Urbanization in India has led to significant economic growth, but it has also resulted in the segregation and marginalization of the poor in metropolitan cities.
Urbanization and Poverty Reduction
- India has experienced tremendous urban progress, with cities contributing to 60% of the country’s GDP.
- Urban growth has been beneficial for overall poverty reduction, accounting for about 80% of the total fall in poverty.
Urban Slums and Poverty
- Approximately 25% of Indians live in urban poverty, with 81 million people estimated to be living in poverty in urban areas.
- In 2011, about 65 million people were estimated to be living in slums across India.
- Cities like Mumbai, Delhi NCR, and Kolkata reportedly house 42% to 55% of their urban population in slums.
Inequality and Exclusion in Urban Areas
- Inequality of income is more evident in urban areas than in rural areas, as India’s rich live in big metro cities and towns.
- Rapid urbanization has led to overpopulation, acute shortage of housing and basic amenities, environmental pollution, unemployment, and social unrest.
- The urban poor in Delhi constitute a third of its residences, living in slums with no basic resources.
Factors Contributing to Urban Poverty
- Lack of infrastructure in rural areas forces inhabitants to seek work in mega-cities, leading to the growth of slums.
- Rapid urbanization and migration from rural to urban areas in search of better opportunities have resulted in a tremendous demand for affordable housing, which has outpaced the supply.
- To address urban poverty and segregation, India needs to focus on inclusive and sustainable urban planning that incorporates lessons from slums and informal settlements.
- Policies and improvements that fully capture the benefits of growing cities can help reduce poverty and increase shared prosperity.
In conclusion, urbanization in Indian metropolises has led to both segregation and marginalization of the poor. Addressing this issue requires inclusive and sustainable urban planning, as well as policies that promote equitable growth and access to resources for all citizens.