Growth Trajectories of Census Towns: A Case of Murshidabad District, West Bengal
AbstractThe role of Census Towns (CTs) in India’s current urbanisation has become a subject of intense debate since the publication of 2011 census data. The growth of CTs during the decade preceding 2011 census was enormous in most of the states of India especially in West Bengal. The existing debates on the issue of CTs are mostly on the ground of methods of counting and of their geographical location within or beyond the urban agglomeration. However, the existing literature on CTs is highly oriented towards the data available from secondary sources. This article, based on empirical research, tries to understand the nature of growth and the process of territorial transformation of these settlements. The location for empirical research has been chosen as Murshidabad District of West Bengal, where largest number of CTs grew in the last decade outside metropolitan area and urban agglomeration. Murshidabad, a district with very low level of urbanisation and relatively low level of economic development, raises questions on the high growth of CTs. The paper, taking forward this question, explores the processes leading to the transformation of settlements from rural to urban.
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