Skip to main content

Gujarat "no urban model": Urban malnutrition levels are higher than rural areas, says govt document

By Our Representative
In a major admission, the Gujarat government in a recent document has gone to suggest that, far from being an urban model, Gujarat’s urban areas are extremely poorly managed. Giving figures, the document admits, malnutrition levels in the state’s urban areas are higher than rural areas, even as adding, 50 per cent of urban areas lack basic infrastructure like water and sanitation. The document says, in the urban areas, two per cent children are “severely malnourished” and 33 per cent are “moderately malnourished”, in the rural areas, 1.5 per cent are “severely malnourished” and 25.86 per cent are “moderately malnourished”.
The data are based on survey of the integrated child development centres (ICDS), or aanganwadis, and do not include those not going to ICDS. It says, “These data indicate that in urban areas prevalence of malnutrition is higher”, and “there is a need for a comprehensive nutrition support and development of children particularly among the urban poor.” It proposes to “narrow the gap” by undertaking a “five year mission in seven municipal corporations in the state with additional anganwadis.”
As for urban infrastructure, the document -- submitted to the Centre-appointed 14th Finance Commission in October 2013 to assess financial requirement of each state -- seeks to suggest that they are “terribly stressed.” “Gujarat has emerged as one of India’s most urbanized states with a high level of industrialization”, it says, adding, currently 42.5 per cent of population residing in the urban areas, and it increased by almost 36 per cent between 2001 and 2011, while the rural population rose by just 10 per cent. This has overstressed the urban areas.
Thus, there is wide “intra-urban disparity” in the distribution of water. “While the average water supply is 99 litres per capita per day (lpcd) and 97 lpcd in class A and B towns, the supply levels in class C and D towns are much lower. These levels of per capita water supply are much lower than the Government of India norms”, the document says.
Things are same with sewerage facilities – of the 167 municipalities, only 67 have sewerage, while “the rest of the towns depend on onsite sanitation, drains and open defecation.” It adds, “This means 48 per cent or the urban population disposes of their wastewater onsite. Even in eight municipal corporations, sewerage coverage is about 58 per cent.” All this, the document underlines, “affects the poor the most.”
“Due to insufficient provision of infrastructure, gap between requirement and availability has increased further because of high rate of growth of population”, the document say. Pointing out that the urban population is slated to rise from 2.41 crore in 2014 to 3.82 crore in 2021, the document says, “Gujarat will have to provide basic infrastructure facilities to additional 1 million people additional persons in urban areas just to maintain the current level of services which is also behind the normal level.”
The infrastructure is stressed because, the document says, the urban areas, particularly Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara, contributing to 29 per cent of the population of Gujarat, are “receiving migrant population from other states.” It complains, “The growth in urban infrastructure and public services has not been able to match the growth in the population inflow of these cities. Immigration has put tremendous pressure on urban infrastructure and has widened the gap between demand and availability of infrastructure.”
The problem has become worse compounded because, the document says, “population spillover” or “outgrowth” has taken place “beyond the administrative boundaries of municipal areas.” It adds, “These areas continue to be administered under rural set-up resulting in haphazard developments”, and face “problems of inadequate infrastructure.” Here, there is a need to bring the “expanded areas into urban administration through amalgamation of areas”, and “creation of new urban local self-governments and provision of urban services.”

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

Opposition refuses to legally challenge EVMs amidst plans of "back to ballot" protest

Counterview Desk
Even as opposition to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) allegedly to rig polls is growing, a group of prominent citizens who have come together to form the EVM Virodhi Rashtriya Jan Andolan has controversially called for a national protest against EVMs on May 30, demanding future elections should be held only on ballot paper.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

When a Pak scribe said Modi has 'proved' Jinnah’s two nation theory right...

By Zafar Agha*
It was around nine in the morning on May 24, 2019, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed the Lok Sabha with 300-plus MPs. It was a call from a journalist friend, Muzamal Suhrawardy, from Lahore, Pakistan. I ignored the call. We liberals had a depressing day the previous evening as the opposition to Modi and BJP collapsed. The results belied reports from the ground and even assessments made by colleagues.

It's now official: Akshay Kumar has not been conferred honorary Canadian citizenship

By Our Representative
It is now official. Super-star Akshay Kumar has not been conferred any honorary citizenship by Canadian authorities, as claimed by him ahead of the 2019 elections. In reply to a query by Roshan Shah, who is a Canadian citizen living in Waterloo, Ontario, and belongs to Ahmedabad, the country’s authorities dealing with issues related with immigration, refugees and citizenship in Canada have said that only six persons have so far been granted honorary citizenship.

Govt of India overestimated GDP by 2.5%, must restore reputational damage: Ex-CEA

By Rajiv Shah
Top economist Arvind Subramanian has said that changes brought about by the Government of India in data sources and methodology for estimating the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 “has led to a significant overestimation of growth”. While official estimates place annual average GDP growth between 2011-12 and 2016-17 at about 7 percent, the actual growth may have been 4½ percent, ranging from 3 ½ to 5 ½ percent during the period, he adds.

Common thread of Modi, political Hinduism, nationalism? 'Contest' of ideas isn't over

By Salman Khurshid*
Losing the 2019 election and that too in a somewhat extreme manner has confronted us with unexpected challenges: Our leadership has naturally taken it very hard and to heart but with suggested options that we cannot imagine or contemplate. Hopefully the emotions will settle soon and give us the direction to pick up the pieces and march again.

If EC's credibility is under question, shouldn't one "assume" EVMs might be tampered?

Counterview Desk
Gauhar Raza, scientist, documentary film maker and poet; senior human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi of the Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD); military veteran Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury (retd); and Sucheta De and Sandeep Saurav of the All India Students' Association (AISA), have asked “individuals, organisations and people's movements” to send their endorsement to an appeal they have prepared on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

Will minorities in India be 2nd class citizens? Wake up call: Be a 'communicating' Church

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
India today is at a defining moment of her history. There is so much that has taken place in the past five years (and particularly in the last ten days)- that several citizens of the country are genuinely concerned about the future of the country! Will democracy survive? Will key elements of the Constitution be changed?