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Migration Patterns

Patterns of Commuting for Work a Case Study of Kochi City

Author : N.Ajith Kumar, Baishali Goswami, K.K. George | 2016
Published By: Centre for Development Studies

The literature on urbanization in India identifies an emerging trend of more and more people staying outside the cities and commuting to the cities everyday for work. The trend is likely to accelerate over time due to the limited employment opportunities in the rural areas. Commuting for work or any other kind of circulatory movement creates a group of “rurban” population who are completely overlooked in the local level planning process. This group of workers comes everyday to work in the city and thus contributes to its development. They are, however, not part of the city planning though their circulatory movement is essential for the existence of the city. The issue of their citizenship and rights to the city is also raised in this context. On the other hand, their involvement in the local planning and governance of the villages where they reside is also limited due to time constraints. The present study is a modest attempt to understand the patterns of commuting for work to the city of Kochi from other parts of the state of Kerala. The city of Kochi is characterised by almost zero population growth making it more and more dependent on workers from outside. The nature and patterns of commuting differ in different employment sectors, between male and female workers and for unskilled/ low skill workers compared to skilled or white collar workers. Improving the commuting experience needs a comprehensive plan encompassing the needs of urban facilities, transport needs, gender dimensions and environmental issues. It may not be possible always for the local governments to address various issues related to area planning, building norms, parking infrastructure or on the components of transport planning. Many such issues come under the purview of the state and central governments. A comprehensive planning is also constrained by the absence of required data and information for such an exercise. There is no estimate of the number of workers commuting to Kochi city and their nature of work. The pressure exerted by the commuting population on urban services and facilities is not considered in urban planning. An understanding of the social and economic dimensions of the work related commuting is important in urban planning.

URL : http://cds.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/RULSG-5.pdf

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