DT Khathing addresses the forum at St Xavier’s College auditorium in Ranchi on Monday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Urbanisation cannot be reined in, but it’s the state government’s responsibility to find out ways to tackle the social, environmental and economic challenges posed by it.
This was the unanimous view of over 90 research scholars from across the country, who have gathered in the state capital to talk on “Urbanisation — A Changing State of Environment”.
The two-day national symposium is being held at the auditorium of St Xavier’s College. Organised by the geography department, the seminar is being sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi.
The chief guest was Prof D.T. Khathing, vice chancellor of Central University of Jharkhand. At the technical session on Monday, eight research papers were presented by scholars from Ranchi University, Patna University, Delhi University and Rajasthan University among others.
At the inaugural address, Khathing pointed out that urbanisation could not be stopped and instead, one should scout for necessary solutions. “Whatever recommendations are coming up at this seminar will be put before the state government so that it can carry on the task of working out the solutions,” he suggested.
Prof Hariharan Ramachandran of the department of geography, Delhi School of Economics, during the keynote address at the technical session, blamed the state for failing to address the fallout of rapid urbanisation.
“Rampant migration is one of the effects of urbanisation because it’s the only way out of poverty. People don’t get jobs in their rural hometowns because the government is not doing enough for them. Naturally, they go to cities in search of better livelihood,” he added.
Ramachandran also pointed a finger at urban planners for ignoring vast sections of the society. “The government of India’s inclusive growth plan envisages inclusion of those sections of the society who have been excluded during town planning,” he said.
Some of the research papers that were presented at the technical session are “Pattern and determining factors of temporary rural to urban migration from Jharkhand state”, “Rural urban migration and its impact on urban environment” and “Environmental impact of slums”.
On the concluding day, scholars will present papers on “Modernisation and Indian urban society,” “Migration, regional inequality and impact on environment” and so on.