The central and state governments should stand up after seeing the report released on urbanization in the Government of India Census-2001. It is true that at present India is competing with many countries and in terms of economic development it is second in the world, but its position in terms of urbanization is pathetic.
In addition, the condition of rural areas is already poor. This is the reason why our country is far behind the scale of developed countries in terms of availability and living conditions. Today the politicians of the country do not get tired of showing the dream to the people that by the year 2020, India will stand in the category of developed countries.
The rural economy is still in poor condition compared to the economy in urban areas and due to this, a large number of people are migrating from the village to the cities. Due to the weakness of the agricultural sector, employment opportunities in rural areas are negligible. There is sporadic development in towns and small cities, but there is no hope for the upliftment of villages.
Although the farmers get some relief from the announcements of politicians on the occasion of elections, but their basic situation remains the same. Small farmers hardly know the benefits of government policies and schemes.
Agro-based industries are becoming increasingly sick and the latest proof of this is the crumbling condition of the sugar industry. Politicians who have increased sugarcane prices have no answer as to how the sugar mills can compensate for their increasing losses. Governments also do not want sugar prices to rise.
Due to all this, all the sugar mills of government and cooperative sector have reached the verge of closure. Due to this, employment opportunities in rural areas are getting further reduced. To strengthen the infrastructure in rural areas, the budget allocates funds, but as the leading leaders of the country have said in the past, only ten rupees are spent in one rupee.
This is the reason why development in many rural areas is not even visible. Today, if meaningful and planned efforts can be made to provide electricity, water, roads along with education and health facilities, migration from villages to cities can be stopped.
In rural areas, people are forced to migrate to cities in search of livelihood or to do such things at the local level, which leads to loss rather than profit. Although about 70 percent of the country’s population lives in villages, most programs of development are limited to cities.
Whatever significant development has taken place in the country in the last 10 years is more visible in urban areas. Perhaps on the basis of this urban glow, the NDA government tried to come back to power in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections by giving the slogan of India Shining, but had to face it.
The public was hopeful from the UPA government which came to power after the NDA that this government would prove to be the government of the common man, but despite the passage of six years nothing special could be done for the benefit of the common man. All the schemes announced by the UPA government for the development of rural and urban areas are either limited to paper or their pace is so slow that they are not being proved effective.
The central government can take the cover that the responsibility of development of urban and rural areas is mainly on the state governments and they are not doing their work properly, but the question is, why is she sitting quietly even in such a situation? Is it not necessary to pressurize the state governments or inspire them? Most of the time of our politicians today goes to save their chair or to get a seat to get power.
Rarely are politicians who are serious about raising the declining living standards of poor people. As far as the bureaucrats are concerned in this matter, it is meaningless to say anything about them. It seems that the bureaucracy has become so self-conscious that it cannot be seen and heard by the common people. Most of the bureaucrats spend most of their time getting good postings and then staying there, which saves them some time and they focus on developmental activities in a casual way.
All the top officials related to the upliftment of rural areas usually reside in the cities. They hardly take care of rural areas. This is the reason why rural areas seem neglected. If the government really wants to develop in rural areas, then the only objective of bureaucracy parallel to cities should be to uplift rural areas.
Of course not everything is fine in urban areas. Urban areas are moaning under the burden of population. The collusion of politicians and bureaucrats is responsible for the lack of proper development of civic amenities in cities due to random development and encroachment.
Do not know why such laws are not being enacted in the country, which can easily overcome the obstacles in planned development of cities? The long-term results of the development work being done in the cities today do not seem very pleasant. In the name of urban development, making big shopping malls will not cure everything. Cities need good schools, hospitals and roads in addition to commercial areas. Similarly, adequate availability of electricity and water is also necessary.
A serious problem in the cities of the country is the shortage of residential land and increasing commercial activities in residential areas. Due to similar activities, in the past, on the directions of the Supreme Court, there was a massive breakdown in Delhi, due to which thousands of people had to lose their commercial bases and livelihood. After all, who was to blame – the public or the politicians and bureaucrats? This is a question that should be debated in the whole country, because conditions like Delhi are also being formed in other cities.
If the slow and unbalanced pace of development of urban and rural areas is not taken care of, the problems will become more complex at the level of living in the coming years. This may lead to urbanization taking a more distorted form. Certainly, as the problems of the people increase in such a situation, India’s international image as an ancient and cultured country can be further tarnished.