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Growth rate halved

delhi Updated: Apr 05, 2011 01:41 IST
Mallica Josh

Wide-ranging removal of slums since 2001 and the preparations for the Commonwealth Games resulted in lowering the population growth rate in the Capital, the Census Provisional Population Totals report for Delhi has revealed.

The decadal growth dropped by about 26% in the last 10 years, as compared with the previous decade - from 47.02% in 1991-2001 to 20.96% in 2001-2011.

The biggest fall has been experienced in the central and New Delhi districts with negative growth rates being observed in these areas.

Even the growth rates in north (13%) and east (16.6%) districts were considerably lower as compared to the city's average of 21%.

According to the report, it has been established that removal of slum clusters in the NDMC area is the primary reason for a 25% fall in population in New Delhi district.

Various NGOs have been crying hoarse about the forced eviction of the homeless and the poor from the city in the last few years.

"The homeless and slum dwellers have been systematically removed from the NDMC areas in the last few years. Also the census exercise for the homeless in the city left a lot to be desired and many people were left out. The figures are not accurate," said Indu Prakash Singh, technical advisor, Indo Global Social Service Society.

"A major reason for the fall in the decadal growth rate is the wide-ranging removal of slum clusters from across the city since 2001. Some 8,000 slum clusters have been removed from the New Delhi district in the last 10 years. This has contributed greatly in bringing down the growth rates and population figures here," said Varsha Joshi, director of census operations, Delhi.

The total slum population has also come down since 2001, said the report. "Despite broadening the definition of slums for the census, the population has come down, according to preliminary figures," it stated.

The report also holds the commercialisation trend - converting residential property into commercial establishments - in areas such as Karol Bagh, Paharganj, Chandni Chowk and Sadar Bazar for the negative growth.

The maximum decadal growth has taken place in the south-west district - 30.6%.

The emergence of Dwarka as a viable residential option is seen as a major reason for high growth in the area.

The second highest growth rate is that of north-west district followed by north-east.

"The urban growth in areas such as Gurgaon, Faridabad Ghaziabad and Noida have to be kept in mind when viewing the trends," said Joshi.

"The urban growth has been falling steadily in the last decade. Household industries have been flourishing. Industries employing less than 10 people have grown by over 110% in the last 15 years. Rural graduates now prefer to work in smaller towns. All these aspects have an effect on the urban population growth rates," Dipankar Gupta, sociologist, who teaches at Jawaharlal Nehru University.