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Economic Affairs
Year : 2009, Volume : 54, Issue : 3&4
First page : ( 149) Last page : ( 164)
Print ISSN : 0424-2513.

Nature of Urbanization in West Bengal in The Post-independence Period

Konar Dhirendra Nath, Ph.DProfessor

Department of Economics, Kalyani University, Kalyani, West Bengal. Email: dnkonar@yahoo.com

Abstract

It is a fact that one of the most significant aspects of all post-war demographic phenomena all over the world is the rapid growth of cities in the developing countries. About sixty years ago in 1950, 275 million people had been living only in the cities of the Third World countries: this was merely 37.98 per cent of 724 million total urban people of the world. According to the estimates of the United Nations, the world’s population of the urban areas had reached 1.56 billion by 1975 and more than half of those people had lived in metropolitan areas of the developing countries. From another estimate made by the United Nations it is known that in 2000 over 2.12 billion or 66 per cent of the urban dwellers of the world will take shelter in less developed countries. This is the overall trend of urbanization across the world. Undoubtedly, India and for that matter West Bengal is no exception to this common trend. In reality, West Bengal has also been following the same tract. After independence, urbanization in West Bengal had progressed at a higher rate than what was followed at the all India level. Of late, however, the two rates have almost coincided. Urbanization has brought some benign effects, no doubt. But simultaneously, it has brought some bad effects also. There is scarcity of water, housing problem has been very serious and there is the environmental problem. To lead a happy and peaceful life in urban areas we should keep a watchful eye not only in urban areas but also in the rural areas, otherwise, there will be a continuous flow of migration from rural areas to urban areas.

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