India’s Need for Good Quality Urbanisation
- Quality urbanization is simply a tool for ‘Poverty Reduction’. For example- New York City’s GDP equals that of Russia with 6% of the people and 0.00005% of the land.
- India has multi- faceted challenges such as scarcity of land, abundance of labour, lack of capital and decreasing productivity of urbanization(cities) especially in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic crisis. However, there could be a silver lining in the dark cloud of Covid-19 crisis. It can be utilized as an opportunity more sustainable and productive urbanization.
Is Urbanization free from flaws?
- There is nothing entirely negative or positive in nature. Every action/decision/initiative/program has benefits as well as drawbacks.
- Better employment opportunities
- Hub for technological and infrastructural growth
- Better connectivity and access to quality education, medical facilities, grievances redressal system etc.
- Overall, improved standards of living.
Flocking effect of rural population results in extremely high population density. High population further creates a list of challenges:
- scarcity of houses
- increased rent
- increased slum areas
- cost of living goes up
- Rise in unemployment and underemployment
- Rise in crime rate (Law & Order challenge)
- The megacities (1 crore plus population)in India — are pleasant places to live only for the rich.
- Even non-megacities of India have serious issues such as inadequate planning, non-scalable infrastructure, unaffordable housing, poor public transport and poor sanitation.
Obstacles in Good Urbanisation in India:
- Rapid & uncontrolled urbanization
- Massive migration of people from agricultural sector to find work in service sector
- Bad governance & corruption with wide gap in allotted funds and consumed funds (Not even 10% of allotted funds are used)
- Power of municipalities often encroached by state governments
- Lack of funds with Local Self Government
Why good urbanisation is needed?
- Good urbanisation is important to ensure economic justice for women, children and other vulnerable sections of the society.
- Poor quality urbanisation results in partial migration. The male members leave villages to earn in cities while leaving the women responsible for farm work, raising the children, and looking after in-laws.
- Compromised village education system renders the children disadvantaged in English-dominated entrance tests for professional courses and civil services.
- Good urbanisation requires a thriving ecosystem of small & medium cities
Tourism in India
India has a rich history of attracting wide range of travelers due to its fabled wealth& popularity of culture and religion. Visit of Hieun-tsang, a devout Chinese Buddhist is an example of this.Further, Pilgrim Travel received a boost when Emperors such as Ashoka and Harshvardhan started building in for pilgrims.
‘The Arthashastra’ written by Kautilya, clearly pointed out the importance of the travel infrastructure for good governance in a state.
Post-Independence, tourism continuously remained a part of the Five Year Plans. Different forms of Tourism like Business Tourism, Health Tourism, and Wildlife Tourism etc. were introduced in India after seventh FYP.
IMPORTANCE OF TOURISM SECTOR:
- Generates Income and Employment: Typically, Tourism Industry provides 8% of the total employment in India.
- A booster for Service Sector: It gives a push to service sector. A large number of businesses engaged in service sector such as airlines, hotel, surface transportation, etc. are affected positively with the growth of tourism industry.
- Boost to Foreign Exchange Reserves in India-Foreign Travelers help India in getting Foreign Exchange.
- Preservation & Promotion of National Heritage and Environment
- Helps in the Renewal of India’s Cultural Pride
- Infrastructural Development: Development of multi- purpose infrastructures to ensure safe and convenient travel experience
Lastly, it helps bring India on global map of tourism, earning appreciation, recognition through cultural exchange. Tourism as a form of soft power, has the potential to promote cultural diplomacy, people to people connection and thus promotes friendship and cooperation among different countries.
Challenges Associated with Tourism Sector in India
- Inadequate infrastructure such as bad roads, conveyance, availability of water, lack of proper sewer systems etc.
- Safety and security concerns especially for foreign tourists. Attacks on foreign tourists has been a major deterrent
- Absence of basic amenities such as drinking water, well-maintained toilets, first-aid service, cafeteria etc. at tourist places.
- Seasonal dependability in Tourism, with the busy season being limited to hardly 4 months from November to February.
- Accessibility restrictions in many tribal places and requirement of special permits to visit certain areas also impede tourism industry in India to some extent
Some latest initiatives by Government of India to deal with the challenges
- Swadesh Darshan Scheme: Under it, the Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments/Union Territory Administrations for infrastructure development of 13 identified theme- based circuits.13 Circuits are: North-East India Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.
- Integrated development of identified pilgrimage destinations (includes employment generation) has been undertaken under the ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive’ (PRASHAD) Scheme.
- “Adopt a Heritage Project” plans to entrust heritage sites/monuments and other tourist sites to private and public sector companies and also to designated individuals for the development and maintenance of various tourist amenities.
- Faster development of all types of infrastructure (physical, social and digital) is the need of hour.
- Safety of tourists must remain a priority.
- Introduction of official guide system can be helpful
- Awareness campaigns to educate masses to understand the importance of foreign tourists.
- Promotion of other forms of Tourism such as Medical Tourism, Adventure Tourism etc. to solve the problem of seasonality.
India’s location along with its massive natural, geographic, cultural and artistic diversity offers enormous opportunities for growth of tourism in India.
Flood is a state of high-water level along a river channel or on the coast that leads to inundation of land.
Causes of flood:
- Natural Causes
- Manmade Causes
1.Inadequate capacity of rivers to contain the high flows brought down from upper catchment area due to excessive rainfall
1.Due to deforestation land becomes obstruction free and water flows with great speed
2.Water carrying capacity of river reduces due to sedimentation. As a result, rainwater overflow the river banks
2.Poor drainage and sewage management system hampers the flow of water
3.Cyclone generated sea waves spreads the water in the adjoining coastal areas.
3.Weak Flood Management (FM) system.
4.Changes in river course because of meanders, erosion of river beds, obstruction of flow due to landslides etc., cause flood
4. Growing rate of population leads to over cultivation, deforestation etc. which increases soil erosion and risk of flood.
5.Rising of sea water (e.g., Tsunami)
5.Unscientific agriculture practices
6. Lack of lakes leads the insufficiency in storing and regulating excess water. Hence flood occurs
6.Construction of roads, buildings etc. reduces the permeable surface area which leads flooding
- Very fast rise and recession of flow of small volume and high discharge
- Occurs in hilly and sloping lands
- Depression and cyclonic storms in eastern coastal areas may also cause flash flood
- Sudden release of waters from upstream reservoirs, breaches in dams etc. also leads to flash flood
- Doppler radar is used for flash flood warning system and forecasting
Flood Hazard vulnerability in India:
- Around 12% of land (40 million hectare) in India is prone to floods
- Annual rainfall of our country is 1200 mm. 85% of this total rainfall is concentrated in the month of June to September. So, the quantity of water due to this intense and periodic rainfall exceeds the carrying capacity of rivers which causes mild to severe flooding in different regions.
1.By constructing reservoirs, dams and other water storages, the excess water can be stored at the time of flood
1. Flood Plain Zoning must be done
2.By building embankments, flood water can be controlled from overflowing.
2. To mitigate distress and to provide immediate relief some steps can be raised. Ex-flood shelter arrangements, boring wells above flood levels etc.
3. Drainage system must be improved
3. Flood Management Plans should be improved.
4.A channel can be made to carry flood discharge at levels lower than its prevailing high flood level
4. Integrated Water Resource Management should take necessary steps to manage water resources.
5. Partial or complete diversion of the discharge into natural or artificial channel can be done to reduce the impact of flooding
5. Flood Forecasting and warning team must betrained well for flood forecasting.
6. Watershed management such as developing vegetative cover by afforestation, constructing check dams etc. can be adopted.
6.Tree plantation programme must be organised regularly
Urban Flood:In developed areas, where the water doesn’t find its way to flow, the excessive run off occurs which is known as urban flood. Urban flooding peaks from 1.8 to 8 times and flood volumes by up to 6 times.
- Heavy rainfall in a short period of time
- Lack of sufficient waterways
- Poor drainage infrastructure
- Proper Drainage system
- Each city should have their Flood Mitigation Plans with proper land use policy
- Preparedness during pre-monsoon and monsoon phase for damage reduction
NDMA Guidelines for urban flood:
- Accurate contour data is necessary for determining the boundaries of a watershed/catchment area and to compute the direction of flow
- Proper drainage system must be maintained
- Drain inlet connectivity should be properly aligned
- Proper Solid waste management
- Estimation of peak flow rates for adequate sizing and quantity control facilities
- Implementation of rain gardens which consist of a porous soil covered with a thin layer of mulch
- Less importance to comprehensive risk assessment of urban flooding
- Ignorance of mapping in different factors and improper planning
- Unsatisfactory coordination
- Lack of public awareness and information sharing
- Disintegrated investment decisions
- Lack of consultation with stakeholders.