Across the globe half the population live in urban areas whereas in India it is around 30 per cent and it has grown from around 11 per cent in the first census after independence. It is a misconception that migrants from rural areas carry poverty to urban areas.
Planning Commission Prof. S.R. Hashim, in a talk on ‘Policy perspectives of Urbanisation in India’ at the Andhra University Department of Economics dismissed the popular myth that poverty is brought to cities by the migrants. Prof. Hashim said that urban poverty is a creation of the city itself. The slums in the city are a consequence of land prices and non-availability of affordable housing for the low income group and it is not a result of migrant work force. For the migrants there is no shortage of work in urban areas and more often the migrants do better than those who are established in the same agglomeration, he explained. Transportation is the biggest limitation to size of the city.
He explained that throughout the history civilisations have grown around urban centres. Urban agglomerates are centres of knowledge creation, fine arts and crafts have developed in urban centres. Knowledge develops in clusters and not in isolation. The area of interaction is larger in urban areas and this is beneficial to nurturing culture, civilisation and the people.
World Socialism Party (India)