The rapid growth of the urban population, both natural and through migration, has put heavy pressure on public utilities like housing, sanitation, transport, water, electricity, health, education, and so on.
The following urban problems are highlighted: Transport: With traffic congestion, almost all cities and towns of India are suffering from acute transportation problems. Today, we have reached a stage where practically no city in India gets sufficient water to meet the needs of the city-dwellers. In big cities like Mumbai, water is resourced from the rivers and lakes in Thane and Palghar, thereby causing hardship in the lives of those people.
Sewerage problems: Urban areas in India are almost invariably plagued with insufficient and inefficient sewage facilities. Insufficient resources faced by municipalities and the unauthorized growth of cities are two major causes of this. Most cities do not have proper arrangements for treating the sewerage waste and it is drained into nearby rivers.
Trash disposal: Huge quantities of garbage generated by our cities pose serious health hazards. Most cities do not have proper arrangements for garbage disposal and the existing landfills are full to the brim, which becomes hotbeds of disease and innumerable poisons into the environment. Also, a poisonous liquid called leachate is emitted, which contaminates groundwater.
Urban crime: Due to overcrowding poverty, unemployment many people in urban areas commit several types of crimes like thefts, robbery, cybercrime, gambling adulteration, corruption etc. Some criminals reach high political positions by using their money and muscle power. Not only do the poor, deprived and slum dwellers take to crime; people from well-to-do families also resort to crime in order to make a fast wealth and to meet cravings for a lavish life.
Pollution: The intensity of air, water, and noise pollution has increased in the cities due to various factories and vehicles. Due to polluted air people suffer from various diseases like lung cancer, asthma, headache, etc., due to the polluted water, people suffer from various water-borne diseases.
Educational problems: Cities suffer from various educational problems like inadequate educational facilities, educational discrimination, costly education, indiscipline among the students.
Recent urban development programmes in India
(i) Swatch Bharat Abhiyan ( SBA ) or Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is a nationwide campaign in India for the period 2014 to 2019 that aims to clean up the streets, roads, and infrastructure of India’s cities, towns, urban and rural areas.to accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put the focus on sanitation. The Prime Minister of India had launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on 2nd October 2014.
(ii) National Smart Cities Mission is an urban renewal program by the Government of India with the mission to develop smart cities across the country, making them citizen-friendly and sustainable The Union Ministry of Urban Development is responsible for implementing the mission in collaboration with the state governments of the respective cities. The mission initially included 100 cities, with the deadline for completion of the projects set between 2019 and 2023.