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Urbanisation, the phenomenon that is sweeping through the world and silently causing more harm than benefit to mankind, has been praised for the economic development of the poor. It has been said that the world will be more Urban than Rural (which it has been since time immemorial) in the days to come.

What is causing this migration to Urban areas?

Governments the world over have been developing Cities, not Countries. This is the major cause of the difference in the facilities available in Cities than in Villages and also for the income disparity.

It is easy to implement a policy in a small area of a city than the vastness of the country land.

But is Urbanisation helpful to the mankind?

I would say NO.  Look at the states of cities that we have created today and we will know we are wrong to urbanise.

Just because we cannot provide or donot want to provide facilities all over the country, we are trying to create bigger and bigger cities. These cities, as they grow bigger, degrade – the quality of life becomes pathetic.

Cities are clogged with problems – be it roads, water, sewage, traffic, pollution, garbage, You name it and each city (you’s including) will show visible signs of having that particular problem.

Bigger the city grows bigger is it’s problems. Problems which cannot be managed normally and need more investment and effort. These investment and effort can be put to more productive use instead of being diverted to manage a city we make bad.

Today countries like India have become a stark picture of contrast – Big Cities overflowing with people & problems created by them; and Vast Country Land with problems created with lack of infrastructure & facilities. Still the focus is more of making Cities rather than the Country livable.

Short-sightedness is the cause to this problem. Short-sightedness in policy making. At least when the migration was visible to even the bare eye, effort must have been taken to reverse or at least arrest the trend by developing the vast country-side of this Nation.

Equality in real sense can be acheived by developing all the regions of the country and not just by building a city.

My suggestions:

– Stop growth of existing cities that are too big already and teething with problems (All Metros)
– Focus of Tier II & Tier III cities (in fact all District Headquarters) in the first phase and try to provide more facilities/infrastructure to ensure the quality of life improves and with it livelihood of people there. This will arrest the migration for greener pastures to some extent.
– More important long term measure is to develop the villages. It will take time, but when the Tier III cities & towns develop, people in surrounding villages will start staying back in villages and commute to work to these towns. A vibrant local economy will build and that in turn will drive people to stay back in more numbers.

With the current development in transportation and communication technology, developing vast lands is easier and information flow is fast enough for the policy makers and government to keep a tab on things happening anywhere in the country.

Yes, migration will still continue to happen, but that will be in small numbers and limited to specialised skillsets, which is managable and also sustainable.

Consider the following example:
Given an opportunity an IT profession from Madurai and surrounding areas will work in Madurai coming from home (own house) and travelling fast without much traffic jams unlike in Chennai where he pays prohibitive rents and spends 2Hours or more commuting to office and back in a polluting atmosphere. Cost of living in Madurai is far less than in Chennai (yes, with development cost of living in Madurai will also increase but will still be sustainable and cheaper than in Chennai).

Can we hope for some improvement in this area?