Highlight the factors behind fast-paced rural to urban migration and discuss the challenges arising out of it, mainly for the economically weaker sections. Also suggest measures to address this issue.

According to Census 2011, 31.4% of population resides in urban areas. Further 307 million are registered as migrants in the census, predominantly rural to urban migration.

Reasons:

  • Agricultural distress in rural areas.
  • More educational opportunities in cities.
  • Lack of economic growth in villages.
  • Economic opportunities in urban areas.
  • Social factors such as marriage.

Challenges:

  • Pressure on urban infrastructure like housing, water supply, sanitation, etc.
  • Scarcity of living spaces, increase in real estate costs.
  • Pollution (water and air) due to vehicular emissions, discharge of untreated household waste.
  • Unauthorised colonies, slums.
  • Law and order issues due to rising population and unequal distribution of resources.
  • Increase in prices of food commodities and basic necessities.
  • Increased competition of economic opportunities.

Addressing challenges:

  1. Economic development in rural areas-
  • Increase in agricultural productivity through better yielding crops, fertilisers, and irrigation.
  • Credit availability to farmers for agri-enterprises.
  • Value addition – food processing industries.
  1. Overhaul of urban spaces-
  • Housing (PM Awas Yojana- urban).
  • Overhaul of urban infrastructure (JNNURM, AMRUT scheme).
  1. Semi urban area development and economic opportunities (RURBAN missions).

While urbanisation points to increasing economic development, it should be sustainable and move society towards a path where everyone gets equal access to opportunities and resources.

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