590 million will live in cities in India in 2030, more than the entire population of the United States; 270 million will be the net increase in the working age population; 70 % of net new employment will be generated in the cities; 68 cities will have populations in excess of 1 million, up from 42 today ( Europe has 35 today). The stats projected are truly staggering. For those who us who live in India’s cities, the future can be seen as being both exciting and frightening! India’s urban awakening is often written about
but here comes a very comprehensive report from McKinsey Global Institute about the issues that need to be dealt with- and urgently. I am afraid we are nowhere near ready to prepare for the challenges that are in store for us. Our infrastructure systems are by and large wilting under pressure of growth. Apart from a few pockets, for the most part basic infrastructure still remains barely adequate across the country’s big cities.
The good news is that the Indian economy will continue to grow rapidly. The bad news is that this growth may not necessarily translate to better quality of life for the millions in India’s cities- unless tremendous improvements are brought about in building and managing infrastructures more effectively.