Urbanization In Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh is the most populous State of India with a total population of 19.96 crore according to Census, 2011 out of which 15.51 crore live in rural areas and 4.45 crore in urban areas. There has been a net addition of about 1.09 crore persons in the urban areas between 2001-2011. Thus, about 16.50% of the total population and 11.80% of the urban population of India reside in Uttar Pradesh. Out of 4041 statutory towns of India 648 (i.e. 16%) exist in Uttar Pradesh. Percentage of urban population to total population of the State stands at 22.28 as per 2011 Census whereas, this percentage was 20.78 in 2001. Thus, an increase of 1.50 percentage points has been recorded in the urban population during 2001-2011. However, the level of urbanization (22.28%) in the State is quite low as compared to all India figure of 31.16%. The decadal growth of urban population during 2001-2011 has been 28.75 per cent as against 31.80 per cent during 1991-2001. By 2021 the urban population of the State is estimated to be 5.83 crore which would mean an increase of 1.38 crore as against 1.09 crore during 2001-2011.

Although, Uttar Pradesh has the largest urban system in the country with 630 municipalities however, it ranks 23rd in the level of urbanization. There are marked regional imbalances in the level of urbanization in the State. As per Census-2011, Western Region with 32.45% urban population is the most urbanized and Eastern Region with 13.40% urban population is the least urbanized. Urban population of Central and Bundelkhand Regions stands at 20.06 and 22.74, respectively. The trend of urban population growth shows that large towns especially class-I towns are relatively growing faster which is discernible from the fact that class-I towns contained 33.71% of urban population in 1951 which increased to 60% in 2011. Besides, number of class-I towns increased from 14 in 1991, to 54 in 2001 and 64 in 2011, whereas number of metropolitan cities increased from 6 in 2001 to 7 in 2011. Concentration of population in large cities is indicative of spatial polarization of employment opportunities. Small towns (especially Class-5 and 6 towns) exhibit a negative rate of growth which is indicative of growing trend of population shift towards larger (5 lac plus) cities.

An analysis of the distribution of urban population across various size categories reveals that the process of urbanization in the State has been favourable towards larger cities. Consequently, the urban structure is becoming more and more top heavy due to the higher demographic growth in large cities which attract migrants from all over the State due to their stronger economic and infrastructural base. Urbanization in the State is imperative for achieving faster and more inclusive growth because agglomeration and densification of economic activities in urban areas stimulates economic efficiencies and provides more opportunities for earning livelihoods. Thus, urbanization increases avenues for entrepreneurship and employment compared to what is possible in dispersed rural areas. Urbanization enables faster inclusion of more people in the process of economic growth.

Urban Housing and Infrastructure Scenario

Urban Housing

Housing is one of the basic necessities of life. ‘Housing’ means more than a roof, it includes- adequate space, civic amenities, security of tenure, structural stability, lighting and ventilation, security, privacy, access to work place- all at an affordable cost. ‘Affordable’ not only in financial term, but livability, acceptability, inclusiveness & sustainability too. Affordable housing especially to the urban poor is a social obligation of the State and a big challenge which requires innovative thinking and planning.

Shortage of affordable housing is a serious problem facing today not only Uttar Pradesh but the country as a whole. The high urban growth entails considerable investment into housing and physical and social infrastructure. It is estimated that housing industry in the country contributes to about 6% of the GDP. This industry itself has over 250 backward and forward linkages with ancillary industries. It is ironical that while urban population is increasing rapidly, supply of serviced land and housing units is restricted leading to creation of sub-standard and illegal housing stock. The projected housing shortage at the beginning of 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) has been estimated at 5.46 lac dwelling units and about 13.20 lac households are expected to be added up to the end of 12th Plan as per the population projections. Besides, the requirement against unserviceable katcha houses, requirement owing to congestion factor and requirement owing to obsolescence factor would be 0.099 lac, 2.06 lac and 3.30 lac units, respectively. Thus, the total housing requirement during 12th Plan period is expected to be 24.119 lac say 24.0 lac dwelling units which means that 4.8 lac dwelling units will have to be provided annually.

Physical Infrastructure

An analysis of the levels of basic infrastructure brings out the dismal picture of urban areas in the State. With growing urbanization, there is a rapid growth of slums too. According to the estimates of Central Statistical Organization, slum population of Uttar Pradesh was 58.4 lac in 1991, 77.10 lac in 2001 and 1.02 crore in 2011 which is 23.05% of the urban population as per Census-2011. There is a tremendous pressure on urban infrastructure systems especially water supply, drainage, sewerage, and solid waste management. Water supply connection is available for only 50% households in Nagar Nigam towns and 41% of total water supplied is non-revenue i.e. it goes waste as leakage. Only 20% of urban areas is serviced by sewerage system and only 73% households is having toilet facilities. Only 58% of urban centers have storm water drainage and only 88% of solid waste is collected. No city is having integrated drainage and solid waste management system. Thus, the biggest challenge is to provide basic services and basic housing to the urban citizens at affordable cost. The existing infrastructure scenario calls for review of existing policies, rules and regulations, adopting innovative concepts and promoting public-private partnerships for provision of infrastructure and affordable housing.

Urban Transport

Most of the cities in Uttar Pradesh have been facing urban transport problems for many years, affecting the mobility of people and economic growth of the urban areas. These problems are due to inadequate transport infrastructure and its sub-optimal use; lack of integration between land use and transport planning; lack of mass transport system and little improvement in city bus services, which encourage a shift to personalized modes. The challenge for improved bus transport is to provide good quality service at an affordable price. It is also important to evaluate alternative public transport technologies in the context of the city characteristics. The public transport options vary between low cost buses to high cost rail metros. Moreover, the shape of a city is very important for selecting the appropriate mode of transport and capacity building is a very important factor in introducing and implementing public transport system. Several initiatives have been taken in this regard: Many cities of State like Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra, Allahabad, Varanasi and Meerut have prepared Comprehensive Mobility Plans. Bus systems have been improved under the JNNURM scheme through provision of better buses, improved information system and prioritization of bus flows through dedicated bus lane. However, it is still not enough to cater to the growing need of cities. The key message from the review of urban transport sector in State is that the proposed approach has to be comprehensive and serve a range of human needs.

In above regard, going ahead, the State Government had decided to launch Metro Rail Services in city of Lucknow and Ghaziabad in I-Phase. At present the work of Metro rail is in progress at both the places. Also after the Feasibility report, DPR is being prepared by RITES (an expert institution of Ministry of Railways) for the implementation of Metro Rail projects at Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar, Agra and Meerut. The DPR for Kanpur Metro Rail has been received to the government. The Kanpur metro rail and Varanasi Metro Rail projects are likely to be started in the financial year 2016-17. The main challenges thrown up by growing urbanization in the State include increasing slum population, acute shortage of affordable housing, shortage of potable drinking water supply , environmental problems like air, water and noise pollution, insanitation, increasing pressure on land, encroachments, haphazard urban growth and lack of mass transport, etc. Although the Urban Local Bodies are hard pressed to mobilize resources to discharge their functions, yet they have to bear the incessantly increasing pressure of providing basic civic amenities like safe drinking water supply, sanitation, drainage, sewerage, street-lights, roads, etc. to the rapidly growing population, especially in the large cities. For being able to do so their capacity has to be augmented and strengthened in view of recent technological innovations and growing demand of urbanization.