Migration And Metropolitan Regions

Migration and Metropolitan Region


Migration has been defined as crossing of the boundary of a political or administrative unit for a certain minimum period of time. It includes the movements of refugees, displaced persons, uprooted people as well as economic migrants. Internal migration refers to a move from one area (a province, district or municipality) to another within one country.

Causes of Migration

  • Push Factor- These cause people to leave their place of residence or origin; and
  • Pull Factor- Which attracts the people from different places. In India people migrate from rural to urban areas mainly due to poverty, high population pressure on the land, lack of basic infrastructural facilities like health care, education etc.
  • There are pull factors which attract people from rural areas to cities.
  • The most important pull factor for majority of the rural migrants to urban areas is the better opportunities, availability of regular work and relatively higher wages.
  • Better opportunities for education, better health facilities and sources of entertainments, etc. are also quite important pull factors.
  • Work and employment have remained the main cause for male migration (38 percent) while it is only three per cent for the females.
  • Contrary to this, about 65 percent of females move out from their parental houses following their marriage.
  • Apart from these factors, natural disasters such as, flood, drought, cyclonic storms, earthquake also reasons for migration.

Streams of Migration

  • A few facts pertaining to the internal migration (within the country) and international migration (out of the country and into the country from other countries) are presented here.
  • Indian migration, four streams are identified:
    • Rural to rural
    • Rural to urban
    • Urban to urban  
    • Urban to rural
  • Females predominate the streams of short distance rural to rural migration in both types of migration.
  • Contrary to this, men predominate the rural to urban stream of inter-state migration due to economic reasons.
  • Apart from these streams of internal migration, India also experiences immigration from and emigration to the neighboring countries.
  • In India, during 2001, out of 315 million migrants, enumerated on the basis of last residence, 98 million had changed their place of residence in the last ten years.
  • Out of these, 81 million were interstate migrants.
  • The stream was dominated by female migrants.
  • Most of these were migrants related to marriage.

Census 2001 has recorded that more than 5 million people have migrated to India from other countries. Out of these, 96 % came from the neighboring countries

  • Bangladesh (3 million)
  • Pakistan (0.9 million)
  • Nepal (0.5 million)

Included in this are 0.6 million refugees from Tibet, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Myanmar. As far as emigration from India is considered it is estimated that there are around 20 million people of India Diaspora, spread across 110 countries.

Spatial Variation in Migration

  • Some states like Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat and Haryana attract migrants from other states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar etc.
  • Maharashtra occupied first place in the list with 2.3 million net in-migrants followed by Delhi, Gujarat and Haryana.
  • On the other hand, UP (-2.6 million) AND Bihar (-1.7 million) were the states, which had the largest number of net out-migrants from the state.

Consequences of Migration:

Economic Consequences

  • A major benefit for the source region is the remittance sent by migrants.
  • Remittances from the international migrants are one of the major sources of foreign exchange.
  • In 2002, India received US $11 billion as remittances from international migrants.
  • Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu receive very significant amount from their international migrants.
  • Besides this, unregulated migration to the metropolitan cities of India has caused overcrowding.
  • Development of slums in industrially developed states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Delhi is a negative consequence of unregulated migration within the country.

Demographic Consequences

Social Consequences

  • Migrants act as agents of social change.
  • The new ideas related to new technologies, family planning, girl’s education, etc. get diffused from urban to rural areas through them.
  • Migration leads to intermixing of people from diverse cultures.
  • It has positive contribution such as evolution of composite culture and breaking through the narrow considerations and widens up the mental horizon of the people at large.
  • But it also has serious negative consequences such as anonymity, which creates social vacuum and sense of dejection among individuals.
  • Continued feeling of dejection may motivate people to fall in the trap of anti-social activities like crime and drug abuse.

Environmental Consequences

  • Overcrowding of people due to rural-urban migration has put pressure on the existing social and physical infrastructure in the urban areas.
  • This ultimately leads to unplanned growth of urban settlement and formation o slums shanty colonies.
  • Apart from this, due to over-exploitation of natural resources, cities are facing the acute problem of depletion of ground water, air pollution, disposal of sewage and management of solid wastes.


Metropolitan Regions

A metropolitan region is an economic construct which can be thought of as a primary city forming the core of the region and adjacent cities and towns connecting with it. Regions like Mumbai contributing 35% to state GDP shows their importance. But most of the Metropolitan regions in India are a result of migration of people for better economic opportunities rather than a planned development as is envisioned by the new Smart Cities initiative.

India’s urban population is expected to go up from 377 million in 2011 to about 600 million for the year 2031. This implies an increase of over 200 million in just 20 years. About 60% of the growth in the urban population in the past is due to natural increase whereas rural – urban migration has contributed to only about 20%. There is a concentration of urban population in large cities and existing urban agglomeration. The census of 2011 states that there are 53 million plus cities accounting for 43% of India’s urban population. The census of 2011 also notes that the number of towns in India increased from 5161 in 2001 to as many as 7935 in 2011. Most of this increase was in the growth of census towns rather than on statutory towns. A large number of towns are born in the vicinity of existing cities with million plus population. India’s urbanization, however, is in smaller proportion as compared to other large developing countries such as China (45%), Indonesia (44%), Mexico (78%) and Brazil (87%). (Source – 12th Five-year plan – Planning commission of India).

The main challenges as far as urbanization is concerned in India are the facts that there is an urban housing shortage of 18.78 million. According to the 2011 census, only 70.6% of urban population is covered by individual water connections compared with China (91%), South Africa (86%) and Brazil (80%). Duration of water supply in India cities is only between one to six hours. According to 2011 census, about 13% of urban population defecate in the open, about 37% are connected by open drains and 18% are not connected at all. The number of urban poor has increased by about 34.4% between 1993- 2004. In so far as the urban transport is concerned, a Ministry of Urban 32 Development study in 2010 based on sample of 87 cities has estimated that in about 20 years’ time, the expected journey speed of major corridors in many cities would fall from 26-17 kmph to 8-6 kmph. The air quality has also deteriorated sharply carrying with it concomitant health costs. The per capita emission levels in India’s seven largest cities have been estimated to be at least three times than WHO standards.

Study of the process of metropolization in the urban agglomeration across India and defines peri-urban in regional context as outgrowths. Study looks on urban growth as an evolutionary process, and in that sense, the villages engulfed in the process of urbanization, referred to as “urban villages”, are already part of the urban agglomeration. The villages that are likely to be part of a city in one or two decades conceptually form the PUAs of the metropolis.

During study under a DFID-sponsored project in the Hubli-Dharwad region, Brook (2003) emphasized that peri-urban interface is not primarily a location, although it has a place where it exists, and it has a process. It includes flows of people, goods, finance, pollution, etc., which are a part of the process. According to study, there is no single satisfactory definition of peri-urban interface, and moreover different definitions will probably apply in different circumstances and may even change in the same location over time.

Paul A. Jargowsky of the University of Texas argues that PUAs in India are heterogeneous because the social structure depends on proximity between higher and lower status persons, and the proximity does not threaten the social structure. Indian PUAs develop with more and less regulatory oversight. On the one hand, central authority is stronger and master plans are drawn up in the hope of directing peri-urban growth according to a logic that serves the interests of the broader area. The difference in legal/regulatory framework shapes the development of PUAs in important ways.

In India, argues Schenk (2004), many cities have attempted to control the usages of land surrounding their built-up areas. The urban development authorities have been founded to draft Master Plans for a rather long-term urban development through control of land uses and safeguarding their implementation. These authorities have often drawn up land use plans for residential and other functions in the urban fringes. The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), in charge of all fringe developments around Bangalore, is an example.

The case study of Delhi’s pattern of population growth and outward expansion, informs Dupont, exemplifies the gaps between the ground reality of the peri-urbanization process and the administrative and statistical classifications.

In India, the Census Commission defines a metropolitan city as one having a population of over four million. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat and Nashik are those Indian cities that have over 4 million people. For these million plus cities the Census definition of an urban agglomeration requires that it should be a continuous urban spread constituting a town and its adjoining urban growths or two or more physically contiguous towns together with adjoining outgrowths. There are 53 urban agglomerations in India with a population of 1 million or more as of 2011 against 35 in 2001. Each of such outgrowth may not satisfy the minimum population limit to qualify it to be treated as an independent urban unit but may deserve to be clubbed with the principal town as part of an urban spread. However, the definition of metropolitan areas adopted by the Planners in several cities however, much larger areas including villages, whether urbanizing or 34 otherwise, but which are at the periphery or intervening in an urban agglomeration. As per the preliminary results of the Census 2011, released by the Registrar General of India, Greater Mumbai with a population of 18,414,288 continues to be India’s biggest city, followed by Delhi – 16,314,838 and Kolkata- 14,112,536. These three cities are India’s mega-cities with 10 million plus population. But, when we consider Urban Agglomeration as an extended city comprising built up area of central core and any suburbs linked by continuous urban area, we have a change at the top. Delhi NCR, with the inclusion of Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad becomes the No.1 Urban Agglomeration with a population of 21,753,486, ahead of 20,748,395 Mumbai Metropolitan Region comprising Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Vasai-Virar, Bhiwandi and Panvel. Kolkata has clocked moderate growth.




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