Urban Development in North-Western India: Some Emerging Sociological Questions in Post Liberalization Era

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 16:15
Location: Hörsaal III (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Manoj TEOTIA, Urban Governance and Development Unit, Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, Chandigarh, India
Urban development in North-western India comprising Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh is at cross roads. North-western India is facing many crucial and new urban challenges in post liberalization era. The scale of emerging challenges such as housing, slums, poverty, access to infrastructure and services is unprecedented. Urban development seems to be neglected in urban policy planning over successive planning eras. Housing problem seem to acquire serious dimension in the wake of rapid urbanization, commodification of land and housing, distortion in land market and weakening of public sector housing provision.  The onset of liberal regimes in promoting development of real estate markets, beginning of low interest home loans, etc seem to have made land and housing in urban areas commodity for speculation. Slums are growing rapidly even in the hilly states like Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir with multiple deprivations. The social and environmental fabric of cities is under stress and many sociological issues are emerging in the urban areas. The social segregation continues to be a major challenge. The marginalization of urban poor is visible. The inequality in terms of access to housing, land, basic services and livelihood are emerging crucial social problems.  The paper has been prepared on the basis of findings of the series of studies by the author on “State of Cities in Northwestern India: A case of Selected JNNURM Cities (Study focus cities-Amritsar, Srinagar and Faridabad)” and a recent book on “Urban Development in North-western India: Emerging Trends, Issues and Alternatives”. An effort has been made to look into the emerging urban development patterns and governance systems that contribute to processes of urban fragmentation or to enhanced processes of integration. Many other important sociological questions emerging in the process of urban development in north-western India will be discussed in the paper.