Highlight the major problems related to urbanization in India. What steps have been taken by the government in recent times to address these?

Define urbanization and briefly highlight the status of urbanization in India.
Enumerate the major problems related to urbanization in India.
List the steps taken by the government in recent times to address these problems.
Conclude on the basis of the above points.
Urbanization is the process of increase in the proportion of people living in urban areas either due
to natural increase in its population or migration from rural areas. According to the UN State of the

World Population Report 2007, urban population in India is expected to reach 40.76% by 2030.
Urban areas are considered as “engines of economic growth”.
Lack of urban planning, limited capacity of urban local bodies (ULBs) and failure of the government to effectively manage the uneven urban growth and build housing, water and sanitation infrastructure leads to many problems, which are manifested as follows:
Proliferation of slums: Increasing urbanization has not been matched with commensurate increase in housing facilities, which has led to inflated rents. This has resulted in overcrowding and spread of slums, which comprises 17% of urban households, as per 2011 census.
Inadequate water supply and sanitation: It is estimated that by 2050, Indian cities will face acute water problems. Currently, 163 million people do not have access to safe drinking water and 210 million people lack access to improved basic sanitation in India.
Improper solid waste management: Indian cities generate 62 million tonnes (MT) of municipal solid waste per annum but only 43 MT of waste is collected and 11.9 MT is treated out of it. It is leading to expanding landfill sites.
Inadequate transport infrastructure: Rapid urbanization is leading to rapid motorization which has contributed to issues of road congestion, parking problems and deteriorating road safety.
Increased pollution: Most of the major cities in India are reeling under poor air quality due to issues like vehicular emissions, generation of dust etc. Further, discharge of untreated sewage and industrial effluents into the nearby rivers also degrades the water sources.
Rising crime rates: According to NCRB, there has been an increasing trend of urban crimes in India, particularly against vulnerable sections like women, children and elederly population.

Steps taken by the government in recent times
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Housing for All (Urban): It was launched to provide housing to all in urban areas by 2022.
Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban): It aims to eliminate open defecation, manual scavenging, introduce modern and scientific solid waste management and augment the capacity of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) among others.
Smart Cities Mission: It aims at driving economic growth and improving the quality of life through area-based development and city-level smart solutions.
Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT): It was launched to incentivize governance reforms in the cities and provide hard infrastructure for universal coverage of piped drinking water, sewerage and green spaces and parks.
Deen Dayal Antodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihood Mission (DAY – NULM): It aims at creating opportunities for skill development leading to market based employment and helping the poor to set up self-employment ventures.
Other Initiatives, such as National Urban Transport Policy, National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 etc

Along with these initiatives, there is a need to work on funding, planning, capacity building and local
governance reforms to manage the expanding urban areas effectively. Further, it is important to
decongest the urban areas by developing Tier-2 cities as counter magnets


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