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Plan for integrated development of urban and rural infrastructure
Urban India is growing at an unprecedented rate. The census 2011 says for the first time since Independence, the absolute increase in population is more in urban areas than in rural areas. The level of urbanisation increased from 27.81% in 2001 to 31.16% in 2011, with a total urban population of 377 million.
The key reasons cited for such growth in urban population are rural-migration, natural increase, inclusion of peripheral areas within the boundaries of cities and towns and reclassification of rural settlements to urban.
A global study on urban land expansion, where land expansion is equated to change in land use and land cover, says India is among the three countries that have seen the highest rates of urban land expansion, China and Africa being the other two.
The projections made by various studies about India's future urbanisation present a challenging situation. McKinsey's report on 'India's Urban Awakening' 2010, predicts that about 590 million people will be living in urban areas by 2030 in India and equates it to twice the total population of the US. To accommodate this population, the report estimates that about 700-900 square million metres of residential and commercial space would have to be built, which would be like creating a new Chicago city every year besides the 2.5 billion square metres of roads which have to be built and 7,400 km of Metro and subways to be constructed, estimated to be 20 times the capacity added in the last ten years.
The report of the High Powered Committee on Indian Urban Infrastructure and Services (2011) says the urban areas' share in the national GDP is bound to increase from 62-63% in 2009-10 to about 75% in 2030. Cities will continue to be India's engines of economic growth. However, to have sustained growth, an investment worth R39.2 lakh crore on urban infrastructure and services would have to be made available over a 20-year period. This does not include the cost of land acquisition and an additional investment of R19.9 lakh crore for operations and management of the infrastructure and services.
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