansoor, Basavraj Raj Guru and writers like D.R.Bendre are from Dharwad. It is actually a twin city consisting of Hubli (or Hubballi) and Dharwad. Hubli is a commercial centre while Dharwad is a cultural and educational centre. Hubli-Dharwad’s total population is about 13 lakhs. Dharwad’s population alone is about 7 lakhs. Dharwad District Human Development Report: 2014 (Government of Karnataka, 2014) has this to say about the city: Dharwad district is called as the cultural capital of Karnataka. It pioneered the state unification movement, produced four of the eight Jnanapeetha awardees in Kannada, is the home of three universities and is popular throughout the world for its pedha. Since it is also the home for many educational institutions at different level(s), it attracts people from different parts of the state. (p. 23) 37

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Regarding urbanization in the district, the Report states: Dharwad district is one of the highly urbanized districts in the state. Hubballi-Dharwad urban area will shortly be a million-plus city. However urbanization is not uniformly spread in the district. Except for Navalgund taluk, the other taluks have a very low share of urban population. HDMC [Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation] accounts for 89 percent of the total urban population of the district. (p. 31) The Report further says: HDMC is the major urban centre accounting for 51 percent of the total population of the district and 90 percent of the total urban population of the district. (p. 268) In this section, we discuss the basic four research questions we put forward in the beginning and examine as to how these different aspects operate in the city.2 How is the district city planning taking place? How is the delivery of basic services such as drinking water and sanitation? To what extent is the governance of the city effective? Finally, are there issues of social capital? Dharwad is a major educational and cultural centre of North Karnataka. The city faces major problems, which have persisted for a long time. Among these is a lack of sufficient drinking water, which is rationed. Although of late some wards receive water 24/7 on an experimental basis as part of a World Bank–provided drinking water project, the city has a severe shortage of drinking water in the summer season. It also has sanitation problems. The governance of solid waste management and drainage systems are other concerns. There are 24 slums in Dharwad, and providing civic services to them is daunting. The city also has inter-ethnic tensions between Hindu and Muslim communities.3 It would be incorrect to isolate Dharwad from the rest of Northern Karnataka as the city’s problems such as the shortage of water and overall backwardness are shared by the entire subregion. Although Dharwad is still a highly developed cultural and educational hub for the entire northern Karnataka, the fact remains that governance is seriously lacking in this city and much of this is due to civic apathy. The civil society, by way of NGOs and voluntary agencies, are inactive, and civic awareness is low when compared to Udupi. Although there are some civil society organizations working in rural areas, there are few working in urban areas and on urban issues. The city, of course, is much larger than Udupi in terms of population and geographical spread, but civic activity to make governance work towards solving its persisting problems has been relatively less. This is despite the fact 38

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that the stellar musical and intellectual geniuses it produced have been greatly appreciated not only in Karnataka but also throughout the country. Another problem that was emphasized during the fieldwork was that the finances of the city municipality are never adequate to meet the magnitude of its challenges. While this is true of many district cities in Karnataka and also larger cities, given the educational, cultural and intellectual capital of the city4 Dharwad should have done better in the day-to-day governance problems that it has to contend with. The failure is not only in the functioning of its institutions but also in its civil society.5 Our observation from the field and the problems of Dharwad clearly point to a lack of social capital in addressing the issues concerning the dayto-day governance of the city. This is despite its great and extraordinary achievements in the sphere of high culture. Our case is that a major impetus to urban governance comes from governance institutions and the local–civil society synergy, through which the quality of urban governance can be significantly improved. While there are citizen issues in urban governance, the effectiveness of citizenship is often in inverse proportion to the size of a city, which tends to cause indifference and civic apathy.6 In this aspect, especially in terms of social capital and governance, there is no denying the contrast between Udupi and Dharwad. The question as to why while Udupi does well in this regard but Dharwad does not, despite all its cultural and intellectual capital, is still a puzzling question. The Human Development Report of Dharwad puts the city’s urban scenario in the following words: The urban population in Dharwad has increased from 8.8 lakhs in 2001 to 10.5 lakhs in 2011 at a rate of 19 percent during the ten year period. Rate of increase in urban population is slightly higher than the total population, which has increased by 15 percent. As a result, the percentage of population residing in urban areas has moved up slightly from 55 percent in 2001 to 57 percent in 2011. PP: 254 There are six urban local bodies (ULBs) in Dharwad district, and the total urban population is 57 percent, of which 90 percent live in the HubliDharwad twin cities. Dharwad was the headquarters of the collectorate in Bombay Province and Hubli a municipal borough of Greater Bombay. When Karnataka was formed in 1956, the then rulers thought that these should come together, and in 1962, these two were merged and their corporation was called Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation. It is the second-biggest and the oldest corporation after Bangalore. Dharwad enjoys a reputation as a place for retired persons, with its calm and quiet environment. Recently, its population has increased due to rapid employment opportunities. Also, a high court branch was established recently 39

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Table 3.4 A profile of Udupi and Dharwad in 2011 District/Indicator

Udupi

Hubli-Dharwad

Total population Population density Literacy rate Sex ratio Growth rate of population (1991–2001) Schedule caste (SC) population (%) Schedule tribe (ST) population (%)

1,34,270 1,706 83 1,031 females/1,000 males 62.8

9,17,349 3,648 71.3 950 females/1,000 males 21.27

5.2

7.8

3.7

5.2

Source: Compiled from Samuel Paul et al. (2012). Note: SC = ; ST = .

in Dharwad. The rural people, especially from nearby villages, have migrated to Dharwad for education and employment in the educational institutions there, such as the engineering, dental and medical colleges functioning in the city. A campus of the Indian Institute of Technology also recently opened in Dharwad. The main problem of the city is water supply and solid waste management. Households and shops in the city, which has as many as 24 slums, do not segregate the waste. There is no proper treatment of the disposed waste. Municipal Pourakarmikas (municipal workers) are fewer in number, and they are not efficient in solid waste management. They dump the waste on roadsides instead of using the garbage bin, and this creates water pollution. The open drainage system is not maintained properly. Although there are a few NGOs working in the field of health and education, there are no effective ones on urban issues like cleanliness, waste management and open drainage system. With good cooperation and effective public participation, governance can be improved. While this is the situation of the district headquarters, the smaller cities suffer from worse conditions. There are some issues with agricultural marketing as well. Now, ULBs are taxing houses and are able to get good funds, which can be spent on amenities. Recently, they increased the taxes in Dharwad. Housing conditions are improving, many more new buildings are coming up and agricultural land has been converted to non-agricultural and residential purposes. Many private companies are engaged in the construction of new buildings and land sales. We conducted interviews in Dharwad on different aspects of the city and the interviews reveal that in terms of urban structure, Dharwad has not seen many changes, partly because it is not an industrial city. The only observable urban structures have been built for cultural and educational purposes, for which the city is well known. Hence, Dharwad is not seeing any change in 40

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terms of public service and other deliverables. There has not been any major improvement in drinking water supply or in drainage management. The lack of progress here has had the effect of increasing health problems, which are linked to poor-quality water, open drainage and the non-disposal of urban solid waste. Widening of roads has become difficult in the city, hampered by illegal constructions and an uneven landscape. The increasing number of private vehicles in almost all localities has reduced the open space available for safe transport. Known as a city of seven lakes originally, Dharwad has lost several open tanks due to urbanization. For instance, a popularly known tank called the Yamikeri tank has totally dried up, and recent efforts to de-silt and de-weed several lakes have proved ineffectual as there is no governance in terms of regulations, maintenance and awareness about lakes. Considering the drinking water problem, the 24/7 water supply scheme has been implemented on an experimental basis in Hubli-Dharwad twin cities. Currently, only two wards of Dharwad are being covered. A recent study by the Centre for Multi-Disciplinary Development Research (CMDR), located in Dharwad, about the functioning of 24/7 water supply scheme makes some references to the increasing cost of water and the difficulties in delivering it in slum areas. The burden of increasing water rates seems to be coming from the way of the scheme is effectively implemented. There is a general problem of water shortage in the twin cities because of supply constraints from the nearby Malaprabha River. Drawing additional water from the MahadayiRiver would depend on the Supreme Court–appointed tribunal, and therefore, at least in the near future, it may be difficult for the twin cities to ensure a 24/7 water supply in all the wards. Governance of Dharwad The respondents of the interviews think that because of the expansion of a number of higher education and training institutions there is a flow of young people into the city. The city, known as a haven for senior, elderly and retired persons, is now finding it difficult to engage the younger generation in taking an active part in matters of governance. Eliciting public cooperation has not received much attention from the authorities for reasons such as non-availability of funds or non-response from the public. As a result, providing public parking places for vehicles or enforcing rules of road traffic is difficult, increasing governance issues. For instance, people are not willing to pay property taxes or charges for garbage collection. On the question of improving governance, the residents feel that the implementation of existing laws should be rigorous. And in smaller mohallas or localities, community-based associations and organizations, if they are trained and empowered, can handle issues related to garbage disposal and 41

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recycling, street lights, functioning of community libraries and maintenance of public parks and lakes. There is also a need to improve the communication between residents and the authorities. It is also necessary that the authorities should convene sub-ward level meetings with the public on city governance and participation matters. Housing conditions are reasonably good but there are not many urban spaces available for the settlement of the poor. In terms of planning, the city doesn’t seem to have such a concept. If planning is done at all, it is only for the central part of the city, identifying exclusively the key educational institutions and residential areas. Smaller towns and cities such as Dharwad exhibit a historical problem; they grow from small cultural groups, and so they show reluctance in adopting new trends. It was therefore not unexpected that there has not been much planning in Dharwad; only in Hubli has there been some urban planning, but this has been at a basic level. Solid waste disposal and an open drainage system happen to be the major governance problems of Dharwad city. The respondents to the interviews said that the problem of solid waste management has not received the full attention of the authorities, with a shortage of funds being cited as one of the reasons for poor maintenance of open drainage. Also, managing drainage in Dharwad’s uneven landscape is not easy. Downstream colonies complain about overflowing drainage water and accumulating waste, and unless disposal and dispersal of drainage water are undertaken at different heights and locations, the downstream colonies will face dumping from the richer, upstream colonies, which enjoy a clean environment. There is an urgent need to build an underground drainage system in the market areas of the city. Although there is said to be some improvement in the drinking water supply, the sanitation question is still unresolved in Dharwad. The civic bodies are struggling to provide drinking water and sanitation to all the wards. The slums and the poor are worst affected by the situation. An increased water supply but a lack of sanitation further worsens the situation of the urban slums. The Human Development Report highlights these problems quite clearly when it mentions the following: The worsening urban poverty and concomitant deprivations are the other issues that are becoming serious day by day. Provision of drinking water, sanitation, solid waste management and poverty are the major urban problems that have implications for HDI [Human Development Index] of urban residents. (pp. 254–255) As the Human Development Report of Dharwad itself says, the percentage of slums has a positive co-relation with the size of the ULB and the population that resides in them is from the most marginalized sections, such as SCs and STs. 42

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The point, however, is that drinking water and sanitation are the duties of the ULBs and the rights of all the citizens. They are not to be sold at a price. With increasing urbanization in the country, the need for urban governance can only increase because increasing urbanization will bring in more and more poor into the urban areas. To recapitulate our basic four questions in the context of Dharwad: How is the district city planning taking place? How is the delivery of basic services such as drinking water and sanitation? To what extent is the governance of the city effective? Finally, are there issues of social capital? When we examine these questions, the answers are on the following lines. Dharwad city planning and governance still are with the district commissioner’s office and the municipal commissioner’s office. The role of legislators in city governance is at best unclear, and the bureaucracy calls all the shots. We have discussed at some length the drinking water situation in Dharwad. The World Bank–implemented 24/7 water project has not yet been fully extended to all the wards in the city. And it poses the problem of higher water and collection charges. Sanitation in Dharwad city has improved during 2016–2018, and although Dharwad lags behind Udupi in sanitation, there is hope that civic services are being improved. Our recent interviews with CMDR academics working on this issue show that the municipality is taking steps to improve sanitation. The more important problem, however, is social capital. For one thing, Dharwad comes under the municipal corporation of the twin-city HubliDharwad, and for another, it is a much bigger city than Udupi. The economiesof-scale argument does not work very well here, and the size of the city also makes it difficult to manage. And there are ethnic divisions. The problem of communalism, which is nearly absent in Udupi, is serious in Dharwad. A city with this kind of intellectual capital and quality should not have a communal problem. But its high culture, in terms of academics, literature and music, does not seem to have averted it. There is also considerable civic apathy, and citizen participation in governance does not seem to be as highs in Udupi. Udupi Udupi is a coastal city of Karnataka. With a population of 1,65,401 (according to the 2011 census), it is also a temple city known for its Krishna temple and many Hindu monasteries. It has a municipal council. The Udupi district Human Development Report, 2008(Government of Karnataka, 2008) gives the introduction to the district in the following words: Udupi is one of the twenty-seven districts in Karnataka state. It was formed on 24th August 1997, carved out of the erstwhile Dakshina Kannada (South Canara) district with three blocks namely, Udupi, Karkala and Kundapura. Udupi city is the district headquarters. 43

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Historically it was part of Vijaynagar kingdom and subsequently under Mysore rule. During the British rule, it came under Madras Presidency. With the formation of linguistic states in 1956, it got merged with Karnataka state. Along with Dakshina Kannada, it is commonly known as ‘Tulu Nadu’. With the view of understanding the governance of the city, we asked the following questions during our fieldwork: How is the city planning taking place? How is the delivery of basic services such as drinking water and sanitation? To what extent is the governance of the city effective? Finally, are there issues of social capital? We discuss what we found next. Udupi is a district city governed by the 74th Amendment to the Constitution and is remarkably well governed. It has underground drainage and sanitation and surplus drinking water. The city municipality functions effectively and provides basic civic services such as drinking water and sanitation. The city council is elected periodically and follows the provisions of the Constitution strictly. Any visit to the city leaves us with a striking impression of its cleanliness and its well-organized and well-functioning urban governance. What makes governance work in Udupi? The reason is the active and informed citizenry which, with its vocal civil society,7 keeps the city municipality accountable.8 Different civil society organizations, such as the Citizens Consumers’ Forum (CCF), conduct regular interaction meetings between citizens and the municipality. The other specific features of Udupi are that the two main political parties in the city, the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and their leaders not only win elections periodically but also take an active interest in the affairs of the municipality whether in the opposition or ruling9 side. The city has resource persons on the 74th Amendment and its implementation in Karnataka, whose services are also utilized by the State Institute of Urban Development, Mysore. The municipal bureaucracy is accountable to both the political parties and the citizens.10 According to the 74th Amendment, the District Planning Committee has to conduct urban and rural integrated planning. But in the entire Karnataka, as elsewhere in India, a small cell in the district commissioner’s office conducts the urban planning. The same is the case with Udupi11 The difference is that rural plans are prepared by District Planning Committee and elected zilla panchayat (ZP) in all districts in Karnataka. The functioning of urban planning alone does not distinguish Udupi from other district-level urban cities in the state.12 What distinguishes Udupi from many other cities is the social capital of political parties, which manage the city municipality with remarkable cooperation, and the active civil society and citizens’ forums, which keep the municipality and political parties accountable.13 The concept of ‘governance’, by its simplest definition, means a ‘pattern of rule’, and the current usage and definition of governance mean bringing non-governmental 44

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agencies, either private market institutions or civil society agencies, into the pattern of rule (Bevir, 2011). This is meant to enhance the effectiveness of the rule. However, the effectiveness of the latter requires trust, norms and reciprocity between different actors or, in other words, social capital. This is what appears to be relatively higher in Udupi, and that is why governance is more effective than in the case of Dharwad, where such social capital is less. Udupi has been developed fairly well, although the roads inside the city are narrow and need widening. Udupi’s administration also found innovative ways of dealing with specific problems like mobility. Udupi has not seen the kind of urbanization and industrialization that the nearby urban agglomeration Mangalore has seen over the years. When we compare Udupi and Mangalore, we can see the huge difference in culture and politics.Is there a drinking water problem in the city? There is none as Udupi is very well administered, with development aspects like roads, drinking water, drainage and sanitation having been dealt with systematically and stage by stage. Urban poverty is conspicuous in Mangalore but not that much in Udupi. But there is some fragmentation, as it is easy to distinguish between a modern Udupi, which is developed with highways, and a traditional Udupi, which still maintains its culture and tradition. There are some striking features of its social composition. The traditional bania class has taken up education, banking and hospitality and is the most articulate class in Udupi. The Brahmins have moved into different professions like teaching, schools, colleges and banking. The Konkani population, which is into business, is also articulate. Besides these groups, there are Bunts and Billavas (local caste groups). But Muslims in Udupi are virtually marginal, although in Mangalore, they are very prominent and active in the real estate business. Roads, water supply and drainage system: The topography of Udupi is not flat, and so it’s difficult to plan any water supply schemes. Despite this, the Swarna drinking water project in the city is the best in the state, and it works 24/7. Of late, the citizens and the municipal administration have focused on road connectivity and widening. The main problem in Udupi is solid waste management, especially in its segregation, and the habit, common among the people, of throwing the waste wherever they like. Solid waste segregation is a scientific process, and many people do not know how to segregate. There is a well-functioning ZP office in Udupi, which prepares the rural plans. But the urban/city planning is done entirely by the municipality. The remarkable aspect, however, is that the municipal council makes the city municipality work very efficiently. The municipal office is accountable to the municipal council. As our interviews show, the municipality keeps the streets exceptionally clean – for a district city in India – and there is no drinking water supply problem. The only civic service that is not in perfect condition is the drainage. The city as yet does not have 100 percent underground drainage, and therefore, it is a problem. 45

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As in the other districts in Karnataka, the integration of urban plans into rural plans, to be carried out by the ZP, is a problem in Udupi too. The municipality and the urban cell in the district collector’s office call all the shots. How is the city governance? City governance is remarkably effective and efficient. This is because there is a synergy between the citizens of Udupi and the city municipal council. There is also remarkable social capital among the citizens of Udupi irrespective of the political party in power. Congress and the BJP come together to pressure the municipal council to work for the effective delivery of services. Sanitation in the city is a prominent example. The city also has well-functioning public libraries, and remarkably, even the hoteliers’ association takes a keen interest in the upkeep, sanitation and civic services of the city. The city’s governance works effectively because of this. The city’s slums are located in Manipal, where migrant workers who have come from Hyderabad, Karnataka, and other parts of the country live. Even they said during the interviews that drinking water and sanitation, the basic civic services, are not a problem for them. Municipal councillors do attend to their problems. The major advantage of the city is the civic culture of its citizens and its manageable size, which is not the case with the other cities under consideration here. Comparison of Udupi and Dharwad Udupi and Dharwad are cities of different sizes, although both are district cities. The law governing them is the same. However, in Dharwad, the functioning of governance is found wanting, owing to the fact that there are hardly any civic associations working on urban issues, and the populace is not organized into civic associations to pressurize the local government to deliver better. The city has serious drinking water and sanitation problems. Udupi city, too, has similar problems, but it is better governed owing to better social capital, more civic associations and better civic awareness regarding urban governance. The city is contiguous to the state of Kerala, and some of the civic culture of public action is visible in this city, too, whereas in Dharwad, this is conspicuous by its absence. Also, the scale of the functioning of governance matters. In smaller cities, although economies of scale may not obtain in a big way, the governance function can be better. Bigger cities like Dharwad are difficult to manage. As the cities grow bigger than this, the governability of the cities becomes even more difficult. At least in the legal, political and economic conditions that presently obtain. Besides, the city of Dharwad has a communal problem too and has seen some of the worst consequences of the problem whereas Udupi is a small coastal temple town with less of a communal problem. However, the city of Udupi also came under the scanner of social movements, and the Dalit movement in Karnataka has begun to question the Brahminical Hindu culture of Udupi. 46

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Besides these, both the cities are governed by a small cell in the deputy commissioner’s office (DPC). DPCs are only namesakes so far as urban planning and governance are concerned. According to the constitution these functions should allocated or devolved to the local bodies and that has not been done. Thus, in this context, both cities function with less devolution, a few devoted urban functionaries and scarce funds. If this is the case with cities in Karnataka, known for progressive decentralization drives in the past, the situation in Andhra Pradesh, where local governance bodies are always marginalized, can only be imagined.

Andhra Pradesh Urbanization in Andhra Pradesh Urban studies are highly neglected in Andhra Pradesh and studies similar to that of Lakshmana (2018) are not available for Andhra Pradesh. From the urbanization point of view, following the 2011 census, we can make three observations: (1) urbanization in Andhra Pradesh has seen the spectacular growth of the primate city of Hyderabad; (2) the number of other urban agglomerations, too, has increased steadily from 15 in 1991 to 58 in 2011, and Andhra Pradesh has also witnessed a very high growth of slum population: from 12 percent in 2001 to 15.6 percent – this is second only to Maharashtra, which has the highest percentage of slum population in the country in 2011. Maharashtra, along with a very high rate of urbanization, also had 22 percent of the country’s total slum population in 2001 and 18.1 per cent in 2011. In 2011, together these two states accounted for nearly 40 percent of the total slum population of the country. These facts taken together should amply illuminate the nature of urbanization in United Andhra Pradesh. Mahabubnagar Mahabubnagar is a district city in Telangana with a total population of 2,17,942 in 2011. The city is governed by a municipality. Mahabubnagar is one of the least urbanized districts in the current Telangana state. The city of Mahabubnagar consists of 41 wards. Of its total population, 74,244, 38.99 percent live in slums. There are a total of 12 ULBs in Mahabubnagar district. There are 87 notified slums, with many others not notified. Except for Achchampet, elections were conducted for all the ULBs. A ward committee government order has not been implemented in this city yet. But the city will form the ward committees soon. The ULBs, as with the municipalities, are financially self-sufficient. They received the 13th and 14th Finance Commission grants and other grants from the state government. Further taxes and resources are to be mobilized. There is a great potential for mobilizing 47

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resources for the municipality, and if and when that is done, the municipality will have a surplus. Already it has a surplus budget. There is certainly no shortage of funds. While conducting research for this case study, we asked the same questions that we asked in other cities, namely How is the district city planning taking place? How is the delivery of basic services such as drinking water and sanitation? To what extent is the governance of the city effective?Finally, are there issues of social capital? And we present what we found next. Governance of Mahabubnagar14 Regarding the drinking water supply, the earlier municipality used to supply water once every four to five days. Now they are supplying water once every three to four days. Hard water for bathing, washing and so forth is provided every day. The municipality is providing Krishna water for drinking purposes. For this, the charges collected are Rs. 100 per month. There is no metering of drinking water usage. It is a flat rate per household. Regarding sanitation, the municipal commissioner says that it has definitely improved in the last year. Previously, the sanitation workers were working only in a single shift during morning; now they are working in two shifts from 5:30 a.m.to 10:30 a.m. and again from 2 p.m.to 5 p.m. There is no indiscriminate dumping of solid waste and garbage. The city has 25 acres of wasteland where garbage is being dumped. Currently, there are 425 sanitary workers in the municipality. Of these, 143 are permanent, and the others are on contract or from outsourced companies, the latter forming the majority. The total required number of sanitation workers is 522. The plans for the ULBs are prepared by municipalities and are submitted to the Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP). The ULBs come under the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department of the state government. It is not the district collector’s office which prepares the urban plans but the municipal bodies. The plans are then submitted to the DTCP directly. The city’s growth is neither haphazard nor planned; it is happening in an adhoc manner. Private layouts and buildings are built, and later they are regularized. At the sub-district level of urban bodies, there is not much planning. Problems of the city15 The city is changing slowly. It faces the problem of migration. Many youths in urban areas migrate from Mahabubnagar to Hyderabad and other places for jobs and education. In rural areas, people migrate frequently to Mumbai, which is a seasonal phenomenon. There is always a ‘Mumbai bus’. But the migration to urban areas is permanent. None who migrate from the town come back. 48

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City infrastructure is very poor. Internal roads are very narrow. Once, a strict commissioner wanted to remove all the commercial hoardings and widen the roads, but he could not succeed because political pressure was exerted on him to stop it. Businesspeople also put pressure on him through political leaders not to remove or change the hoardings in the city. The city is now dominated by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), but Congress, which ruled the city for a long time, and the BJP have a presence. The city’s population is 60 percent Hindu and 40 percent Muslim. Communal tension is common, especially on occasions such as Ganesh Chaturthi and when religious processions are taken out. Being close to Hyderabad, it is particularly prone to the effects of the old city of Hyderabad. Whatever happens in the old city of Hyderabad, such as communal tension, echoes in Mahabubnagar. Generally, there is communal harmony. The Hindus go to Abdul KhaderDarga, and the Muslims participate in Ganesh Chaturthi processions. This is usually the case. During Urs, which is a Muslim Jatara, Hindus also join. But communal tensions flare when outsiders or political parties play the communal card. All parties, knowingly or unknowingly, incite religious discord at such times. Transport is entirely by autos, and thousands of autos ply the city. The demand for road transport is very high, and vehicles, including cars, have increased many fold. The drinking water shortage is severe. The municipal supply comes once every six days. In the summer, the municipality supplies water through tankers. But that is not sufficient for the season. At the same time, there are many water-purifying plants – of the reverse-osmosis type – making hard water into drinking water, and these are doing good business. The entire district is affected by drought and water scarcity, and so is the city. So far as drainage is concerned, new colonies have underground drainage, but old colonies have only overground or open drainage systems. Open drains are found in almost 80 percent of the city. Only 20 percent of people enjoy underground drainage facilities. The number of private hospitals is growing day by day. The demand for them is high. At the same time, government hospitals are shrinking and stinking. One cannot even stand in a government hospital for two minutes because of the stench. There are few public toilets. The ones in existence are either uncared for or in decay. The open drainage, which covers 80 percent of the city, is a major reason for health problems. With no upkeep of the city, most youth migrate elsewhere for employment. And, in rural areas, people migrate to Mumbai for their livelihoods. To recapitulate our research questions: How is the district city planning taking place? How is the delivery of basic services, such as drinking water and sanitation? To what extent is the governance of the city effective? Finally, are there issues of social capital? 49

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In Mahabubnagar, city planning is almost absent, and growth is taking place in an ad hoc manner. Delivery of basic services is sought to be improved, but both drinking water and sanitation are major problems. City governance is far from effective, particularly in the functioning of its municipality and its relationship with citizens. Finally, inter-ethnic relations are sensitive. In normal times, the city is a model of social harmony and cohesion, but the situation can turn volatile when ‘primate city’ Hyderabad shows signs of communal tensions. Mahabubnagar is the largest district in Telangana, with an area of 18,342 square kilometres, and accounts for 16 percent of the total area of the state. Its population of 40.53 lakh constitutes 11.5 percent of the state’s total and is the second highest after Ranga Reddy district. This district has an urban population of 15 percent and is said to be one of the ‘least urbanised districts’ (Centre for Economic and Social Studies, 2016). As much as 38.9 percent of the urban population lives in slums, and according to the 2011 census, in Narayanpet, one of the towns/nagar panchayats of the district, almost 90 percent of the population are said to be living in slums. In the Human Development Report of 2007: Andhra Pradesh (Centre for Economic and Social Studies, 2007), the ranking of the district is as low as 23;that is the district has the least Human Development Index (HDI) of all. Mahabubnagar is the district capital, and its population is 2,17,942. Of the total population of the city, 40 percent are Muslims. Thus, the city has an ethnically heterogeneous population, unlike the other three cities sought to be compared in this study. Kurnool At the time of the British regime, Kurnool was a jagir of semi-independent Nawab. After independence in 1947, Kurnool became part of the state of Madras. Subsequently, in 1953, 11northern districts of Madras state were carved out to give birth to Andhra Pradesh state, and Kurnool had the privilege of being the first capital of the newly formed state. Again in 1956, the Telangana region, which had been part of Hyderabad state till then, was added to Andhra Pradesh, and since then, Hyderabad has been the capital of Andhra Pradesh. Kurnool district lies between the northern latitudes of 14° 54′ and 16° 18′ and eastern longitudes of 76° 58′ and 79° 34′, with an altitude of about100 feet above the mean sea level. This district is bounded by the Tungabhadra and Krishna Rivers and the Mahabubnagar district in the north. Kadapa and Anantapur districts are the neighbouring districts for the southern part of Kurnool district. The western part of Kurnool district is bordered by the Bellary district of Karnataka state. Prakasam district is situated in the eastern part of Kurnool district. At this juncture, it is interesting to note the fact that Kurnool, which is a city in the district, is the only city in India which is located in between two rivers: Tungabhadra and Hundri. 50

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The total geographical area of Kurnool district is 177,000 square kilometres, which is about 11 per cent of the total geographical area of Andhra Pradesh state. As per the land-use data of 2014–2015, the district is using 51.8 per cent of its total geographical area for agricultural purposes, and another 19.29 per cent of the area is occupied by forest. As per the 2011 census, the Kurnool district has a total population of 40.53 lakhs. Out of this, 71.65 per cent of the population are residing in rural areas of the district, and the remaining 28.35 per cent are urbanites. By and large, the district has an equal proportion of male and female population in its total population. However, there are 988 males for every 1,000 females in the district. A random sample survey was conducted in Kurnool city with 30 male respondents. The findings of the survey are as follows: Participation in NGOs and civil society • • • • •

To the question of whether the respondents were members of any civic group or NGO, all the respondents said no. Asked if any civic groups were working in their ward or colony, all the respondents (100 percent) said no. Asked whether they believed NGOs or civic groups could help solve the city’s problems, 66 percent said no; 34 percent said yes. When asked to name any particular NGO that could solve the city’s problems, no respondent (i.e. 100 percent) could provide an answer. When asked whether the respondents had trust in NGOs and civic groups, 38 percent said yes; 62 percent said no.

Political participation and parties • • • •





When we asked whether the respondents vote in municipal elections, 100 percent said yes. On being asked whether they were members of any political party, 90 percent said no, and 10 percent said yes. To the question whether the municipality responded to civic problems, 82 percent said yes; 18 percent said no. On being asked whether the respondents ever met the municipal councillor on their own, all the respondents said yes. When we asked whether the councillor on his or her own ever met the respondents, the answer was again 100 percent yes. On being asked whether the political parties cooperated among themselves to solve the city’s problems, all said yes. To the question of whether the political parties caused obstruction in solving the city’s problems, the answer was 100 percent no. On being asked as to which party the respondents thought could solve the city’s problems, 72 percent said the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), 12 51

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percent said Yuvajana Sramika Rythu (YSR) Congress Party, 2 percent said the INC, 2 percent said the TRS and the remaining 10 percent refused to answer the question On whether they had overall trust in political parties, 88 percent said yes and 12 percent said no.

City’s problems: sanitation and drinking water • • • • •

On being asked whether garbage removal and solid waste disposal were a problem in the city, 60 percent said no; 40 percent said yes. Asked whether sanitation was a problem in the city, 96 percent respondents said yes, and 4 percent said no. To the question of whether drinking water was a problem, 56 percent said no, and 44 percent said yes. On being asked whether they paid charges for garbage removal, 98 percent said no. Only 2 percent said yes. Asked whether they paid charges for drinking water, 64 percent said yes; 36 percent said no.

Comparing Mahabubnagar and Kurnool: summing up case studies Regarding civic participation in NGOs and civil society in Mahabubnagar, we come across the same situation as in Dharwad. While there are no civic agencies such as NGOs working closely with citizens, the citizens themselves feel that they can potentially provide solutions to the city’s problems. The respondents interviewed expressed high faith in them in both the cities of Dharwad and Mahabubnagar. In Mahabubnagar, nearly 90 percent expressed faith in the NGOs, and only 10 percent said they did not believe in them. Active political participation was reported in terms of voting in municipal elections, and nearly 70 percent have met the councillors on their own. And there is also, reportedly, high trust in political parties. The overall trust in political parties is about 64 percent, with 36 percent saying that they do not trust that political parties can solve the cities’ problems. Regarding garbage removal and solid waste disposal, 64 percent reported dissatisfaction in Mahabubnagar, with complaints about sanitation from almost 90 percent of the population. Drinking water is scarce or of poor quality for 98 percent of the respondents. This is in spite of the fact that 78 percent had to pay charges for drinking water. But the grave situation for drinking water was to be expected as the city forms part of an extremely drought-prone region. In Kurnool, too, the near-total absence of civil society and NGOs comes out clearly. Participation in them is near zero. The trust in civil society and NGOs also happens to be less: only 34 percent of the respondents believe 52

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that they can help solve the city’s problems. The overall faith in NGOs is at 38 percent. Sixty-two percent do not believe in NGO public action regarding the city’s problems. This comes as somewhat of a surprise because traditionally, of the three regions of Andhra Pradesh, that is Telangana, Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, the latter is supposed to have a high density of civil society organizations. Kurnool city falls in this region. That is why the absence of NGOs in the city is surprising. Political awareness and participation appear to be high in Kurnool. High trust in political parties is noticed in this city. On being asked which party can solve the problems of the city, 72 percent said that it is the TDP. The rest of the major parties of the region, such as YSR Congress and the INC, are only trusted by a minor proportion of the respondents. Regarding the problems of the city, 60 percent do not face any issues in garbage and solid waste disposal. However, for as many as 96 percent of the residents, sanitation is a problem. For nearly 45 percent, drinking water is scarce. The Andhra Pradesh story tells us that for as many as 98 percent of citizens drinking water is a major problem. In Kurnool, 96 percent face poor sanitation. Political participation is high in both places. However, the citizens of Mahabubnagar have more faith in NGO and civil society action; in Kurnool, such faith is low. However, in both the cities there is a near absence of NGOs and civic groups working on urban issues that concern the basic existence of citizens.

Urbanization and governance in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh: a comparison Urbanization in both Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are to a large extent similar. Both have seen the growth of primate cities of Bengaluru and Hyderabad, driven by IT-, ITES- and biotechnology-led growth. The population concentration is marked. Both have also seen the relative neglect of lowertier cities. However, the comparisons stop there. When we compare the two, Karnataka certainly fares better in terms of overall urban scenario. This is because there is more consciousness of urban reality in Karnataka. In Andhra Pradesh, this is near absent. Karnataka has a State Institute of Urban Development. Andhra Pradesh has none. The policy makers of Karnataka have prepared a document titled ‘Urban Development Policy for Karnataka’. In Andhra Pradesh, this was never done. Coming to governance and planning at the district level, although both Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have similar laws, in Karnataka, DPCs exist and district planning takes place regularly. Of course, district planning in Karnataka is still largely rural. And the urban component is near missing. On the other hand, in Andhra Pradesh, DPCs do not exist even in name. The district urban planning is still done by the Town Planning Department. There is not even a word uttered anywhere in the media and public sphere regarding this in Andhra Pradesh. Of course, 53

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there is a strong similarity in governance in both the states in the sense that the bureaucracy takes the lion’s share in district-level governance. In Karnataka, the district-level urban governance is carried out from a small unit in the deputy commissioner’s office. The same function is handled by the bureaucracy of the municipal commissioner’s office in Andhra Pradesh. However, when we compare the overall scenario, certainly there is more consciousness about the emerging urban reality, urban chaos and urban issues in Karnataka than in Andhra Pradesh. In Andhra Pradesh, the cities are still ‘un-self-conscious’, to use a Hegelian phrase. When the cities and their policy makers wake up to the emerging reality in Andhra Pradesh it may already be too late. This is in spite of or because of the talk of making the capital city a ‘global city’ while neglecting all the other cities and towns in Andhra Pradesh (or in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana now). This chapter dealt with Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, wherein we found highly concentrated urban growth patterns and neglect of district-tier cities in terms of governance. Local democracy, too, was somewhat vibrant only in one district of the sample that we examined, namely Udupi. In other cities, the concept of local democracy is a far-fetched one. In the following chapter, we examine the urbanization pattern in the two southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In these states, the pattern of urbanization is much unlike in the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in that the process is much more dispersed and spread across the entirety of the states. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala, we observe that there are many cities other than the state capitals, which have more or less equivalent populations. Thus, in the next chapter, we will see how these patterns compare to each other. The findings of the forthcoming chapter have crucial policy implication for the urbanization process in the country.

Notes 1 An earlier version of this chapter was published as Anil Kumar Vaddiraju, ‘District-Level Urban Governance Policies in India: Cities of Neglect?’ Urban India, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 134–142. Copyright © 2019 NIUA. Reprinted by permission of National Institute of Urban Affairs. Parts of this chapter are forthcoming as ‘District Level Urban Governance Policies in India: Cities of Neglect?’ Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, Vol. 17, No. 4. 2 Methodology of the research includes interviewing the officials and non-officials of Dharwad city. Among non-officials, we have interviewed scholars from the Centre for Multi-Disciplinary Research Centre. 3 For instance, a noted political scientist in Karnataka and resident of Dharwad has this to say about the situation of the society and community of Dharwad: ‘What is [the] use of giving power to people, when there is no exercise of power, until and unless government is ready (and sets out to govern) one cannot govern them. Caste is very vibrant and politically active in Dharwad; Lingayats are a commanding community in terms of education, literacy and economy and culture, and of course dalits are large in number but they lack resources. Communalism is present, is very strong and it stands to be [an] important element in [the] political system’.

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4 We have conducted interviews (from April 23–26, 2014) with scholars at Karnataka University, Centre for Multi-Disciplinary Research; municipal and planning officials; local observers; and with journalists who have been living in the city for a long time. The names are too numerous to mention here. They all agree on the basic problems of the city while mentioning its cultural and intellectual greatness. There is indeed a methodological problem here inasmuch as in the case of Udupi we interviewed leaders of political parties whereas in the case of Dharwad we interviewed academics and officials. Our only reason for this is that this is ongoing research, and we need some more time and work to arrive at similar comparisons. However, the basic theme of the chapter holds. Also, sources such as the Human Development Report were not available for this district at the time of writing. 5 A professor of Karnataka University Dharwad makes the point thus: ‘Now look at the infrastructure growth. It is terribly backward, why? People never demand anything . . . social networking is terribly bad and we also see that social capital is very weak (and) even now they don’t come together, they don’t mix together, they don’t demand and ask for anything nor they state anything’. This observation sums up the point we are trying to elaborate. 6 The question of civic apathy in urban areas regarding urban governance and governance in general is surprising. Urban areas always usually have higher literacy rates than rural areas, for example, about 80 percent in India; still, the voting percentages are lower in urban areas, civic participation also is less and civic apathy is more in contrast to rural areas. Why is this so? Is it to do with the type of education and literacy or the kind of society that exists in urban areas generally, with its impersonality and individualism? We can only wonder at this phenomenon. 7 Human Development Report of Udupi, 2008 mentions the civil society organizations in Udupi district: ‘Udupi District is blessed with a large number of NGOs and voluntary agencies actively involved in human development initiatives’; in this chapter, however, we concentrate on urban governance. The fact, however, holds that civil society is active in this district. pp. 4-5. 8 Interview with convenor of CCF (Citizens’ Consumers Forum), Udupi. 9 Interview with BJP leader, Udupi. 10 Interview with municipal officials, Udupi. 11 Interview with chief planning officer, Zilla Panchayat Udupi. 12 Interview with deputy commissioner’s office, Udupi. 13 The interviews with INC political leaders and the current municipal commissioner also corroborate this. Both political parties acknowledge the role of civic groups in the governance of the city, and the current Congress Party leadership does acknowledge the role of the opposition party in city governance. 14 This part of the research is based on the interview with the municipal commissioner, Mahabubnagar city on February 16, 2016, at Mahabubnagar. 15 This part of the research is based on the interview with a resident of the city of Mahabubnagar for the past 35 years.

References Bevir, Mark (2011) ‘Governance as Theory, Practice and Dilemmas’ in Mark Bevir (ed.) The Sage Handbook of Governance, London: Sage, pp. 1–16. Browning, Clyde E. (1989) Year Book (Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers), Vol.15, pp. 71–78(accessed from JSTOR). Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Human Development Report 2007: Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad: Centre for Economic and Social Studies, pp. 13–14.

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Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Human Development in Telangana State 2016: District Profiles, Hyderabad: Centre for Economic and Social Studies, pp. 46–47. Government of Karnataka (2008) Human Development Report of Udupi, 2008, Bangalore: Government of Karnataka. Government of Karnataka (2009) Urban Development Policy for Karnataka, 2009, Bangalore: Urban Development Department, Government of Karnataka. Government of Karnataka (2014) Dharwad District Human Development Report, 2014, Bangalore: Government of Karnataka. Jefferson, Mark (1939) ‘The Law of the Primate City’ Geographical Review, Vol.29, pp. 226–232. Kundu, Amitabh (2009, November 28) ‘Exclusionary Urbanization in Asia: A Macro Overview’ Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. XLIV, No. 48, pp. 48–58. Lakshmana, C.M. (2018) Regional Inequality of Urban Growth: A Study in Karnataka, Bangalore: Institute for Social and Economic Change. Mutlu, Servet (1989) ‘Urban Concentration and Primacy Revisited: An Analysis and Some Policy Conclusions’ Economic Development and Cultural Change, Vol.37, No.3, pp. 611–639 (accessed from JSTOR). Paul, Samuel, Kala Seetharam Sridhar, A. Venugopal Reddy and Pavan Srinath (2012) The State of Our Cities: Evidence from Karnataka, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Shaw, Annapurna (1996) ‘Urban Policy in Post-Independent India’ Economic and Political Weekly, 27 January 1996.

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4 KERALA AND TAMIL NADU Rapid urbanization and dispersed urban growth

There are broadly two strands of argument regarding the urbanization process in India. One, the urbanization process is centred on large urban agglomerations and is exclusionary in nature (Kundu, 2003, 2014); two, the process is taking place primarily through the spread of small towns and census towns and is a dispersed pattern of urbanization (Guin and Das, 2015; Guin, 2019; Chakraborty, 2017). When viewed from these two points of view, the urbanization pattern in South India substantiates both the viewpoints. In the sense that the two large states, Karnataka and (United) Andhra Pradesh have witnessed an extraordinary growth of urban agglomerations of Bangalore and Hyderabad, with urban primacy being the main feature, while the two other states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala have experienced a more dispersed urbanization process over the inter-census period of 2001 to 2011. Thus, this chapter argues that while the urbanization pattern in the former two states, that is Karnataka and (United) Andhra Pradesh, exemplifies urban primacy and exclusionary urban growth, exacerbating urban–rural inequalities, the pattern of urbanization in the context of Kerala and Tamil Nadu has been more dispersed and thus, to a certain extent, more inclusive. This is particularly true in the case of Kerala with the emergence of a number of new small and census towns between 2001 and 2011. The urbanization pattern observed with respect of Tamil Nadu is also more or less the same. The former two states, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, support the argument put forth by Kundu (2003) whereas a dispersed pattern of urbanization withrespect to Kerala and Tamil Nadu substantiates the viewpoint made by Guin and Das (2015). These patterns of urbanization within South India are thus diverse and throw up challenges to policy making with respect to urbanization across different states within India in general, and South India in particular.

Kerala Historically, Kerala has a unique pattern of human habitation. The pattern is characterized by a rural–urban continuum rather than a spatial break between the rural and urban areas. To the eye of a casual observer, it is 57

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difficult in Kerala to make out what is an urban locality and what is rural. However, the scenario is fast-changing, and during the inter-census period of 2001 to 2011, Kerala urbanized at a fast pace. This urbanization process has been rapid and has taken place only in the decade between 2001 and 2011. As Table 4.1makes clear, the percentage of the urban population in Kerala was only 26 in 2001;however, it jumped to 47.7 percent in 2011. The Kerala State Urbanisation Report (Government of Kerala, 2012) explains the recent spurt in urbanization in the following words: The analysis of the components of urban growth, namely, natural increase, net migration and areal reclassification, reveals that urbanisation in Kerala is mainly due to areal reclassification and that the other two factors are comparatively insignificant in Kerala scenario. Areal reclassification is the declaration of a hitherto rural area as urban mainly due to the shift in occupational structure there from agriculture to other categories of employment making the percentage of non agricultural male workers greater than 75, thus satisfying the census criteria to declare an area as urban. This may not have [a] reflection in the physical development, but for [the] presence of nodes with significant built up to cater [to] the population in this area. (p. 106) The Report further observes that: Urbanisation in the state of Kerala shows marked peculiarities. Generally, [an] increase in urban population growth rate is the result of overconcentration in the existing cities especially million plus urban agglomerations. This is true in the case of urbanisation in the other states of India. However, in Kerala, the main reason for urban population growth is the increase in the number of urban areas as well as urbanisation of peripheral areas of existing major urban centres. The existence of more census towns (class 3&4 towns) shows [a] higher degree of dispersion of urban settlements. (p. 106) The Report makes clear the pattern of urban growth in Kerala: The higher order towns (Class I and II) in Kerala show a decline in growth of population whereas the lower order towns (Class III towns located mainly in the fringe areas of higher order towns) are growing. Analysis shows that the outgrowths of Class I towns and Class II towns show more growth (in population) than their core indicating a stage of suburbanisation in Kerala. (p. 106) 58

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Table 4.1 offers a panoptic view of urban development in Kerala in recent decades. The table presents the case of sudden spurt in urbanization during the period 2001 to 2011. This spurt in urbanization has happened primarily due to the increase in the number of Class III, IV and V towns. There are different arguments regarding this. One argument views this as essentially census activism. Scholars like Guin (2019), however, argue that this spurt in small towns should be taken as a genuine indicator of the urbanization process. The table exemplifies the nature of urbanization argued for by Guin. Furthermore, Table 4.2 illustrates the case of the growth of small towns in Kerala even more illuminatingly. The data clearly show that in Kerala, it is not the larger cities but the smaller towns and urban outgrowths which have grown far more rapidly in the recent period. And the table also shows that these account for the major part of the recent spurt of urbanization in the state. The same phenomenon is captured in a graphical manner in Figure 4.1. The graph clearly shows the increase in statutory towns and census towns in Kerala. The figure pertains specifically to the case of Kerala and captures the process taking place in the state. Table 4.2 clearly shows that Class III towns increased from 72 to 254, Class IV towns from 37 to 159 and Class V towns from 15 to 61. These count for the major part of the increase of the urbanization in Kerala. On the other hand, the 2011 census figures presented by the Union government tell us that the urban agglomerations, too, have increased in Kerala from 16 in 1991 to 19 in 2011. There is a difference in the data provided by both the State Urbanisation Report, which shows a decline in urban agglomerations, and the Union government’s census report, which shows a steady but not too steep increase in urban agglomerations in Kerala. There is a likelihood

Figure 4.1 Urbanization in Kerala, 1981–2011 Source: Prepared from the Census of India (1981, 1991, 2001, 2011).

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Table 4.1 Urbanization in Kerala, 2001–2011: a panoptic view Category of Population City/Town Range Class I Class II Class III Class IV Class V Class VI Total

1,000,000 and above 50,000–99,999 20,000–49,999 10,000–19,999 5,000–9,999 Less than 5,000

No. of Towns in 2001

Total Urban Population in 2001

No. of Total Urban Towns in Population 2011 in 2011

10

36,92,165

9

32,62,380

24 72 37 15 1 159

15,87,908 27,96,457 5,66,635 1,19,062 4,699 82,66,925

29 254 159 61 8 520

18,88,254 79,25,828 23,52,637 4,67,045 36,027 1,59,32,171

Source: Census of India (2011, Provisional Population Statistics).

Table 4.2 The growth of Class III, IV and V towns in Kerala Category of City/ Town

Population Range

No. of Towns in 2001

No of Towns in 2011

Class I Class II Class III Class IV Class V Class VI Total

1,000,000 and above 50,000–99,999 20,000–49,999 10,000–19,999 5,000–9,999 Less than 5,000

10 24 72 37 15 1 159

9 29 254 159 61 8 520

Source: Census of India (2011, Provisional Population Statistics).

that both are correct, and along with Class III, IV and V towns, Class I urban agglomerations also are on the rise. Whichever is the case, or if both are taken together, they present a different picture from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Certainly urban primacy is not the prevalent feature of Kerala; on the contrary, it is urban dispersal among many Class I to V towns that is the salient feature. The urban growth in Kerala during the inter-census period of 2001 to 2011 has been rapid. This has two highlights. One, it is not in the manner that Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have witnessed. Kerala has seen the growth of many urban centres besides a quantum jump in the number of census towns and statutory towns during the period. This is not merely because of ‘census activism’ or an aggressive registering of small places as ‘urban localities’. There was a genuine growth of the census and statutory towns and a number of urban agglomerations other than Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of the state.

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The recent growth trends pose new problems of urban governance in Kerala. The new census towns and statutory towns need new local governance institutions and mechanisms. While Kerala is well known for its achievements in the subject of local self-government, this is largely limited to rural areas, that is the Panchayati Raj Institutions. Now, in the light of new developments, Kerala has to provide a fresh impetus to urban local self-governance. A recent paper from the Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) by Mathew and Dhanuraj (2017) argued that at present, the urban local governments in Kerala operate in very restricted conditions and that the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994, provides overwhelming powers to the state government to intervene, and often overrule, urban local self-governments. They, for instance, note the following: •









Section 56, Kerala Municipality [KM] Act: Government may, by notification in Gazette make rule to carry out all or any purpose of KM Act subject to approval by the state legislature. Section 64, Kerala Municipality Act: Government may dissolve Local Self Government Institutions (LSGIs) if the Government is of the opinion that the LSGIs persistently make default in performing the duties imposed on it by law. The dissolution of the LSGIs is subject to approval by the state legislature. Section 57, Kerala Municipality Act: Government may cancel a resolution or decision taken by LSGIs if Government is of the opinion that it is not legally passed or in excess of the power conferred by KM Act/ any other law or likely to endanger human life, health, public safety or communal harmony or in violation of directions issued by Government. Section 58, Kerala Municipality Act: The State Government has the power to issue directions to local bodies in accordance with the national and state policies in matters of finance, maintenance of accounts, office managements, selection of schemes, sites and beneficiaries, proper function of ward sabhas and ward committees, welfare programmes, environmental control etc. The above provisions illustrate that [urban local bodies (ULBs)] in Kerala are functioning in a restrictive setting. The result is that ULBs are unable to exercise the powers that are transferred to them. (pp. 14–15, all emphasis in the quotation in the original) The CPPR paper concludes by saying: Rapid level of urbanisation in Kerala calls for the improvement of urban infrastructural facilities. In theory, the city government should be in charge of meeting the growing demands of a city. However, in Kerala, for every problem faced by a city, ranging from waste man-

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agement to transportation, local bodies/Mayors look to the State or Central Government for help, because the local bodies in the state are powerless and lacking in adequate resources. (p. 20) And ULBs can manage the needs of the cities, only if they develop into independent and autonomous institutions. To achieve this, more administrative and fiscal powers should be delegated to the local bodies. (p. 20) The preceding observations from the CPPR can be taken to indicate the challenges faced by Kerala in its urbanization process and its governance. Kerala is known for its achievements in rural decentralization (Table 4.3). However, the same initiative that the governments of Kerala have taken in rural Kerala towards democratic decentralization now have to be taken towards urban Kerala. Figure 4.2 presents the point that the growth of urban agglomerations in Kerala has been moderately steady during the census period from 1981 to 2011. It also shows that there has been a decline in the urban agglomerations over the period in Tamil Nadu whereas in Karnataka, the number of urban agglomerations remained more or less constant. The one striking feature of the figure is the growth of urban agglomerations in Andhra Pradesh, which is represented by a steadily upward-sloping line in the figure. Thus, this figure is crucial for understanding the nature of urbanization in the four South Indian states. As Figure 4.2 shows, the number of urban agglomerations, other than the metropolitan cities, has been growing steadily in Andhra Pradesh, while the same is not the case with other southern states. In Andhra Pradesh, the urban agglomerations are growing along with the city of Hyderabad. In Karnataka, as we have shown earlier, only the city of Bangalore is growing whereas in Tamil Nadu, there is a slight decline in the number of urban agglomerations and a spurt in the growth of the city of Chennai. Kerala, on the other hand, shows a completely different and unique trend of steep growth of census Table 4.3 Population figures of Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram, 1991–2019 City/Population

1991

2001

2011

2019

Chennai Thiruvananthapuram

3,800,000 294,700(?)

4,343,645 577,460

7,090,000 958,000

10,316,000 2,644,000

Source: Census of India (1991, 2001, 2011 while 2019 figures are approximate).

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Figure 4.2 Number of urban agglomerations in South India Source: Census of India (1991, 2001, 2011).

and statutory towns over recent decades. Thus, the urbanization scenario of southern India exemplifies both the contention held by Kundu (2009, 2014) and that of Guin and Dash (2015) and Guin (2019).

Tamil Nadu Of all the South Indian states, Tamil Nadu is not only the most urbanized state but also the most balanced urbanized state. Tamil Nadu, according to a scholarly account, represents ‘classic model’ of economic development (Balasubramanyam and Balasubramanyam, 2008) in that its economic development is characterized by an even development of all the sectors: agricultural, manufacturing and tertiary sectors. What is also important to note is that Tamil Nadu has done well in all the sectors. For example the state is the second-most industrialized state in India after Maharashtra (Kathuria, 2014). And, more interesting, the manufacturing sector is evenly distributed throughout all the district urban centres in Tamil Nadu. Therefore, the pattern of urbanization, which is dispersed, is closely intertwined with the development of the manufacturing sector, in particular, and industrial sector, in general. This is a great distinguishing feature of Tamil Nadu from all other Indian states in terms of development and urbanization. For example a recent study has noted that: Tamil Nadu benefits from the presence of an active entrepreneurial class and good infrastructure. . . . One feature of the state’s industrial profile is that, unlike in other states, it is more widely distributed across medium and large towns spread across the state. This 63

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has had the effect of working as a safety net for the rural poor in times of distress by making possible to towns for work. (Natraj and Vaidyanathan, 2014:31–32) Historically urbanization has been centred on more than one city, Chennai. A report on urbanization in Tamil Nadu has this to say: In addition to being the most urbanised state, the state also has a better spread of urbanisation. Not only does it have a large number of urbanised towns per unit area, it also has a better mix of small, medium and large towns and a better spatial spread of these towns, compared to either Maharashtra or Gujarat, two other highly urbanised states in the country. . . .An important consequence of this relatively even spread of Urbanisations in Tamil Nadu is that the rural-urban linkages in the state are quite strong compared to other states in the country (with the possible exception of Kerala). Such strong rural-urban connectivity implies a high degree of mobility between the rural and urban regions of the state. . . . Since the 1990s, while growth in larger agglomerations have been primarily driven by growth in the services sector, several small and medium towns (SMTs) have witnessed growth driven by sectors like textiles, garments, printing and fireworks, poultry, coir etc. The state has emerged as a major centre of software and IT- enabled services exports and automobile production, originating primarily from Chennai and Coimbatore. (Vijayabaskar et al., 2011) While this pattern continues, the latest data show that while the population of Chennai has been growing, the number of other urban agglomerations in the state has been declining. It may be a little too early to wonder whether Tamil Nadu is going the way of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in its pattern of urbanization. We hope it is not. Figure 4.3 captures the urbanization process in all the South India states in the past decades and shows that for the entire period urbanization in Tamil Nadu was the highest, followed by Karnataka. There is a convergence in the extent of urbanization in Tamil Nadu and Kerala only recently. And the figure shows that Andhra Pradesh is not only a late starter in the urbanization process but that throughout the 1991–2011 period, its extent of urbanization has been quite low among all the South Indian states. According to the 2011 census, Tamil Nadu has seen a steady decline in the number of urban agglomerations from 34 in 1991 to 27 in 2001 to 25 in 2011. While Chennai has seen growth, it is not as steep as Bangalore and Hyderabad. The urban slums, too, have registered marginal growth in Tamil Nadu between 2001 and 2011, from 8.1 percent of the total slum 64

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Figure 4.3 Urbanization in four South Indian states, 1991–2011(percentages) Source: Census of India (1991, 2001, 2011).

population of the country to 8.9 percent. Urban poverty in Tamil Nadu is drastically reduced. Table 4.4 gives the figures of urban poverty for the four South Indian states.

Salem city Tamil Nadu is sixth-largest state in India with 32 districts. Salem district is one of the most important districts of Tamil Nadu. Salem is governed by a city municipal corporation. Besides the Salem city municipal corporation, there are four municipalities (urban local bodies) in the district. A brief profile of Salem district follows. After independence, Salem became part of independent India. In 1951, an exchange of villages took place between Mysore and Madras states under the provinces and states order of 1950, which is also termed ‘the absorption of enclaves’. In 1965, Salem district was bifurcated into the Salem and Dharmapuri districts. Again in 1997, Salem district was further divided into the Salem and Namakkal districts. Currently, Salem district is one of the 32 districts of Tamil Nadu state in southern India. Salem district is positioned between 11o 14′ N to 12o 53′ N latitude and 77o 44′ E to 78o 50′ E longitude. The district is surrounded by Dharmapuri district in the north, Trichy and Namakkal districts in the south, Villupuram and Perambalpur districts in the east and Erode district in the west. Salem city is the headquarters of Salem district. 65

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Table 4.4 Percentage of urban population under the poverty line: four southern states State/Year

2004–2005

2008–2009

2010–2011

Karnataka Andhra Pradesh Tamil Nadu Kerala All India

25.9 23.4 19.8 18.4 25.5

19.6 17.7 12.8 12.1 20.9

15.3 5.8 6.5 5.0 13.7

Source: Census of India (2011, 2019).

The total geographical area of Salem district is 5,245 square kilometres, which is about 4 per cent of the total geographical area of Tamil Nadu state. As much as around 86 per cent of Salem district’s geographical area is rural area and the rest is urban. As per the land-use data of 2017, the district is using 36.91 per cent of its total geographical area for agricultural purposes. While 4.34 per cent of the district’s geographical area is occupied by forest (revenue and social), another 19.81 per cent area is reserved forest. As per the 2011 census, Salem district has a total population of 30.82 lakhs. Out of this, 49.05 per cent of the population is residing in rural areas of the district, and the remaining 50.95 per cent are urbanites. The male population constitutes 51.16 per cent of the total population and female population is 48.84 per cent, with a sex ratio of 954 males for every 1,000 females. Agriculture plays an important role in the economy of Salem district. Almost one third of the total population of Salem is dependent on agriculture and allied activities. The government is endeavouring to bring stability to agriculture by way of increasing agricultural production. Apart from agriculture, Salem is known for small and cottage industries. The handloom industry is one of the most important cottage industries of Salem district. Sago factories are very common in Salem district and especially in and around Salem city. Among the natural resources, Salem has magnesite, bauxite and iron mines. Many public and private industries relating to these minerals are established in Salem. Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) has a steel plant in Salem. The exporting of garments has taken a lead in the economy of Salem due to existing spinning mills and weaving units. Salem district is also known for the manufacturing of silver anklets, which is also a cottage industry of Salem. In the past, Salem was a hub for Tamil film production. Although agriculture plays an important part in the district’s economy, Salem is one of the most industrialized districts in the sample districts discussed in this book. Salem is known for its SAIL plant, known as Salem steel plant, in the district. Besides this, the city and the district also have a handloom industry, spinning mills, weaving units and several important small-scale and

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cottage industries. The garment industry and garment exports play a major part in the district’s economy. Until 1994, Salem city was a municipality; however, keeping in view the expansion of the city, Salem was made a municipal corporation in 1994. According to the census of 2011, the population of Salem was 8.20 lakhs. However, at the time of our study, that is in 2019, the estimated population was about9.5 lakhs. In this city, too, we asked the same questions that we asked in other cases discussed earlier: How is the district city planning taking place? How is the delivery of basic services such as drinking water and sanitation? To what extent is the governance of the city effective? Finally, are there issues of social capital? At the time of the study, there was no legislative body for city governance; the municipal elections or elections to urban local bodies had not been held for the past three years. The municipal corporation was governed by the municipal commissioner, and the four municipalities in the district also were run by their respective commissioners and, below them, municipal managers. However, we found that the governance of the municipal corporation and the other municipalities was markedly effective, efficient and economical. The interviews conducted with the citizens demonstrate that they did not complain much regarding sanitation, the drinking water supply and solid waste management. The story was that of very effective bureaucratic governance of the municipal local bodies. The cities under consideration, Salem and the four remaining municipalities, did not have much social capital problems either, such as the ones we found in Dharwad and Mahabubnagar. Muslims and Christians were the major minority populations of the district, and they constituted less than 10 percent of the district. There was no such problem of communalism as we found in the districts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The Salem city municipal corporation, at the time of the study, covered about 9.35 lakh citizens, comprising of approximately2.5 lakh households. The city of Salem consisted of four zones divided into 60 wards. About18 to 20 percent of the city population lives in slums. The city, however, has a ‘draft slum-free city action plan’ which aims at making the Salem city free of slums. So far as the drinking water supply is concerned, Mettur Dam is the chief source for water for the entire Salem district. Bore wells are another source of drinking water. As many as 50 wards out of the total 60 receive their drinking water supply once in four to five days. Sometimes water is also supplied only once a week. The same situation remains in the other four municipalities too, except those in Mettur municipality, which get drinking water 24/7. The charges for drinking water are nominal. The Salem Corporation and three other municipalities charge about Rs. 150 per month for drinking water supply whereas in Mettur municipality the rate is about Rs.75 per

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month. In Salem city and the four municipalities, the charges for commercial usage of drinking water are aboutRs.250 per month. The citizens residing in the slum areas have to collect water from public taps. Sometimes, and in a few instances, we also found individual taps outside the slum dwellings. In non-slum areas, of course, the water supply is through individual tap connections. However, solid waste management, garbage collection and sanitation are still problems in Salem city. Our interviews with the citizens show that dumping of garbage is a problem, and sanitation and clearing of garbage also are city problems. And this problem was not limited to slum localities alone. The lack of a strict schedule for garbage removal was the most important problem being faced by the slum, as well as non-slum, localities in all zones of the city. Therefore, the sanitation of the city is a problem. And there are no user charges for removal of garbage. The problem of solid waste management and garbage collection is too acute for slum localities: the garbage is not collected by the Salem municipal corporation workers from slum residents. The slum dwellers have to dump their garbage at a designated place, where it is collected by the municipal corporation at its convenience. And the regularity of the removal of garbage and solid waste from slums by the Salem municipal corporation appears to be a problem. Thus, the city, although well governed, still has the problems of sanitation and drinking water supply. Much needs to be improved in this regard. This condition is in spite of the fact that the city municipal corporation has 1,500 municipal workers, both regular and temporary combined. It is also to be noted that much like Dharwad, Udupi, Mahabubnagar and Kurnool, Salem city, too, is not fully covered by an underground drainage system. The government of Tamil Nadu had sanctioned the underground drainage project for Salem city in 2006. The project actually started in 2010 and was planned to be completed in five to six years. However, the project is still in progress. As such, in 2019, only half of the city had an operating underground drainage system, and the rest of the city had only an open drainage system. In an overall perspective of the urbanization of South Indian states, when we compare the of states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala with the other two South Indian states, that is Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, we find that the latter exhibit marked urban ‘primacy’, with the primate cities of Bangalore and Hyderabad being pre-eminent in the urbanization process whereas, with respect to Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the urbanization process appears to be more dispersed and spread across many districts, with the respective capital cities of Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram not being the sole ‘primate’ cities. The statistics presented earlier on urbanization show that in Karnataka, only Bangalore accounts for a major part of the urbanization process, not other urban agglomerations, whereas in Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad has been growing steadily along with other urban agglomerations. In Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, while the population of Chennai has been growing, the 68

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number of other urban agglomerations has declined. However, Tamil Nadu still has many and significant urban centres comparable in terms of population size to Chennai. This is also true for Kerala, where Thiruvananthapuram is not the sole primate city. For example, according to the 2011 census, in the case of Kerala, Ernakulum (32,82,388) and Kozhikode (30,86,293) seem to be, more or less, closer in terms of population to Thiruvananthapuram (33,01,437). Likewise, according to the census of 2011, in Tamil Nadu, Vellore (3,936,331), Kancheepuram (3,998,252) and Coimbatore (3,458,045) are closer to that of Chennai (4,636,732) in terms of population. Therefore, urban ‘primacy’ does not seem to have played a major role in the cases of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. This may also be due to other processes such as the industrialization process which is dispersed and owing to specific policies of development and urbanization. So the point is, what can other states learn from South India? Urban primacy and exclusionary development may be avoided, and a dispersed urbanization process may be adopted so that the urbanization process becomes spatially and socially just and equitable. And it should be borne in mind that the Kerala government State Urbanisation Report, in fact, recommends an integrated and ‘compact urban form’ as the need of the hour in the context of a thinly distributed ‘urban spread’ that is taking place now in the form of Class III, IV and V towns. On the other hand, with respect to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, we observe too much urban concentration in one city. Therefore, the policy learning from these two extremes is that both urban concentration and thin urban spread should be avoided and that mediumsize district-level towns, even if they are Class I or II, should be prioritized in urban development. This kind of urbanization pattern, along with concomitant industrialization, seems to be already underway in Tamil Nadu. Therefore, this could be the policy towards which future urbanization should be directed across south Indian states and also other Indian states. The major urbanization challenge to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh is to ensure that their urbanization process proceeds in a spatially just and socially equitable manner. For Kerala, it is to find the optimum size of the urban unit to be developed. For all the states of South India, the challenge is to develop robust, self-governing urban local governance institutions along the lines indicated by the Constitution of India in its 74th Amendment. If the latter is true with respect to Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh/Telangana and Kerala, it is more than true for Tamil Nadu, where local bodies have remained dormant for many years now, with the local government elections only recently held. The challenge of genuine local self-government at the city level is a common challenge for all South Indian states. This chapter has put into perspective the nature of urbanization in the South Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. We have argued not only that the nature of human habitation is unique in Kerala but that its recent urbanization trends are also unique in that there has been a significant 69

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growth of statutory and census towns of late. This is accompanied by a moderate growth in the number of urban agglomerations. The process of urbanization has been remarkably dispersed in Kerala, to the extent that the State Urbanisation Report (Government of Kerala, 2012) has noted the difficulty with such ‘thin urban spread’. On the other hand, the urbanization process in Tamil Nadu has been steady, with a minor indicator that the growth of urban agglomerations has been decreasing and that there is a tendency towards metropolitan growth of Chennai over other cities. But these trends are not that significant. Overall, of all the South India states, Tamil Nadu remains the most urbanized state and the most evenly urbanized state. This has been possible because of a decentralized industrialization strategy, according to which the development of manufacturing has been dispersed over many districts instead of being concentrated only in one metropolitan city, as in the case of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. We have presented one case study of the state, namely Salem city. Although the city of Salem is a well-developed city, we argued that the problems that figure in the cities such as Dharwad also figure in Salem. These are infrastructural problems, problems of drinking water and sanitation and problems of local self-governance and democracy. At the time of the study, there were no elected urban local governments in Tamil Nadu and the conduct of elections has happened only later. So we have little that we can comment on regarding local democracy in the city of Salem. In the absence of elected representatives, at the time of the study, urban governance was carried out by the local bureaucracy. In this chapter, we made a major contention that the dispersed urban growth process is more inclusive. This is in contrast to the concentrated urban growth process found in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Dispersed urban growth, as can be observed in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, is more inclusive because the urban centres and the goods and services they provide are more easily accessible to all the population of these states;whereas in a concentrated development such as that of Bangalore and Hyderabad, urbanization, as Kundu has rightly argued (2009, 2014), becomes ‘top heavy’ and exclusionary. The cities no longer are accessible to everyone dwelling in the city and its services and goods become beyond the reach of all the inhabitants of the state. Thus, it is an indubitable fact that ‘top-heavy’ urbanization is exclusionary development, while dispersed urban growth is more inclusive development. This is despite the fact that Kerala is still finding it difficult to find an ‘optimum-size’ city as a necessary prerequisite in its urban development process. At any rate, decentralized, dispersed urbanization scores over concentrated urban development. In the next chapter, we draw different strands of the book together and try to summarize the book, dwelling at some length on the recent emphasis on Smart Cities and the related processes of digitization and sustainable urban development, for the latter have been the policies of the government

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regarding urban development. These have also been the ongoing processes in the attempts to develop urban areas in the country.

References Balasubramanyam V.N. and Ahalya Balasubramanyam (2008) ‘Differing Approaches to Development: The Case of Four South Indian States’ Paper Presented at the Seminar on Development Through Planning, Market or Decentralization, 21–23 January, Bombay, India: Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology (Unpublished paper). Chakraborty, Judhajit (2017) ‘An Unequal Process of Urbanisation’ Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. LII, No.9. Government of Kerala (2012) State Urbanisation Report, Thiruvananthapuram: GoK. Guin, Debarshi (2019) ‘Contemporary Perspectives on Small Towns in India: A Review’ Habitat International, Vol. 86, pp. 19–27. Guin, Debarshi and D.N. Das (2015) ‘New Census Towns in West Bengal: “Census Activism” or Sectoral Diversification’ Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 50, No. 14. Kathuria, Vinish (2014) ‘Industrial Development in Tamil Nadu’ in V.K. Natraj and A. Vaidyanathan (eds.) Development Narratives: The Political Economy of Tamil Nadu, New Delhi: Academic Foundation, pp. 207–272. Kundu, Amitabh (2003, July 19) ‘Urbanisation and Urban Governance: Search for a Perspective Beyond Neo-Liberalism’ Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 38, pp. 3079–3087. Kundu, Amitabh (2009, November 28) ‘Exclusionary Urbanization in Asia: A Macro Overview’ Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. XLIV, No. 48, pp. 48–58. Kundu, Amitabh (2014) ‘India’s Sluggish Urbanisation and Its Exclusionary Development’ in G. McGranahan and George Martine (eds.) Urban Growth in Emerging Economies: Lessons from the BRICS, London and New York: Earthscan and Routledge, pp. 191–233. Mathew, Deepthi Mary and D. Dhanuraj (2017) Defending Decentralisation in Kerala: Probing the Autonomy of Kerala’s Urban Local Bodies, Thiruvananthapuram: Centre for Public Policy and Research. Natraj, V.K. and A. Vaidyanathan (2014) ‘Introduction’ in Development Narratives: The Political Economy of Tamil Nadu, New Delhi: Academic Foundation, pp. 23–42. M. Vijayabaskar, Karen Coelho, Sriharini Narayanan and T. Venkat. (2011) State Level Background Paper on Tamil Nadu for Urban Infrastructure Reforms Facility (UIRF) at the School of Habitat Studies, TISS, Mumbai, Chennai: Madras Institute of Development Studies.

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5 URBAN GOVERNANCE, LOCAL DEMOCRACY AND THE FUTURE

In the introduction to this study, we argued that cities in a developing country can either be approached from the point of view of political economy or governance. We have preferred the latter approach. We have argued that although we neither dismiss nor underestimate the explanatory potential of the approaches of political economy focusing on the informal and tertiary sectors of the cities, we have held that the cities of developing countries have developed serious governance problems of late. Therefore, focusing on their governance is important. Besides that, the subject of urban governance is a neglected subject in India. We argued that while there is an overwhelming emphasis in India on studying rural governance, the focus on the studies of urban governance is disproportionately low. The existing focus is on metropolitan cities being studied with a political economy approach; in contrast to this, we have attempted to shift the focus to smaller district-tier cities to be studied with a governance approach. The shift is twofold, both in terms of the object of interrogation and in the point of view adopted. It is hoped that this will fill in the gap that exists in studies of small cities from a governance/ local democracy point of view. Second, we have chosen the theoretical framework of social capital theory based on Robert Putnam’s work, following which we argued that the better the social capital in smaller cities, the better their governance will be, and that better social capital ensures better norms of trust and reciprocity while ensuring norms themselves. We also indicated that better social capital is instrumental in ensuring better local governance. The third reason that we presented for social capital theory is that the small district-level cities in the Indian context are increasingly affected by the problem of religious communalism. Therefore, social capital, when it exists, can ensure not only better local governance and local democracy but also better religious and social harmony. When looked at from these points of view we found empirically that the reality is mixed. The city of Udupi in Karnataka appeared to have better social capital than its counterpart, Dharwad. The smaller size of the city and the existing civic culture were responsible for better social capital and for making local government work. The story of other cities is mixed, 72

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too. Mahabubnagar and Kurnool in the Andhra Pradesh case studies have brought about the need for social capital in the context of increasing religious communalism and divisive politics. But before moving to district-level case studies, we broadly followed the method of comparing one-policy-in-two-states of Rob Jenkins (2004); that is, to examine the urban governance and local democracy in two sets of commensurable states. The one policy we intended to examine was the implementation of the 74th Amendment to the Constitution. However, looking back, we observe that the comparisons yielded more than was hoped for. We began by comparing Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. We argued in Chapter 3 that these states are, respectively, characterized by the development of Bangalore and Hyderabad as primate cities. We have also discussed the consequences of primate city development for the rest of the cities in both states. We have held that the major consequence of the development of primate cities is that the district-tier cities get neglected in governance and in the provision of basic minimum needs and urban planning. We have sought to demonstrate this through a study of two cities, Udupi from southern Karnataka and Dharwad from northern Karnataka. In view of the disparate nature of the regions in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, we have considered Mahabubnagar from Telangana and Kurnool from the current Andhra Pradesh. In Chapter 4, we compared Kerala with Tamil Nadu. We argued that both states have a dispersed pattern of urbanization. While, in the case of Kerala, this has led to somewhat of an extreme of ‘thin urban spread’, a relatively dense growth of Class III, IV and V cities, or what in the literature are known as census towns and statutory towns, in Tamil Nadu the urbanization process appears to be more balanced. Therefore, we have focused on the comparison of Kerala and Tamil Nadu both in urbanization and urban governance. In Tamil Nadu, the urbanization process is found to be even and balanced, without the weight of population concentration in one capital city. There are multiple urban centres of gravity in Tamil Nadu. This process of dispersed/decentralized urbanization is accompanied in equal measure with the development of manufacturing and industry in district-tier cities. That is what makes Tamil Nadu a unique state in terms of urbanization/industrialization. And our focus of study of urban governance is one district in Tamil Nadu, namely Salem. Therefore, in the case of both the comparisons, that is Karnataka with Andhra Pradesh and Kerala with Tamil Nadu, we tried to shed as much light on the urbanization process in these states as on urban governance and local democracy. In an overall perspective of urbanization of South Indian states, when we compare the of states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala with the other two South Indian states, that is Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, we find that the latter exhibit marked urban ‘primacy’, with the primate cities of Bangalore and Hyderabad, respectively, being pre-eminent in the urbanization process, whereas, with respect to Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the urbanization 73

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process appears to be more dispersed and spread across many districts, with the respective capital cities of Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram not being the sole ‘primate’ cities. The statistics presented in the book on urbanization show that in Karnataka, only Bangalore accounts for a major part of the urbanization process, not other urban agglomerations, whereas in Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad has been growing steadily along with other urban agglomerations. In Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, while the population of Chennai has been growing, the number of other urban agglomerations has declined. However, Tamil Nadu still has many significant urban centres comparable in terms of population size to Chennai. This is also true for Kerala, where Thiruvananthapuram is not the sole primate city. For example, according to the 2011 census, in the case of Kerala, Ernakulum (3,282,388) and Kozhikode (3,086,293) seem to be, more or less, closer in terms of population to Thiruvananthapuram (3,301,437). Likewise, according to the census of 2011, in Tamil Nadu, Vellore (3,936,331), Kancheepuram (3,998,252) and Coimbatore (3,458,045) are closer to that of Chennai (4,636,732) in terms of population. Therefore, urban ‘primacy’ does not seem to have played a major role in the cases of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. This may also be due to other processes, such as the industrialization process, which is dispersed, owing to specific policies of development and urbanization. The problem with excessive urban primacy is that the ‘primate cities’ become highly exclusionary for ordinary people. That is to say, if in a state the urbanization process is centred on one primate city, it is possible that the urbanization process will become highly elite-oriented. Not many can avail themselves of the benefits of such an urbanization process with costs of housing and living in such cities becoming very high. That these primate cities also radiate cultural and social hegemony is another point worthy of consideration. The formation of primate cities is often and erroneously defended on the economic grounds of agglomeration benefits. While these cities may have positive effects as economic agglomerations, they come to exhibit many negative effects in political and social terms. Governance of these mega-urban agglomerations also is a problem. And local democracy in these megacities is often a far-fetched matter. Therefore, the existing evidence points to a more dispersed or decentralized urbanization. That means that the focus should shift to developing multiple urban centres of equal weight in a state. More urban centres mean more people can access the benefits of urban amenities, goods and services. The latter is more inclusive, unlike the former primate city development. There is a great utilitarian argument that can be made in favour of dispersed urbanization. So the point is, what can other states learn from South India? Urban primacy and exclusionary development may be avoided and a dispersed urbanization process may be adopted so that the urbanization process becomes inclusive, spatially and socially just and equitable. 74

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Thus, we now turn to a comparison of the conditions of these districttier cities in the two states. We have noted that political and social scientists have already been warning that the urbanization and even the entire development process are becoming ‘Hyderabad-centric’ in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, and ‘Bangalore-centric’ in Karnataka. The results of this skewed urban development can be seen in the neglect of the district-tier cities and, of course, in the total disregard of the agricultural sector in these states, wherein agrarian distress and farmers’ suicides are recurring phenomena. The political leaders of these states were talking of making these cities ‘global cities’, even as the rural crises were unfolding. On the other hand, when we see the urbanization processes in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, we see that there is also the problem of urbanization becoming too dispersed. The case of contemporary Kerala is an example. It should be borne in mind that the Kerala government’s State Urbanisation Report (Government of Kerala, 2012), in fact, recommends integrated and ‘compact urban form’ as the need of the hour in the context of the thinly distributed ‘urban spread’ that is taking place now in the form of Class III, IV and V towns. On the other hand, with respect to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, we observe too much urban concentration in one city. Therefore, the policy learning from these two extremes is that both urban concentration and thin urban spread should be avoided and that medium-sized district-level towns, even if they are Class I or II, should be prioritized in urban development. The statutory towns and census towns which make up most of the Class III, IV and V towns are not urban places at all. They are positioned in a continuum between the rural and urban, for they hardly qualify for being called ‘urban’. What is to be prioritized in development are district cities of Class I and II categories, which can qualify for being urban and at the same time are governable. A number of these medium-sized cities will cater to a large section of the population, both urban and rural, in a meaningful manner. This kind of urbanization pattern, along with accompanying industrialization, seems to be already underway in Tamil Nadu. Therefore, this could possibly be the policy towards which future urbanization should be directed across South Indian states and also other Indian states. The major urbanization challenge at present and in the future for Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh is to ensure that their urbanization process proceeds in an inclusive, spatially just and socially equitable manner. For Kerala, it is to find the optimum size of the urban unit to be developed. For all the states of South India, the challenge is to develop robust, self-governing urban local governance institutions along the lines indicated by the Constitution of India in its 74th Amendment. If the latter is true with respect to Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh/Telangana (now) and Kerala, it is more than true for Tamil Nadu, where local bodies have remained dormant for many years with the local government elections only having been recently held. The challenge of genuine local self-government at the city level is a common challenge for all 75

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the South Indian states. With that being said, in the following, we will now discuss some of the problems of governance in district-tier cities.

Bureaucratic governance Urban governance at the district level in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh is to be carried out along the lines of 74th Constitutional Amendment. This is true of all the districts in the state including both Udupi and Dharwad, Kurnool, Mahabubnagar and Salem. The urban planning is to be carried out by the District Planning Committees (DPCs). However, we find that in both Udupi and Dharwad the governance of cities is carried out from the deputy commissioner’s office. A small section or a few officials in the deputy commissioners’ offices in both districts prepare plans and conduct the civic administration. In Andhra Pradesh, it is the municipal commissioner’s office that carries out city administration (Vaddiraju, 2019). In Tamil Nadu, too, the district-level urban governance is largely bureaucratic. It is the administration of the office of the municipal commissioner that carries out urban governance. At the time of writing this book, the elections for the urban local governments had just been carried out in Tamil Nadu, and for the preceding three years, there were no elected legislators. Hence, the governance in Salem was largely bureaucratic. Although elections are held for the civic bodies in all of the four South Indian states, the role of the elected representatives in planning the city and administering it is limited.

No district urban planning The district urban planning is to be done by DPCs. While DPCs have been constituted in Karnataka, they do not conduct urban planning. Their purpose is limited to rural planning. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the DPCs are not even constituted. Therefore, there is no such thing as districtlevel urban planning in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. There area district town planning office and officer in each district, but their roles in the growth and planning of the cities are next to nothing. Even in Karnataka, DPCs are powerless before the deputy commissioner’s office with regard to synergizing rural and urban plans into an integrated plan. The deputy commissioner’s office does not share its urban plans with the DPC to prepare an integrated district plan. Therefore, integrated district planning remains only on paper (Vaddiraju, 2013). In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it is not there even on paper, as DPCs themselves do not exist and are not constituted. Karnataka is better than Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. District-level urban planning is a technical matter. Often this technical function is either usurped by state-level governments and not devolved to local bodies at all, or there is very little premium being put on the issue. The way town planning is neglected is brought out by some scholars in an 76

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effective manner. Often, at the district level, there are no sufficient town planners at all (Dubey, 2016). At any rate, there is not sufficient attention to town planning at this level. As a result, district city planning suffers. In Karnataka and (United) Andhra Pradesh, we find unwillingness on the part of the state governments to implement the 74th Amendment to the Constitution and devolve powers, functions and resources to the district tier cities to make them self-governing. We have mentioned before the unwillingness among the bureaucracy to cede power to local bodies. However, there is also unwillingness on the part of the political leaders at the state level to implement the law. This goes hand in hand with apathy towards the condition of these cities. The net result is that while there is no local self-governance in the cities, the citizens suffer from the lack of basic civic services such as sanitation and drinking water.1 In both states, the zilla, or district, panchayats serve basically as rural panchayats, and the urban component is entirely missing from its functioning and planning. In Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, there is no focus on urban governance within the zilla panchayats. Karnataka is no better in this regard. The situation is more or less the same in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In these two states, the district urban governance is carried out from the municipal commissioner’s office. This is true of both Mahabubnagar and Kurnool. The collector (or the deputy commissioner) in Andhra Pradesh does not have much of a role in the governance of the city. The municipal commissioner makes all the decisions pertaining to the planning and governance of the cities in the district. Therefore, it is clear that a small office of urban governance located within the deputy commissioner’s office (or collectorate) in Karnataka makes all the decisions, whereas the municipal commissioner’s office looks after all the urban matters in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. As is obvious from the following quote from Das (2013), the bureaucracy is unwilling to cede powers to the local bodies: As regards the facilitator’s role, there have been significant problems. For example, the provisions of the 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution provide for passing on power to the elected members of the local bodies. . . . The previous development administration in the district was centred on the Collector, with development programmes implemented by civil servants. The new system has reduced the role of the Collector and other civil servants, and brought in new institutions such as zilla, intermediate and gram panchayats. This has altered the role of the civil servants working at the district and local levels from that of implementers to facilitators. Unfortunately, most civil servants working at the field level are yet to come to terms with their diminished role. (pp. 56–57) 77

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Bureaucrats are unwilling to devolve decision-making powers to elected representatives. Thus, as Das (2013) has put it, they are finding it difficult to be the ‘facilitators’ of local self-government. This is one of the major maladies of urban local self-government. On the other hand, the same bureaucracy would happily facilitate markets because whatever economic growth is happening in these cities is market-led, and the bureaucracy has only limited powers over these market forces. Therefore, while at the district level the bureaucracy can facilitate markets and market-led growth, it cannot facilitate urban local self-government to regulate this market-led growth. The more the bureaucracy and state-level politicians are unwilling to give up powers over urban areas, the more chaotically these markets will grow at the district level. In Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the elections to urban local bodies have been held. However, the role of elected representatives in the governance of the district-level cities is minimal. This shows that in spite of the 74th Amendment, which stipulated that urban governance should be urban local self-governance, the participation of citizens still remains minimal. In Chapter 3, we compared four cities from two states. What is common to these cities, and what is different? All four cities come under a constitutionally provided structure of governance. Also, all four are district-level cities. These are the common factors. The differences are in their history, demographic composition and size. Also, these are distinct and unique in their own ways. Dharwad is the cultural capital of Karnataka and a major educational centre for North Karnataka as well. Udupi, a temple city in southern Karnataka, is smaller in population and markedly dominated by Hindus. Mahabubnagar differs in demographic composition and historical provenance, but it is comparable to Dharwad in size. However, unlike Dharwad, it is not an educational or cultural capital. Its major higher education centre, Palamuru University, started only recently. However, the cities are comparable in the sense that the two common threads running through them are the constitutionally provided governance structure and the district status within the governance. The problems of social capital are particularly acute inthese cities. Dharwad and Mahabubnagar have to cope with communalism and Hindu–Muslim tensions. But Udupi city, as our recent field visits show, is becoming known for worsening inter-caste relations. In the recent period, there has been a challenge to the culture of upper-caste domination from the Dalit movement. The ‘Udupi Chalo’ agitation of the Dalit movement is an example of the emerging contradictions of Indian society from which even a Hindu temple city is not exempt. In this context, the theoretical framework of social capital is particularly relevant for addressing these contradictions and overcoming communal and caste divides to achieve better governance in the urban society of these districts. If the society is divided along multiple lines, will constitutional governance be possible? Or what makes constitutional governance possible in such diverse and hierarchical societies? 78

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Given the diversity in our sample of cities and given that there is a need throughout the country for constitutional governance, we have asked the following questions in our research: How is the district city planning taking place? How is the delivery of basic services such as drinking water and sanitation? To what extent is the governance of the city effective? Finally, are there issues of social capital? First, regarding district urban planning, per the Constitution, it should be conducted by the DPC. However, at present, in Karnataka, it is being done by the district collector’s office. In the present dispensation, bureaucracy takes all the decisions and not the DPC. In Telangana, the district governance is conducted by the municipal administration. Here, the district collector’s office does not have much of a role. Both the Karnataka and Telangana cases indicate that district planning and governance are not being conducted by elected representatives and DPC as mandated by the Constitution. Karnataka, however, stands much better in comparison because in both Dharwad and Udupi, there are DPCs. In Telangana, DPCs do not exist.

Drinking water and sanitation: sorely required Second, how is the delivery of services such as drinking water and sanitation taking place? In Karnataka, taking the cases of Dharwad and Udupi, we find that drinking water is a great problem in Dharwad, and so is sanitation. The provision of these basic needs is inadequate in Dharwad and is not being met satisfactorily. However, Udupi is better off. Both drinking water and sanitation are not problems for the citizens of Udupi. But in Telangana, they are. Drinking water is a problem in Salem in Tamil Nadu. Sanitation and solid waste management also are problems. Urban infrastructure is badly missing in many district-level cities. Often, basic infrastructure facilities such as underground drainage are absent. For example none of the cities in our sample in all four states has complete city-wide coverage of underground drainage. Therefore, sanitation is a major problem at the district level. Solid waste management, too, is a problem in all the four states at the district level. This shows the state of the basic level of governance in these cities, although sometimes resources, financial and otherwise, are in short supply. Third, to what extent is the governance of the cities under consideration effective? In Karnataka, we find that the governance of Udupi is much more effective than the governance of Dharwad. We attributed this to better social capital and citizen action, which we found is less in Dharwad. In Telangana, the effectiveness of district-level urban governance is far worse than in Karnataka. Mahabubnagar city fares poorly in its effectiveness of governance compared to even Dharwad and, of course, Udupi. Fourth, are there issues of social capital? There are certainly issues of social capital and social cohesion in the district-level cities. This is particularly the case with Dharwad and Mahabubnagar. Both Dharwad and Mahabubnagar 79

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suffer from communal problems. In both these cities, communalism is latent and becomes manifest whenever there are occasions of conflict. In Dharwad, it is clearly latent, but in Mahabubnagar, it is quite open. The case of Udupi is different. In Udupi, we find the situation better, as the overall governance deficit at the district level is partly compensated by citizen action to make the government work at the city level. Two factors are important while discussing the case of Udupi. First, it is a smaller city and is therefore governed better. This fact disproves the economies of scale argument so far as governance is concerned. As Kundu (2014) noted, Indian urbanization is ‘top heavy’, and our experience with the ‘urban primacy’ in Karnataka and Telangana shows that. While urban economics may justify the ‘top-heavy’ urbanization in terms of ‘economies of scale’, from the point of view of political science, there is the question of ‘governability’;that is the bigger the urban agglomeration, the less governable it may be. Mega-urban agglomerations may provide anonymity and impersonality to liberate individuals from social controls and narrow loyalties, but they also create even bigger problems for policy in terms of governability, social cohesion and individual well-being. They can also be major sources of alienation and anomie as much as of impersonality and freedom. Indian mega-urban agglomerations are classic examples of the ‘governability’ question as their frequent governance crises demonstrate. Thus,‘top-heavy’urbanization appears to be usually accompanied by ‘governability’ questions. Second, coming back to Udupi, although there is wide diversity in the population, it is basically dominated by a Hindu population with less diversity of religious communities. One more reason for better civic action in this region is the high level of human development. We also cannot miss the fact that the region is very close to Kerala, which has very active traditions of civic action and civic engagement. We take Udupi city to be an example of better governance, and this is largely due to its better social capital. In Dharwad and Mahabubnagar, social capital appears to be lacking (1) in terms of making government work and (2) in terms of inter-ethnic relations. We define social capital basically in terms of cooperation among political parties, among citizens and reflecting in inter-ethnic relations. Therefore, provided there is a constitutional structure and a division of responsibilities, city-level governance, as well as inter-ethnic relations, can considerably improve if there is better social capital in terms of more cooperation among citizens and leveraging of the same for better city governance, and improved governance is likely to solve problems such as drinking water and sanitation. Improvement in governance is an end in itself.

Democratic deficit: what of local democracy? Local democracy in the context of the 73rd Amendment in rural areas is supported by political institutions such as gram panchayats and gram sabhas. 80

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In Karnataka, there are also ward sabhas in rural areas to support gram sabhas (Vaddiraju and Sangita, 2011). These institutions have taken deep root in rural areas. However, when it comes to urban areas and cities, there is no such mechanism like gram sabhas and ward sabhas. Urban governance institutions are still hamstrung by laws prior to the 74th Amendment Act, which has not taken deep root in the cities as the 73rd Amendment Act has in rural areas. Therefore, the governance of urban areas does not happen with the full participation of its citizens. Participation in local governance in urban areas is quite limited, and whatever participation there is remains far removed from what can be called local self-government. In urban areas, all the important decisions concerning the governance issues of the people are either decided by the bureaucracy or a handful of politicians at different levels. Consequently, people’s voices can hardly be heard in local government. Where possible, this deficit is to some extent filled by media and civil society. Otherwise, the voice and participation of the people in decision-making are absent. Unlike this, in rural areas governed by the 73rd Amendment Act there is better participation, and consequently, the mechanisms of accountability for decision-makers exist. These mechanisms are absent in urban areas. Local democracy in the district-level cities is in a neglected state. There is little that citizens do other than periodically voting in elections. Beyond that, citizen participation is almost nothing. In this context, urban democracy, particularly urban local democracy, is still a myth. Citizenship at the district level stops at suffrage. Beyond that, there is no participatory decisionmaking on the affairs concerning common governance at the district level.

Absence of local civil society and social capital As our study shows, participation in civil society organizations, too, is less. In the first place, the prevalence of organized civil society, such as urban NGOs, is less in district-tier cities. Participation in civil society organizations to influence the local government to deliver better services is minimal. For example, in Udupi and Kurnool, we find much less faith in civil society and NGOs, whereas in Dharwad and Mahabubnagar, the citizens believe that civil society can potentially address their problems. However, the point is that there are few civil society organizations and NGOs working for the citizens. The point of asking questions regarding civil society and participation is to gauge the social capital that can potentially be helpful in making urban governance effective. Indeed, we should reiterate that we are surprised by the findings that the citizens of Udupi and Kurnool, both of which are supposed to have many NGOs and civil society organizations, express less faith and trust in them. In fact, there is also a lack of NGOs working in urban areas for the betterment of citizens and cities. The reason for this is that traditionally, civil society organizations and NGOs at the district level concentrate on rural issues rather than urban 81

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ones. There is a near-total absence of civil society organizations working on urban issues in all of the four district cities that we have studied. Perhaps there is a lesson here for civil society organizations and NGOs. However, in spite of the relatively low overall faith in political parties, which stays at about 60to 65 percent, in all the cities the political participation appears to be high. Urban citizens have not lost faith in the electoral process, nor have they lost faith in the party system. But how can this electoral participation, exercising formal citizenship, be helpful to them when substantive issues such as drinking water and sanitation are major problems? In Dharwad and Kurnool, even primary issues, such as drinking water, garbage removal and sanitation, are still unresolved. In all the four cities, open drainage and sewerage are major problems. In this case, what does high political participation mean? What purpose do these political parties, in whom people put considerable trust, serve? What is the meaning of substantive citizenship in this context when people vote but do not get basic minimum amenities addressed by the elected representatives? These are the questions that this study raises. It appears that neo-liberal governance facilitates markets but does not ensure the basic minimum needs of the people. We mentioned earlier that this pattern of governance places all levels of spatial development in strain and disarray. The same pattern takes place in primate cities too, where basic services continue to elude the poor. What happens is exponential population growth in a few cities and the neglect of lowertier cities and rural areas. Because of the exponential population growth in primate cities, their governance also is affected. As quantitative change leads to qualitative change, the governance of primate cities acquires qualitatively different dimensions. This growth of primate cities is both because of natural population growth and in-migration of all classes of people, particularly workers, from poorer regions, cities and rural areas. This renders urban governance at all levels a complex subject. The document Urban Development Policy for Karnataka (Government of Karnataka, 2009) argues for combining spatial planning with planning for economic and human development. However, at a time when planning itself is abdicated at all levels, with more and more room for markets to take care of all aspects of governance, it is indeed doubtful whether the decision-makers will combine spatial planning with planning for economic and human development. The only alternative in the context of the exponential growth of primate cities would be to develop the district- and taluk-level cities. There is a great necessity to develop civic amenities in these cities in order to make them livable and to develop them as economic centres so that there is local employment for prospective out-migrants. Developing district-and taluk-level cities as economic and development hubs would also make employment available for the youth from the surrounding villages and rural areas. This would reduce the current population stress on primate cities. It is indeed praiseworthy that Karnataka has taken a few steps in this regard, such as shifting the 82

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IT industry to some extent to district-level cities. For example Mysore city is home to some IT companies. Likewise, Dharwad is now endowed with an Indian Institute of Technology and a High Court bench. However, more such steps are needed to reduce migration to Bengaluru and the consequent concentration of population there. In this context, when we compare Telangana and Andhra Pradesh with Karnataka, we see that no such steps have been taken in the former states. The capital, Hyderabad, happens to be the only city drawing official attention and private investment. The alternative that we suggested for reducing the stress on primate cities applies to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh too. Here, the district centres have a lot of potential for development. That potential should be realized by shifting the focus of private investments and governmental support in basic civic services to the district- and taluk-rung cities. First, the process of unequal urbanization is a phenomenon not limited to Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The development of primate cities is common to all the fast-growing states in India. Therefore, one serious implication for further research would be to undertake an exploration of the phenomenon in the other rapidly urbanizing states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal and others. Second, there is growth taking place at the level of district cities as well. However, this growth is not at the rate at which the capital cities of the states are growing. Most of the metropolitan agglomerations around them have district-level cities which are growing, but at a differential rate. They form the dwarf cities around the giant metropolitan agglomerations of the capital cities. These state capitals are usually more than two times larger than the surrounding cities and form the ‘primate cities’. Therefore, research into this phenomenon is urgently warranted. As mentioned, the district-level cities are also growing, albeit differentially. Hence, tracking the growth trajectories of the district-level cities is essential for studying the urbanization processes in today’s India. Third, the governance of both the primate cities and the district-level cities is a highly neglected subject. At the district level, the questions to be asked are: What are the roles of the district-level bureaucracy and the political executive in decision-making? Who are making the decisions concerning district city governance and planning? and What are the levels of citizen participation in the decision-making processes? Fourth, what is the growth at the taluk level? Is it taking place rapidly? Or is the urban growth at the taluk level petering out? If the rate of growth of urbanization is either slow or rapid, are there commensurate governance mechanisms to manage this process at the taluk level? As our fieldwork shows, often the taluk-level towns are the most neglected in terms of governance, civic amenities, sanitation and drinking water. Research into the status of these small towns will be extremely useful. These small towns often happen to have direct interaction with the surrounding rural areas and are 83

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often market towns. They are also cities having centres of public health and education. Therefore, research into the condition of small towns will be beneficial for the public good. Fifth, fruitful research can be carried out to explore the extent of prevalence of urban civil society. Civil society organizations, such as NGOs, have often concentrated their work on rural development and rural areas, even though their headquarters are often situated in nearby taluk or district towns. Research on finding out the extent of their work on urban issues will be useful. In some rare cases, civic interest in urban issues is strong in district-level cities. This often happens when local and regional pride combines to contribute to such activity. Research into the extent of the prevalence of NGOs working on urban issues will be useful for furthering their endeavours and focusing on issues of local government accountability, citizen empowerment and so forth. Such research could help smooth the interface between the local state and civil society. Sixth, and finally, most district-and taluk-level cities and towns are highly neglected when it comes to civic amenities. This is particularly true of sanitation and drinking water. As cases in point, our research shows that both Dharwad and Mahabubnagar suffer from a lack of underground sewerage and sanitation. The collection of solid waste, too, is a highly neglected phenomenon in these cities. While there has been sufficient attention in the media, academia and policy circles on the state of sanitation and drinking water in primate capital cities, in district-and lower-rung cities it is highly neglected. As our research demonstrates, drinking water, along with sanitation, is a major issue at the district-level cities. Often, there is no 24/7 drinking water available, which, despite being a human right, is increasingly rationed and charged. Research into the condition of sanitation and drinking water facilities in small- and medium-sized cities will highly serve the public good. From the foregoing, the implications for policy are clear. The unequal spatial concentration of urban growth must be corrected. The corrective course will be de-concentrated and decentralized urban development. A first step in this direction would be to shift some pre-eminent industries, as well as education and health facilities, to the district-level cities. This shift, which will increase employment opportunities in the district-and lower-level cities, will result in their development and spatially even urban growth. In this regard, it is heartening to note that Karnataka has already taken some steps to shift some of the IT companies and educational facilities to district cities. The same, however, is not the case with most rapidly growing states. The second policy suggestion is to improve the infrastructure at the districtand taluk-level cities. Along with the shifting of pre-eminent industries, such as software and biotech in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, infrastructure improvement is also needed. Improvement in infrastructure is both a precondition and a requirement for shifting industry, educational and health 84

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facilities to these cities. The spatial de-concentration of urban development will come about only when spatial de-concentration of economic interests takes place. The strengthening of local bodies is a policy recommendation that easily flows from the preceding research findings. However, urban local governance is a state subject and is mired in the politics of the state. Each state has its own trajectory of either developing or not developing local governance bodies. Even in Karnataka, which is a state known for progressive decentralization of reforms, the decentralization in the urban sector is limited. So it is debatable how much we can expect the other Indian states to devolve powers to urban local governance bodies and to form DPCs and district planning units. At the current level of urban decentralization in Indian states, we can only be pessimistic about the scenario in the near future. However, one major change that can be suggested is to transform zillaparishads (ZPs), currently functioning as only zilla rural panchayats, into hubs of both urban as well as rural governance. Currently, ZPs have only a rural focus. ZPs usually function at the district level, and the district city’s governance, as well as its planning, will improve if they are empowered to take equal responsibility in urban governance. We have sounded a note of caution at the beginning of this book to the reader that while we may argue for the better governance of the district-level cities, we have to accept that, sociologically speaking, these cities are not repositories of modernity. We are very much conscious of this truth. In fact, the much-needed urbanity and urbaneness are often sorely missing in these cities. Caste, gender and class matter in these cities much like any corner of Indian society. In fact, as the cases of Dharwad and Mahabubnagar show, the district-level cities are even becoming communal in nature. It is not only the social capital between communities to maintain communal harmony that is missing in these cities; also, the much-sought-after communal syncretism is often and increasingly a far-fetched phenomenon. All said, small cities and the face-to-face communities that they foster are also potent enemies of impersonality and liberal individualism. If there is any liberality that exists in the societies of these cities, itis in the economic sphere and not in the social and political spheres. Be that as it may, we have to concede that these cities are badly governed and are even neglected in the national urban policy: the reason why we are highlighting their governance, or lack of it, in this book. All in all, this book strongly emphasizes shifting the focus from metropolitan urban studies to district-level urban studies. It suggests moving investments, facilities and cultural hegemony from state capitals to district-level cities, changing the centralized structure of cities to a decentralized one, spreading the spatially and geographically concentrated urban population into spatially de-concentrated urban centres and transforming the centralized political power and governance into a decentralized one. We also recommend shifting powers from the bureaucracy to elected representatives at 85

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the district level. Last, and most important, the focus should also be shifted to urban local civil society and its organizations as India urbanizes rapidly in the current century.

Digitization, sustainability and the future We have argued in the previous chapters that the urban governance scenario in the district-level cities is not very rosy. While the markets have been penetrating to these cities at a fast rate, the element of governance commensurate with the spread of markets has been missing. We also held that the absence of governance at this level of cities results in a lack of basic minimum infrastructural facilities, such as sanitation and drinking water. Almost all the cities that we discussed in the preceding chapters lack 100 percent underground drainage facilities. The drinking water supply, too, has only been available once in seven days. And the other basic municipal functions such as solid waste removal and management have also been found badly wanting. Urban infrastructure in these cities is a huge problem. While the urban reality at the district level is not entirely abysmal, it has not been a shining example either. We have also argued that the governance to meet this reality has been missing. The administration of these district cities has largely been through the ‘Commissioner System’ and bureaucratic governance. The role of elected representatives in urban local governance has been less. The small cities that we are discussing in this text are also badly in need of civil society actors. Even NGOs working on urban local issues have been less in number. The density of civic associations working towards improving urban governance is often less than one would expect. Civil society in the small cities is missing. And what civil society there is consists of religious communal organizations. We held in the previous chapters that religious communalism is a major issue even in these small cities, and this has often been at the cost of vibrant local democracy. On the other hand, the trends in governance have been towards the privatization of services, casualization, outsourcing and informalization of service staff and the imposition of user charges on basic minimum infrastructural services. One of the major approaches has also been to enter into public– private partnership mode to service the infrastructure. These trends not only are limited to the metropolitan cities but are also being sought to be implemented in the district capitals. While the municipalities and municipal corporations at this level are also cash-strapped, the trend has hardly been to provide more resources to them; rather, the attempt has been to make them ‘self-financing’, which means shifting the burden of basic minimum services onto the citizens. It is in this context that the central government missions, such as the Smart City Mission, are being proposed and implemented with the help of IT-based 86

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solutions. In the following, we discuss what this drive toward digitization and digital solutions means to small-city problems. Digital solutions, in the sense of electronic governance (E-governance), have not been entirely new in the South Indian states. The states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have implemented a number of urban governance reforms with the help of E-governance solutions. For example,‘E-Seva’ kiosks in Andhra Pradesh and ‘Bangalore-one’ kiosks in Karnataka to pay various bills and collect different government certificates have been hugely successful (Vaddiraju and Manasi, 2019). Likewise, the digitization of registration processes has been a huge success in these states too. But the problem is that only some states, even within South India, have implemented these reforms. The enthusiasm towards IT-based solutions to everyday governance problems has not been shared evenly among the states in South India, let alone the other states in India. States like Punjab, which has implemented IT-based governance solutions, may be an exception in this context. It is important to note that IT cannot substitute for basic minimum infrastructure such as underground drainage or the drinking water supply. One may pay the water bill with the help of IT, but there should be clean drinking water in the first place. Small district cities lack this basic infrastructure. And small cities lack the requisite financial resources to meet these requirements. Their capacities to raise their own resources, too, are limited. In the preceding, we have discussed the use of IT in urban governance. However, despite that, there is a general spread of the internet and digitization in urban life. This is intertwined with the ongoing technological changes, in general, and digital revolution, in particular. This has become allencompassing. While it is beyond the scope of this book to deal with technological revolutions of our time and their impact on everyday life, we only limit ourselves to the point that technology is Janus-faced. While technology can bring many benefits, it can deprive one of one’s privacy and even security. Thus, we limit ourselves here to the noting of this Janus-faced nature of our technological and digital revolutions (Vaddiraju and Manasi, 2019). Sustainable living in the small cities depends on three factors: economic sustainability, ecological sustainability and social sustainability. We consider these next. Often, small district cities are surrounded by vast rural areas. The small cities themselves develop historically as trading towns catering to these rural areas. Therefore, it may be noted that the economic sustainability of small district cities depends on their surrounding rural economies. These small cities develop depending on the buoyancy of agriculture in the surrounding areas. If the agricultural sector is facing a downward shift, then the economies of the small towns also suffer. This is owing to the fact that when the demand for the goods and services that these cities provide suffers, the economies of cities as a whole decline. 87

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Second, ecological sustainability depends on whether the growth of the cities is planned or not. We already mentioned that the planning function is not being conducted as stipulated by the Constitution. We also mentioned the neglect of town planning in city planning exercises. Thus, the growth of small cities is bound to be chaotic in the near future because there is no adequate planning of these cities when compared to their growth. Ecological sustainability crucially depends on town planning and governance, popular awareness notwithstanding. Social sustainability of small cities depends on two factors: (1) communal harmony and (2) paying attention to the demographic dividend. The first point has already been mentioned earlier: that social sustainability of small cities requires better social capital among the different religious communities in India. Communalism is already a spreading or prevalent phenomenon in these cities. In such contexts, social and religious harmony is of crucial significance. The second, and more important, point is that social sustainability requires that sufficient attention be paid to the young population. We have to accept that most of the population of these cities is of a younger age group, and considering that fact, channeling their energy in a constructive direction is important. This point does not need much exaggeration in India as most demographers are in agreement that the country is reaping a demographic dividend. When these three aspects of sustainability are taken care of, that is economic, environmental and social, the urban spaces become livable and sustainable in the long run. However, one last point that needs to be added is again that of the governance of small cities. Here we should mention that in order to have sustainable urban living, there has to be the rule of law and an accountable and transparent government. The purpose of urban governance and local democracy is to achieve all of the preceding ends.

Note 1 It is not that bureaucracy always plays a negative role; it plays a positive role in urban governance and development, too. In some of the cities such as Dharwad, the citizens remember the names of individual bureaucrats who have taken exceptional interest in urban development and shown tremendous drive and sense of purpose in developing the city. Such individual bureaucrats can make a significant difference to governance at the district level, as the entire district government machinery will be at their disposal to positively contribute to the development, governance and well-being of the cities and citizens.

References Das, S.K. (2013) The Civil Services in India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Dubey, Gaurav (2016) ‘Town Planning Machinery: Enquiry into Staffing Adequacy’ Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. LI, No. 48, pp. 26–29.

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Government of Karnataka (2009) Urban Development Policy for Karnataka, Bangalore: Government of Karnataka. Government of Kerala (2012) State Urbanisation Report, Thiruvananthapuram: Government of Kerala. Jenkins, Rob (2004) Regional Reflections: Comparing Politics Across Indian States, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Kundu, Amitabh (2014) ‘India’s Sluggish Urbanization and its Exclusionary Development’ in Gordon McGranahan and George Martine (eds.) Urban Growth in Emerging Economies: Lessons from BRICS, New York and London: Routledge and Earthscan, pp. 191–232. Vaddiraju, Anil Kumar (2013, January 12) ‘A Tale of Many Cities: Governance and Planning in Karnataka’ Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. XLVIII, No.2, pp. 66–69. Vaddiraju, Anil Kumar (2019, January–June) ‘District level Urban Governance Policies in India: Cities of Neglect?’ Urban India: Journal of the National Institute of Urban Affairs, Vol.39, No.1, pp. 134–142. Vaddiraju, Anil Kumar and S.Manasi (2019, April–June) ‘E-Governance: Learning from Karnataka’ Indian Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 65, No. 2, pp. 1–14. Vaddiraju, Anil Kumar and Satyanarayana Sangita (2011) Decentralized Governance and Planning in Karnataka, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

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Page numbers in italic indicate a figure and page numbers in bold indicate a table on the corresponding page. bridging capital 4 Browning, Clyde E. 30, 31, 34 Bunts 45 bureaucracy 8, 23, 43, 44, 54, 70, 77, 78, 88n1 bureaucratic governance 76, 86

73rd Constitutional Amendment 16, 23, 80, 81 74th Constitutional Amendment 2, 6, 8, 16, 21–23, 36, 44, 69, 73, 75–78, 81 agrarian populism 15 agriculture 66 Ambedkar, B.R. 15 Andhra Pradesh 5–11, 26, 35, 36, 62, 68, 70, 73, 75, 76, 87; district urban planning in 76–79; vs. Karnataka 23–25, 53–54, 73; urbanization in 47, 53–54, 64, 69, 75 anti-urban bias 16 Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 8 Avis, W.R. 2

census towns (CTs) 1, 60–61 Centre for Multi-Disciplinary Development Research (CMDR) 41, 43 Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) 61, 62 Chennai 10, 26, 62, 64, 70, 74; population of 62, 64, 68–69 citizen participation 6, 22, 43, 81 citizen rights 43 Citizens Consumers’ Forum (CCF) 44 citizenship 39, 81, 82 city municipality 39, 44, 45 civic apathy 38, 39, 43, 55n6 civic associations 4, 46, 86 civic culture 46, 72 civic services 43, 45, 46 civil society 51, 52, 53, 81, 86; local 81–86; organizations 21, 38, 44, 55n7, 81, 82, 84 class politics 19 colonialism 17, 32 ‘Commissioner System’ 86 communal harmony 5, 49, 85, 88 communalism 5, 43, 54n3, 72, 73, 78, 80, 86, 88 communal tension 49, 50, 78, 80 constitutional governance 3, 21

backward classes 22 Balasubramanyam, Ahalya 24 Balasubramanyam, V.N. 24 Bangalore (Bengaluru) 7, 11, 24–26, 30–33, 32, 35, 53, 62, 64, 68, 70, 73, 74, 83 Bangalore Action Task Force 25 “Bangalore-centric” development 33, 75 bania class 45 Bevir, Mark 3, 20 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 44, 46, 49 Bhoomi project 25 Billavas 45 bonding capital 4 Brahminical Hindu culture 46 Brahmins 45

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consultative processes 6 Contemporary Urban Sociology (Flanagan) 17 cottage industries 66 cultural hegemony 33

garbage removal 68 ‘Globalisation and Urban Issues in the Non-Western World’ (Stern) 2 globalization 2 governance 4, 5, 17–20, 30, 31, 47, 55n6, 72, 75; city 46, 50, 67; concept of 11, 20–22, 44; of Dharwad 41–43; Karnataka vs. Andhra Pradesh 53–54; reforms 24, 25; studies 4 gross domestic product (GDP) 15 Guin, Debarshi 59, 63 Guntur 32

Dalit movement 46, 78 Das, S.K. 23, 78 decentralization 20, 21, 23, 26, 33, 36, 47, 62, 85 decision-making power 21, 33–34, 78 democratic deficit 80–81 democratic legitimacy 16 deputy commissioner’s office (DPC) 47, 53, 54, 76, 77 Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas 25 Dharwad 7, 36–43, 40, 54n3, 72, 73, 76, 78–85; governance of 41–43; vs. Udupi 46–47 Dharwad District Human Development Report (2014) 37 Dharwad Human Development Report 7 digital governance 6 digital technologies 6 digitization 6, 70, 86–88 Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) 48 district-level cities 3, 5, 8, 11, 12, 16, 19–21, 78, 79, 81, 82, 84–86 District Planning Committees (DPCs) 22, 44, 76, 79, 85 district-tier cities 35, 54, 72, 73, 75 district urban planning 53, 76–79 divisive politics 73 drainage 45; open 42, 49, 68; underground 49, 68, 79 drinking water supply 22, 38, 40–46, 48–50, 52, 53, 67, 79–80, 84, 86

Hubballi-Dharwad 11, 38, 39, 41, 43 Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) 38, 39 Hubli 37 Human Development Index (HDI) 50 Human Development Report 39, 42, 43, 55n4; of Andhra Pradesh, 2007 50; of Udupi, 2008 55n7 Hyderabad 7, 10, 11, 25, 26, 30–33, 32, 35, 47, 49, 50, 53, 62, 64, 68, 70, 73, 74, 83 ‘Hyderabad-centric’ 25, 75 Hyderabad Metro water reform 25 India 1–3, 6, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18–20, 57, 72 Indian Institute of Technology 40 Indian National Congress (INC) 44, 46, 49, 52, 53, 55n13 information technology (IT) 24, 32, 53, 83, 84, 86, 87 inter-ethnic relations 50, 80 intra-city inequality 30, 31 Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) 6, 8 Jefferson, Mark 30 Jenkins, Rob 6, 12, 73 John, Peter 2

ecological sustainability 87, 88 economic growth 8, 14, 20, 63, 78 economic reforms 6, 14, 24, 25, 32 economic sustainability 87 election process 16, 22, 47, 52, 67, 69, 70, 75, 76, 78 electronic governance (E-governance) 87 ‘E-Seva’ 87

Karnataka 5–11, 26, 35, 36, 62, 68–70, 75, 80, 82, 85, 87; vs. Andhra Pradesh 23–25, 53–54, 73; district urban planning in 76–79; gram sabhas and ward sabhas 81; urbanization in 36–47, 53–54, 64, 69 Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act (1976) 36 Karnataka Municipalities Act (1964) 36 Karnataka’s Elitist Growth Model 24

Finance Commission grants 47 finances 21, 23, 39 Flanagan, William G. 17–19

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metropolitan planning committees 22 Mettur Dam 67 migration problem 48 Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department 48 municipal commissioner’s office 54, 77 municipal corporation 37, 43, 65, 67, 68, 86 municipal council 45, 46 municipal laws 8 Muslims in Udupi 45 Mutlu, Servet 30 Mysore 30, 31

Kerala 5–7, 9–12, 15, 54, 57–64, 68–70; vs. Tamil Nadu 25–26; towns in 59–60, 60; urban governance in 61, 73; urbanization in 57–59, 59, 60, 64, 69, 73, 75 Kerala Municipality (KM) Act (1994) 61 Kerala State Urbanisation Report 58, 59, 69, 70, 75 Konkani 45 Krishna, S.M. 24 Krishna water 48 Kundu, Amitabh 30, 32, 63, 70, 80 Kurnool 7, 11, 36, 50–53, 73, 77, 81, 82; Mahabubnagar vs. 52–53; participation in NGOs and civil society 51; political participation and parties 51–52; sanitation and drinking water 52

Naidu, Chandrababu 24, 25, 33 national income 16 neo-liberal concept 20 neo-liberal governance 3, 82 neo-liberal models 22 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) 5, 6, 40, 45–46, 51–53, 81, 82

Lakshmana, C.M. 47 Latin America 30, 31, 34 liberalization 14, 30 linking capital 4 local democracy 2, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 20, 30, 31, 70, 72, 73, 80–81; concept 21–22, 54 local governance 4, 11, 47, 69, 72, 81, 85, 86 local government 5, 8, 61, 69, 75, 76, 81 local self-governance 17, 23, 61, 70, 77, 78 Local Self Government Institutions (LSGIs) 61

Panchayati Raj Institutions 61 ‘pattern of rule’ 3, 20, 44–45 political developments 25 political economy 17–20, 24, 26, 72 political participation 51–53, 82 political science 3, 4 Pourakarmikas (municipal workers) 40 poverty 15, 24, 45 primate city development 31, 32, 34, 73, 74, 82, 83 public policy learning 26 Putnam, Robert 4, 5, 12, 72

Mahabubnagar 7, 11, 36, 47–50, 73, 77–81, 84, 85; governance of 48; Kurnool vs. 52–53; problems 48–50 Mahadayi River 41 Maharashtra 47 Mahatma Gandhi 14 Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy (Putnam) 4 Malaprabha River 41 Mangalore 45 Manor, James 24, 25 Marxian approach 18 megalopolises 1, 5 mega-urban agglomeration 8, 15, 33, 34, 74, 80 metropolitan cities 11, 22, 26, 27n1, 70, 72, 86 metropolitanization 1

reciprocity and norms 4, 5 ‘Regional Inequality of Urban Growth: A Study in Karnataka’(Lakshmana) 36 ‘Rising Star: Hyderabad, The’ (Shaw) 32 road connectivity 45 rural areas 14–16, 36, 61, 81, 84 rural governance 1, 15, 16, 72 rural plans/planning 44–46, 76 Salem district 7, 65–71, 73 Salem steel plant 66 sanitation 22, 38, 42–44, 46, 48, 50, 52, 53, 67, 68, 79–80, 84 scheduled castes (SCs) 22, 42 scheduled tribes (STs) 22, 42 Shaw, Annapurna 30, 32

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INDEX

urban agglomerations (UAs) 10, 10–11, 15, 37, 45, 47, 57, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64, 68–69, 70, 80 urban development 5, 6, 21, 25, 30, 31, 33, 34, 37, 54, 58–60, 70–71, 75, 84 ‘Urban Development Policy for Karnataka’ 33, 53, 82 urban governance 1, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 15–17, 20–21, 23, 26, 35, 39, 43, 44, 46, 54, 55n6, 70, 72, 73, 78, 81, 86–88, 88n1; definition 2–3; in Kerala 61; macro-policy for 22 urban infrastructure 21, 23, 49, 61, 79, 84–86 urbanization 1–2, 7, 9, 10, 10–12, 14, 15, 17–18, 25, 26, 74; in Andhra Pradesh 47, 53–54, 64, 69, 75; as historical process 12; in Karnataka 36–47, 53–54, 64, 69; in Kerala 57–59, 59, 60, 64, 69, 75; pattern of 30; in South Asia 19–20; in South India 65; in Tamil Nadu 63–64, 70, 75; ‘top-heavy’ 1, 32, 70, 80 urban local bodies (ULBs) 39, 40, 42, 43, 47, 48, 61, 62 urban planning 22, 42, 44–48, 53, 73, 76 urban politics 2, 12, 18 urban population 9, 11, 14, 66 urban primacy 7, 11, 26, 68, 73, 74, 80; in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh 30–36 urban system 15, 30, 31, 35

slums 42, 46, 47, 50 ‘Smart City Mission’ (SCM) 6, 12, 86 social capital 1–2, 12, 21, 39, 43–46, 73, 78–86, 88; concept 5; definitions 4; theory 3–4, 11, 72 social cohesion 3, 5, 50, 79, 80 social cooperation 5 solid waste: disposal 42, 52; management 40–42, 45, 67, 68, 79; segregation 45 South Asia 18, 19 South Asia Human Development Report (2014) 19, 20 South India 2, 6, 7, 10–12, 14, 15, 26, 30, 57, 64, 69, 75, 87 state-as-facilitator 23 state–civil society relationship 21 State Institute of Urban Development 44, 53 statutory towns (STs) 1, 60–61 Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) 66 Stern, Richard 2, 18 ‘subaltern urbanisation’ 1 sustainability 86–88 Swarna drinking water project 45 taluk-level cities 82, 84 Tamil Nadu 5–7, 9–12, 15, 54, 57, 62–71, 76, 79; vs. Kerala 25–26; urbanization in 63–64, 70, 73 Telangana 7, 26, 30, 31, 36, 50, 73, 75–80 Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) 49, 52 Telugu Desam Party (TDP) 51, 53 Thiruvananthapuram 26, 62, 68, 69, 74 Town Planning Department 53 Twelfth Schedule of the Constitution 22, 27n2

Vijayapura 36–37 Warangal 30, 31 ‘Why study Urban Politics?’ (John) 2 women’s self-help groups 25 Woolcock, Michael 4 World Bank 38, 43 world system approach 17, 19

Udupi 7, 11, 36, 38, 39, 40, 43–46, 55n7, 72, 73, 76, 78–81; vs. Dharwad 46–47 ‘Udupi Chalo’ agitation 78 United Andhra Pradesh 6, 7, 9, 11, 24 United Nations Development Programme 21

Yamikeri tank 41 Yuvajana Sramika Rythu (YSR) Congress 52, 53 zilla panchayat/zillaparishads (ZP) 44–46, 85

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