"Mega Cities - The Case for Semi Autonomy for,"
- Rapid urbanization is an unavoidable and ongoing phenomenon.
- Mega cities have unique problems that need to be addressed by their own inhabitants.
- In 1900 out of a total population of about 200 Million the Country’s population in Rural areas was about 85% and the Urban population was about 11%, the rest in Small Towns. Now out of a total population of 1.2 Billion, the Rural population has dropped to 65% and the Urban population increased to 28%. By 2030 the urban population is expected to be 50% as is the case in China today. The figures in percentage terms are deceptive because of the massive increase of total Population from 200 mn in 1900 to 1.2 bn today.
- The spending for the maintaining the urban Infrastructure per capita of Urban dweller in US $ today is in UK- $ 381, China- $ 116 and in India only $ 17.
- Current expenditure on Cities is a measly 0.5% of the Country’s total budget.
- The percentage share out of total urban population: of Mumbai is 6.5% and Delhi is 5%.
- The percentage share out of total income generated in Urban India: of Mumbai is 13% and Delhi is 11%.
Cities are bullied and run by State Governments and Rural vote dependent Politicians who see more votes in playing on the alleged India-Bharat divide, more so in the case of Mega Cities which also happen to be State Capitals. Only Delhi as a Metro State has some say in its own Management.
Why not all Mega Cities? The State Capitals, where now in such Mega Cities, should be shifted out (eg: Gandhi Nagar in Gujarat) to enable the City to function without undue Political interference. Why should the fate of a Mega City, with its large and dense population, be left to the decisions of those who don’t even live in it. (The non-Mega City voting Public)
It is a recognized fact that each of the Mega Cities have a very cosmopolitan population demographic with generally about 40%, if not more, being from other distant parts of the Country. It is also observed that when a City crosses the population of a Crore it reaches an internally supportive consumption level for many Services and Trades and that its needs differ drastically from those of its Semi-Urban / Rural surroundings. The Mega City’s relationship with its surrounding areas would then be based on realistic economics. Offering skills, services and hi-tech design capabilities and concentrated markets in exchange for resources (labour, water, power, goods etc).
Each Mega City should be surrounded by a green belt, an outer ring road and suitably sited Industrial / Commercial Zones, with a green belt on the other side too, all connected by Service roads. Very soon smaller Sub-Urban Centres would develop on the other side of the Outer green belt to get the best of different life styles and of