ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Debolina KunduSubscribe to Debolina Kundu

Migration, Caste and Marginalised Sections

A spatial overview on availability of urban basic services reveals disparities across urban India. Although various levels of government, including the parastatals, have strived to achieve sufficiency in provisioning of urban basic services, the coverage is far from satisfactory. The growing urban population creates deficiencies on the limited urban infrastructure. The condition is even more precarious for the new migrants who are poor and belong to socially marginalised groups. Using secondary data from the census and National Sample Survey Office, the distribution of basic amenities, including housing across states and size classes of urban centres, and the disparity in their distribution disaggregated by new migrants, marginalised groups and poverty levels are analysed.

Power Equations in Urban Governance

Governing India's Metropolises edited by Joel Ruet and Stephanie Tawa Lama-Rewal (Routledge), 2009; pp 340, Rs 695.

Elite Capture in Participatory Urban Governance

The responsibility of municipalities to provide crucial services is being increasingly passed on to the resident welfare associations located in middle and upper middle class areas in cities. Similar tools of intervention are absent in the slums and low-income neighbourhoods and even the local ward committees fail to represent their needs and aspirations. The RWAs are trying to sanitise their neighbourhood by attempting to remove encroachments and petty commercial establishments from their "gated" colonies. The very mechanism of the functioning of RWAs is likely to accentuate and institutionalise disparity within urban areas.

Redefining the Inclusive Urban Agenda in India

Urban renewal, with a focus on inclusive development of urban centres, is one of the thrust areas in the National Common Minimum Programme and accordingly the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission was launched. This paper analyses the present urban development policies with a focus on coverage at the state and size-class levels, the extent of equity and effectiveness of the programme. It works out the interdependencies of infrastructural investment in the public sector with those of socio-economic indicators. The study shows that only 58% of the urban population has been covered under jnnurm, the coverage being high in the developed states and metropolitan cities. Of the 5,161 towns/cities, 4,207 are yet to be covered. An analysis of the funding pattern clearly brings out the big city bias. The phenomenon of large-scale underutilisation of the funds and inability of the smaller urban local bodies to prepare detailed project reports and generate matching resources can be addressed by making special provisions for unconditional general grants, especially those in the economically backward states. This will certainly help in making the growth process more inclusive, where the urban poor would be partners in the developmental process.

Regional Distribution of Infrastructure and Basic Amenities in Urban India

A state and size class wise analysis of the level of urban basic amenities reveals that disparities are extremely high in the nineties. The government and para-statal institutions have not exhibited sensitivity in favour of backward states, small and medium towns and the poor. Presently, privatisation, partnership arrangements and promotion of community-based projects have emerged as the only options for undertaking investments in basic amenities due to resource crunch in the government. This changed perspective and a consequent decline in public investment, however, are likely to accentuate the disparity in the levels of amenities across the size class of urban settlements.
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