Delhi growth an urban legend.
PERCHED on the pedestal of maximum city, Delhi may continue to draw migrants in hordes but it has failed to fool the country's urban development watchdogs. The Capital's mask of planned development has been ripped off by the latest Urbanisation Status Report prepared by the Union urban development ministry.
According to the report, Delhi is failing on basic urbanisation parameters such as electricity, drinking water and poverty index, even as several other states are registering steady urban growth.
" Do you call a state urbanised if it doesn't have any space left to construct a sanitary landfill site, a night shelter, an old age home or a mega bus terminus?" asked a senior official of urban development ministry pointing to the report findings. The report titled " Strategy for Planned Urbanisation in the States and Union Territories of India" has been prepared by National Institute of Urban Affairs ( NIUA) after studying the urban changes in the country over the last decade. The report was submitted to the urban development ministry this month only.
Apart from picking holes in Delhi's urbanisation claim, the report highlights critical gaps in demand and supply of basic amenities and lack of space for basic public utilities. " The value of land is soaring even as there is little space available to build essential facilities such as public dispensaries, hospitals, bus terminals and night shelters. So many people are dying every winter due to freezing cold conditions in the Capital," says the report.
" While states like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and even Madhya Pradesh have shown a steady growth of at least five to six per cent in the last one decade in providing basic civic amenities such as water, electricity and space for public utilities, Delhi's report card shows that it can't even provide safe drinking water to all its residents. At least 5 per cent of city's population does not have access to safe drinking water," said the senior officer. A senior NIUA member, involved in the study, said: " There are several households which do not have electricity connection.
Interestingly, the situation was better in 2001 than in 2011. The planned urban growth is visibly far from reality." Expressing concern over the report findings, urban development secretary Sudhir Krishna told MAIL TODAY : " To balance the growth parameters of the Capital, it is important that Delhi thinks of using the NCR in creating job opportunities and for its population, mostly migrants."
THE GROWING PRESSURE
The NCRPB has identified 20 districts from where migration to Delhi is the highest
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has stressed the need to develop better infrastructure in satellite towns. She has blamed the burgeoning population for putting existing infrastructure under strain
According to the NCRPB draft revised regional plan 2021, 10 districts in UP alone accounted for 17.32% of migrants to Delhi
Better employment, business opportunities and education are stated to be the main reasons for the influx into Delhi
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