States asked to convert 3,784 urban areas into statutory Urban Local Bodies
Ministry of Urban Development has asked 28 States to take immediate and necessary action to convert 3,784 Census Towns into statutory Urban Local Bodies to promote planned urban development.
Rajiv Gauba, Secretary (Urban Development) in a letter to the Chief Secretaries of these States has highlighted the need for statutory Urban Local Bodies for planned and coordinated infrastructure development, enhancement of revenues and efficient delivery of services to citizens leading to overall growth of economic activities. He stressed that “The opportunity of planned urban development might get lost if unplanned construction and ad hoc provisioning of infrastructure is allowed to take place over a long time”.
A Census Town is an area with urban characteristics like a minimum population of 5,000, at least 75% of the male main working force engaged in non-agricultural activities and population density of at least 400 persons per sq.km. As per 2011 Census, there are 3,784 Census Towns as against 1,362 in 2001.
A Statutory Town is one with a municipality, corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee. As per 2011 Census, there are 4,041 such towns as against 3,799 in 2001.
Gauba also informed the States that conversion of Census towns into statutory ULBs entitle them to Central assistance as per the guidelines of 14th Finance Commission. Under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), 50& weightage is given to the number of statutory towns in any State/UT in allocation of funds among States/UTs.
State-wise distribution of Census Towns : West Bengal-780, Kerala-461, Tamil Nadu-376, Maharashtra-279, Uttar Pradesh-267, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana-228, Jharkhand-188, Gujarat-153, Karnataka-127, Assam-126, Odisha-116, Madhya Pradesh-112, Rajasthan-112, Punjab-74, Haryana-14, Bihar-60, Goa-56, Uttarakhand-42, Jammu & Kashmir-36, Tripura-26, Manipur-23, Chattisgarh-14, Meghlaya-12, Nagaland-7, Himachal Pradesh-3, Arunachal Pradesh-1 and Mizoram-0.