Rewind 2018: Urbanisation creates chaos in India

Challenges and possible solutions to the rising population in urban areas

By DTE Staff
Published: Friday 28 December 2018

Rewind 2018

Housing projects in India are way behind the targets, but slums seem to have been on the agenda of several state governments show some of the projects initiated this year. Two new research papers too provided an interesting insight on the Indian slums, especially in Bangalore. While the disputes over illegal constructions kept the courts busy, opposition to urban infrastructure projects due to their environmental impacts dominated news reports. The “Ease of Living Index” launched in September 2018 has been a transformative initiative of the urban ministry to help cities assess their liveability. We list the major developments of the year:

Housing projects

The Union cabinet approved the creation of a Rs 60,000-crore National Urban Housing Fund to finance the government’s Housing for All programme, which aims to build 12 million affordable housing units in urban areas by 2022. Financial constraints, execution challenge and environmental clearance are some of the major issues due to which over 4.65 lakh units of housing projects across India are way behind their delivery deadlines, according to a report by PropEquity, an online subscription-based real estate data and analytics platform.

Uttarakhand Urban Local Bodies and Authorities Special Provisions (2018) got approved by the cabinet. It aims at tackling the rehabilitation and resettlement issues and also punishing persons occupying government land illegally. Nearly a year since Maharashtra government launched a programme to give a fillip to slum rehabilitation projects in Mumbai by offering developers or society members loans for construction of rehabilitation and free-sale apartments, only four proposals seeking such credit have been processed for final approvals. Odisha aims to give titles to 2,00,000 households in urban slums and those on the outskirts of cities by the end of the year. Officials used drones to map the settlements.

Public transport

India needs 30 lakh buses for transport 

The total number of buses available for transporting general passengers is less than one-tenth of the requirement, posing an enormous logistical challenge, revealed government data. The Delhi Metro is the second-most unaffordable in the world among Metro systems that charge less than half a US dollar for a trip, says a study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). Mumbaikars can soon commute in environment-friendly buses to be operated on methane, ethanol and electric batteries. 

Energy conservation

The ministry of power launched the ECO Niwas Samhita 2018, an Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Buildings (ECBC-R). The implementation of this Code is expected to push for energy efficiency in residential sector. In order to cement manifestation of Indian government’s mission to go fully electric on roads by 2030, Town and Country Planning organisation has prepared a draft which proposes to amend building by-laws and make it compulsory for residential and commercial buildings and even parking lots, to have electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.


World urbanization prospects: the 2018 revision|May 2018|UN Department Of Economic And Social Affairs (UN DESA)

Delhi is projected to become the most populous city in the world around 2028, according to this new United Nations estimates, which said India is expected to add the largest number of urban dwellers by 2050.

Global cities: the future of the world's leading urban economies to 2035 November 2018|Oxford Economics

Seventeen of 20 fastest growing cities in the world will be from India reveals this annual Global Cities report. It has forecast significant growth disparities between cities around the globe over the coming decades to 2035 and predicts far-reaching changes in the world’s urban order.

Transforming India's mobility: a perspective|September 2018|NITI Aayog

This report calls for efficient and convenient public transport to answer the twin problems of pollution and congestion.

Annual survey of India’s city-systems, 2017|March 2018|Janaagraha Centre For Citizenship And Democracy

It evaluated quality of governance in cities, covering 23 major cities in India across 20 states based on 89 questions. Indian cities scored between 3.0 and 5.1 on 10, with Pune topping the charts for the first time

The world's cities in 2018|October 2018|United Nations Department Of Economic And Social Affairs (UN DESA)

Close to three in five cities worldwide with at least 500,000 inhabitants are at high risk of a natural disaster, cautions UN DESA in its latest data booklet, The World’s Cities in 2018. Collectively, these cities are home to 1.4 billion people or around one third of the world’s urban population.


Carrying capacity assessment of Manali and Mcleodganj to be carried out| September 2018| National Green Tribunal

The National Green Tribunal on September 19 directed that the carrying capacity assessment of ecological sensitive and geologically fragile areas, particularly Manali and Mcleodganj be carried out within three months by a Special Expert Committee. The Special Expert Committee should consider the present situation of Manali and Mcleodganj in respect of environment, ecology, forest, sewage system, water supply, collection and disposal of municipal solid waste and the carrying capacity as well as strength of the hill, besides examining adequacy of civic infrastructure especially municipal solid waste management and sewage/sewage network and management. 

Supreme Court lifts the ban on construction in Mumbai imposed by the Bombay High Court| March 2018| Supreme Court 

Supreme Court lifts the ban on construction in Mumbai imposed by the Bombay High Court with a direction to deal with and safely dispose of the solid waste and construction debris that is generated by the activities of construction of buildings

Meaningful public participation a must while amending Delhi Master Plan | May 2018| Supreme Court

Supreme Court in its order on May 25, 2018 made it very clear that the people of Delhi have to be taken into confidence with regard to amendments to the Master Plan. 

Submit Coastal Zone Management Plans by August 31: NGT tells States | July 2018| National Green Tribunal

In a hearing on July 23, the National Green Tribunal was informed that draft Coastal Zone Management Plans (CZMPs) has been prepared by 5 States out of 13 States. This led to the Court directing the remaining 8 States to complete the process by August 31, 2018. Thereafter MoEF&CC will complete the process.

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