India’s ‘secondary’ cities urged to plan for growth
As India’s largest metropolises grapple with pollution and congestion, it is India’s secondary cities — with populations from one million to five million — that offer the potential for higher living standards.
In an essay for UBM Future Cities, Asit K. Biswas, founder of Third World Centre for Water Management, a Mexico-based non-profit, warns that India’s mid-sized cities will confront the same problems that plague megacities and won’t realize their full potential unless local governments strategize now for expansion.
Investments in public transit, affordable housing and environmental protection would be wiser than expenditures on “splashy” projects such as shopping malls and gleaming new towns, he advises. Streamlined regulation and anti-corruption measures also are needed.
Some secondary cities such as Pune are internationally known, but the names of others, like Nagpur, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Visakhapatnam, barely resonate outside India. In all, India has 40 such cities poised for swift population increases.