04 December, 2020

The Invisible Cities

Towns should have power to levy taxes, raise money from markets

The Invisible Cities
Urbanisation in general is an important aspect of development in any country which is in transition from an underdeveloped stage to a developed one. In India, just 15 per cent of our population fell within the ambit of urbanisation in 1947. Today it is 30 per cent. In the next 20-30 years, it will grow further and cover 50 per cent of our population. Politically and historically, urbanisation has not happened in India because of the federal relations between the Centre and the states. Indian cities have not grown because many state governments did not want cities to be strong. This is quite strange because cities have the power and the land, and should have grown into stronger entities as it is in many developed countries. Today, we all know that Mr Bloomberg is the mayor of New York because it is such a strong centre of power, while most do not even know who the mayor of Bangalore or Mumbai is.

Most of our cities have 30 per cent urban poor and lack public facilities. But that is as much a financial issue as it is a political one. State...


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