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Migration Patterns

Development Planning and 'Urban' Context: Reflections on the Indian Scene

Author : Biswaroop Das | 2016 |
Published By: Centre for Social Studies

Through a broad portrayal of character of its development, changing urban patterns, nature of urban economic structure and contents of urban development policies, this paper takes a political economy approach to examine the process of urbanization in India. It narrates as to how since the colonial period labour mobility across space and sectors was caused as well as triggered by marginalization of the peasantry and artisans through agencies of a growing capitalist economy. Instead of taking a systemic view, manifest expression of rural to urban migration in form of overcrowding as well as dense and unhygienic living conditions of the urban poor continued to be viewed as the 'primary' set of urban problems. As a result, efforts to address such problems by the state remained adhoc and piecemeal over the time. This is exemplified by changing approaches and policies of urban development in the country stated and noted in various plan documents and status papers. Veering between aims of 'inclusive growth' and grooming of select urban spaces for responding to global market changes, the concerns and components of urban planning have now been subverted by market forces in an irreversible manner. As a result, the urban development policies have become exclusively 'elitist', with the poor in cities left to fend for themselves in unprotected sectors of the economy and inhuman living conditions in slums, shanties and redeveloped 'informal' settlements.

URL : http://www.css.ac.in/download/english/CSS%20Working%20Paper%20No.12.pdf

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