Urbanization is inevitably linked with
modern development, and as such is viewed by many as a necessary burden to
carry. In fact, some see it as indicator for a scientific approach to human
life, away from the rigid framework of traditional beliefs and customs. It is
considered as an ideal place to live an independent life, offering enormous
freedom to liberate one's mind. However, the daily drudgery of urban life in
comparison is generally glossed over. If one studies the urban problems one
cannot but conclude that in the name of development modern human being has
spawned an urban culture, which at once strikes at the basic roots of existence
and survival, though not direct always.
Hyderabad is one of the fastest growing cities - its population
estimated at 2.2 million in 1981 has reached 5 million in 1992. This was the
result of a host of changes in the socio-economic policies of the governments.
Hyderabad is considered as a cosmopolitan city with its population as varied as
Indian population. Equally, its problems are as varied.
It is generally
a common notion that poverty forces people to migrate to cities in search of
better employment opportunities. This is true. But it is largely unknown that
even affluence is an equally strong reason for migration to cities. With social
change, choice of professions is also changing. Affluence enables people to
become doctors, engineers, etc. which earns them money and a social status.
However, poverty continues to be the main factor for rural-urban
migration. Drought, floods, and vagaries of climate accentuate this situation.
Ecological changes disturbed the hydro-geological cycle in several areas of
Rayalaseema and Telangana regions. Cyclones and floods became the scourge of
coastal areas. Natural disasters on a continuous basis weaken the resolve to
live in these areas. Thus, poverty and affluence, illiteracy and education and
degradation and nature, lack of opportunity, all cause urbanization.
Hyderabad has a growth rate exceeding 5 percent. In Andhra Pradesh,
other cities like Vishakapatnam, Vijaywada, and Tirupathi, do not match this
growth. There are several factors, which necessitated such a migration;
categorized as `push' and `pull' factors. Push factors are those, which induce
migration leaving the people no choice, but to emigrate to Hyderabad. There are
pull factors even. Firstly, it is the seat of power structure. Secondly, it
houses several industrial areas like Nacharam, Jeedimetla, Ramanthapur,
Balanagar, Azamabad, Katedan, Moulali, Uppal, Cherlapalli, Patancheru, Bollaram
and Saroornagar. Thirdly, it has become an important centre for national
research organizations and institutes like CCMB, IICT, NGRI, NIN, NRSA, DRDO,
DMRL, DLRL, National Police Academy, National Institute of Rural Development,
etc. It also has several agricultural research institutions the biggest of them
being the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT),
apart from the Agricultural University. Also, it has as many as six
universities. Thus, Hyderabad `attracts' all sections of the society, and the
unlimited scope for employment, real or perceived, has a magnetic effect.
This population shift resulted in enormous pressure for shelter and
services fraying the infrastructure. This haphazard growth had its consequential
effects on the communities, and the community values. Law and order is the first
casualty. Many of the problems are linked to inappropriate patterns of
industrial development and the disjointedness between strategies for
agricultural and urban development.
Traffic congestion, housing, road
conditions, pollution, unemployment, crime and violence: all of them are
interrelated as if there is a network of problems, balancing and perpetuating
each other. There is as yet no study to identify the reasons for traffic
congestion, and the necessary mitigation measures. But, generally, the failure
of mass transporting units like buses and trains in easing the problem owing to
different factors had led to the above-mentioned problems.