Sunday, February 16, 2014

In the absence of opportunities in rural India, it’s a given that the poor will flock to the cities in search of jobs and a better life. This puts enormous strain on the already fragile infrastructure in these cities. But nowhere is the problem more acute than in Delhi and Mumbai, which has little place left to expand into and attracts migrants from practically the whole of northern India.  



  • Counter-magnet towns are identified as those that can be developed as alternative centres of growth and attract migrants to them rather than Delhi. Promoting growth of counter magnet towns are the principal components of the strategy to reduce both migration and population explosion in the Delhi metropolitan area.
  • These towns are located in six states- Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab, in addition to Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan, which are already part of the national capital region.
  • The criterion for selecting counter magnet towns are that they should not be within approximately. 250 km. from Delhi, should have their own established roots and potential of growth and should not be centres of either religious, strategic or environmental importance.

These are:-

Initial list
  • ·         Gwalior 
  • ·         Hisar 
  • ·         Kota 
  • ·         Patiala 
  • ·         Aligarh 

Later additions
  • ·         Ambala 
  • ·         Dehradun 
  • ·         Kanpur 
  • ·         Moradabad


Additional Reading !!

Some Urban Terms !

Satellite Town

A satellite town is a town located near a metropolitan area that is neither totally independent of the central city nor restricted in function, as a suburb; frequently an independent city that has been engulfed by the metropolis.

The main characteristics of satellite towns are that they predate that metropolis suburban expansion
  • ·         Are at least partially independent from that metropolis economically and socially
  • ·         Are physically separated from the metropolis by rural territory or by a major geographic barrier such as a large river; satellite cities should have their own independent urbanized area, or equivalent
  • ·         Have their own bedroom communities
  • ·        Have a traditional downtown surrounded by traditional "inner city" neighbourhoods
  • ·         May or may not be counted as part of the large metropolis' combined statistical area

  • Gurgaon, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida, (satellites of Delhi)
  • Shamshabad, Andhra Pradesh (satellite of Hyderabad)
  • Thane, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra (satellite of Mumbai)
  • Rajarhat, Salt Lake (satellite of Kolkata)



  • Suburb mostly refers to a residential area. They may be the residential areas of a city, or separate residential communities within commuting distance of a city. 
  • Some suburbs have a degree of political autonomy, and most have lower population density than inner city neighbourhoods. 
  • Modern suburbs grew in the 20th century as a result of improved road and rail transport and an increase in commuting. Suburbs tend to proliferate around cities that have an abundance of adjacent flat land.
  • Any particular suburban area is referred to as a suburb, while suburban areas on the whole are referred to as the suburbs or suburbia.
Suburbs are generally spread out over greater distances than other types of living environments. For instance, people may live in the suburb in order to avoid the density and untidiness of the city. Since people have to get around these vast stretches of land automobiles are common sights in suburbs. Transportation (including, to a limited extent, trains and buses) plays an important role in the life of a suburban resident who generally commutes to work.

Suburbs typically have more traffic congestion and longer travel times than traditional neighborhoods. Only the traffic within the short streets themselves is less. This is due to three factors: almost-mandatory automobile ownership due to poor suburban bus systems, longer travel distances and the hierarchy system, which is less efficient at distributing traffic than the traditional grid of streets.

E.g.. Of Suburbs- Dwarka sub-city in New Delhi..


The New Towns

  • new town is a specific type of a planned community, or planned city that was carefully planned from its inception and is typically constructed in a previously undeveloped area. 
  • This contrasts with settlements that evolve in a more ad hoc fashion. Land use conflicts are uncommon in new towns.
  • The new town movement refers to towns that were built after World War Two and that have been purposefully, planned, developed and built as a remedy to overcrowding and congestion in some instances, and to scattered ad hoc settlements in others. 
  • The main reason for it was to decongest larger industrialized cities, rehousing people in freshly built, new and fully planned towns that were completely self-sufficient and provided for the community.
E.g.:- Brasilia in Brazil, Shannon Town in County Clare Northern Ireland, Washington, DC


Garden Cities and New Towns movement

  • The New Town Movement was derived from the Garden City Movement, founded by Ebenezer Howard in the late 1800s, as an alternative to the over-crowded, polluted, chaotic and miserable industrial cities that had appeared in Britain. 
  • Arguably, New Towns are in fact Garden Cities. They essentially contain all of Howard’s original ideas and concepts, but go further by adapting to the context of time in which they were built. 
  • One could argue that this made New Towns more achievable than Garden Cities. 
  • The existence of any Garden Cities is sometimes questioned, but the general consensus is that there are two: Letchworth, being the first to be built, and Welwyn Garden City the second.

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