India’s urban issues due to its population
by maxdesy on October 5, 2017 - 11:23am
In his article, Mr. Krishnamurthy tells us about India’s urban population growth and how it brings many issues for Indian cities to deal with. Indeed, from 2001 to 2011, the urban population increased by 91 million. As of right now, more than 377 million Indians live in urban areas. This urban growth is explained by the author due to the fact that, because agriculture and related activities were the sole occupation available for people in rural areas and land being a limited resource, as the population grew, land could not support any further addition to the labour force in rural areas. Thus, people started migrating to urban areas (in particular to the major cities like Bombay and Delhi,) seeking for employment. As a result, a lot of pressure was put on available public utilities and facilities in the cities.
As the author explains, many problems were brought by this overwhelming urbanization, which often worsened the already existing inequalities between rich and poor. Of the most critical from the author’s point of view is housing. Indeed, because there are so many people but not enough space, slums (which are illegal houses built on public spaces) are developing in India by the poorest. These illegal colonies do not have any civic amenities like drinking water, sewage, electricity etc, and there is often mafia involved. The thing that happens is that, while these slums are first built away from the cities, the growing of these cities soon reaches the slums, making them a part of the cities. When that happens, these slums are often destroyed to build luxury apartments, and the slum dwellers are resettled. To solve this problem, the author suggests that the slums be cleared and modest housing apartment buildings built to accommodate all the slum dwellers, so that they are not resettled.
In my opinion, Mr. Krishnamurthy’s solution to the housing problems is a good one for sure, although it does not solve the problem entirely. Indeed, while it may adjust the problem that the poor people won’t live in illegal slums anymore, I think it does not focus enough on the main issue: the overwhelming urbanization Indian cities experience. Indeed, as the author himself said, there are no more places for new people in rural areas since there is only so much land, so people’s only choice to find a job is to move into cities. Even if the government could pay to develop modest housing apartment buildings for the new dwellers indefinitely, there are still the problems concerning access to public utilities such as healthcare for example which can’t serve everybody. Thus, only the wealthiest may have access to these services, so social inequalities between rich and poor will still increase. In my mind, a solution would be to develop a law like China to limit families to only one or two kids to decrease the population flux for some time. While it may look a bit radical at first, let’s not remember that if this urbanization keeps going on, cities may crumble due to too much people. By slowing down the growth of population a bit for some time, the Indian government could buy itself some time to adapt their cities to its great population and solve the actual social problems.