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Rural-Urban Interaction: A Study of

Burdwan Town and Surrounding Rural Areas

Thesis submitted for partial fulfillment of the Doctor of
Philosophy (Arts) In Geography to the University of Burdwan

Dr. Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

Gopa Samanta

Department of Geography
The University of Burdwan

Lecturer in Geography
Mankar College
Mankar, Burdwan






Department of Geography, The University of Burdwan
Burdwan 713 104, West Bengal, India. Phone: (0342) 56566162549 exl. 428
Fax : (91) 342-64452
emaU: klahlrl_dutt@hotman.com
Residence : 13 Fraser Avenue, Subhashpally. Burdwon 713 101,
West Bengal, India. Phone: 0342-68459.

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: 15. Ob. Q.OOI

Dr. Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt
Place : Burdwan

I wish to express my sincerest gratitude to my supervisor, Dr Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt.
Reader, the Department of Geography, The University of Burdwan, whose intellectual
companionship and lectures about our native town and surrounding region helped me to
identify and develop the research problem. The study was done under her supervision and I
was able to complete it within the stipulated time only due to her help.
Profuse thanks are also due to Dr A. Biswas (now of Visva Bharati, Shantiniketan)
and Dr N. Prasad of Burdwan University for providing valuable criticism and substantive
suggestions in the preparation of this thesis. Much help, stimulation and intellectual pleasure
was derived from other teachers. research scholars, students and non-teaching employees of
the Geography Department ofthe University.
I am thankful to Dr Hsamish Main, of the Staffordshire University, U.K .. for his
lecture and valuable suggestions regarding the rural-urban linkages and reciprocity. I also
thank Dr Mrs Barbara Harriss-White of International Development Centre, Oxford
University. U.K .. for her seminar lecture and informal discussions on market centres in
Tamilnadu and West Bengal. I thank Dr Biplab Dasgupta, former Director. Centre for Urban
Economic Studies (CUES). Calcutta University, for giving me the opportunity to attend the
seminars and \vorkshops on market centres in India and other urban issues at the CUES.
I am grateful to Dr Banshi Mukherjee of Burdwan Medical College, Dr Pabitra Giri.
Director. CUES. Calcutta University. and Dr Prasanta Kumar Jana for their helpful assistance
and valuable suggestions regarding the application of statistical techniques in the research
work. I am also thankful to the members of my family for patiently tolerating my odd work
schedules during this period. My loving thanks go to my mother and elder brother without
whose inspiration this thesis would not have materialized.
Field survey and primary data collection formed a major section of my research work.
In this respect 1 am thankful to my students especially to Uttarn, Mahuya, Enakshi, Sreeparna
and Kanchan for their co-operation during field surveys.
I also wish to thank the various otlicials in the institutions and organizations with
whom I have come into contact during the course of field work and data collection. They are
too many but mention must be made of the helping and friendly persons of the Census
OJlice, Calcutta; Zilla Parishad. Burdwan: Oflice of the Collector, Burdwan; Additional
District Magistrate, Burdwan: District Fnginecr, Burdwan; Officials of the Municipalities of

Burdwan. Guskara and Mcmari, and Block Development Offices of Khandaghosh. Burdwan1 and IL Jamalpur. Galsi-11, Memari-1 and IJ. Monteswar, Ausgram-1, Raina-! and Bhatar.

My sincere thanks also go to specially to Md. Masih. Burdwan Zilla Parishad; Dr
Dipankar Sen. Indian Statistical lmtitute; Mr K. Sarkar, Burdwan Block office, Mr Dasgupta
and Mr D. Ghosh, Bhatar Block otlice; Mr I.S. Banerjee, Khandaghosh Block oflice; Mrs.
M. Bhattacharyya, Memari-II Block oftice; Mr B.B. Dutt-Choudhury, Memari-I Block office
and Mr M. Koner. Monteswar Block oftice. Thanks are also due to Mr Prasun K.
Gangopadhyay and Mr Papan Chatterjee for their intelligent typing of the manuscript within
a rather short period.
However, in spite of the concerted effort of all these persons there may still be
limitations and inadequacies for which I alone am respomible.


!5 .Ob. ROO!





Gopa Samanta

In our school texts, a description of Indian economy would invariably begin with
explicit statements of its ruraL agricultural nature. Yet. all around us we could sense changes
in that rural economy, and the variable transformation of social and economic space through
the impact of unseen forces. The traditional distinction between rural and urban no longer
remains valid. The millenia-old subsistence economy of India is now changing to give rise to
more and more, larger and larger villages, which stood somewhere in the middle of the ruralurban continuum.
This may have been due to the fact that we belong to the post-green revolution
Burdwan where the full impact of the high yielding variety of seeds and the Damodar Valley
Corporation (DVC) canals was felt on the rural scenario. Therefore, identifYing our study
region while remaining faithful to the empirical tradition of Geography was easy enough for
Burdwan, the headquarter of the district of the same name, is a flourishing town of
about 2.5 lakh population (as per 1991 census: -rough 2001 projection


3.25 lakhs). In

recent decades it has experienced rapid growth mainly through the expansion of its
commercial base though its various agro-processing industries to serve the surrounding

countryside. We took up for our study eleven rural development blocks, two among which
are called Burdwan-1 and Burdwan-ll and nine have common boundaries with Burdwan
Police Station (P.S.).
Burdwan town, located in the midst of an agriculturally prosperous, near isomorphic
region, has developed a close relationship with the smaller settlements around it. These
centres located within a radius of 40 kilometres from Burdwan, encircle the town and are also
very well connected to this central urban focus. Together, they form a complete economic
region characterized by significant amount of functional coherence.
The work taken up here could best be defined, in a nutshell, as an 'urban study of a
specific region'. Our present enquiry into the spatial relationships of a medium-sized urban
centre and its even smaller satellites would hopefully provide a major foundation stone in
developing a greater understanding into the nature of rural-urban interaction in the context of
the third world, and would help to reveal that the myth of rural-urban disjunction is not valid
in its classical form any longer.

The dissertation has been presented in 10 chapters.
The first chapter provides answers for the fundamental questions that can arise in the
mind of a reader. The selection of urban geography has been justified, the region of study
defined, objectives identified and the methodology has been described. The second chapter
clarifies the conceptual basis for the research work, putting it in the longer context of third
world urbanization. This discussion is particularly relevant as in many urban studies there is
still a tendency to compare the Indian experience with the models of urbanization developed
in western countries. Furthermore, we have added a thorough review of literature on urban
geography in India and rural-urban interaction to this chapter.
The third chapter tries to put the 'forces' working behind the changing rural scenario
in West Bengal especially in Burdwan district. It describes the changes in Mughal and British
periods. especially the land tenure system developed in late eighteenth century, and the post
colonial changes in agriculture particularly the Intensive Agricultural Development
Programme (IADP) and more recently the Operation Barga.
The fourth chapter analyses the regional socio-economic characteristics at the
panchayat level using the latest available census data (1991).
Chapter tive deals with intra-regional patterns of rural development usmg
multivariate analysis technique. We used 29 variables and the data was adopted both from
primary sources such as field surveys and official statistics from panchayat offices, and the
secondary sources like census reports.
In the next, sixth chapter. we have studied the large villages and rural market centres
of the region. These intermediate places are often neglected in conventional urban literature
but in India they are now beginning to play significant roles at the local levels. However, in
this chapter we have focussed on their growth, spatial pattern of location, growth potential
and population characteristics besides their roles in the integration of rural and urban
economies ofthc region.
In seventh chapter we have described in detail the town of Burdwan as the regional
urban focus. and the two other census-identified 'towns' - Guskara and Memari. It brings out
the roles they play in integrating the regional economy and how these roles have shaped the
nature and characteristics of the towns themselves.
In eighth chapter, we have looked into the informal sector of the urban economy of
Burdwan town as a possible mirror reflecting the ties between the rural and urban sectors.
We studied the rickshaw-pullers - the most probable unskilled service that a poor rural

technological. economic. It identifies the gaps still existing between the rural and urban in Burdwan region.migrant would be absorbed in an urban context . .and the roles they have played in integrating the region. The last chapter concludes the study.to examine if they have originated from surrounding rural areas or not. service.physicaL social. and suggests ways and means that could be explored by decision-makers for planning of either or both. These linkages have been crucial in helping the rural areas shed their shroud of isolation and connecting them to the urban centres. The ninth chapter deals with the various linkages between the two sectors. population movement and political .

Physical Environment 1.Y.2. 1. 2.1. Mughal Period Socio-Economic Environment Why This Region '? Methodology Usefulness ofthe Research Timespan and Data Sources CIAmlll THEUCIGRIIIID 2.4.5.C. 2. Theories of Rural-Urban Interaction Lipton and Urban Bias Rondinelli: Secondary Cities and the Diffusion of Urbanization Stohr and Taylor: bottom-up development 2.2. The Case for West Bengal Role of The Left Front Government Operation Barga Distribution of Ceiling Surplus Land 1-12 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 13-41 13 13 18 18 21 27 30 32 33 34 35 36 42-90 42 42 44 44 46 49 51 54 55 57 58 59 60 .3.4. 1. India 2. 1. Processes and Rect::nt Trends of Urbanization 2. 1.3. The Contribution of Burdwan 'Raj Family' 3. Introduction The Notion of Rural Development: A Review Background of Rural Development 3.1.3. West Bengal 2.1.3 .1.7.3.CONTENTS Page No. 3.1. 3.) 3.3.4. British Period 3. Burdwan District Review of Literature on Rural-Urban Interaction The Role of the Damodar Valley Corporation (D. 3.2.4. Putting Our Study in Persp<xtive The Research Problem Objectives ofthe Study A Profile of the Study Region 1.DmliPMEIIT IIIIIRIWIIIIEIIIII 3.3. Intensive Agricultural District Programme (JADP) Land reforms and Panchayati Raj 3. 2. CHAmll amea1m1Y 1. Empirical Studies on Rural-Urban Interaction CHAmllll RIRAI.4.1. Introduction Third World Urbanization Patterns.

3.3.Panchayati Raj 3.4.2. Levels of Primary Sector Employment 4. 3.6. Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) 3.5. Status of Women 4.1. 7. Irrigation 4.7. Levels of Female Work Participation Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA) 3. West Bengal 3. Dimension II: Levels of Health Infrastructure 62 63 65 65 67 69 71 73 75 77 80 81 82 83 85 86 88 90 91-121 91 91 94 96 99 101 102 105 106 108 110 112 113 115 118 121 122-133 122 123 124 124 126 127 127 130 II .6. Market 3.5. Infrastructural Development 4. Summary CIAml V IIITU-IEIIIIW PAmiiiS IF DEVEliPMEO 5. Introduction Methodology 5. 4.1.5. Land Reforms in the Region 3.2.4. 5. Levels of Female Literacy 4. Dimension I: Levels of Overall Development Electrification 3. 4.2.7. 5. Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) 3.1. Levels of Secondary Sector Employment 4.6.5. Distribution of Scheduled Tribe Population Levels of Work Participation Sectoral Employment 4. The Region 5.4. Poverty Alleviation 3. Health and Education Summary CDmiiV IEGIIIW SICII-ECIIIIMIC CHARACHIISnCS 4. 7. Levels ofTertiary Sector Employment 4. Agricultural Development 3. Distribution of Scheduled Caste Population 4. Data Base Variables Factor Solution Spatial Pattern of the Lcvelbof Development 5.2.8. Introduction Data and Methodology Female-Male Ratio (FMR) Levels of Literacy Caste Composition of Population 4.1. Burdwan District 3.1. Transport Training of Rural Youth for SelfEmployment (TRYSEM) 3.2.

3. Introduction Role ofBurdwan Town as a Regional Urban Focus Overall Development l. Growth of Rurdwan 7 .2.3.1. Pattern of Growth (1971-'91) 6. Growth Potential Methodology ofGravity Model Pattern of Growth Potential Rural Market Centres 6. Location and Distribution Pattern 6. MUm CEmES 6.ocation Distribution Pattern: Methodology Spatial Pattern of Distribution 6.4. 6.3. 6. Present Demographic Character Population Density Pattern Density Gradient Female-Male Ratio (FMR) 169 170 170 170 172 174 176 178 178 179 183 lll .2.4. 5.6.3. Functional Characteristics Spatial Pattern of Occupation Characteristics Rural Transformation 6. Rural Market Centres ofthe Region Summary CUPTU VII 131 132 134-168 134 134 136 136 141 141 141 142 145 145 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 156 156 157 158 160 160 161 163 164 165 168 169-196 IEIIIIAI.2. Dimension III: Levels of Secondary Activities Summary Cllmlll liiiE IIUACES AI I IIIII.1.6. Historical Antecedent 7.6. Development of the Town Under Royal Patronage Density Characteristics Spatial Pattern of Population Density Density Distribution Growth in density ( 1981-'91) 6. The Changing Urban Foci of Burdwan 7.1. Social Characteristics Social Backwardness Literacy Status Status of Women Female Literacy Female Work Participation Rate 6.4. 6.1.5. Role of Rural Market Centres in Integrating Rural with Urban 6.5. Geographical Location FICI 7. Introduction Some Conceptual Considerations Large Villages 6.

4. 7. Introduction Some Conceptual Issues 8.3. Social Characteristics Religion and Caste Structure Literacy Unionization Migration and Rural-Urban Linkage Sample Selection A Profile ofthe Rickshaw-Pullers ofBurdwan 8.1.1. Rickshaw-Puller as Part of the Informal Sector 8. 8. Quality of Life and its Spatial Pattern The Other Urban Foci of the Region 7.4. 7. Guskara Summary CIAml VIII TIE IIFIIIW. Third World Urbanization and the Informal Sector of Urban Economy 8. Introduction Rural-Urban Linkages 9.1. Demographic Characteristics Age Structure Family Size and Structure Number of Children 8. Urban Economy The Informal Sector of Economy 8.2. Physical Linkages Road Networks Railway Networks River and Water Transport Networks 9. Economic Linkages Market Patterns Raw Material and Consumption Goods Flows Consumption and Shopping Patterns Capital and Income Flows 184 186 190 192 194 196 197-215 197 197 197 199 199 200 201 202 202 202 203 204 205 205 206 206 207 208 208 209 209 210 21 1 212 215 216-256 216 217 219 219 228 230 231 231 233 236 237 lV .3.2.6. 8. SECTII IF THE 111111 ECIIIIMY 8. Memari 7. Summary CIAPnR II BIIAl-111111 UIIIASES Economic Condition income Savings Ownership of Rickshaw Nature of Service Number of Earning Members per Family Housing 8. The Informal Sector as A Mirror of Rural-Urban Relationship

Introductory Fin dings Thinking About Burdwan Development of Infrastructure Transport Rural Market Centres Education Health Conclusion References 239 239 241 241 244 245 245 246 248 249 251 251 253 256 257-266 257 257 259 262 262 263 264 265 265 267-289 v .4. Service Delivery Linkages Credit and Financial Networks Education and Training Linkages Health Service Delivery Systems 9. Social Interaction Linkages Visiting Patterns 9.2. 10.9. Technological Linkages: Telecommunications System 9. 9. 10. Administrative and Organizational Linkages Administrative Decision Chains Informal Political Decision Chains Summary CIAmll lllllll AIEAD 10.6.Work 9. 7.4. Political. I 0.5. Population Movement Linkages Migration: Permanent and Temporary Journey-to.

3 Districtwise Levels of Urbanization. Table 2. Production and Productivity of Selected Crops Between I 965-'66 and 1994-'95 in Burdwan District 68 Table 3. 1996-'97 89 Table 4.5 Production ofDifferent Food Crops in the Region. 1996-'97 84 Table 3.5 Sectoral Distribution of Urban Workforce in West Bengal.3 Scheduled Caste Population.1 Progress of Land Rdorm in The Region and The District upto June 1999 64 Table 3.6 Levels of Primary SC(.6 Growth of Urban Population. 1996-'97 86 Table 3.5 Levels of Wok Participation. 1991 110 Table 4.'97 88 Table 3.6 Transportation Infrastructure of the Region. 1991 Table 4.7 Public Irrigation Infrastructure of the Region.2 I .4 Size Class Distribution of Urban Population in West Bengal. 1996-'97 71 Table 3.LIST OF TABLES Page No.8 Level ofRural Electrification in the Region. 1991 Table 4. 1951-1991 26 Table 2. 1991 95 98 101 103 105 108 Table 4.1 Female-Male Ratio.7 Size-Class Distribution on·owns.10 Levels of Female Work Participation.4 Scheduled Tribe Population. Net Irrigation Areas and the Area Sown More than once (1910-'11 to 1990-'91) 67 Table 3.2 Expansion of Net cropped.7 Levels of Secondary Sector Employment. 1991 Table 4.3 Increase in the Area.9 Periodic Markets of the Region 87 Table 3.11 Educational Infrastructure ofthe Region. Burdwan District ( 1901-1991) 30 Table 3. 1951-1991 24 Table 2. 1996. 1991 119 Table 5. 1991 112 Table 4.1 Trends of Urbanization in India. 1995 83 Table 3.4 Levels of Health Infrastructure 130 VI . 1986-'87 to 1996-'97 70 Table 3. 1901-1991 19 Table 2.3 Block wise Picture of Levels of Overall Development 128 Table 5. West Bengal ( 1991) 25 Table 2.2 Levels of Literacy. 1991 116 Table 4. Burdwan District ( 190 1-1991) 28 Table 2. 1951-1991 26 Table 2.4 Trend ofRice Production in the Region.2 Urbanization in West Bengal and India.evels of Overall Development 127 Table 5.9 Levels of Female Literacy.10 Public Health Infrastructure of the Region. 1991 Table 4.8 Levels ofTertiary Employment.tor Employment.1 The EigenValues and\ the Total Percentage Variance Explained by Each of 126 the Three Factors Table 5. 1991 Table 4.

11 Per centage Share of Ownership and Rented Housing among Permanent Rt:-sidents.12 Female Work Participation Rate of Large Villages.13 Levels of Literacy among Permanent Residents.10 No. 1991 14 7 Table 6.9 Nature of Service of Rickshaw-pullers 208 Table 8.6 Income Distribution 206 Table 8.9 Concentration of Backward Population in Large Villages.1 Age-Group Wise Break-up of Rickshaw-Pullers 203 Table 8. 1981-'91 143 Table 6.14 Unionization among Rickshaw-Pullers 212 Table 5. 1991 167 Table 7.2 Distribution of Rickshaw-pullers among Different Family Sizes 203 Table 8.10 Literacy Status of Large Villages. 1961 to 1991 185 Table 8.4 Nearest Neighbour Indices for Spatial Pattern of Large Villages.Blockwise Pattern of the Levels of Health Infrastructure 131 Levels of Secondary Activities 131 Table 5.3 Large Villages of the Region : 1971-'91 141 Table 6.5 Distribution of Large Villages into Density Classes.3 Family Structure of Permanent Residents.7 Average Earnings among Permanent Residents.8 Growth in Non-farm Activities ofRurban Villages 1971-'91 151 Table 6. Migrants and Commuters 209 Table 8. 1991 155 Table 6.7 Pattern of Primary Occupation in Large Villages.Table 5.2 Frequency Distribut1ion of Large Villages. 1991 139 Table 6.6 Vll .12 Level of Iiteracy 2 10 Table 8. 1991 I 59 Table 6.5 No of Children among Permanent Residents and Migrants (in per cent) 205 Table 8.6 Growth Rate of Density of Large Villages.5 . 1991 \57 Table 6. 1991 158 Table 6. Migrants and Commuters 204 Table 8.13 Levels of Development of Large Vi II ages. of Earning Members per Family 208 Table 8.2 Female-Male Ratio ofBurdwan Town.1 Growth Rate of Large Villages ( 1971-'91) 13 7 Table 6.14 Growth Potential Index of Large Villages. 1991 150 Table 6. 1901-1999 183 Table 7.1 Growth ofBurdwan Town: 1901-1999 177 Table 7. ( 1981-'91) 148 Table 6. First Generation Migrants and Second Generation Migrants (in per cent) 211 Table 8.3 SectoralDistributionofWorkforceofBurdwanTown. 1991 161 Table 6.15 Occupation Characteristics of Rural Market Centres. 1991 154 Table 6. Migrants and Commuters (In per cent) 207 Table 8. Migrants and Commuters 206 Table 8.8 Break-up of Owner and Hired Rickshaw-pullers among Permanent Residents.7 Block wise Pattern of the Levels of Secondary Activities 132 Table 6.4 Break-up of Rickshaw-Pullers According to the Number ofChi1dren 204 Table 8.11 Female Literacy Levels of Large Villages.

4 Route Pattern of Buses 223 Table 9.7 Educational Institutions ofthe Rural Areas.'97 250 Table 9.15 Nature of Residence 213 Table 8.5 Town Service Network 224 Table 9. 1998 222 222 Table 9.8 Public Health Services in the Rural Areas of the Region. 1996.16 Types of Migration 213 Table 8. 1996-'97 248 Table 9. 1998 Table 9.1 Rural-Urban Linkages in the Region 218 Table 9.2 Routes and Buses Operated in the Region by Private Bus Associations.17 Inter State Migration 214 Table 8.9 Political Network in the Region. 1998 254 VII! .3 Routes and Buses Operated in the Region by SBSTC.6 Number of Financial Institutions in the Rural Areas 247 Table 9.Table 8.18 Inter-District Migration 214 Table 9.

7 Levels of Employment in Primary Sector 109 Figure 4.9 Levels ofEmployment in Tertiary Sector 114 Figure 4.1 location of Gram Panchayats 93 Figure 4.11 Levels of .Female Work Participation 120 Figure 5. Figure 1.2 Density and Density Gradient of Population.1 Location Map 5 Figure 4. Burdwan Town 188 Figure 9.1 Changing Nucleus for Urban Growth. Burdwan Town 180 Figure 7.5 Location ofRural Market Centres 166 Figure 7.arge Villages 162 Figure 6.4 Gro\\lth Potential and Gro\\lth in tre Dernity ofpopulation ofl.8 levels of Employment in Secondary Sector Ill Figure 4.LIST OF FIGURES Page No.6 Levels of Work Participation 107 Figure 4.3 Density Pattern of Large Villages 146 Figure 6.4 Telecommunication Linkages of the Region 243 Figure 9.1 Road Network of the Region 220 Figure 9.3 Literacy Levels 100 Figure 4.2 Female Male Ratio 97 Figure 4.5 Network ofCPTM Party in the Region 255 IX .2 Network of Town Bus Service 226 Figure 9.3 Variations in the Quality ofUrban Population.1 Levels ofDevelopment 129 Figure 6.5 Scheduled Tribe Population 104 Figure 4.10 Levels of Female Literacy 117 Figure 4.3 Railway Network ofthe Region 229 Figure 9.4 Scheduled Caste Population l02a Figure 4.2 Spatial Distribution Pattern ofLarge Villages 144 Figure 6. Burdwan Town 175 Figure 7.1 Location ofLarge Villages 140 Figure 6.

Sinha (1965) has mentioned how the impact of urbanism on interior Bengal generally tended to create 'rural towns' since nineteenth century Bengal. 'Man's body and animal existence might be satisfied by the country. They were mainly centres of country trade and regional administration. there have been philosophers like Aristotle who believed that to develop human faculties and raise himself above the level of barbarism to live well instead of merely living. 1955). administrators and others choose to deal with only some particular aspect of the multi-faceted complexity.CHAPTER I INTRODUCTORY 1. had its primate city in Calcutta. At the same time. man has to form an actual physical city. Bengal. 1969) or in Britain (Glass. Still. Therefore. planners. 1978). At the same time. his spiritual needs could only be satisfied by the town. . Thus. As Collingwood and Myres ( 1936) wrote while describing the contrast between the Greco-Roman and the British concepts of the town. Putting Our Study in Perspective 1 Towns and cities have always fascinated writers and researchers all over the world. The anti-urban bias has a . urban centres of various sizes have attracted the attention of scholars since ancient times. academicians. while studying the urban phenomena. as also the tact that the urban phenomena in their totality are incomprehensible to any single discipline. There is a great divergence regarding the points of view from which they are looked at since the scholars themselves come from various disciplines.long history whether in America (Delafons. however. These settlements lying midway in the rural-urban continuum are neither rural nor urban in the western sense of the terms. This is due to entirely different historical forces operating in the third world. There are still a lot of rural ingredients mixed in the urban society and economy. larger villages and market centres than the metropolitan cities. that part of India to receive the British 'modem' influence fully. Here. This is particularly true of the comparatively smaller towns. the 'Cities of Peasants' (Roberts. In India too.' Perceptions of rural-urban differences in the third world.1. Such centres grew up to serve local needs as well as for S(:rving as collection and distribution outposts for Calcutta. there has been a distinct stream of opinion against urban centres. they have been described as 'rurban' (Misra. 1979) present quite a different picture where the conventional western folk-urban contrasts are not validated. are not as sharp as the ones mentioned here.

therefore.. 'lies in the occupations of the people. First. for a town is a centre of trade or at lea-. In this research. As a rule. we have used the term mostly in this second. however. '. In our study area there are a large number of villages whose population cross the minimum threshold of 5. The rural-urban continuum may have two expressions. Rural-urban interaction. constitutes a very interesting subject matter especially in those regions where recent agricultural developments have modified the sectoral power equations significantly. shops catering for the wants of the inhabitants and of the surrounding villages or it is a place where the majority of the residents are engaged in non-agricultural pursuits. The Research Problem Our area of research is the hitherto neglected topic of rural-urban interaction in the context of a rather small city and its surrounding areas.t ha-. but simple.. Again.2. the spatial manifestation has been considered too. 1986). the basic difference between the large rural settlements and small market towns of West Bengal still remains in their occupational composition. abstract sense. In the villages. the village is purely residential and shops are few and far between . pointed out the difficulty of distinguishing between an overgrown village and a small town. implies a conceivable. is the physical area around an urban centre where the rural landuse is gradually yielding to give rise to built-up area.. questions: • is there a break or gap in the hypothetical and spatial continuity of the phenomenon called 'urban' in the third world context ? • what are the social and economic characteristics of settlements that are located midway along this continuum ? • what kind of role do the rural market centres play in integrating rural and urban economics of the region? . in its report of 1911.000 designated by the Indian Census. After a span of nearly ninety years. the majority is devoted to agriculture. hypothetical scale with rural at its one end and urban on the other. there are small market centres and towns where the tertiary sector comprises well over 80 per cent of the total workers (Lahiri. The second. In many cases their densities of population also exceed the minimum value of 400 per square kilometre.... 1.The Census oflndia. The research problem may be put in the form of a series of interrelated. 'The main point of difference' remarks the report. more abstract meaning. though because of my training as a geographer.

which enable the continued existence and growth of the town. and how far does this sector of the economy ret1ect the close ties between the rural and urban areas of the region? In the ideal situation. Towns. On the other hand. lt is the process of interaction that helps to spread the impulse of urbanization around the town itself and turns the fringe areas into urbanized peripheries. It is now more or less accepted that many urban theories formed in the context of developed North do not apply to the ground realities of the 3 . There is a give-and-take relationship between the town and its surrounding rural areas. The urban centre also acts as a centralized labour market providing opportunities and attracting the possible rural migrant. The research problems identified by us relate to this zone . Objectives of the Study Since 1960s.• what is the pattern of the level of development of the rural counterpart of the Burdwan town and how far is this pattern related to the linkage with the urban centre? • what are the linkages that have developed between an agriculturally prosperous region and its central to\\ln ? • how far does the informal sector of Burdwan's economy bear the characteristics ofthird world urban informal sector. a town exists because of the countryside and within it. Initially such centres develop a') larger rural settlements at the points having a higher degree of linkage with the nearest urban centre. A thriving rural-urban interaction gives rise to 'satellite' market centres of an urban area. As the town grows in area and population. attention of urban geographers has shifted to the specificities of the urbanization process in the third world. 1.both conceptually and in the real physical sense. the size of this region is enlarged.3. Further areas become added to the complementary region with the development of transportation links. must have complementary regions. These settlements represent a twilight zone in the rural-urban continuum where the urban traits gradually dissolve into more rural ones. A reciprocal relationship develops between the town and its surrounding areas. the surrounding countryside receives the facilities or supply of finished products besides the various services. small or large. Towns exist depending on the supply of different household materials produced in the countryside.

we have discussed in detail the intra-regional diversities with regard to rural development. 1. One primary reason is that the historical experience of the countries of Asia. A Profile of the Study Region It has always been customary for geographers to define a study area. The rural-urban disjunction and the dominance of metropolitan cities are characteristics that have been extensively debated by the scholars.4. This statement was made at the height of dominance of regional concept.less developed South. Even if such studies do not lead to theory-formulation. The well-defined spatial unit studied here is not a 'uniform' region in the conventional sense ofthe term. Africa and Latin America has been considerably different from the western world. Burdwan town is located at the centre and acts as the regional urban focus for it (Figure 1. regional relationships to produce a complete regional identity. We have selected eleven rural development blocks in the eastern part of Burdwan District. Still. that is regional geography'. Still. This research however. we feel the geographical tradition of 'specific' studies have much to commend. is not exactly a 'regional study'. Through our study. upheavals that discourage us now to reiterate Fenneman's I 919 quote with some degree of fmality. As Fenneman (1919. our objective is to demolish and invalidate the generalizing myth of rural-urban disjunction in third world countries through the micro-level study of a small town and its surrounding region. and much time has passed since it. a common agreement is yet to emerge even among the experts of third world urbanization. last and always geography and nothing else. 4 .. geography has undergone major upheavals in its intellectual history. the insights gained into a problem through a region-oriented study can lead to a valuable understanding of theories and models.1 ). in this sense as it does not intend to gather encyclopaedic or descriptive knowledge of the area chosen. This region is in no way a uniform entity. is the study of areas in their compositeness and complexity. we have tried to establish the importance of various kinds of interactions that exist between the town and its surrounding region.. Finally. Also. p.7) stated' . the area that has not been studied extensively and in detail at the micro-level is that of rural-urban interaction in the locaL small town context. the one thing that is first. However. Our objective of the present study is to enquire the linkages between the rural and urban sectors of the economy in the context of an agriculturally prosperous area and to reveal how they have led to the formation of multifaceted functional..

l . N rz~ Study Area 0 5 10 tm sa· 130' E 23 JON m Burdwon Town B~· ~c ~ _ _ _ _ _ _ L ____ _ Ftgure No ~ J.LOCATION MAP BURDWAN DISTRICT 26.

Monteswar. The region enjoys a typical tropical monsoon climate. Memari-11 (330 hectares).237 hectares).Kunur. the region forms a part of the agriculturally prosperous near-flat plain of Ganga. The general elevation of the region varies from 40 to 13 metres above mean sea level with a slight slope from northwest to southeast. The average annual rainfall varies between 140 and 160 centimetres. The winter temperature varies between 9°C and l5°C. Located in the eastern part of Burdwan district in the lower part of West Bengal (from 1 1 1 22°58 N to 23"33 N latitudes. Nar~ Banpas. 1.1. Burdwan region belongs to the 11at alluvial plain of lower Damodar valley region with very insignificant relief variation. Only small patches of secondary growth of forest are still to be found in Ausgram-1 (2. The sandy loam and clay loam soils of the region provided suitable land for agriculture which has been utilized for millenia for intensive and efficient rice cultivation. that is. nearly encircling the main town. Physical Environment The physical environment of the region is more or less uniform. economic unity and broad similarities in agricultural development. The forest areas of the rest tour blocks like Burdwan-I and II.821 square kilometre. and from 87°33 E to 88°15 1E longitudes).4. Shyamsundar. varying between 26°C and 42°C. The maximum average temperature is attained in April and the highest maximum ever recorded was in May. Bhatar. Together. Satgachhia. Kusumgram. and this heavy rainfall is highly concentrated in summer months. Jamalpur (240 hectares) and Bhatar ( 130 hectares) blocks. The lowest temperature is attained in the month of January. Sehara. and are quite wellconnected to it. the eleven development blocks comprise a total area of 2. Geologically the region is almost entirely covered by a relatively thin blanket of Holocene alluvium. are all located within a radius of 40 kilometres from Burdwan. Summer temperatures are quite high. The area is drained by the river Damodar and three other smaller streams . The Damodar river flows through the region from the west and takes a southward bend after Burdwan town. very negligible in the practical sense. and form our study region identified on the basis of functional coherence. Palla. The region has very little of its natural vegetal cover left due to the extension of cultivation and settlement. Sura. . Three blocks (Mcmari-L Raina-1 and Monteswar) are totally devoid of any forest.There are several rural market centres (Galsi. These centres. and Raina) having close physical and economic links with Burdwan. Saktigarh. Galsi-II and Khandaghosh vary between I 5 to 40 hectares. Khari and Banka.

21 and 9. The manufacturing or secondary sector of the economy in comparison is still somewhat limited in its scope of development within the region with only agro-processing units like rice mills. there are two other urban market centres (Guskara and Mernari) in the region. The D. The percentage shares of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe population in the rural counterpart ofthe region are 32. But both of these towns and their complementary regions are 7 .C canal network serves the region with profuse irrigation water since 1950s. These two urban centres are primarily market centres for local agricultural produce. Agriculture in its developed form employs 78 to 96 per cent of the workforce in the predominantly rural economy of the region. Socio-Economic Environment Burdwan. Rural society of the region with a female-male ratio of 971 and a literacy rate of 47. a number of market centres have come up in the region at more accessible points serving their immediate rural surroundings as lower order central places or rural service centres.2.67 per cent is a little more advanced than the other agricultural areas of the state. continued to flourish as an iron-working centre till the advent of the railways. In recent years. however. lts complementary region has also increased in size with the development of transportation links.4. has been an important urban centre of lower Bengal.1. The naturally fertile land of the region is intensively used for agriculture with the help of successful implementation of land reforms. the central urban focus of the region. oil mills etc. The Burdwan region is economically better off in comparison to the rural areas of other districts of West Bengal. and become a major railway junction after 1857 when Calcutta was connected to the Raniganj coalbelt through rail lines.V. Since independence. chemical fertilizers and irrigation water. During the Mughal rule it thrived as a revenue collection centre. In addition they also perform the role of higher order service centres for their relatively smaller complementary region. and Memari is 25 Kilomtres from Burdwan and finds itself in the eastern part within Memari-I hlock (Figure 6. surplus generated from agriculture has provided the stimulus for diversification of the rural economy. Among them Guskara is located 32 kilometre northwest of Burdwan in Ausgram-I block.5 ). the town has flourished in population and its economic base has become more complex.37 respectively. High Yielding Variety (HYV) seeds. since the historical past. As a result. Besides Burdwan. Besides these canals numerous shallow and submersible pumps also supplement the irrigation water needed for double and multiple cropping of the region.

5. a case in hand showing all the characteristics.again merged into the functional region of the higher order urban centre. whereas in others we have highlighted its individuality as evident through the hightened rural-urban interactions. is not simple and direct. We began with the hypothesis that our study region is a representative. coherenc(~. Attempts to break away from this tradition. Burdwan with a high degree of economic 1. The answer.which give the region a separate identity and personality of its own. say any other countries. Why this Region? One more question that ne<::ds discussion before we go into the actual study is . There are some undeniably unique characteristics . an answer to the question will reveal our conceptual standpoint. we grew up in this region and know it a<> the palm of our hand. Clearly. in certain cases we have treated the Burdwan region as a microcosm of the third world.such as its history of agricultural prosperity . albeit in a microcosmic way. however. During the course of our study we. but that is beyond the purview of our present discussion. on the basis of which generalization or theory formulation will be possible. 8 . We expected to be able to see some similarities between the conditions existing here with that. when the problem of selecting an area came up. of the emerging scenario of urbanization in the developing countries of the world. but the empirical nature of our discipline ensures that we must work on the real world or at least a parcel of it. Therefore. The case of collecting data. set by the ancient Greeks. we naturally chose Burdwan with which we are familiar. obtaining base maps because of our proximity to the study region were also important factors. doing the field work. began to feel that such generalizations are valid only at a broad level. therefore. this study area could be of any size and have any political/social attribute. have not been happy for geographers. is our region an exemplar. as we have mentioned before. geographers have specialized in a systematic branch of knowledge as well as a specific regional unit. Alternatively. of the third world. The question is regarding the justification of our choice of Burdwan: do we see our region as a representative of the third world or as an exceptional one? In other words. The very basis of our selection of Burdwan region for study was subjective. the case may be studied as an anomaly to the general situation. It is common to find geographers saying 'this is my study area'.why have we chosen this particular spatial unit? Traditionally.

/ . Data collation continued well into 1999 with cartographical work and report-writing in successton....-------------------------------------------\I! I Secondary Data Collection IField Work & Primary Data Collection ~·~ld_~!·~-·--------------------------------~--------------------------------------------[ Collation of Data ~ ~alysis and Mapping ~ ISeminar Lectures & Open Discussions \I! ~:. The steps followed in the study can be organized in the following manner: Identification of Research Problen~ ./ -.. We collected data through intensive field surveys since 1994.1. Selection of Study Region Literature Survey ..'inal Report Writing I ~ [ Presentation Post Field Stage 9 ... Methodology This dissertation is based on the empirical study of a specific regional unit where we have tested the models and theories of urbanization as conceptualized by scholars of both the developed and developing world.. Pre Field Stage -------------------------------------------.6.

But there has until recently been a dearth of material published on the wider interactions and linkages between urban and rural areas (Unwin. Gilbert and Gugler. planners must have an understanding of the roles of large villages and local market centres as well as the knowledge of existing patterns of linkages between rural and urban areas of a region. Removing these gaps planners may be able to develop a micro-level plan for the region. From this study on above lines planners can derive a large amount of information currently existing untapped at the ground level on infrastructure and linkages. telecommunication. v) pattern of rural to urban migration in the urban informal economy. The analyses of transportation linkages and their limitations will be useful in planning micro-level development by providing the 10 . iv) pattern of rural market centres linking rural with urban and developing a regular hierarchy of marketing system. To articulate a proper marketing system. Thus planning should be done at the same time for urban and rural areas treating them as components of a single functional region or unit. 1979). particularly in the context of a third world country. iii) rural-urban linkage and its multifaceted aspects like transportation. and vi) gram panchayat wise levels of development and infrastructure. We have also tried to identify the gaps in the rural-urban linkages. In this context. social. 1982. This integration can be done through micro level regional planning.7. In the dissertation we have analyzed in detail the following aspects of the region: i) rural development of the region in the last three decades. Studies of interactions between urban and rural areas have much usefulness. the rural economy must be integrated with its urban counterpart. political etc.1. To develop a successful planning model. Harriss. 1985. It is essential to view rural-urban interaction as being the outcome of a series of underlying economic. political and ideological processes. 1982. Usefulness of the Research A bulk of research has been devoted to the analysis of urban and rural 'development' as separate issues (Potter. Roberts. ii) role ofBurdwan town in the rural-urban interaction of the region. These find particular expression in flows and linkages between rural and urban areas. this study will have much relevance to the district-level and state-level planners. social. As we know that a development programme of rural areas can never be properly executed without a well-articulated marketing system of agricultural produce. 1989).

Data related to bus service (number of routes. 73 M/16. The transport map of the region was collected from the office of District Engineer. Field work was initiated early in 1994. The data on gram panchayats relate to the year 1994.8. number of trips) were collected from the office of Regional Transport Authority and the Central Bus Terminus (Tinkonia) of Burdwan. 73 N/9. 79 A/4 and 79 B/1) covering the entire region have been collected from th{~ Calcutta Regional office.. it can be said that this study will also encourage other scholars to turn their attention away from specially urban or rural issues and to concentrate instead on rural-urban interaction in their exploration of change in developing countries. Survey oflndia topographical sheets (No. This will help them to diffuse development evenly over the entire region and to remove the intra-regional disparities. 1. 79 A/3. District Land Revenue office and the 1971 census reports provided us with mouza level maps of the region to demarcate the gram panchayat boundaries. this year roughly denotes the conditions existing in the time immediately succeeding the IADP years and can be suitably used as a starting point of recent history. Data related to linkages were also collected from official sources especially those on bus service and telecommunications. The entire work was done over a period of six years. 73 M/15. The survey of the rickshaw-pullers was done in 1996. The Subdivisional Telephone II . we have often looked into historical data sources as at a partial explanation of the present conditions. Since the most recent census data relates to the year 1991. Both primary and secondary data were used in the study. Burdwan.decision-makers with information to prepare growth incentives and marketing infrastructures. However. Zilla Parishad. Finally. The analysis of the panchyat level data will be useful for planning the infrastructure in those panchayats which have lagged behind. 73 M/11. 73 M/10. 73 M/12. Secondary data include the census figures as well as official information. Municipal ward maps (pertaining to difh~rent years) were collected from the oftice ofBurdwan Municipality. number of buses. from 1994 to 2000. 73 M/14. 79 A/2. we have referred to that year as 'present' whenever dealing with secondary data. Time Span and Data Sources The datum line for the secondary data used in this study is 1971. 73 N/13. and maps provided by various government offices.

12 .Exchange. Zilla Parisad. Other data sources on different aspects of the study are the Bureau of Applied Economics and Statistics. Note I keeping aside semantic discussions. District Planning Cell. provided us with the location of sub-exchanges and their coresponding number of connections in difterent areas of the region. Burdwan. these two words will be used interchangeably without any implied difference. A series of interviews wert: taken with different officials and resource persons from the Regional Transport Office. District Agricultural Office etc. Zilla Parishad and Municipality in the context of linkages and levels of development.

ation process is different from that of the developed world in many ways. 1971 ). Poorly conceived planning policies in tum tend to disrupt and distort the evolution of the whole system of 13 . 2. This chapter. The aim is to establish that whereas the conventional literature on third world urbanization has explored the existence and causes of rural-urban disjunction. West Bengal and Burdwan District based on existing literature and available census data.2. Third World Urbanization In the present day world. Such a dualism existing in the economic structure of a country breaks the historical continuity of its evolving settlement system This gap is evident as wide interregional disparities in levels of development and inadequacy of linkages between the urban centres and their surrounding rural area~. there occurs a malfunctioning of the supply and distribution system. Settlements of a country or region develop in response to its political-economic system and level of economic development. more recent literature looks at the third world urban phenomena in more innovative ways. These intricacies need a closer look to understand our study and put it in context. Finally. therefore.CHAPTER II THEBACKGRIIND 2. will prepare us for and lead into our study of rural-urban interaction in Burdwan town and surrounding rural areas. Introduction Third world urbani?. haphazard development of services in the urban and rural settlements. Rural-urban differences exist in varying degrees in practically every nation today (McGee. urbanization patterns and natures vary over time and space.. and ill-conceived development strategies and policies. We will also look into the patterns. in this chapter we will make a survey of literature problematizing rural-urban interaction in third world countries. but they are more prominent in third world than elsewhere. processes and recent trends of urbanization in India. Consequently. The objective is to provide the conceptual background of our research. In this chapter we will briefly discuss the third world urbanization process as examined by previous scholars.1. An understanding of urbanization of the third world 1 countries is thereby necessary before going into the examination of rural-urban interaction in the Burdwan region.

1978). therefore. this growth has not been associated with a rate of economic growth fa-.. thereby preventing spatial integration and optimization of production. The adherents of this view believe that the third world urbanization is only a repetition of the western experience and the process especially of Western Europe and North America in the nineteenth century although in a radically ditTerent framework (Dickenson. Increasing urbanization is now taking place throughout the third world and this has triggered off a whole chain of phenomena of modernization and social change. Urbanization is an indication of modernization. and that the ecological and class structures of third world cities are. It is often argued that the: 'industrial urban development in the west and in the underdeveloped countries today is the same process although greatly separated in time and place' (Reissman. and second. These phenomena arc prevalent in almost all the third world countries due to their similarities in past politico-economic development patterns. Large-scale urbanization has started to sweep over the less-developed countries only in recent years.t enough to provide employment opportunities for the rapidly increasing populations of these cities. and there are great differences even among them. at a pace far in excess of economic advances. quite different from those in western industrial om:s. et a/. He also believes that while all countries show some trend towards increasing urbanization. 1978 ). unfortunately. and as a result they tend to have comparable urban economies in the present era. Herbert and Thomas (1982) while discussing along this line of thought have shown that many third world countries have still remained relatively 'unurbanized'. 1964 ). it is important to note that the process has ·no global inevitability'. Bruner (1961) noted early that the social concomitants of the transition from rural to urban life are not the same in Southeast Asian countries as in western societies. Such is the magnitude of urban growth in these countries that it has been equated to a great 'urban crisis' (Mountjoy. 14 . Urbanization in the majority of these countries has two interesting characteristics. increasing urbanization is now occurring throughout the developing world. Towns of substantial size have doubled or even trebled their populations within a decade. and the third world is now undergoing a great urban crisis on a scale unknown to the advanced countries during their main period of growth (Mountjoy. It is now generally recognized that the historical process of urbanization in the developing countries is fundamentally different from that in advanced industrial societies. 1983). cities have grown at a very fast rate during the last two/three decades. First.settlements. however. the sign of economic growth and progress.

over-urbanization (Sovani. The growth of third world cities is much faster 'than the expansion of manufacturing employment. it has been termed hyper-urbanization (Safa. As more people begin to live in urban centres.what has been variously called the 'bazaar economy'.are growing fastest of all (Dickenson. The largest of them .In the period following the World War ll. 1983 ). In a survey of forty countries.wherever it takes place . the informal sector or the lower circuit (Dickenson eta/. et a!. functions become more specialized. 1983). are increasing faster in size than the smaller cities. this urban population is concentrated in a few large urban centres having high rates of growth. and a territorial division of labour takes place increasingly. 1971 ).. These large cities often with a population of one million or over. Urbanization . technological development and the territorial dispersion of the somces of consumer goods imported.the super-cities of five million or more . intense poverty and sharply contrasting 'traditional' and 'modern' lifestyles coexisting together. Gibbs and Browing (1966) have shown fairly close correlations between an index of urbanization (expressed as a percentage of population in metropolitan areas). 1982). traditional and modem handicrafts. resulting in a direct shift out of agriculture into services' (Moore. rurall-urban migration and weak non-industrialized economies or capital-intensive industries unable to absorb an ever-growing labour supply.implies a process of social and economic transformation reflecting an occupational change from agriculture to manufacturing and then to tertiary or the service sector. metal work 15 . employment in the third world cities tor the rapidly expanding labour force hinges upon the absorptive capacity of small industries with high labour requirements but low productivity. is heavily reliant on petty services and manufacturing on a small scale. Due to this peculiar tertiary nature of the urban economy. This has largely been caused by unchecked population growth.. agriculture becomes a less direct source of livelihood. 1966). Specialization and interdependence are thus products of industrialization and leads to patterns of urbanization which are distinguished from one another. Therefore.000 and more. According to Mountjoy ( 1978) the flood of migration into the to\Vns does not bear any relationship to expanding economies and opportunities: under-employment in the village is being exchanged for unemployment in the towns. Manufacturing activities such as shoemaking. and the dimensions of the division of labour in terms of industrial diversification. in addition. between 1940 and 1975 their urban populations double~ and in some countries half or more of the population is now living in towns of20. Moreover. Employment in third world cities. 1964) and even pseudo-urbanization (McGee. third world countries grew so rapidly that.

industrially. For example Bose (1978) suggests that these countries in the late twentieth century are comparable to weste:m societies at similar stages of development. because of their inadequate economic bases. 2. Barke and O'Hare ( 1984) with a positive outlook towards third world urbanization explains the advantageous role of towns and cities in the development of the economies of these countries in the following way: I. according to Castells ( 1977). In the same line of thought. The cities are structurally weak and. 16 . urban industrialized economies. especially selling or hawking of food and clothing in makeshift/temporary markets and on streets. they often tend to be parasitic on the rural societies within which they are placed. rickshaw-pulling. The prevailing economic structure was destroyed and brought in fundamental changes in the modes of production. towns provide the market and exchange centres which are necessary in the conversion of a predominantly subsistence economy to a cash economy. agricultural economies and turn them into modern. shoeshining. This view looks at the third world cities as 'beach-heads' centres for modernimtion which act as catalysts for economic growth.and machinery repatr. 1971 ). and casual labour of all kinds. is explicitly a matter of ideological orientation. technology and export markets. Noble and Dutt ( 1978) argue that the process of urbanization will trigger off a transformation process of the traditional rural. towns may provide a stimulus for development as they are large agglomerations of population and therefore of low cost labour. Berry (1973) views the cities of the third world as 'main centres of social and political change' and explains their rapid growth by the attraction of rural poor to this new form of centrality. However. economically. This. centres from which the benefits of modernization flow outwards to revitalize the stagnating agricultural sector (McGee. Some third world scholars are not willing to accept that over-urbanization exists in their countries. the problems of hyper-urbanization in third world cities are not causes but symptoms of' dependent' or 'peripheral' capitalism. This dependence started during the colonial period and has led to the increasing penetration of capitalism in the third world in a later period. are more 'formal' than junctional' entities. trade. car wa<>hing. He also believes that urbanization is an essential element in the process of economic growth and social change in south and Southeast Asia. The late entry of these countries into the global capitalist economy led to their dependence on advanced industrial societies for ~capital. services including domestic service. however. Consequently.

3. They possess economies of scale for serving the needs of the population in their. that is. Such intermediate and smaller urban centres develop through the perfurmance of commercial and administrative functions and contribute positively to the development of both these centres and their hinterlands. the rapid urbanization ofthird world countries is attributable to large scale rural-urban migration. however. At the same time. There has been little change in the relative rural-urban ratios and thus the continuing increase of rural population has masked the relative impact of urban growth. Smaller intermediate centres in the vast rural areas have beneficial and positive effects on the region's development. This vtew. However. the mixing of people in the urban centres exposes them to a diversity of ideas :md stimuli. These may be important in the change of attitudes. Thus urbanization in the third world is to be viewed within the demographic framework of the countries concerned. is debatable as the report of the UNESCO seminar on Urbanization in Asia and the Far East clearly stated that economic pressure or 'push' from the countryside rather than the demand for labour by developing economic activity in the towns and cities. Instead. retail trading. it was beginning to be noted that while the primate city still dominated third world urban scenario. The UNESCO seminar report also noted that the recent rapid rate of urbanization in Asian countries docs not speak of a corresponding growth of industry in towns and cities. are now experiencing an unprecedented rate of population growth. regions. in general. there ts consensus regarding the remarkable demographic changes that characterize urbanization in the third world countries (I Ierbert and Thomas. Whether these rural migrants are evenly absorbed in the labour markets or swell the ranks of the unemployed is another matter. socially. beliefs and values. albeit smaller. Many of the initial criticisms of third world urban development appear to be criticism of excessive primacy. domestic services etc. almost a mass exodus. Seen from this point of view. Differences of opinion stilll exist among scholars regarding the role of the urban centres in the development of the third world countries. not all urban development is necessarily centred in the largest city (Barke and O'Hare. from the poverty-stricken rural areas. 1982). which constitute a part of the modernization process. it stands for a shift of people from low-productive agricultural employment to yet another section marked by low-productive urban employment such as handicraft production. This is because there is not yet a sharp difference between the rates of natural increase in rural and urban areas of these countries. their 'pull' spurs on the urbanization process in the region. Designating this process 17 . 1984). These countries.

we shall now move into the discussion of the patterns. we have given special emphasis on the data since 1951 as they reveal the post-independence and post-industrial urban trends. 2. in absolute numbers. 1976. the time is not yet ripe for the formulation of a theory. ln recent years. In 1960. Patterns. that is. 2. In discussing the recent trends.1 India Like several other developing countries. This analysis will provide the broader context to understand the nature of interaction between rural and urban areas of the study region. Sjoberg commented that 'much of what has been written on the subject is the product of premature generalization based on limited observation of the western experience'. and there is an immense variety of urban types. we have used census data pertaining to the year 1901 onwards. By ·pattern' we mean both the spatial and temporal dimensions ofurbani71ltion in the context of the third world. The terms 'process of urbanization· indicate here the transformation of rural areas.1 ). However. We have also made a distinction between the rate of urbanization be. Processes and Recent Trends of Urbanization After this brief discussion on third world urbanization. processes and recent trends of urbanization in India West Bengal and Burdwan district. 1979). In 1991 the urban population of India was just over a quarter of the total population. In the first 40 years of this century. the latter signifies percentage decadal increase or decrease in the proportion of urban population to the total population. 217 18 . and the level of urbanization. societies and economies into urban. India's urban population is very high. The proportion has steadily increased from 17. India is undergoing massive urbanization. Although towns and cities of the third world have always got more attention both from the academicians and planning decision-making authorities (see Alam and Gopi. Discreet subtypes often seem to exist within the third world itself. Following Bose (1974) it cank said that the former indicates percentage decadal increase or decrease in the urban population.of direct shift out of agriculture into services as 'tertiarization'. MeGee (1971) traces its origin to capital-intensive industriali71ltion of these countries.72 per cent in 1991 (Table 2. However.29 per cent in 1951 to 25.3. there has been intense scrutiny of the urban process of the third world countries and many of the older notions that used to be held as sacred have now been demolished. lthe proportion of urban population was less than 12 per cent.3. Cohen. This comment no longer holds true.

768 844. The pattern of urbanization in India has also changed considerably smce the beginning of the 20 1h century.250 318. which has increased 8 times by 1991 (Table 2. Up to 1931 the decadal growth rate was below 20 per cent.18 25.85 10. 1996. In 1941 the growth rate increased to 31.2). (in Urban pop. Among these urban centres the highest growth rate is found in the class I cities (Misra.) Indian urban experience is repeating the same historical trajectory followed by Europe and North America. According to some scholars (Mohan.1: Trends of Urbanization in India.843 361.16 I 09.18 8.99 19.97 I95I 2.23 78.•• % of total pop.94 17.33 159.94 10.41 per cent in 1961 and 46.91 38. The relative proportions of class L class II.41 1971 2.44 I 7.33 per cent in 1901 to 19 . The proportion of class I towns has increased more than 6 times from 1.85 million only. ( 1987) attributed the recent growth of large urban centres to the shifting of production tacilities to developing countries like India by multinational conglomerates resulting in a new international division of labour.815 252.40 25.72 36. Drakakis-Smith. a.46 11.42 196I 2.84 1911 1.14 per cent in 1981.09 25. (%) 1901 1.11 19.365 439.86 31.19 Source: Misra 1998 The number ofurban agglomerations and towns has more than doubled in India since the beginning of this century (from I . This changing pattern and recent trends are highlighted in the size-class distribution of towns (fable 2. class III and class IV towns in the total urban centres of India have increased considerably. ofUAs Total pop.14 1981 3.072 278.29 41.66 44. 1987 etc.32 217.34 46.09 11. 1998).12 1941 2. Later on.590 548.35 1921 1.46 23. -- ~ - -- ~ Len sus No.29 0. Drakakis-Smith. it started to fluctuate between 26.827 238. Decada/ growth of urban pop.97 per cent.23 1981 3. The total urban population in 1901 was 25.32 28.15 I3. I). year and towns millions) (in millions) -·· Urban pop. 768 in 1991 ).27 1931 2. From the decadal growth rate of urban population between 190 I and 1991 it is clear that urban growth in India has acce:lerated after the independence in 194 7.million. 1901-1991 -- r~ o- - " ' .378 683.827 in 1901 to 3.949 251.98 33. Table 2.97 26.09 62.

Bose. The proportion of class V town has declined from 41. 2000). 2. 1996.20 per cent in 1991. The proportion of class IV towns has increased from 21. Urban patterns too are diverse. remarkable changes in the percentage share of all categories of towns have taken place after 1951. Mohanty. Again within class I cities.59 per cent to 3 1. From the size-class distribution of towns a few remarkable trends of Indian urbanization can be highlighted.8. The class 111 towns have experienced increase of about three and half times. Experts have continually noted the highly polarized and unbalanced nature of the spatial pattern of urbanization in India marked with sharp regional variations. About 65 per cent of the total urban population of India is concentrated in these class I towns. This indicates a high concentration of urban population in large cities.09 per cent in 1991. and in Kerala we have a pattern that has no parallel in any other state (Dasgupta. 1993.13 per cent during the same period. highest growth in the proportion of urban population is found in class I towns (more th<m six times). A signiticant number of the million cities in Jndia lies in the already 20 .45 pt:r cent to 5. and 4. 1983. 3.37 per cent in 1901 to 9. The development of ·urban corridors' is another important characteristic of the recent urban pattern in India. core-periphery dichotomy and strong rural-urban divide (Badshah. The proportion of class II towns has increased nearly 4 times from 2. then pluralism and diffusion rule in Punjab.).13 per cent in 1991). On the other hand. Both the number and the proportion of class V and class VI towns have lessened between I 90 I and 1991. 1993. 23 cities with a million or more population claim 51 per cent ofthe population. the relative significance of smaller towns in the Indian urban scenario has decreased considerably. that is.45 per cent in 1901 to 5. This has further aggravated the urban-rural divide (Misra.4 5 per cent. Again the proportion of class VI town has declined five times from 26.08 per cent in 1901 to 20. Significant urban concentrations especially around million cities are also found in India at the state level (Mohan. the shares of all categories oftowns except class III between 1901 and 1991 have experienced considerable fluctuatia". 1982 etc. Mohan and Pant. remarkable decline in the proportion of urban population has been experienced by class VI towns (from 26.45 per cent in 1991. These are as follows: 1. 1998). if it is monocentric in West Bengal. after independence and inception of planned development in India. 1996). Prakasa Rao.

1997). Diddee and Rangaswamy. 1998) and intensified the rural-urban dichotomy in India.~~~. have affected a more tangible and positive impa .ation (Dikshit.--d.al development programmes under the five-year plans improving the economic condition in rural areas. These million cities. p . 1993). ----------.2. 1978) from becoming 'super conurbations' (Dutt. Such royal seats of ancient urban 21 . they forman important link between rural areas and large cities (Dikshit.'\ The history of urbanization in West Bengal dates back to ancient period when urban life was primarily restricted to the few seats of Royalty. Even though they contain only 15.. later termed 'metropolitan agglomerations' by Misra (1998). \:J. it is a good one indeed .rur.3. s. These cities have accentuated the disparities in regional economic development of the country (Patil. 1993) in near future. Primary activities are dominant in the towns of size class III to V. Declining rate of n. 1993). industrial functions are concentrated in class I towns. •. Contemporary urbanization in India is marked by slowing down of the rate of urbanization and the declining growth rate of metropolitan cities. occupy a special place and perform a remarkable role in Indian urbani2'. B. However.rral to urban migration in the last decade ( 1981 to 1991) is one of the main reasons of slower rate of urbanization. Nearly half (47. These urban corridors are strongly interacting linear urban developmt"'rts and have grown up along strategic transportation links having a higher level of infrastructure (Dutt and Parai. However.established urban corridors (Roy. -· 2. although the percentage of towns dominated by this function is more in class III and IV categories. especially roads. The number of industrial towns and service towns are the same in 1991. 1996).85 per cent of the total urban population. What role the emerging information technology will play in reshaping Indian urban patterns and reduce rural-urban divides is yet to be seen. Whatever the reason behind the declining trend of India's urbanization.~. On the other hand. The economic basis of Indian urbanization is also interesting in nature. the proportion of urban population in industrial town is nearly double the proportion of service towns (Misra. West Bengat \'. They are more connected to the economic trends and processes in the advanced capitalist world than their respective rural hinterlands (Gugler. 1997). 'C)'S ! ) . Bose (1993) has attributed this lessening flow of rural to urban migration to the .. 1999). 1996. "LTR'R. This trend can check the 'million cities' (Misra. -. 1998).50 per cent) of the towns of India are based on agriculture. the economic reforms and structural changes that the Indian economy is undergoing will have significant impacts on Indian urbanization (Badsha. Till now physical linkages of various kinds.

forts. 1989). led to the concentration of agricultural surplus in hands of absentee zamindars residing in Calcutta. urban growth and industrial growth were synonymous in West Bengal (Sarkar. introduced by the British.ation (1951-'71). transport nodes. Sarkar ( 1998) has identified four distinct phases of the 20th century urbanization process in West Bengal. During the colonial period. and the centre of international trade. 1988). mining and plantation. Subsequently. 1968). 1986). the only giant of an urban centre among dwarf-sized towns spread around in districts as their headquarters. formed the general embryonic nuclei of towns in West Bengal (Sarkar.growth were Gangaridai mentioned by Ptolemy. The base of modern urbanization in West Bengal. In pre-independence West Bengal. However. industrial growth based primarily on export oriented jute industry took place around Calcutta. with the introduction of capitalistic mode of production (Munshi. was initiated by the colonial powers especially the British. These are: 1. 3. During the medieval period. 1995). This has resulted in an excessive concentration of the urban population in Calcutta-Hooghly and Asansol-Durgapur industrial belts. urbanization pattern that gradually developed can be called unicentred. however. and 4. period of rapid urbanization ( 1971 onwards). 2. These two major urban complexes continued to account for the Lion's share of new and high-growth towns (Dasgupta. cantonments. !! . developing inter-regional trade and human movements contributed much to the expansion and growth of urban ce:ntres (Sarkar. centres of collection and distribution. civil lines. In the late colonial phase. Calcutta was by far the topmost urban centre. period of fast urbanization ( 1931-'51 ). With the colonial legacy urbanization in West Bengal has become truly 'enclave type' (Zevelyov. period of slow but steady urbanization ( 1901-'31 ). The historical perspective suggests that in the pre-independence period the urbanization process in West Bengal was determined largely by the exogenous factors rather than being a part of the endogenous development of the region (Dasgupta. the metropolitan seat of colonial administration. period of sustained urhani7. periodic/permanent market places. they accentuated the internal spatial heterogeneity and could hardly provide stimuli for national development. In this period. 1989) showing very little structural change in income distribution and occupational pattern (Mills and Becker. better known are the later ports and trading centres of Tamralipti and Saptagram in lower Bengal. towns were the foci of modernization suited to the colonial interest. The permanent settlement system of land tenure. 2000). 1998). railways colonies etc. centres of administration.

Gujrat and Tamilnadu. However. while the interior districts had very low levels of urbanization (Giri.20 per cent (Table 2. during the planned development ofboth agriculture and industry. agricultural deterioration. However. Their urban economy was steadily improving through the opening up of coal mines. and above all the partition of india leading to an influx of refugees. 190 I~' 31 the areas around Calcutta with expanding road and rail networks and a few coal mining areas began to attract people and bloomed into large towns. urbanization process in the state received a boost. the state was relegated to the sixth position (27.38 percent which increased to 3. In 1951 West Bengal had a lcvd of urbanization (23. 1998). the level of urbanization in West Bengal was 23. sugar factories. which gradually increa<>ed to 27.39 per cent in 1991. The period of 1971 onward also experienced rapid urbanization especially due to the proliferation of new urban centres based on mainly tertiary activities and rapid transformation of rural landscapes around existing towns and cities into urban ones. After independence large-scale immigration from neighbouring states especially Bangladesh. paper mills. At the time of independence West Bengal was well advanced in urbanization compared to India as a whole (Giri.In the period. at that time urbanization in the state was highly concentrated in the Calc:utta region. all India rate of urbanization increased from 3. By 1991. potteries. shortly after independence. tanneries and tea plantations.2). The increasing gap between the rates of urbanization of West Bengal and India again supports that urbanin1tion rate in West Bengal has been decreasing.88 per cent) which was fourth in rank preceded by Maharashtra.48 per cent in 1991. iron and brass foundries. 23 . 1998). Although the state maintained a higher level of urbanization than all India average. The rate of urbanization in West Bengal since 1951 has not only become slower but also unsteady and fluctuating (Table 2. The period between 1931-' 51 was one of huge urban growth due to the factors of massive rural push. lure of city life as the rural-urban amenity gap increased.2). oil mills. this slower rateofurbanization in West Bengal since 1951 can be explained partly by lower rate ofruralurban migration within the state and partly by relative industrial stagnation since 1960's (Giri. that is.2). However. plarmed development of agriculture and industry together brought remarkable changes in the urbanization pattern of the state. In 1951 the rate ofurbanization was 2. 1988). during the same period. In 1951.88 per cent. Since 1951.39 per cent) because of its relatively slower rate of urbanization. the decreasing gap between the two indicates a slackening of the rate of urbanization in West Bengal (Table 2.93 to 10.

93 1971 24.22 1. the higher growth rate of large urban centres.29 Year ------------- 1951 --- ---- --- f!_a_{e_of u.52 1981 26.08 per cent). Burdwan.72 3.63 per cent (Nadia) and 7. Burdwan (35. A significant feature of urbanization in West Bengal is the widely varying levels of urbanization across the districts.Table 2.43 1991 27.88 17.22 per cent). The rest of the districts have lower level of urbanization ranging between 22. Hooghly (31.47 23.34 6.2: Urbanization in West Bengal and lndia.45 17. 1951.38 3.23 12. Besides Calcutta Metropolitan District (totally urbanized).3).1991 Urbanization Level West Bengal All India 23. uneven development of agriculture e1tc. This varied level of urbanization can be attributed to the factors like historically evolved uneven development of infra. with a high level of urbanization and industrialization: • region III consisting of six backward districts of North Bengal: and • region IV located on the western part of the state covering tive districts. industrial concentration in Calcutta-Hooghly and Asansol-Durgapur region. North 24-Parganas (51. 24 .8 per cent) and Darjeeling (30.<>tructure.75 20.48 10.46 per cent) have higher level of urbanization as per 1991 census (Table 2. Howrah (49. South 24-Parganas (30.39 25.20 Source: Giri 1998 Dasgupta (2000) has divided the state West Bengal into four regions on the basis of the level ofurbanization: • region I comprising the five most developed districts 111 and around Calcutta metropolis: • region II containiing only one district.18 per cent)..57 per cent).97 2.07 per cent (Maida).95 15.~a_niz(ltjon West Bengal All India 1961 24.

85 12 Purulia 9.08 4 Hooghly 31.4 ).58 per cent) indicates a high degree of urban primacy which is an import<mt characteristic ofthird world urbanization.66 per cent respectivdy.12 per cent in 1951 to 81.3: Districtwise Levels of Urbanization.36 9 West Dinajpur 13. The proportions of urban population of class II and class III towns an: 6. mostly urban agglomerations. class V ( 1.22 1 Howrah 49.63 8 Jalpaiguri 16.59 per cent).Table 2.58 per cent and 7.07 17 West Bengal 27.28 15 Coochbchar 7.42 \\ Midnapur 9. consisting.44 13 Birbhum 8.39 Source: Lahiri-Dutt.18 5 South 24-Parganas 30.57 3 Burdwan 35.71 per cent in 1991 (Table 2.35 per cent) and class VI (0.98 14 Bankura 8.4). of a number of adjacent urban units. West Bengal ( 1991) Districts Percentage of urban population Calcutta 100 Ranh North 24-Parganas 51. low proportions of urban population live in class IV (2.80 \6 Maida 7. The wide gap between the proportion of urban population of class I (81. 25 . I 1 per cent) towns (Table 2. 2001 Another feature of urbanization m West Bengal in the la<>t three decades is the growing importance of the large urban centres. The share of urban population living in class-1 cities has increased from 75.80 6 Darjeeling 30. On the other hand.71 per cent) and class II towns (6.46 7 Nadia 22.33 10 Murshidabad 10.

the rate of urbanization in West Bengal was closely associated with the change in the proportion of workforce engaged in manufacturing as well as secondary sector (Giri. 1998).52 4. Table 2.78 Tertiary 60.. On the other hand.28 3.5)..• • . - ~ -----~ -·-- 1961 1971 1981 1991 4. ' --' ·..02 7..18 3..04 1991 8 I.. the leading role in the urbanization process is still played by the manufacturing sector.00 100 100 100 100 Sectors Primary 1951 Total ----_.- ~ -- ' .29 7.38 11. Size class of towns Percentage of urban population -------------- 1951 1961 1971 /981 I 75.5: Sectoral Distribution of Urban Workforce in West Bengal.06 per cent (1981) and 34. However.5).37 5.11 --------- -----~--------~ 100 100 Source: Giri.64 669 8. .·- - ..13 3.04 52.02 77.78 per cent ( 1991) (Table 2.57 2.74 6.40 10..76 1. Though the share of the secondary sector in the urban workforce was less than that of the tertiary sector in all the decades... 1951-1991 - -- ~ -. 71 II 5.28 56.44 5.45 7.16 VI - .23 0.91 10.· - -- -~----------- 100 100 Total 100 0.25 57.08 1.58 III 9.07 0.. In the urban workforce of West Bengal the tertiary sector's share moved in the range of 61 per cent (1951) and 52 per cent ( 1981) wherea. it can be said that the tertiary sector may be an important component of the urban economy in Wet Bengal but. 1951-1991.----.99 39.Table 2.....•- -• 26 .4: Size-Class Distribution of Urban Population in West Bengal.. ·--··..12 72.32 41.35 0. urbanization in West Bengal is more related to tertiary sector development. both the shares of secondary and tertiary sector in the urban workforce arc fluctuating since 1951. - .22 per cent in 1991 (Table 2.22 Secondary 34. the share of primary sector has gradually increased from 4.'> the share of the secondary sector varies in the range of 41.04 1..28 per cent in 1951 to 8. 1998 "".66 IV 7. --~ ..73 57.59 v 2.06 34... 1998 Like many other less developed countries. ·-~- --~ -~ - 100 •·-~·r.35 38.--.12 9..14 74.59 0. Therefore.-Source: Giri.

Kalna. Burdwan occupies the fourth rank among districts of West Bengal following Calcutta (I 00 per cent). higher than both the Indian (25.71 per cent) and West Bengal averages (27. per 1991 census (Roy.22 per cent) and Howrah (49. 1992). All the early urban centres of the region flourished as centres of trade and commerce in the eastern part of the district whereas the western part with its undulating relief. In the eastern part. Burdwan. The level of urhani7_1ltion in the district is 35. enhanced the process of urbanization in the western part of the district. Again a strong dichotomy 27 .3. 1984) with two distinct patterns. such as foodgrains from the east and timber from the west and people (Lahiri-Dutt. all located on the various river banks especially due to the popular river-borne trade. and lateritic soil remained the land of different tribal groups who subsisted on the forest products. 1977) due to their erratic nature.57 per cent) as per 1991 census (Table 2.3. Katwa and Dainhat were famous urban centres of the district. In the post-independence period. As a result urbanization spread early in the region with scattered urban centres where non-agricultural people especially artisans and traders clustered. The emergent scenario of urbanization in the district since the 1970s has been a sprawling urban growth (Lahiri. The reliability of these early data has often been questioned by scholars (Mitra. planned development of industries especially the creation of Durgapur as a growth pole. However. The chief function of these settlements was to act as transfer points for goods.3).48 per cent). there is consensus among S<:holars that the process of rapid urbanization in the district has taken place with the initiation of coal mining activities in 1774 and laying of railway lines in 1853.09 per cent. Lack of systematic data is a major problem to trace the early urban growth of the region. Burdwan District Urbanization is not a new phenomenon in the history of Burdwan district. that is. The vast un-urbanized tract of the district was dotted with occasionaljanapada and garlj (nodal point large settlement).2. The rich alluvial soils of the region facilitating development of agriculture had always produced considerable surplus to sustain a high proportion of non-agricultural population. 2001). North 24 parganas (51. Whereas small and medium towns have grown rapidly because of the comparatively faster agricultural improvements in the eastern half of the district. the development of agricultural economy since the 1970s have accelerated the spread of urbanization in the form of market centres. they have grown because of a stagnant/decaying agricultural sector and mining-industrial expansion in the western half. thick forest cover. Regular census data are available only since 1872. Burdwan itself is one of the 82 districts of India that has recorded highest level of urbanization a<. In the levd of urbanization.

06 1991 ---.60 1921 6 95.346. Another difference also exists in the growth and functional nature between the towns located in the eastern agricultural tract and those of the western industrial belt (Lahiri. 1984). On the other hand.741 1. 1985a). Raniganj coal belt in the western part has a level of urbanization of 68.09 58 2. Table 2. 28 .773 53. Up to 1921 the rate of urban population increase was lower.67 per cent.186 8. that is.274 64. As for example.. urban centres of the western part are based on mining and industrial activities.888 35. Since 1941 onwards the growth of urban population has become rapid thus marking 1941 as the major divide in the growth of urban population in the district.6: Growth of Urban Population. Burdwan District (1901-1991) Growth rate of urban populaton Year Number of urban centres Total urban population 1901 6 86.in the level of urbanization exists within the district. these towns have large percentages of their working population in tertiary activities. Located in the agricultural parts of the region.13 1961 16 539. Source Lahiri-Dult (2001) The above table graphically shows the rates of urban population growth in Burdwan district between 1901 and 1991.- ~ .728 1911 6 94.67 1941 10 223. The small and medium sized towns within the regions of agrarian prosperity register only moderate but persisting growth rates.- . The western part is more urbanized whereas the eastern portions of the district are either non-urbanized or poorly urbanized (Lahiri.. The negligible percentage of the workforce of such towns engaged in secondary activities is made up of tiny informal units using low technology (Lahiri. ~-- _.160 71.426 65.65 1931 9 129. In 1931 the rate increased to 35.42 1971 19 885..060.099 46.81 1951 13 326. 1986).26 per cent whereas the level of urbanization of our study region in the eastern part is only 15.11 1981 47 1.385 52.33 per cent. much below 10 per cent.. This difference can be attributed to the physical character of land and to the nature of predominant economy ofthe regions.

The predominantly agricultural-rural economy of the district centred on Burdwan town in the east has shifted to an industrial-urban one. Of the six new additions. Kulti and Dishergarh haw emerged as important urban centres. Asansol. Durgapur. such as Asansol. Katwa and Dainhat. Burdwan. Asansol was relegated to the second place whilst Burdwan moved down to third. Memari and Guskara. Chittaranjan. The urban system within the district has gradually changed to give rise to Durgapur as the largest city. Apart from Durgapur. the first four were in the western part of the district. eighth and twelfth ranks respectively (as per 1991 census). Between 190 I and 1921 there were only six urban centres in the district. the number of urban centres of Burdwan district has increased to 58. In 1981. In 1971 Durgapur. Ondal and Barakar as the new additions. Other urban centres of the district with relatively higher ranks are Asansol. with the focus of urbanization showing a distinct move towards the west. This census year also saw the number of urban centres increase to 19. had moved far ahead of the rest of the urban centres of the district. many other towns of western Burdwan. Asansol has emerged as the first ranking city with Burdwan slipping to the second position. Therefore. of which Burdwan ranked first. such as Kenda. The year 1961 saw an increase in the number of urban centres to 16. the number of urban centres increased to 4 7 and of the 10 largest towns in the district. All other towns/cities occupying ranks in between these are located in the Calcutta Metropolitan District. although Burdwan has remained the top ranking town. the rank-size distribution of 1981 shows a clear change in the urban focus to the western part of Burdwan district where mining-industrial activities arc located.Among the towns and cities of West Bengal Durgapur occupies the third rank in size. The rapid economic changes of the mining 29 . It is also observed that between 1921 and 1941 Asansol has rapidly grown in size. Kalna. Burnpur. Niamatpur. The other centres were Raniganj. seven were located in the western part and only three. Kalna and Katwa were in the eastern part. Further. Thus 1961 marks the beginning of the rapid urbanization phase in the western part of the district. Burdwan and Burnpur occupying seventh. Burnpur. Pariharpur etc. most of the new urban centres that have come up. Chittranjan. most of which are located in the western part. Further. which appeared as a town only in 1961 census. too are located in the western part of the district. the number of centres increased to ten with Kulti. In 1941. Ukhra. As per 1991 census.

385 4 4 13 20 5 47 1991 2.060.160 0 2 1951 326. Burdwan District (1901-1991) -··· .186 0 0 2 3 1921 95. On the other hand.4. 7) reveals the distribution pattern of urban units among different size classes.7: Size-Class Distribution of Towns. - Year Total urban population ~-- Category of towns I II III IV v VI VII 2 3 0 6 0 6 1901 86. Besides this spatial concentration the uneven distribution of urban units into different size classes may be viewed also from the point ofthe distribution of urban population among different size-classes of cities. Urbanization in the western part is related to mining and industrialization. 2. the scattered urban centres of the eastern parts have developed due to the accumulation of agricultural surplus over a long period oftime since the 191h century.274 3 6 6 3 0 19 1981 1.728 0 0 1911 94. Review of Literature on Rural-Urban Interaction Despite a long tradition of geographical research into settlement analysis and rural- urban migration. The highest concentration of urban units is found in class V and class IV categories.area and the emergence of an industrial-urban economy in the western part had led to the growth of several large towns close to each other (Lahiri-Dutt. Table 2.888 0 0 2 1941 223.099 0 2 1961 539. Most of the urban centres of the district are concentrated here to form a continuously urbanized sprawling region (Durgapur-Asansol industrial belt).346.426 1971 6 2 3 2 9 4 3 0 10 2 7 1 0 13 2 6 4 3 0 16 885. The following table (Table 2.. 200 I).773 5 6 14 25 4 58 4 Source: Lahiri-Dutt (200 I) From the above discussion it is quite clear that the pattern of urbanizaion in Burdwan district is characterized by dichotomous nature between its eastern and western parts.741 0 0 2 2 1931 129. there has until recently been a dearth of material published on wider 30 .

long experiences in developing countries show that these sectoral development policies have failed to reduce the dichotomy in development between rural and urban areas due to the lack of recognition of the complexity of rural-urban interactions that involve spatial as well as sectoral dimensions. In this review of literature on rural-urban interaction we discuss in the first section the theories of rural-urban interaction. 1999). 31 . empirical studies on different aspects of rural-urban interaction have not been able to exert considerable impact on development policy and pra<~tice in most of the countries of the developing world. rural development planners define rural areas as consisting only of villages and agricultural land and exclude urban centres from this landscape (Tacoli. Rural examples are given in chapter III). 1989b). Spatial policies like regional development planning have traditionally been an important tool of the planners of the developing world. I 978. capital and other social transactions. Several empirical studies of third world countries have shown that the linkages between urban centres and the countryside including movement of people. This is reflected in the prevailing division of policies along spatial and sectoral lines. since 1980 there is a growing awareness of the importance of rural-urban relationships especially due to the dissatisfaction with urban-based centralized models of 'development' like 'growth pole' (Dixon.interactions and linkages between urban and rural areas (Unwin. As a consequence. 1983. In spite of a growing interest on rural-urban relationships. To date. the integration of rural and urban areas through interactions and linkages have gained importance in the processes of change and as a corollary a vast array of literature has emerged on rural-urban interactions in the context of developing countries in recent years. play an important role in processes of social. most development theory and practice have focussed on either 'urban' or 'rural' issues with little consideration of the interrelations between the two (Tacoli. 1998). Sectoral developments give high priority to rural and agricultural development in order to reduce rural poverty as well as rural to urban migration to large cities and to encourage balanced development of urban centres and countryside. However. Chambers. Gilbert and Gugler. O'Connor. 1987). The hulk of research has been devoted to the analysis of urban and rural development as separate issues (for urban examples see Potter. 1985. goods. Whereas urban planners concentrate on urban nodes. 1982. Harriss. Roberts. However. 1982. and highlight the empirical studies on different aspects of rural-urban interaction in the second section. with little attention to agricultural and rural-led development. I 998). 1983. economic and cultural change in both rural and urban areas (Tacoli.

Development here is driven by external demand and innovation impulses.R. 1972). 1973. The concept of top down development is the most prevalent concept of development especially in developing countries. I 989b).4. a government can stimulate economic growth that will spread outward to generate regional development. Theories of Rural-Urban Interaction Three basic and interrelated ideas have dominated much of the literature on ruralurban interaction in development planning since the late 1950s: the growth pole concept. influencing the economic fortunes of surrounding areas. the distinction between top-down and bottom-up development. perceived by Rondinelli ( 1983) can also be done through the creation of 'a deconcentrated. However. that is. Parr. and that from a few dynamic sectoral or geographical clusters development would. I 973. This concept holds the view that development will spread through trickle down effects from certain nodes. articulated <md integrated system of cities' which provides potential access to markets for people living in any part of the country or region. Thomas. Stohr and Taylor (1981) have related the growth pole concept to top down planning. 1975). Perroux and later reworked as the concept of growth centre by J. urban centres or centres of investment to the surrounding areas. In some cases they have increased the inequality between the core and the periphery. and between urban and rural areas (Unwin. 1981. 32 . The growth pole concept of development is also based on top down approach. The principle of growth pole concept as observed by Rondinelli (1985) is that the free operation of market forces would create 'ripple' or 'trickle down' effects that would stimulate economic growth throughout the region. This concept expects that the emphasis on urban initiatives will in tum generate rural development at both regional and local scale (Hansen. Investment in the urban industrial sector would enhance spontaneous and sustained growth of agricultural and commercial activities. The experience of the adoption of growth pole policies of development in Latin American and African countries has shown that the beneficial 'trickle down' influences have on the whole failed to materialize (Conroy. Boudeville is based on the idea that by investing heavily in capital intensive industries in the large urban centres. the main characteristic of growth pole concept is the planning of concentrated and centralized pattern of investment.2. The concept of growth pole conceived by F. Santos. I 981 ). The top down planning a<. 1989b). either in a spontaneous or induced way trickle down to the rest of the system (Stohr and Taylor.1. and the conceptualization of cities as being either parasitic or generative (Unwin.

. Rondinelli. On the other hand. 1982). made a distinction between these two. Richards (1985) has also emphasized the need for development beginning with the rural poor and with indigenous. Hosclitz ( 1957) gave a classic distinction between 'generative' and 'parasitic' cities: 'generative' cities are those which arc responsible for beneficial influences whe:reas 'parasitic' cities are those that give rise to adverse effects in the surrounding rural region. Lipton argues that urban people arc able to direct a disproportionate share of resources towards their own interests and away from the rural population. This is so because the rural sector contains most of the poverty and most of the low cost sources of potential advance but the urban sector contains most of the articulateness. considers development to be based primarily on maximum mobilization of each area's natural. 1981). 33 . In his view. Lipton. He also asserts that inequalities within rural areas also owe much to the urban-biased nature of development policy (Lipton. local practices and belief systems.The bottom-up development policies. Harvey (1973. organization and power. It must be motivated and initially controlled from the bottom. they provide a range of theoretical standpoints from which to view rural-urban interaction (Unwin. in the city or in the surrounding rural area'. Taken together. Based on the above mentioned concepts there are some urban-based models and ideas to explain the linkages and flows between the countryside and towns. Harriss and Harriss (1988) too in their study of south India. Lipton and Urban Bias Lipton's (1977) theory of urban bias is based on the concept that the rural poor arc dominated and exploited by powerful urban interests. Chambers (1983) has analyzed this bottom-up development planning process. 22 I -222) defined a parasitic city as a sink of unproductive capital. on the other hand. human and institutional resources with the primary objective being the satisfaction of the ba<>ic needs of the inhabitants of that area (Stohr and Taylor. the most important class conflict in the developing countries of the world today is between the rural classes and the urban classes. p. p. its population the 'excreta of a consumption system' rather than a production system. . Three among those are important. and Stohr and Taylor have developed these. Chattopadhyay ( 1969. 1989b). 223) defmed 'generative' city as a city which 'will allocate a considerable amount of the surplus value accumulated within it to forms of investment that enlarge production . The conceptualization of cities as being •generative' or 'parasitic' dominates the ideas of rural-urban relationships since the 1950s.

educational and other services that satisfy basic human needs in rural areas are distributed from urban centres. agricultural inputs and consumer goods to the rural areas is seen as playing a significant role in rural development (Tacoli. Another point of criticism is the Lipton's reductionist conception of politics. 1998). that makes it of such interest in any consideration of rural-urban interact ion. integrated and balanced urban hierarchy. Most agricultural inputs come from organizations in cities. In Rondinelli's (1983) approach the development of 'secondary cities' relieves pressure on the largest city and reduces regional inequalities. The positive roles of small towns as centres of innovation. what he has failed to do is satisfactorily to explain why these flows occurs (Unwin. It also 34 . workers seck employment as rising agricultural productivity frees rural labour. Lipton provided a useful account of the relative flows of surpluses between mral and urban areas (Tacoli. It is the concentration of Rondinelli's approach on linkages and in particular on linkages both between rural areas and small cities. Belsky and Karaska. Rondinelli (1983) suggests that linkages between rural and urban areas are crucial because the major markets tor agricultural surpluses are in urban centres. 1978. Rondinelli: Secondary Cities and the Diffusion of Urbanization Rondinelli (1983) in his concept of development and rural-urban relationship emphasized the geographically dispersed pattern of investment. 1989b). 1998). The location of more service supply points providing a variety of services. which together help to achieve widespread development in both social and spatial terms especially in developing countries. He criticized mainly on the grounds of Lipton's criticism of undifferentiated urban and rural societies which does not take into account the existence of urban poor and rural rich. and many of the socia~ health. According to Corbridge (1982) in reality there are rarely such clear-cut urban versus rural political allegiances. growth of small towns or 'secondary cities' and the development of efficient system of linkages. 1990). modernization and diffusion were also highlighted in the development of the concept of 'urban functions in rural development' (Rondinelli and Ruddle. On a descriptive and empirical level.Lipton's theory of urban bias was intensely criticized by Corbridge ( 1982). In their view. Dixon (1987) questioned the whole edifice of 'urban bias' predicted upon the existence of specific urban and rural classes. and on those between smaller and larger cities. the most effective and rational spatial strategy for promoting rural development is to develop a well-articulated. Diffusion of the benefits of urbanization takes place uniformly over any region through these secondary cities. However.

1986. 1989b). may be colonial powers. which is of particular significance in influencing the equitable distribution of resources has also been questioned. self-reliance. a very different type of defmition of development from that used by Rondinelli and Lipton (Unwin. Rondinelli's classification of linkages in spatial development provides a broad framework for the consideration of rural-urban interaction. distribution. Rondinelli has been criticized on the ground that there is no real evidence that the classical rank-size distribution does indeed provide the context for 'successful development'. However. Pedersen. Rondinelli's view that it is the urban settlement structure. 35 . therefore. • national pricing policies should be introduced which offer terms of trade more suitable to agricultural and other rural products. Simon. and above all it respects human dignity.stimulates rural economies through the provision of services. Stohr and Taylor: bottom-up development The model of Stohr and Taylor ( 1981) is based on the concept that top-down development policies need to be fundamentally integrated with bottom-up approaches if development is to become more equitable. 1997. 1992). Turning more directly to the implications of these arguments for the linkages between rural and urban areas. 1997. Morris. Stohr ( 1981) has identified four key areas where changes need to be introduced in the balance between the two if development from below is to be successful: • rural areas need to be given a higher degree of self-determination so that the flow of political power becomes less directly urban to rural in nature. local administrator and elite. central national government. facilities and markets for agricultural products as well as absorbs surplus labour from labour-efficient agricultural sector. His approach has also been criticized on the grounds that low rural consumption is caused by social inequality and low incomes rather than by difficult access to supply (Hardoy and Satterthwaite. This is. employment creation. multinational enterprises. Southall (1988) supported Rondinelli's model of development and argued that small towns contribute to rural impoverishment as they are 'vanguards of exploitation' of the rural poor by external forces which according to the case. rather than the underlying mode of production. They argue the bottom-up development involves selective growth.

and • the whole transport and communication network should be reorganized. money. He considered rural-urban interaction as the two-way flow of people. Bottom-up approaches.2. movement of capital social transactions. technology. A number of empirical studies highlighting different aspects of rural-urban interaction in specific areas of third world countries have come into focus recently. both between urban and rural areas and also at a village to village !eve I. flow of goods and transfer of cash. Gould ( 1982) studied rural-urban interaction in the context of third world. He identified five main categories of interaction: movement of people. Unwin (1989b) considers Preston's (1975) Rural-urban and inter-settlement interaction: theory and ana~ytical structure as the pioneer work on rural-urban interaction. information and ideas between rural and urban areas. and administrative and service provision.• productive activities m rural areas should be encouraged to exceed regional demand so that a pattern of export flows is generated. and consequently how the flows or linkages between the two types of area related to broader social and economic transformations? and ii) Whether urban centres are exploitative or developmental in a third world context? 2. movement of goods. therefore. 1981 ). transmission of ideas. From the analysis of these models concerned with the ways in which rural-urban relationships influence the nature of development. Empirical Studies on Rural-Urban Interaction The issue of rural-urban interaction received a momentum since the 1980s following the failure of various developmental strategies especially in third world countries. two broad issues emerges: i) How do different people and classes benefit from different types of ruralurban interaction.4. goods. According to him the most important rural-urban linkages involve movements of people. seek to change the balance of a perceived inequitable flow of resources from rural to urban areas through 'integrated regional resource utilization at different spatial scales' (Stohr and Taylor. 36 . Gould ( 1985) further suggested that these flows are not only symptoms of the 'development process' but are themselves active features in the transformation of rural and urban places. O'Connor ( 1983) analyzed the nature of rural-urban interaction in the context of Africa.

In another study (1989a) he explains the rural-urban food flows in the Arabian peninsula and its changes with recent urbanization and industrialization to understand the changing nature of rural-urban relationship there. Africa and Asia are focussed in this volume. She correlates the issue of rural-urban interaction with the processes 37 . flows. Later. Several studies on different aspects of these rural-urban relationships. interaction. health and other key facilities. fo<:ussing on a range of countries from the Caribbean.Dixon analyzed the importance of rural-urban interactions in promoting development as well as social change of both rural and urban areas in 1987. His edited volume RuralUrban Interaction in the Third World explores the nature ofrural-urhan interaction in various parts of the developing world with a number of case studies. He identified parasitic or dependent interaction on the line ofLipton's (1977) urban bias and noted colonial legacy and plantation economy behind this type of rural-urban interaction. Barker ( 1989) in his study of rural-urban relations in Jamaica emphasized the rural-urban differential and the importance of limited size of the island in influe·ncing competition for scarce resources. In his article on rural-· urban interaction Tacoli ( 1998) has analyzed the issue from a theoretical standpoint. spatial polarization and overall paths to development in third world countries. Potter and Unwin (1989) in their edited volume The Geography of Urhan-Rural Interaction in Developing Countries highlight both the conceptual development of ruralurban interaction and a number of empirical studies. High levels of rural-urban linkage have been identified by Simon ( 1989) in his study of reduced labour migration in Southern Africa. Morgan (1989) studied the role of energy flows in rural-urban interchange in tropical Africa. In this book Unwirt ( 1989b) analyzes the theoretical perspective of urban-rural interaction. commercial. Potter and Unwin (1995) jointly analyzed the physical form of rural-urban interaction and the political processes operating behind their development in the third world countries. the critical role of migration and the significance of the environmental reciprocity between the rural interior and the coastal urban centres. In another study Potter ( 1989b) analyzed a number of arguments concerning rural-urban linkages. In a comparative study of Tamil Nadu in South India and Hausaland in West Africa Harriss (1989) explores food flows in the context of grain commercialization and the emergence of marketing systems. Potter (1989a) reveals clear differences between rural and urban areas in Barbados of Caribbean island in terms of their provision of retail.

She also described the changing patterns of internal migration. in understanding rural-urban relationship and summerized the contribution of rural-urban interactions to the understanding of urban poverty. A number of case studies on different aspects of rural-urban interaction were published in the Environment and Urbanization (April. although several other issues within the framework of the interrelations between urban centres and rural areas are also examined. often at the expense of the old ties with rural home (Tacoli. Jamal and Weeks (1988) observed the vanishing rural-urban gap in sub-Saharan Africa. Several papers focus on the most visible form of rural-urban interaction. A similar case is highlighted by Smith ( 1998) in the context of Durban in South Africa. 38 . 1998). In another study Tacoli ( 1999) outlined the main linkages between urban centres and their surrounding regions. ln most of these papers small towns are seen as playing a key role in linking their rural hinterlands with both domestic and international markets as well as in providing the rural population with non-farm employment opportunities and thus broadening the local economy's base. that is.of developmental planning and analyzes a number of empirical studies on this issue. Kruger ( 1998) describes how the inhabitants of a low--income settlement in Botswana maintain strong links with rural home areas where many also own assets. Fall (1998) shows that the migrants' loyalty to their rural homes becomes increasingly difficult to maintain with time and that in order to gain access to employment and some sort of security in the city. In another edited volume (Rural-Urban Dynamics in Francophone Africa) Baker (1997) collected a series of publications emerging from Scandinavian Institute of African Affairs on Urban Development in the Rural Context in Africa. He studied the changing rural-urban relationship in Kano region of Nigeria and argued that this sort of rural-urban symbiosis might well be the rule rather than the exception in many third world regions. Hataya ( 1992) has analyzed the nature of rural-urban linkage of the labour market in the coffee-growing zone in Columbia. Small towns are an important focus of the collection. where a number of low-income migrant households keep homes in both the city and the rural home area. 1998 issue). they need to become part of new urban solidarity networks. Baker has edited ( 1990) a number of papers on rural-urban interaction especially in the African context of the role of small town in developing rural-urban linkages. migration. Main (2000) has explained how economic linkages between city and countryside can make important contributions to the sustenance of both rural and urban environments.

1956. focussing on flows of goods and livelihood channels. Kelly ( 1998) highlights a relatively neglected aspect of rural-urban interaction. 1998). Evans (1990) has studied the changing nature of rural-urban linkages with structural transformation. Bradneck. hinterland/umland and sectoral linkages. Singh. Misra. He shows that the direction of these flows are far more complex than usually thought and that rural and urban populations have developed mutually beneficial survival strategies in the face of debilitating economic reforms. This renewed interest to the rural-urban linkage is associated with the increasing prevalence of market-based development strategies and their emphasis on export-oriented agricultural production which rely on efficient economic linkages connecting producers with external markets (Tacoli. Gaile ( 1992) has analyzed the potential of improving ruralurban linkages through small town market-based development. From the above literature on empirical studies of rural-urban interaction it is found that in many areas of third world countries there is much interaction between rural and urban areas. 1992.). This studies together helps us to challenge the traditional notions of rural-urban disjunction in third world countries. Kamete ( 1998) describes different types of interactions between a small town and its surrounding rural area in Zimbabwe. political dimension in the context of land conversion process in Manila's extended metropolitan region in Philippines. migration. 1970. Delimitation of hinterlands rather than interrelationship between the city and surrounding region was emphasized in these studies. Besides researchers. policy-makers have also paid considerable attention to the study ofrural-urban linkages in rec1~nt years (see UNDP/UNCHS. Evans. The immense importance of rural-urban linkages in rural development has been outlined by the UNDPIUNCHS (1995). In India the study of rural-urban interaction has been done mostly in the form of urban impac:t/inf1uence.Potts and Mutambirwa ( 1998) analyze how the strength of rural-urban interactions and the interdependence between the two does not allow the impact of structural adjustment programmes to be geographically defined despite the policy's strategic aim to decrease imbalances and income gaps between rural and urban areas. that is. Krishnan and Agarwal. 1995. Chant ( 1998) discusses the importance of differences in migration flows and shows how gender and household organization have an important influence on the rural-urban linkages in the form of movement towards the cities. Up to the 1970s. Gaile. 1977. 1977. 1965 etc. Most of these studies were based on large city regions. 39 . delimitation of hinterland or umland and the rural-urban relationship within the hinterland areas of cities dominated the studies of rural-urban interaction in India (Dixit. 1990). 1974: Alam.

1989a) has studied linkages between agriculture and non-farm economy.However. especially industry. the studies on rural-urban interaction in India prove that this interaction is better developed in case of small and medium towns rather than large and metropolitan urban centres. Sectoral linkages between rural and urban areas also dominate the literature on ruralurban interaction in India. Pathak (1993) identified strong backward and forward linkages between small towns and their neighbouring countryside. However. Basu and Kashyap ( 1992) have studied rural-urban employment linkages in different agro-climatic regions of India. Roychoudhuri (1993) has studied rural-urban linkages in the form of migration. 40 . Urban influence on surrounding rural areas was also studied in India (Prasad and Mahato. m the decade of 1990s. rural urban interaction in its totality has received considerable attention by different scholars in India. Jain ( 1989) studied the rural-urban relationship in the context of local government structure. we place our study in this context. In another study on industrial linkage in Dhampur area of Bijnor district in Uttar Pradesh. In this study she highlighted the complex interdependencies between large scale. 1989. 1980). Shaw (1990) has studied industrial linkages in the Thane-Belapur industrial region in Maharashtra. The relationship between rural-urban linkages and the behaviour of the labour market has been studied by Krishnan ( 1990a. Harriss (1987. The reciprocity/interaction in the form of two-way traffic was not highlighted in these studi<::s. 1990a. Shafi ( 1988) studied different aspects and prospects of rural-urban interface in India. Moreover. Therefore. Rural-urban interdependencies in India with particular reference to small and medium towns have been studied by Kundu ( 1992). In these studies the approach was one way that is of urban centres on rural areas. He emphasized the problems of disparate government structure for urban and rural areas in their integration. 1990b. in the context of South India. Singh ( 1975) has studied the impact of rural development strategies on the changing pattern of rural-urban relations. 1990c) in different districts in India. Singh. Sundaram and Tyagi ( 1972) studied the overall rural-urban interaction in the context of an urban village. small scale and informal sector industries.

'less developed'. These countries are designated variously as ·backward'. 41 . more generally known as Brandt Report. eta/. Africa and Latin America. The term 'south' has come into use particularly since the publication of North South: A Programme for Survival. 'developing' or 'solllh' (Dickenson. The tenn 'Third World' was first used in france in the 1950's and by the early 1960's formed part of a threefold division of the world on principally political and economic grounds. 'underdeveloped'. 'undeveloped'. Report of the Independent Commission on International Development Issues. 1983). The word is used to acknowledge the commonality of historical experience and the economic reality of the less affluent countries mostly located in Asia. We have used the term 'Third World' though the 'Second World' of centrally planned..Notes I. socialist economies have virtually ceased to exist today except in tiny patches. Many of these countries have become independent from colonial powers since the World War II.

CHAPTER Ill RURAl DEVElOPMENT IN BURDWAN REGION 3. This chapter looks into historical evidences of rural prosperity and tries to reconstruct the various periods on the basis of secondary sources. poor rural women and men.poor rural men and women. 'in India the term "rural development" is often used to defme a government-aided strategy to enable a specific group of people . The 42 . the region was always agriculturally better off than the rest of Bengal. cultural and ecological. or is to attributed to the recent reforms and various government plans for rural and agricultural development.1. It will be pertinent to discuss the very definition of rural development and its characteristic elements with reference to India at the outset.2. Ajay and Bhagirathi-Hooghly. Since independence. 3. to gain for themselves and their children more of what they want and need. According to Kar (1998b). The Notion of Rural Development: A Review Rural development has been a catchword ever since planning began in India. more of what they want and need'. Introduction Burdwan's agricultural prosperity goes back to historical times. There is a vast array of literature on the concept of rural development as there is no universally accepted defmition of it. Part of the rural prosperity also came from village-based small crafts and industries as well as from the riverbome trade along the Damodar. According to Chambers ( 1983) rural development is a strategy to enable a specific group of people. Turner and Hulme ( 1997) mentioned that all sorts of development either rural or urban must have five dimensions namely economic. Lele (1975) defined rural development as 'improving living standards of the masses of the low-income population residing in rural areas'. the government had started to develop its rural economy and society with the help of a succession of programmes of agricultural development and poverty alleviation.to gain for themselves and their children. The objective ofthe chapter is to examine how much ofthe present prosperity can be traced back to the historical times. sociaL political. Located on a rich alluvial plain.

fishery. agriculture. involves the entire gamut of change by which a social system moves towards: an all-round 'better' quality of life. v1z . 'integration refers to the appropriate location of social and economic activities over a physical space for the balanced development of a region'. 43 . household industry and small scale industries etc. through appropriate intervention in the credit market: b. viewed it (1977) as a 'systematic scientific and integrated use of all our natural resources and as part of this process enabling every person to engage himself in a productive and socially useful occupation and earn an income that would meet at least the basic needs'. 2. a. the capacity of rural sector to sustain and accelerate the pace of these improvement'. According to him 'it encompasses: 1. particularly the rural poor. Sen (1973) identified twin aspects of integrated rural development . forestry. Subrahmanyam. The concept of rural development has acquired a wider connotation in India through the integrated rural development. 2. improvements in levels of living . including employment. decreasing inequality in the distribution of rural incomes and in rural-urban balances in incomes and economic opportunities. housing and variety of social services.functional and spatial. An early World Bank publication (Development Digest. Integrated rural development calls for greater flow of resources into rural areas decreasing inequalities in rural-urban imbalance m income and socio-economic opportunities. the building of the social and economic infrastructure) with the ultimate aim of achieving a fuller utilization of available physical and human resourc<. Todaro (1977) identified three aspects of rural development. the former Finance Minister. and thus higher incomes and better living conditions for the rural population as a whole. health and nutrition. therefore. education. rural crafts and industries. 1981). Anker ( 1973) defined integrated rural development as 'strategies. 1975) suggested a number of economic policies for integrated rural development. through greater allocation of public investment to rural centred activity.process of rural development. resource reallocation in favour of rural centred production activity. and effective participation of the latter in the development process'. The term 'integration' has much broader implications than the spatial and functional linkages referred to in the literature in regional economics (Parthasarathy. These are: 1.. According to him. policies and programmes for the development of rural areas and the promotion of activities carried out in such areas (agriculture. and 3.:s. c. C. through an appropriate industrial location policy. shifts in terms of trade in favour of rural people.

it is kno\VIl that during the older period of historical age. Finally. particularly land in favour of the poorer people in the rural sector and. During the Mughal period Burdwan continued to remain famous for its agricultural production and economic prosperity. 7. To analyze the role of these elements in the development of rural areas of the region. Mughal Period There is no recorded history of Burdwan's economy of the old period of historical age. We have also examined the Raj family's contribution in rural development. 3. a system of quotas and reservations by which the production units of the poor are sought to be protected against unhealthy competition of large scale industry.3. resource development through use of idle labour in the rural areas.V. redistribution of wealth. These are land reforms. agricultural development.1. during Pal dynasty or the period of Sasanka and Sen dynasty. Surplus from rural production used to support the urban centres. poverty alleviation and infrastructural development.3. ( 1095-1206 AD) the economy of the district was totally dependent on agriculture. 4. that is. The rural economy was self-sufficient with agriculture and handicrafts. the role of D. 5. 6. The land revenue was then about one-sixth of the total production. From literature. But the rural production system and economy 44 . consumption transfers through a network of public distribution system. application of science and technology which is geared to the production needs of small units. Background of Rural Development In this section we discuss the historical periods under the Mughals and the British. 3. we shall start with the historical background of rural development. In those times the farmer was the actual owner of land. For a better understanding. we shall focus our discussion of rural development on these four elements.3.C and the IADP programme have been separately studied because of their tremendous role in maintaining agricultural prosperity of the region. From the brief discussion on rural development and its different aspects we have selected four critical elements of rural development as relevant for our study region.

According to Irfan Habib. bearing different names and designations. the whole district was agriculturally prosperous. Chaudhuries etc. However. During his regime. Burdwan district was then under three sarkars. Another important favourable factor. which affected badly the agricultural production ultimately.khalisa and jagir. measurement. behind the development of agriculture during this period was the right of fu. They started to exploit the farmers. marchants and large and rich farmers Uotdars). In each chuckla diwan was the chief in45 .was totally under the control of zamindars. In khalisa. He introduced a new system called a/at magha by which the collection of revenue directly from farmer stopped. The highest rate of revenue collection of Akbar became the lowest rate of collection in the period of Sultan Aurangzeb and Prince Shah Shuja. Land revenue in Mughal period was between one-third and half of the production. 1979). Aurangzeb divided the Bengal suhah into thirteen chuck/as among which chuck/a Burdwan was a famous one because of its highest amount of revenue. the middle portion under sarkar Sarifabad and the eastern part under sarkar Sulemanabad. mahajans. both the Bengal and the Mughal rult~rs favoured Burdwan. the western part under sarkar Madaran. lbese are Rajahs. He divided the Bengal subah into nineteen revenue regions called sarkars. The machinery of revenue collection in Burdwan under the Mughals consisted of several layers of intermediarie:s. To collect the revenue a class of local zamindars emerged. Jagirdars. Burdwan was under Su/emanabad. Up to the period of Akbar Burdwan retained its agricultural prosperity because of the favourable land revenue system of Mughal rulers. Under the Mughal rulers there were mainly three methods of revenue assessment . Land revenue was collected either in cash or in crops. Talukdars. while lands in jagir were assigned to persons designated as jagirdars (Bhattacharyya. the assessment and collection of revenue was made directly by government officers.estimation.rmer to selL mortgage and transfer the land after the timely payment of revenue. one of the revenue regions (subah) of Bengal. the imperial territory wa5 divided into two distinct parts . Zamindars. Sher Shah was the first ruler of Mughal period to plan the land survey. From the period of Emperor Jahangir. even the most oppressive rulers with the help of local zamindars tried to maintain good relations with the farmer in order to improve agricultural productivity. besides the fertility of the land. and contract or revenue funning. Even in the period of Aurangzeb and his successors. Akbar planned to collect the revenue directly from the farmers. Except the western part. the condition of peasants and agriculture started to deteriorate.

Depopulation of Burdwan villages took place on a mass scale during the period of famine badly affecting the agricultural economy of later times. During the first invasion the district actually became the very cockpit of small skirmishes between the raiders and the Bengal Army. Before the Eden canal was built. In the decades of 1750s and 60s Burdwan gradually started to regain its lost agricultural prosperity and peasantry began to be rehabilitated.charge of revenue. 1877. however. the district was defenceless against drought. The district's agricultural economy could prosper to a significant extent because of this favourable attitude ofMughal rulers to the zamindar ofBurdwan. British Period Previous discussion reveals that the prosperity of Burdwan district especially in agriculture during the Mughal period was beyond doubt. However. Several Bengali authors of the 18th century have recorded the loss of lives and plunder of resources in their writings. The East India Company. the most significant of them being tht~ introduction of permanent settlement by Lord Cornwallis the then Governor of Bengal. Burdwan was least liable to famine among all Bengal districts due to its benign climate and fertile soils. Among them are Vaneshwar Vidyalankar (the courtpandit of the Raja of Burdwan) and Gangaram (the poet of Maharashtra-Puran).2. Hunter described: 'Bardwan no less than Birbhum suffered from the full measure of its impact' (Hunter.3. 3. reprinted in 1973). attempted to prohibit such alienation since it made dents in their revenue base. Only the zamindar of Burdwan had the right of collection and deposit revenue directly from farmer to the government without any intermediaries. distress again began to pervade the district with the great famine in 1770. This prosperity was to last till 1742 when the Marathas began to raid Bengal. Guha and Mitra (1956) put forward the opinion that canals and river embankments brought additional sense of security in face of natural disasters. The marches and counter-marches of Alivardi's troops and the lightning attacks of Bhaskar Pandit's cavalry (bargis) reduced the district's economy to ruins (Guha and Mitra. As a result of the measures taken by the Raja and the local zamindars cultivation spread in 46 . Grants of haze zamin (rent-free tenure) were made to willing settlers even by the local landlords (zamindars) to promote agrarian enterprise in countering the effects of the famine. The Raja of Burdwan made significant contribution to the recovery of the economy from the impact of famine with generous grants and several rehabilitation programmes. Burdwan could not fully recover from the effects of the famine until the beginnmg of the next century because of several reasons. 1956).

through Regulation VIII of 1819. Permanent settlement initiated a process ofsubinfeudation unlike leading to the development ofEnglishtype capitalist furmers or the tenants shaping themselves similar to Frenchfermiers. Under the Burdwan raj model. the creation of intermediary formations as layers. the best specimen. It was the cause of a great flux creating a new pattern of proprietorship at the cost of old and traditional tenurial system. The distinct patronage of the Government was of course a major factor since it entered the market as the single biggest purchaser. estates changed hands from one group of zamindars to another. Diffi~rentiation of the zamindars into various subjects as patnidar. and the model was very defmitive. As a result. economically. The East India company's fiscal policy was incompatible with the old zamindari system (B~merjee. the leading species of what developed to be a large genus (Bhattacharyya. Of all the ancient districts of Bengal Burdwan alone survived. 1980). this gave landed property a wider base by an ample distribution within the land-owning class itself and by absorbing the capital which might otherwise have flown into non-agrarian channels (Bhattacharyya. As a result of this policy both zamindars and the Raja of Burdwan faced inextricable difficulties and a series of conflicts arose between them and the East India company (Guha and Mitra. hierarchical layers. It created a sprawling class of landed gentry earning farm revenue by virtue of tenancy rights. 1956). 1985). the East India Company had to legalize. At the same time. Pressures of high land-tax 47 . 1985). the Burdwan raj model of subinfeudation under permanent settlement has been described as sui generis. the Burdwan raj initiated the process. survived with an amazing degree of resilience and was able to make the changeover from the old zamindari system to the new order introduced by Lord Cornwallis (regulation 1 of 1793 commonly known as permanent settlement) with but a few cuts and scratches.Burdwan and its rich trade began to prosper once agam. dur-patnidar. While other zamindars also played the same game. But the zamindars ofBurdwan unlike those of the other districts. the plunder of early British rule. The company's policy was to appropriate an ever larger share ofthe zamindari revenue. This possibility was ingrained within the Settlement Regulations and it became real from the early days as the Zamindars were not given enough time or capital to invest. se- patnidar and further under-tenure holders as also the peasant (ryot) set into various layers of under-ryots began from the day of the Settlement and went on continuously. there were only a few layers. Eventually. The permanent settlement act affected the agricultural economy in mostly negative ways. therefore. almost perfected the structure before others could even collectively conceive and.

But the British rule in Bengal with its higher pressure of revenue and through the creation of intermediaries destroyed such old and traditional systems. This system consisted of an interdependent network of small dams and overflow channels to combine the double purpose of protection against f1ood and irrigation by the rich silt-bearing floodwater itself. Therefore. They did not take any action to clear up the passage by excavating the mouth of the old Damodar. coal mines. The old zamindars of the district used to maintain low embankments along the river course as a personal responsibility to protect the loss of agricultural production of farmers. Burdwan had its own natural overspill channels from the Damodar. Another important step of the British was to stop the breaches in the so-called zamindari banks to arrest flood. Major changes took place in this time: a rise in the production. Due to the negligence of British rulers of old system of irrigation and embankment the accumulation of silt completely blocked up the mouth of old channels of the Damodar. The fiscal demands of the government of the then zamindars were moderate enough to permit them to spend on these social responsibilities to increase tillage and enhance agricultural production in a way of competition among them. prices and exports of food grains. 1930) which definitely killed overflow irrigation in Burdwan as well as Bengal. tenancy legislation. English rulers missed the point that many of these breaches actually served as safety valves conducting the accumulated pressure of a rising f1ood into the overflow channels. Another aspect of agriculture.from the beginning left no option other than sub-letting. in the rentals. Since the historic past. railways expansion and growth of the market in general. The old zamindari system was also committed to the charge of irrigation works. 1985). 48 . and decay of river borne trade and a set of settlements along it with the rise of railways. The process was slower in the later years. a series of floods started to hit the district. As a result. constituting irrigation and embankment to combat the drought and flood situations respectively was seriously affected during the British Period. in production. But during the British period these embankment works began to be seriously neglected as an indirect result of permanent st:ttlement. prices and exports of each crops. quick and immediate. the stopping of breaches was the final blow (Willcocks. but throughout the 19th century the economic structure of rural Burdwan was in continuous evolution and the land-revenue relationships were in constant flux (Bhattacharyya. 1956). Burdwan had an indigenous system of irrigation and flood control. The threat of inundation hung over the district every year when the rivers rose in spate (Guha and Mitra. expansion and growth of the market centres.

During the regime of Kirti Chand Rai (1702-'40) the revenue settlement of 1722 ensured that the Burdwan chuck/a expanded over a larger area and attained a higher level of prosperity than before (Ray. The agricultural economy of the district again started to regain its lost prosperity since the beginning of 19th century with the help of limited welfare approach of British like rent act of 1859.A. He was able to keep the family in the good books of the Mughal rulers as a result of which Burdwan attained prosperity. sugar cane.3. In this law there was clear cut distinction between the right of zamindar and peasantry regarding revenue collection (Ray and Palit. The Contribution of Burdwan 'Raj Family' Burdwan Raj family came into power as a local landlord (zamindar) with the responsibility of revenue collection and local administration during the Mughal period. 3. Burdwan became famous for the production of rice. The contribution of Krishnaram Rai (1675-'96) was also significant in the development of Burdwan region. 49 . 'Ibis law totally banned any kind of increase in revenue (Dawn.L. which was incomparable with other areas ofBengal. 1990). During his time. 1992). The issue of patta to the peasants became a must for the zamindars to protect farmers from displacement. He was a man of adventurous spirit and great valour (Hunter. in 1657. 1986). it is clear from Bukanon Hamilton's description of 1822 that Burdwan was first in agricultural production in all over India just preceeding Tanjore of Madras (Halder quoted in Choudhuri. Hill between 1927 and 1931. He was also famous for his kindness to his ryots. The rent act of 1859 was the initiation of land related law to preserve the interests of peasantry. survey and records of the ownership of land etc. Another positive step of the British in the development of agriculture of the district was the survey and records of the ownership of all the agricultural and non-agricultural land under the supervision ofK. He was in charge of revenue collection of as many as fifty parganas. Reprinted in 1996). Late Abu Rai was the first person of this family who occupied a high post of government and received the title of 'Chowdhury'.In spite of all the problems set by the British rulers. 1868. 1979). a revenue collector. The Mughal emperor Aurangzeb awarded him the firman of zamindari and the title of Chowdhury in 1694. Abu Rai was the one to improve the position of the family from mere merchants and moneylenders to the Raja of Burdwan. To combat famines he excavated several large dighis (water storage tanks) all over the Burdwan region.3. He used to help the peasants during famines by providing them with work.

Maharajadhiraj Mahatab Chand (1832-'79) divided his entire zamindari in the hands of several patnidars and dar-patnidars. In the last part ofthe 18th century Burdwan lost much of its prosperity due to the combined effects of the famine of 1770. his successor. He was also able to maintain a good relationship with the then ruler of Bengal. He tried to obtain help from the Mughal rulers to combat these attacks. which ultimately destroyed the agricultural economy of the region. Maharaja Tilak Chand Rai (1744-'70). However. The permanent settlement multiplied the misery of the peasants. The enactment of the Patni Taluk sales act helped the British by facilitating the transfer to the hand from patnidars to themselves. he was defeated completely by Major White of the East India Company. Raj family. Ibe immediate effect of the transfer of the district to the British thus resulted in the further impoverishment to the ryots and the near ruin of the most powerful and influential authority of Burdwan. Murshid Kuli Khan. the Rajas of Burdwan. Maharaja Tcj Chand Rai (1770-1832) developed the intricate patni system for the collection of revenue. the dual administration of Nawab and the East India Company. Tilak Chand received the title 'Maharajadhiraj' from Mughal ruler Ahmmad Shah in 1753. After Tilak Chand Rai. did not really care any more for the economic condition of the pt. As we have seen the resultant prosperity under feudal rule was to suffer greatly later on during the colonial mle under the permanent settlement. He tried to develop the agricultural economy of the region by keeping good relation with both the Mughal rulers and the peasants. The Company then divided the zamindari to increase the revenue continuously. Kirti Chand achieved the title of 'Raja' from the Mughal ruler of Delhi because of his large and prosperous zamindari. was another famous Raja of Burdwan during whose regime Burdwan region experienced its last welfare attitude of the Raj family. and the revenue law of the company. he had to fight a direct war with the Company in 1760. As a result of the 50 . He was a kind-hearted raja and shared with his subjects the pains inflicted by the Maratha raiders. He initially tried to prevent the East India Company from expanding its trade and consequent encroachment over the administration and revenue collection by banning their trade centres in Burdwan chuckla. As a consequence. However.:asants of the region. which was beyond the capacity of the Raja to collect. which increased the exploitation and misery of poor peasants to an unbearable level.cotton and indigo. during his regime Burdwan fuced serious political-economic crisis and lost its prosperity due to the repeated invasion of bargis ( Choudhur~ 1991 ). Raja Chitrasen Ra~ the son ofKirti ChandRa~ was in charge ofBurdwan chuck/a for a period of four years (1740-'44).

the kana Nadi and the kana Damodar. 1930) through inundation channels. The 'modem' canal inigation system of the area dates back to 1881 when Eden Canal was constructed (1873-'81) to use the water resource of the Damodar for agricultural purposes. has played a vital role in the development of agricultural economy of the region. the invasion of bargis.C. The canal takes water from the Damodar river at Jajuti (30 kilometres west of Burdwan town) and flows through the Banka river for about 7 kilometres to Kanchannagar where it is held by a weir across the Banka river and admitted into the canal over an anicut. Traditional systems of irrigation gradually broke down a<. Floods occurred every eight to ten years and the river also used to deposit very rich silt enhancing the natural fertility of the soil used for cultivation. The Damodar Canal system includes a 42 51 . the district could not recover its past economic prosperity throughout the 19th century. This canal irrigates I 43 villages of the district located in Burdwan (2 I villages). floods that were normally manageable became devastating in the years of 1913. As a result. The canal runs parallel to the left bank of the Damodar for about 32 kilometres to Jarnalpur where the flow is divided into two branches of the Damodar viz. Memari (63 villages) and Jamalpur (59 villages) police stations. The sources of inundation channe:ls were blocked by the construction of embankments in 1853. 1927. The flood of 1943 was the last major flood before the inception of the Damodar Valley Corporation causing very great damage to private and public property. But all these ancient. time tested methods of irrigation and flood control collapsed entirely due to the negligence of English rulers.V. people of Burdwan tried to tune their agricultural economy with the successful utilization of the water resources ofDamodar. 3. The second major step to modernize the irrigation system to ensure the agricultural production of the region was lthe construction of Anderson weir on the Damodar at Rhondia and the Damodar canal between 1926 to '33.4. There was an integrated system of overflow irrigation during the flood (Willcocks. since the latter part of the 18th century.) The Damodar. the British initiated modem. older village-based industries and prosperous rural economy began to stagnate as patnidars' and darpatnidars' only interest became revenue colkction and not the maintenance of agricultural prosperity. The Role of the Damodar Valley Corporation (D. engineering-based canal systems. Low embankments and breaches along the riversides were regularly maintained by local landlords to protect the crops from floods. and the lack of concern of local landlords.powerlessness of the Burdwan Raj family. Since the remote past. 1935 and 1943.3. flowing through the region. river-borne trade gradually decayed as road and especially rail transport took ofT.

V. The agricultural economy of the region received a significant thrust with the inception of Damodar Valley Corporation (a multipurpose river valley project) immediately after independence. Our study region with an area of2. miles) sprawls over four districts namely Burdwan. miles belongs to the jurisdiction of Burdwan district. flood control and irrigation received top priority.V.C has not been able to supply water more regularly on account of certain technical and administrative difficulties. Among the multiple objectives of the project. higher than many other parts of the country.V. the old system is in a little better position (Basu and Mukherjee. Time lag between the availability of water and its utilization is a problem which is due to some physical and technical difliculties. The problem is more acute in the new system than the old one.C observed that about 50 per cent farms of the old zone and two-thirds that of the new zone suffered from irregular supply of irrigation water. that is. the D. there are some inherent problems faced by cultivators while taking the irrigation fucility ofthe D. 1963). The D.kilometres long Main canal.32 kilometre per square kilometre. The D.V . 2.C came formally into existence on the 7th July. 1948 through the formation of the D. In West Bengal. The barrage on the Damodar at Durgapur and a vast network of new canals. Bankura and Midnapur.173 sq.V.V.V.C canal system. The canal density of the region is 0. Basu and Mukherjee (1963) in th~ir study ofthe irrigation benefits of the D. In considering irrigation efficiency we can make a comparative analysis of the old (Eden and Damodar canals) and the new canal systems.C. The choice of canal site in the old system was more efficient than the new D.68. The major part of its command area belongs to our study region. Voorduin of TVA) brainchild D.C.C canal system as the old systems have been merged in the D. were constructed between 1952-' 55 creating immense opportunities for the development of agriculture.C Act. 52 . An American Engineer's (Mr.83 7 acres. The region has a total canal network of 879 kilometre.V.V.05 square kilometre falls entirely within the command area ofD.821. The canal network of the region includes both old systems of Eden Canal and Damodar Canal and the new D.C canal system is effective in providing water to the distant fields of the region because of the siting of canals on high lands.V.770 sq. About 57. Hooghly. Besides.C irrigation network. under whose direct command area our study region belongs. V. the Branch canal connecting Damodar with the Eden canal at Kanchannagar and the Duistributory canals of 342 kilometres together commanding an area of I .C command area (3. From the standpoint of the proportion of farms benefited by irrigation. especially the Durgapur barrage.64 per cent of the total command area.

the impact of the D. Effective link channels can only be cut with the help of ground level knowledge of furmers. in 1889 a further length of 16 kilometres was removed from the same embankment. This link channel method was considered to be superior to the traditional overflow method since it can avoid pao. instead of North Damodar. Again in pre-independence period irrigation system developed in North Damodar region with the Eden and Damodar 53 . The construction of link channels was the responsibility of West Bengal Government in association with the ryots. Sometimes farmers themselves pose the problem by illegal obstruction of the water midway between the canals and the fields.C is the lack of developing integrated network of link channels to carry water to every field. For a long pt::riod up to the middle of 19th century the embankments were maintained on both left and right banks of the river.C.V. Another important aspect of rural development of the region is the dichotomy in irrigation and flood control system between North and South Damodar region. Between 1843 and 1863 embankments were breached every year at one place or another resulting in heavy economic loss. In spite of all the problems. Mutual understanding and co-operative spirit of peasants to solve the problems . The production and productivity of agriculture of the region have improved dramatically since the implementation of the irrigation projects undertaken by the D.V. Among different crops of the region most remarkable improvement has been achieved by paddy.such as choosing the fields over whkh channels should pass. British rulers removed the embankment on the right bank for a length of about 32 kilometres in 1863.C irrigation network on the agricultural economy of the region is beyond any doubt. which generates larger income of the farmers. Later on. 1991). 1963). As a result. Since the historic past right bank area has been neglected by the administrators. Associated economic activities like agro-processing (husking units and rice mills). In order to relieve stress on the left bank and to make its strength adequate to withstand the onslaught of the turbulent stream. The higher income has increased the demand for both producer and consumer goods. South Damodar region began to be affected by flood regularly (Choudhuri.sing of water continuously over the fields adjacent to the canals carrying fertilizers to the distant fields and can pay attention to the individual Jfields (Basu and Mukherjee. In our study region two blocks namely Khandaghosh and Raina-1 belong to the relatively neglected South Damodar or right bank area. trade and transport have developed in the region in association with the agricultural development bringing economic prosperity to the region.A specific drawback of the D. who will contribute the land necessary for cutting the channel and at whose interest -are necessary to evolve a system for plot to plot distribution of canal water.V.

."TS. The programme also intended to help the development of co-operative organizations to ensure the supply of essential inputs like fertilizt. In our study region. The programme was meant to demonstrate the potentialities of increasing food production through a multipronged. 24 blocks out of 33 of the district were covered under this programme and the package of agricultural practices have since been developed for all the important crops.Canal whereas no such attempt was taken to develop drainage in South Damodar region. which can quickly respond to such production efforts. It was a package programme including the use of high-yielding variety of seeds.3. improved farm implements and other equipments as well as the market for agricultural products.V. Because of the long neglect the agricultural-cum-rural economy of the right bank region has remained more backward than the left bank region. villagers and agricultural labourers in learning modem agricultural techniques and improving their skills as well. concentrated and coordinated approach to agricultural development in areas. The IADP package programme was also an educational process. marketing co-operatives etc) has also been remarkable in the region. The development of two-tier co-operative wcieties (fertilizer co-operatives. which helped cultivators and their families.C canals. Participation of cultivators in farm planning and the utilization of local manpower are other vital aspects ofthe programme. Intensive Agricultural District Programme (IADP) The development of agricultural economy of the region in post-independence period was also favoured by the implementation of IADP in Burdwan as one of the sixteen selected districts in India This prognunme was inaugurated in the district in 1962. and scientific soil and water management methods based on latest research. chemical fertilizers and pesticides. 1994). Till 1970-'7 I. and contributed greatly to the growth of agricultural activities. the two blocks located in South Damodar region have an average productivity index of 153 against the index of 189 ofthe blocks located in the left bank region. A soil testing laboratory for giving recommendations for better cropping and fertilizer use and a se:ed-testing laboratory to ensure farmers the supply of quality seeds have been set up in the district. more sophisticatt::d and mechanized implements. pesticides. Before the advent ofthe D. 3. the South Damodar region was entirely deprived of irrigation facilities. While the primary societies are functioning at thana 54 . The main objective ofthis programme was to provide a good agricultural base for more rapid economic development and improved community life (Choudhuri et a/.5.

Prasad (1987) etc. Land reforms and Panchayati Raj Agrarian structure has long been recognized as one of the most important determinants of rural development. 1998a).4 78 million tonnes in 1996-'97) produced in the region. In its wider sense. several tons of potatoes were dumped as garbage and farmers did not get the opportunity to keep their product in cold storages because of the remarkably high production of 1997.(Police Station) or village level. Land reforms in the form of redistribution of land holdings and land tenure systems. Still the co-operative societies could not make much progress in the matter of outright purchase and sale of paddy or rice (Kar. Bandopadhyay ( 1986). on the other hand. ln addition. land reforms indicate a c:omprehensive programme directed towards the upbringing of the entire agricultural economy and society. differences of opinion among scholars on what is exactly meant by land reforms. Before analyzing the progress of land reforms and its resultant impact on agricultural as well as rural development it would be pertinent to define 'land reform' and 'agrarian reform'. This led to a high amount of loss in potato production. An agrarian structure characterized by a highly skewed distribution of land. widespread share of tenancy and interlocked fuctor markets is the major constraint in the development of the agricultural economy of rural areas (Ghosh. There: are. As a consequence. The cold storages of the region are inadequate to store the large amounts of potatoes (7 . The entire region is thus covered by these societies. Land reform is an equalizing policy which reduces 55 . Tht:se two terms are often used rather loosely as being synonymous.4. 3. there are co-operative banks providing agricultural credit as well as rural cooperative credit societies and grameen (rural) branches of nationalized banks. Ckakraborty (1984 ). which ultimately affected the production of the region in the following year. have argued that a semi-feudal agrarian structure is the cause of agricultural backwardness oflndia even after a few decades of planning. 1998). Several authors like Bhaduri ( 1973 ). Presently. is the necessary precondition for meaningful agrarian retorm. however. In its narrow sense land reforms implies a restructuring of the tenurial system so that the landless people get land. These are actually two different measures for bringing agricultural progress. the co-operative societies are experiencing a lot of difficulties in handling perishable goods like potato. the thana level societies are attached to two zonal societies located in Burdwan and Memari.

It includes the redistribution of land. On the other hand. In spite of recognizing the need of land reform and passing several laws to implement it during the early years of planning. 1992).inequality and social injustic:e and enhances agricultural production (Mukhopadhyay. co-operative organization and agricultural education. The West Bengal Bargadar Act of 1950 was the major outcome of this struggle (Surjeet. The All India Kishan Sabha and its various units played a significant role in directing these movements. • tenancy reforms in the form of regulation of rent. A series of bills and amendments were passed to remove the constraints posed by the agrarian structure on agricultural productivity. Jagirdars etc. The importance of 1changes in the agrarian structure through redistributive land reforms as a significant aspe:ct of rural development was realised in India since long before the independence. adjustment to tenancy conditions. security of tenure and ownership rights. All the land reform measures taken up by the Government of India can be categorized under the following heads (Surjeet. Zamindars. regulation of rents and wages. and • consolidation ofholdings. agrarian reform is an integrated programme that aims at reorganizing the institutional framework of agriculture in order to facilitate social and economic progress. fought in 1946-'47 was a significant one focussing on the two-thirds crop demand of the sharecroppers. institution of farm credit systems. Among these movements the Tebhaga movement of Bengal.) between the state and the ryot (tiller of the land). Agrarian reform is limited without the support of successful land reforms. but also because it was an important precondition for a total restructuring of the national economy. the all India scenario of agrarian structure did not 56 . 1992): • abolition of intermediaries (viz. 1994). • fixation of ceiling on holdings and distribution of surplus land among the landless agricultural labourers and other rural poor. In pre-independence period significant anti-feudal and anti-imperialist movements took place in different isolated parts of the country through the active participation of hundreds of peasants between 1936 and 1947. Immediately after independence the Congress government took necessary steps to change tht:: agrarian structure through several land reform measures. According to Mukhopadhyay (1994) land reforms was a ideological compulsion for the post-independence ruling elite not only because it had made a commitment of 'land to the tillers' to the Indian peasantry in the days of the anti-colonial struggles.

some notable successes were achieved especially in respect of abolition of intermediaries and ceiling on land holding in some states especially in West Bengal and Kerala. • West Bengal Estate Acquisition Act. the two United Front governments (1967 -'68 and 1969-'70) took enthusiastic measures to implement land reforms in spite of limitations imposed by the Constitution of India. In West Bengal. 1978. In pre-independence period the anti-feudal movement was also quite strong in comparison to other states. 1978).1. the important acts among them in chronological order are as follows: • West Bengal Bargadar Act. 1975. Artisans and Fisherman Act. In post-independence period a series of acts were passed on different aspects of land refonns. These United Front governments while enacting several legislations and implementing other measures to meet the immediate problems of peasantry. Still. • West Bengal Land Reforms Rules. Of the several govermnents in power since independence.38 lakh landless and land-poor peasants (Dey and Jana. and • Circular ofthe West Bengal Board ofRevenue on Operation Barga. the land reform measures have a long history since 1859 when the Bengal Tenancy Act was passed. • West Bengal Land Reforms Act.3 lakh acres of land were distributed by the United Front government to about 2. 1970. 1950. Most notable advance was made on the question of acquiring the surplus land after imposing land ceiling and the distribution of it. 3. Dwing the period 57 . 1973. 1956. • West Bengal Acquisition ofHomestead Land for Agricultural Labourers. According to Ghosh (1986). 1976). 1953. 1997).4. • West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act. 1965. • West Bengal Land Acquisition Act. 1955. In 1969 about 2. The Case for West Bengal The state of West B{~ngal deserves special mention among the Indian states in the successful implementation of agricultural land reform measures.change remarkably because of the lack of initiative to actually implement the land reform measures (Konar. • West Bengal Restoration of Alienated Land Act. involved the kishan (peasant) and their organizations in a massive way in the implementation of land reforms (Konar.

the Left Front Government (LFG) initiated several measures of land reform. the most stable government among all the state governments being in power since independence. the LFG since I977 has focussed on three interrelated types of intervention: modification of the relations of production and the forces of production. p. More consequentially. • Operation Barga •md the recording of sharecroppers as the of beneficiaries. and playing its political cards expediently so as to maintain a stable and orderly regime for a period unsurpassed in Indian history. After approximatdy two decades. • democratic decentralization and institutions in the administration of land reforms: .1967-'70. the LFG coordinated the constitution of the new panchayats with a massive campaign of land distribution and tenancy reforms. Role of the Left Front Government Immediately after coming into power in 1977. The axiom informing the pleas for land reforms.and • permanent titles to homestead land to landless agricultural labourers. the direction of that intervention contains important lessons for development policy' (Lieten. • providing necessary infrastructure and support to assignees of land and sharecroppers. on land reform measures was on the following aspects: • formulation and passing of a land reform (amendment) bill plugging the loopholes in the earlier acts. According to Surjeet (I 992) the major thrust of LFG. He also observe:s 'The revitalisation and democratisation of the panchayat system was one of the first initiatives taken by the LFG after it was voted into office in I 977. elected along party lines. reconstitution of the political power structure through the revival of the panchayat bodies. I 996.8 thousand hectares in India). :md four consecutive panchayat elections. more than one-fourth of the total surplus land distributed all over India belonged to the state of West Bengal (37:5 thousand hectares out of I 255. The role of LFG has been assessed by different scholars and observers which essentially cover a wide spectrum. Lieten (I996) mentioned 'In its rural development policy. • further acquisition and distribution of surplus land. has been the strategic necessity of breaking 58 . In assessing the rural development policy of LFG. 222). artisans and fishermen. in addition to considerations of social justice and efficiency.

59 . there is a number of arguments made by different scholars against the role of LFG. The West Bengal figure of recorded bargadars increased to 13. who actively participated in the implementation of Operation Barga in West Bengal. Under this programme. In districtwise performance Burdwan ranked third with the recording of 1. the names of 14. According to him. 1986 etc. there are a number of publications (Bandopadhyay.) who have credited LFG to bring the economic benefits in terms of agrarian process and the discontinuation of the feudal relations of production. 1988. 1995.04 lakh bargadars after Midnapur (2.11 lakh) and 24-Paraganas ( 1. By 1990. Biswas and Bardhan. Mukherjee and Bandopadhyay (1993) and Rudd (1994). Nossiter. Dasgupta. 1993.84 lakh belonged to the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities). 1996.94 lakh in 1988 (out of which 5. Operation Barga The most successful component of land reforms implemented by the Left Front government in West Bengal were tenancy reforms and the redistribution of land. a programme of tenancy reform was launched in October 1978. Operation Barga (recording of the names of bargadars or sharecroppers). The programme achieved the dimension of a movement in the countryside within a few months of its launching with the active support of different peasant's organizations. p.5 lakh sharecroppers were registered in the land records (Lieten. Strong criticism of LFG was also done by Atul Kohli ( 1987). Quick recording of the names of bargadars. The list of policy failures that ultimately emerged from his research was unedifying in not providing any positive examples for development programmes.64 lakh) up to this period. 1995. David Grigg (1978) has explained the reason behind this. preventing the eviction and granting legal rights to cultivate land were considered to be major incentives for the marginal and small peasants to raise production (Sanyal. Chandrasekhar. Mallick (1993) claimed that the LFG could not be credited with successful implementation of land reforms. 1998). about 12 lakh bargadars were recorded in West Bengal till December. On the other side. 1984. Bhaumik. 1993. Ghosh ( 1986) observed that there were six peasant's organizations supported by different political parties. Ghosh.the socio-political as well as economic power block of landlords-cum-moneylenders' (Lieten. the farmers who own the land is more likely to adopt new methods than the farmer who has to give half of his harvest to the landlords and much of the rest to the local money-lenders. 51). However.

In respect of statewise achievement in land ceiling the performance ofwest Bengal is much higher than the other states. He also observes that the tenants in West Bengal have begun to challenge the age-old exploitative character of tenancy relationship.77 per cent ofthe total ceiling-surplus land distributed in the entire country (Kar.43 lakh acres were acquired by the government by 1991 (source: Proceeding of the conference of Revenue: Ministers. In studying the effects of tenancy reforms on aspect of production.43 lakh acres of acquired land. West Bengal having only 3. In another similar study in the Midnapur district for the year 1986-'87. Out ofthe 11. Ghatak (1995) observes that Operation Barga had a significant positive effect on the rate of expansion of boro (winter rice) cultivation as well as output. Distribution of Ceiling Surplus Land Another big success of the Left Front government in West Bengal was the implementation of ceiling laws on land holdings including vesting of land and consequent redistribution of land among the rural poor.13 lakh acres were distributed among l9. The provision for institutional credit to the sharecroppers gave these small operators access to technological inputs. 1998). of which 11. In West Bengal. observes that broadly the smaller farms' cropping pattern stilll favours valuable labour intensive crops in West Bengal. 14th March. Biswas and Bardhan. the cropping pattern of even small farms changed from labourintensive subsistence crops to commercial crops in response to market forces. 1997).63 lakh acres of land out of 73. 1992). Boyce ( 1987). has contributed 20. Compound rate of growth of real daily wage of male agricultural 60 . however. There has been substantial increase in agricultural wages in West Bengal since 1980s.94lakh landless households the majority ofwhich belonged to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes communities. 12. adoption of HYV seeds and investment in private irrigation. In addition to these land reform measures the Left Front government of West Bengal has made remarkable progress in fixing and implementation of minimum wages for agricultural labourers.28 lakh acres in India declared surplus. With the removal of tenurial insecurity the small operators started taking viable production decisions (Sanyal. 1998a).1992).58 per cent ofthe country's cultivated land. about 9. This registration created new rights for tenants like rent payments and access to credit from formal banking sectors (Ramachandran. Bhaumik ( 1993) found that registered or recorded tenants were better off than unrecorded tenants in terms of the share of output retained by the tenant. In some areas (for example the eastern part ofBurdwan district and Hooghly).

) the land reforms in West Bengal is incomplete. Another important effort of West Bengal government is supporting the assignees of surplus land and share croppers with provision fi)r loans. Baruah (1990) mentioned that land reforms in West Bengal.C canals.labourers between 1979-'80 and 1992-'93 was highest in West Bengal. but to large number of landless a limited amount of economic security and survival capability.Inspite of constructing the D. bullocks through widely expanding network of commercial banks in rural areas. Harriss believes there has not been brought about 'any really significant change' in the agrarian structure (1993. p. 1986 etc. 61 . In Burdwan region. has amounted to the de facto abandonment ofthe concern with viability. 1246). the government should encourage th(~ peasants to form co-operatives for better management and increased production.5 acres. 1998). 1991. l. To make these uneconomic holdings into an economical one. Baruah. Westergaard. inputs. that is. However. Therefore. which are uneconomical in their scale of production. According to a number of scholars (Kar. Tornquist observes 'the communist emphasized the struggle for political power while immediate popular efforts to develop production would have to wait' (1991. The use of ground water is beyond the reach of poor peasants as it costs high. p. the government has failed to supply cheap irrigation water to the farmers of the region. Such non-land inputs are as follows. 1998a.V. 1990. a considerable proportion of land in the hands of small and marginal peasants cannot lx: utilized for double and multiple cropping enhancing production. 280 per cent among all the states of India (Rawal and Swaminathan. He further claims that the allocation of tiny plots was done not with view to creating viable farms. Kar (1998a) has noted that land reforms in West Bengal. co-operative movement has remained rather limited with fertilm!r and marketing co-operatives.Distribution of surplus land to the poor have created numerous small land holdings even below the size of 0. Westergaard (1986) made the argument that in its focus on land reforms. 69). Tornquist. 2. the LFG has not paid sufficient attention to technological changes and has not tackled the problems of a stagnant agricuhure. Co-operative movement . Irrigation water . instead of being a programme capable of bringing about a regime of viable peasant proprietorship. though experienced remarkable initial success. have failed to achieve the desired targets because of the inability to provide non-land inputs to poor peasants who are the major beneficiaries of this programme. The use of sophisticated implements is also restricted by the small and fragmented size of lands.

To achieve maximum benefit of land reforms all these loopholes should be mended with more initiative to providing non-land inputs to the small and marginal farmers. Their activities. the agricultural community's exposure to technological innovation is still marginal owing to financial constraints. The poor farmers cannot use that finance properly for production and repay the loan to the banks.On an average. in addition to the traditional mandatory functions such as the maintenance of village road. the panchayat samiti at the block level and the Zilla Parishad at the district leveL With this reorganization. power thrashers and such other non-land inputs. This is the reorganization and revitalization of democratic institutions of local governance at three levels . West Bengal experienced another important socio-political change in its rural landscape during the left front rule. The ruling LFG has played a significant role in rcactivizing success in this area. Storage infrastructure must be upgraded to enable a farmer to derive the maximum return from his field. land reforms will remain an incomplete dream for the poor peasants. 1994). Panchayati Reg system attempts not only political decentralization but e:nsures the representation of poor and underemployed sections ofthe society in local institutions (Alagh.Storage and marketing facilities are also not yet adequately developed to the extent to cater to the need of the development in agriculture.3.gram panchayat or GP at the: village level. Financing . lbeir poverty compelled them to use that money for their basic needs. Commercial banks in the rural areas are engaged in providing loan for non-land inputs to individual farmers. the panchayats already had a vast range of responsibilities. the provision of drinking water and the responsibility for 62 . 4. Panchayati Raj Besides land reforms. Unless the state adopts a comprehensive programme of changing these uneconomic holdings into economic ones by forming co-operatives. Lack of proper marketing infrastructure and well-integrated road network compelled the farmers sometimes to depend on middlemen. a new system of democratic and decentralized planning and administration was established. Storage and marketing . Under the West Bengal Panchayat Act 1973. Sometimes poor landholders are compelled to transfer their land to those owning pumpsets.

Another important feature of the panchayats in West Bengal is the increasing participation of persons from socially backward and economically weaker communities over the years (Lieten. The movement of Krishak Sabha was strong enough and provided generous voluntary help to panchayats and government institutions to acquire vested ceiling surplus land. 63 . The efficient functioning of panchayats in West Bengal has also been questioned by Mukherjee and Bandopadhyay (1993). and agricultural marketing and cooperative credit. 3. 1999 etc. Rudd. distribute those lands and to record the name of bargadars. Besides that in West Bengal Panchayats were closely involved in the implementation of land reform measures among which Operation Barga was the top priority. 1996). 1992. promotion of sports and literacy.. barga registration. 1996 ). They again credited panchayats for successful implementation of rural development schemes.sanitation. Land Reforms in the Region Burdwan remained ahead of other districts of West Bengal in the implementation of land reform. They observe many unfmished tasks in the areas of land distribution. promotion of cooperative farming. Panchayats have also played a significant role in the implementation of other rural employment programmes. Harekrishna Konar had led the Operation Barga in the region. relate to an increasing variety of delegated and discretionary functions (Lieten. Mr. Some researchers (Mallick. According to them panchayats have brought about a churning of the submerged humanity in the rural areas and created a high degree of social and political awareness among all sections of people.4. An eminent Marxist leader of Krishak Sabha. however. vary considerably. They include irrigation. 1999.) have been far more critical of the effectiveness of the programme. Assessments of panchayti raj do. Williams ( 1999) again finds that panchayati raj has helped to produce positive changes in the livelihoods of labouring families in rural West Bengal. The successful implementation of rural development as well as poverty alleviation programmes in West Bengal was largely due to the active participation of panchayat bodies. tree planting. Williams. the planning and implementation of developmental and infrastructural works etc.2.

57 153.22 52.34 5.34 acres and 7.86 980.665 1 L053 6. . Galsi.30 1.480.87 12.60 10.070 4. Raina.56 89.533.-· Source: District Land Revenue Department Burdv>an - -Y• '""'"·.812.179.11 49.I 3.91 lakh and 89. ~ .94 8.I 2. 64 .349 8.319.-.761.285.059 1.I 10.798 5.000 --~------ Region (Total) Burdwan District ---- ---- ----- ---.814 3. Khandaghosh 4. ·-- Vesting of ceiling surplus land (acres) Blocks Vested nonVested nonagricultural agricultural/and . The amounts of total vested non-agricultural land in the district and in the region stands to 31.58 5.736 9..081.30 acres respectively up to June'99.18 7.88 5. 1999.319.1: Progress of Land Reform in The Region and The District up to June 1999 ••• > ~ ·-"-· •• . Monteswar 5..53 I . Memari.39 thousand beneficiaries in the district and the region respectively.62 574. Bhatar 8.450 7.18 144.II 2.884..47 124.01 121.747.I 2.44 9.II 4.12 224. 41 .96 175.81 thousand acres belong to our region.31 953.942 49.86 lakh acres of ceiling surplus land have been vt~sted in the district of which 49.356 3.38 654.273 8.243 7.56 8.62 595.189.047 10.809 11. According to the survey done by District Land Revenue Department.82 3.36 699.223 .071 3. - 31.310.568.289 6.86..73 7.08 492.II 2.487 3.866 3.et land (acres) for agriculture (acres) Number ofpatta holders Number of recorded bargadars I.572.537..28 1.230. Burdwan .8 4.85 127..891 3.038 2.28. The conversion ofthis non-agricultural land into agricultural one can be a positive step in the present time of fast reducing agricultural land because of the rapidly expanding urban areas.84 192. Jamalpur 2. Burdwan.135.93 9.74 14. Mernari. These ceiling surplus lands have been distributed among 1. about 16 per cent of the total vested non-agricultural land was found fit for agriculture. About 1.. .393 60.Table 3.823 4.1 clearly states the progress of ditTerent aspects of land reform both in the region as well as the district up to June.234 4.92 1._·-·-• "' Table 3.91. Aus gram .911 1.85 63.03 5.572.780.

In a landmark study of agricultural 65 . This is true of our region as well.~n has done a village level study in Memari blocks of the region in 1996. there has been a major institutional change in agricultural economy of the state which are closely linked to the observed changes in production and productivity (Banerjee and Ghatak. He noted a fair improvement in the economic conditions of landless population and poor peasants in Memari. 1998). the state has moved to a high agricultural gro\\-th path (Rawal and Swaminathan. The recording of patta-holders ha<> been done for 57. ln the last two decades.I block (Table 3.81 per cent of patta holders recording their names in the government register.1 ).98 per cent of the pattaholders in the district. In his study he observes that agricultural labourers and poor peasants have gained form the measures of land reforms and the consequent improvement in agrarian production. The recording of bargadars has also been done efficiently in the district (1.The beneficiaries of the distribution of ceiling surplus land have been provided with patta (the legal recognition of land-ownership). 3. These have undoubtedly transformed much of the rural scenario by breaking the isolation of sleepy villages with farmers toiling for subsistence. But the recording of patta-holders is yet to be complete. 1999). with its geographical advantages and long history of agricultural prosperity. 3. Up to June'99 there are 60.DVC canals.5.from a situation of low and less than the all India avcrag1~ gro\\-th.28 lakh up to June.911 bargadar in the region who have recorded their names in the government register. Liet. He credited implementation of land reforms and efficient functioning of panchayat institutions for this improvement of poor people's socio-economic condition.5. Let us now take a brief look at the emerging agricultural situation in the state of West Bengal and in Burdwan. Memari-II block has the largest number (II . Burdwan received in full measure all the postindependence initiatives for agricultural development . Agricultural Development Rural development can never be isolated from agricultural development especially in a country like India. 1995).053) of recorded bargadars besides the lowest (3.1. and land reforms. IADP and the 'new' technology package.038) in Burdwan. West Bengal In the post-independence period the state of West Bengal has passed through an eventful period in the history of agriculture . The achievement is slightly higher in the region with 59.

1993) argues that the remarkable growth of agricultural production in the 1980s was based on an expansion of irrigation by private shallow tube well. The cause of such low growth rate of production wa<. 1987). p. which marks the end of 'agrarian impasse' in West Bengal (Saggar and Raghavan. 74 per cent per annum (Boyce. Between 1976-'77 and 1985-'86 the total increase in net irrigated area in West Bengal was 74. 1999). Biswas and Bardhan. 1998). Traditionally. Over time. 1994). James Boyce estimated that the growth rate of agricultural output between 1950 and 1980 was only 1. the aman crop has been the most important of the three rice growing seasons (aus.37. Both Sen and Sengupta ( 1995) and Banerjee and Ghatak (1995) find some evidence of a positive correlation between tenancy refi:>rm and agricultural growth. 1998). modern varieties of seeds. This unprecedented rate of growth of food crops was chiefly due to the increase in both the production and productivity of rice specially boro. there is a debate regarding the various effects of institutional reform as factors explaining this agricultural take off in West Bengal (Gazdar and Sengupta.7 (Saha and Swaminathan. the bora crop has grown in significance and the production of total rice produced in the bora season doubled during the 1980s. rates of growth of agricultural production increased in all the eastern states and among them West Bengal grew fastest (Dun Ray. 78) observes that the agricultural productivity in West Bengal started to climb sharply only after the ascent ofLFG in 1977.7 per cent. 1989).performance in West Bengal. A noteworthy change occurred in the 1980s in both the production and productivity of all crops specially rice and potato. inadequacy in the supply of fertilizers. Lieten ( 1996. studied by the Reserve Bank of India ( 1984) which identified the chief constraints (behind low production) as the lack of adequate and controlled supply of water.38 artd 2. 1994). The exponential growth rates of bora crop between 1977-'78 and 1993-'94 in West Bengal were 8. The role of land reforms measures in accelerating agricultural production was also immense in West Bengal in the last two decades (Sanyal. electricity.7 per cent in India (Rawal and Swaminathan. production and productivity respectively. credit facilities and infrastructure for market. Between 1981 and 1991. The compound annual growth rate of food grain production between 1981-'82 and 1991-'92 in West Bengal was 6.4 per cent in West Bengal as compared to about 59.0 per cent against the all-India average of 19. However.5 which was much higher than the all-India average that is 2. The measures intensified state intervention in defining property rights in a more meaningful manner. John Harriss (1992. 9. In this expansion of irrigation the area irrigated by tubewells dming the same period increased by as much as 575.86 per cent JX~r annum in area. thus narrowing the gap between ownership and operation and widening the access of the small 66 . aman and bora) in terms of output and acreage.

1997.A 85.72 N.89 322.cultivators to technology and other inputs.C. This expansion of irrigation facility is chiefly due to the development of canal irrigatiion under the D.2 clearly expl. The increase in the district's net irrigated area has been quite high in the post-independence period.- ··-· Source: Season and Crop Reports. the net irrigated area increased at the rate of about 10.25 per cent of the gross cropped area is irrigated annually taking three seasons (kharij: rabi and summer) together.15 345.ains the trend of areal expansion under different aspects of agriculture and irrigation in the decades of20th century (1910-'11 to 1990-'91).58 N.000 hectare per annum. and especially Burdwan district.71 1950-'51 470.40 348. 1996) have shown that the institutional changes hav~~ had a variety of direct and indirect positive effects on recent agricultural development in West Bengal. Since the small and marginal cultivators constitute the largest share of the total holdings.A N.5. Burdwan District Burdwan. Several studies (Rawal.06 27. Net Irrigated Areas and the Area Sown More than once (1910-'ll to 1990-'91) Year Net cropped area in '000 hectares Net Irrigated area in '000 hectares Area sown more than once in '000 hectares 1910-'11 343. 1982). At present the net cropped area occupies nearly 66 per ct~nt of the total area of the district. Statistical Abstracts Table 3.8:5 131. Sengupta and Gazdar.72 1970-'71 458.2. 3.42 1990-'91 464.200 hectares per 67 . with a cropping intensity of 169 per cent. Between 1950-'51 and 1970-'71. The relative percentage shares of irrigated area to the netcropped area are about 75.49 --· ··. About 88. Table 3.A 1930-'31 221.59 107. is the pioneer one among the districts of West Bengal in the agricultural development.2: Expansion of Net cropped. It is known as the 'granary of West Bengal' because of its agricultural prosperity (Barman. The rate of expansion decreased to 1. the land reforms were extremely significant from the point of view of growth in production and productivity in recent times (Mukherjee and SanyaL 1997). 40 and 35 per cent during the khar{f. rabi and summer seasons respectively. V.

8 32.390 2. summer).382 1. The temporal trend of areal expansion.8 1. we shall analyze production of these three crops too.514 1. Therefore.8 8.438 2. we shall analyze the trend of three types of rice (aus.9 435. it is also in the private domain as against the 1960s.9 17.3 417 753 876 Potato 16.993 30.6 40. However.000 hectares per annum) which is a consequence of expansion of irrigation during rabi and summer seasons.347 Oil Seeds 3.1 1. again. Most of the tubewell irrigation.57 thousand hectares. I 35.9 170.6 54.5 79. boro) individually besides the total of them.0 3. the recent irrigation development is not only non-canalized.3 579.2 585.4 1. Therefore.1 41.082. Production and Productivity of Selected Crops between 1965-'66 and 1994-'95 in Burdwan District Crops Area ('000 hectare!)) Production ('000 tonne!)) Yield (Kg/hectare!)) 65-'66 80-'81 96-'97 65-'66 80-'81 96-'97 65-'66 80-'81 96-'97 Rice 456.3: Increase in the Area.49 thousand hectares in 1990-'91. rabi and summer seasons).3 1. So.781 Aus 23.4 493.3).8 626.6 80. The most remarkable increase is also found in the areal expansion of double and multiple cropping ( 12.824 2. 68 .118 2. is owned privately by individual farmers.6 I 0.470 A man 429.2 26.2 657.000 hectares per annum) of the previous two decades and the total credit goes to the development of deep and shallow tubewells.243.4 760 2. the net-cropped area of the district has increased from 343.4 27.779 20.741.059 1.5 43.1 192.2 548.4 2. However.9 I . aman.0 626.7 1.0 1. production and yield for the selected crops is analyzed for a period of 30 years (1965-'66 to 1996-'97).annum between 1970-'71 and 1990-'91. Between 1965-'66 and 1996-'97.344 2.5 4 I. then the rate of expansion becomes nearly double ( 19. as 693.407 Wheat 3. Table 3.2 12. if we consider the gross irrigated area (total of irrigated areas during kharif. rabi.3 4.6 23.371 3. in response to the expansion of irrigation. production and yield of some selected crops of the region (Table 3.72 thousand hectares in 191 0-'11 to 464.3 423.233 No~r we can analyze the developmental trend of agriculture in the district with the help of the data on the increase in area. Potato crop is gaining importance in the region besides the decreasing trend of wheat and oil seeds. and the government's role is insignificant.553 Boro 2.4 1.3 708.9 33. Rice is the predominant crop of the district which is cultivated intensively in three seasons (kharif.

adoption of new technology in the 1970s. aman yields have increa<. During the period of 30 years. Among the three rice: crops remarkable increase in area and production has occurred in case of boro. The Region Our study region. is a major contributor in the agricultural production of the district.5. fertile soil. the production of boro has increased by 576 thousand tonnes on the areal expansion of 167 thousand hectares. a remarkable increase (1. A phenomenal rise in productivity from 1982-· 83 induced the cultivators to grow potato more on the lands previously not used for this crop. The adoption of technological inputs assisted by the extension of irrigation (under both public and private ownership) has brought remarkable increase in both the production and productivity in all agricultural crops especially rice in the region since 1980s. the yield is high for both the crops. The productivity of boro (3. 1998). At present Burdwan occupies the second position among the states of West Bengal in the production of potato. Extension 69 . a very high rate of growth of boro production has made a significant contribution to the growth in rice production in Burdwan (Sanya~ Biswas and Bardhan. However. Its physical environment including plain land.267 kilograms/hectare) has taken place in the productivity of rice (Table 3. 3. Therefore.. Wheat and oilseeds are loosing their importance in the agricultural economy of the district which is clear from the very slow growth of their both area and production.3. located in the eastern part of the district. Potato is another important crop of the region which is characterized by the very high rate of increase in both the production (18 per cent per annum) and productivity (582 kilograms/hectare per annum). successful land reforms in th(~ late 1970s and early 1980s.early 1990s (Webster. shallow and submersible tubewells in the late 1980s and early 1990s together. 1999). sufficient surface and underground water and the favourable climate provided the ideal basis fiJr the development of agriculture in the region. In a nutshell it can be said that agricultural development of the district has progressed much due to the IADP programme in the 1960s. Therefore. While.20 per cent whereas the production has increased by 165 per cent.rice producing area has increased by 37.407 kilograms/hectare) is also highest among the three rice crops. and lastly the expansion of private irrigation by deep. it is the dry season boro paddy cultivation enable by shallow tube wells which has been the real base for the rapid growth in foodgrain production in the district in the 1980s and .3).ed with improved seeds and fertilizer use.

5 million tonnes).51 168.697.0 8.1 03. Burdwan and Memari-Il occupy first.02 1'751. rice in the region over a period of ten years ( 1986-'87 to 1996-'97).4: Trend of Rice Production in the Region. Table 3.239.43 2.945.5).5) 70 .4 3. The productivity of rice has also increased by 295 kilograms per hectare during this period.5 2.555.874 million tonnes in 1996-'97. Among the eleven blocks in the region Monteswar.71 thousand hectares in 1986-'87.43 million tonnes in 1986-'87 to 8.249. wheaL oil seeds etc. aman has the major share (5. the region has a cropping intensity of 183 per cent which is much higher than the district average of 163 per cent.4 million tonnes) and aus (521. At present. rice production ofthe region increased to a large extent.116.tiOJ! in Mi!lion tonnes and Pr~ductiv_ity in ~ilogram/hectare) 1996-'97 1986-'87 Area Production Productivity Area Production Productivity Rice 252.34 565.0 thousand hectares in 1996-'97 from 252.3 Aus 12.850.116.874 2.322. The gross area of rice cultivation has become 3. In the production of rice.101. Bureau of Applied Economics and Statistics Table 3.4 3.21. that is. (Table 3.06 3.4 explains the agricultural performance of the main crop.8 5. As a consequence of areal increase the production of rice has increased from 755. are predominant!! cultivated in the region. Now we can analyze the blockwise pattern of production in the region (Table 3.35 208.814.71 755.of private shallow and submersible pumps has made extensive cultivation of horo crop possible.5 Source: District Statistical Handbook. Food crops like rice. Pro~uc.79 3.21 1. second and third rank in the production ofrice.1 million tonnes) followed by boro (3. rice is the most significant one because of its major share in the production scenario of the region.2 Boro 59.1 2.35 2. potato.2 Aman 180. Among the different food crops. As a result.531. Both the area and production of rice have increased spectacularly over the last ten years.103. 1986-'87 to 1996-'97 (Area in '000 _hectar_e.86 22.81 961.8 5.

9 million tonnes.8 517.8 0._.6 84.. ----Oil seed Wheat Potato Boro Blocks A us A man Rice _______ -~~~--- ._..8 58.6 0..3 9..5 3...8 Memari-I 561. 1973a. .2 12. .4 7.3 million tonnes of wheat are produced in the region annually (1996-'97).614.6 866 59. 1971...7 0.5 9..__ ..2 b 53. 1987: Singh.5 119.4 873.0 b 10._ . Chakraborty. ---··~ ~·•w b . .088.·.5 5. Kumar and Yadav.•..-- -------- . -· ..2 0.. .7 324. _ _ _ _ Table 3. Lal.3 186.. -· Source: District Statistical Handbook.~ ....0 920..5 2. ~- Q-· ~-~.6 b 559. Memari-I and Memari-II block occupy the second and third ranks in the production of potato in the region.1 143. .5 74.. - - - - - ~ ..239. with an annual production of 7467. .Less than 50 tonnes of production Potato.0 473.3 491. 1994: Eswaran and KotwaL 1994 etc.4 17. Rao.9 165.____ .. _ ..5 314.·-----.1 205. .) being treated as a major cause and effect of many crucial problems.8 1. Jamalpur and Memari-II blocks than the others.5:Production of Different Food Crops in the Region...103.8 3. 3. . Dandekar and Rath. .2 97..6 481.764.3 443.1 3.-.5 521. It forms the subject matter of core concern in several studies and reports in India especially since 1970s (Minhas.2 0.473. . . .2 4. Mellor. ~--. .6 127. ..3 42.5 Raina-I 862. ·---..4 363.-·.6 681. .7 34.7 145. .-. _ - .0 Jamalpur 584.5 53.0 b 10. . rural development was viewed from an integrated perspective in which the objective of agricultural development was interwined 71 . . 1976..2 762.4 105. Poverty Alleviation Poverty appears to be the most conspicuous characteristic of rural India.-----·-_. --.9 Memari-IT 1. .6 1. . 1994.41 per cent ofthe n::gion's production.6. 1970.. . Only 8.467.8 million tonnes) in the region with slightly higher level of production in Burdwan. Wheat production in the region has been replaced with the increase in the cultivation of potato. Oil seed production too is very limited (186.-.1 Khandoghosh 848. 1994..7 Ausgram-I 423.__ .311. ~ - . In the early years of planning in India... In the production of potato Jamal pur block is the highest contributor with 50.8 268. _ .7 521. . 1996-'97 (Production in million tonnes) . .-~~ ~--J~- -- Burdwan 1.5 8. has become the second most important crop in the region.864 .-.8 7.8 Bhatar Monteswar Region 8.8 20.5 340.9 Gals i-II 702.0 208.. Bureau of Applied Economics and Statistics "- - u • • ..9 8..6 104.5 b 657.8 292.

The rise in farm employment has been very slow in relation to the growth of agricultural output in the period leading to the insufficient percolation of benefits to the poor from agricultural growth (Rao. After a period of 10 to 15 years it was realized that the programmes of agricultural development have failed to make a sizeable dent on poverty. Poorer farmers were less willing to adopt new technology also because it was perceived by them to be more risky. In the first five-year plan the major thrust was on the programmes of agricultural development with a view that a sustained process of agricultural growth could lead to a decline in the incidence of rural poverty through significant changes in the product and labour markets in favour of the poor (Ghosh. while it would merely be a temporary and minor setback for a rich farmer (Eswaran and Kotwal. priority was given to the strategy popularly called 'direct attack' on poverty through beneficiary-oriented programmes. centrali?11tion of decisionmaking process and human suffering (Sharma and Malhotra. the poor and illiterate small and marginal farmers have continued with the traditional techniques for longer periods of time. 1994).with the goals of poverty eradication and reduction of social and economic inequalities. A crop failure with a new. On the other hand.wage 72 . capital-intensive and unfamiliar technology may be devastating to a poor peasant. To improve the situation. Thus a clear dichotomy was established between programmes of agricultural development and those for poverty alleviation since the mid-sixties especially with the launching of the new technology in agriculture. The Intensive Agricultural District Programme (IADP) was introduced in Burdwan in 1960s when it was selected as one of the sixteen IADP districts in India. The new HYV seedfertilizer-irrigation-pesticides-improved implements package was only adopted by large and rich literate farmers because of its higher level of knowledge requirement and high capital investment (Eswaran and Kotwal. 1998). 1994). Therefore. Higher amount of capital investment was thus another important fuctor inhibiting poorer farmers to adopt the new technok•gy. These poverty alleviation programmes can be put into two categories . a number of poverty alleviation programmes were launched since the late seventies through centrally-sponsored schemes. because it took longer for them to familiarize with the workings of the new technology. full benefits oftechnological progress in agriculture were only gained by rich farmers who became wealthier. Adoption of this new technology in agriculture has helped to aggravate the social and economic inequalities leading to the marginalization of people. 1994). 1977). Thus owing to the insufficient percolation of benefits to the poor from agricultural growth and to the prevalence of widespread poverty in rural areas.

those living below the defmed poverty line in rural areas are identified and given assistance for acquisition of productive assets of appropriate skills for self-employment. scheduled ca~tes and schedulc~d tribes and other sections of population with annual income up to Rs. Yo I. landless agricultural and non-agricultural workers and unemployed young people mostly constitute the target groups of IRDP. There are separate schemes tor craftsmen. DRDA is running all these schemes successfully all over the district 73 .1. landless labourers. introduced in 1978. 3. According to the 1991 census 43.46 per cent ofthe total rural households in the district are below the poverty line. The DRDA started functioning since 1981. The: self-employment programmes assume greater significance for they alone can provide income to the rural poor on a sustainable basis. Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA) provide productive assets and employment to the poor for enabling them to attain permanently higher incomes and a better standard of living. Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) IRDP. is the single largest scheme for providing direct assistance to the rural poor and is meant for the poorest among the poor. selfemployment programmes like Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP).employment programmes and self-employment programmes. Rural Landless Employment Generation Programme (RLEGP) were in operation in the first four years of the Seventh Plan ( 1985-'89). 11. which in turn should generate enough income to enable the beneficiaries to rise above the poverty line (Eighth Five Year Plan. The small and marginal farmers. scheduled castes and tribes (backward class population) rural artisans. recorded barKadars and patta-holders. On the other hand. II). the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) is the central authority to implement all sorts of rural development programmes especially those meant for poverty alleviation all over the district.6.25 acres of irrigated land). The DRDA has introduced numerous schemes including 45 principal schemes and 82 subsidiary assistance schemes under IRDP. In Burdwan. physically handicapped. Following the central government guidelines numerous poverty alleviation schemes have been adopted and imple:mented by the DRDA to reduce the percentage of households living below poverty line (BPL). Here we shall analyze a few important schemes. women and children.000 (as per the VIII plan). Important wage employment programmes like National Rural Employment Programme (NREP). small and marginal farmers (farmers owning up to 1. Under this scheme. In 1989 these two programmes were merged into a single wageemployment programme called Jawahar Rozgar Yojona (JRY). their progress and roles in the reduction of rural poverty in the district as well as in the region.

lnspite of the successful implementation of lRDP programmes during the last 20 years. Fishery. supply.81. Greater attention wil~ therefore. programmes done by independent research institutions also suggest that the IRDP was quite successful in terms of providing incremental income to poor families. Agriculture. According to a recent report prepared by Deepa Narayan. During the period of 1980 to 1998 about 3. The experience in the implementation of this programme has shown that provision of assets in itself cannot guarantee income unless the asset matches with the traditional skill and other endowments of the household on the one hand and demand. the percentages of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe families are 52. higher level of awareness and information of different development schemes extended by Continuing Education Centres.43 per cent of families lying blow poverty line have been assisted by the different schemes under IRDP in the whole district among which 70.10 respectively (out of a proportional representation 74 . Giovanna Prennushi and others on behalf of Reserve Bank. In Burdwan district. Swaminathan ( 1990) claimed that in terms of allocation of resources. there is a significantly higher degree of leakage to persons outside the target group.with the help of a wide network of panchayat samitis. gram panchayats and several other government departments like Animal Resource. On the other hand.72 and 8. 1994).611 (21. and infrastructural characteristics of the area on the other (Alagh. 1989) and the number of households able to cross the poverty line was relatively small (Kumar. 946 beneficiaries from 61. have to be paid on the selection of viable schemes. Irrigation. meeting the credit and raw material requirements and marketing needs of the beneficiaries. Small and Cottage industry and so on. the rate of poverty reduction in India has dramatically slowed down in the last decade. the overall progress is much below the desired level.41 per cent) are women. the main factors lying beneath the relatively higher level of progress of IRDP programmes in comparison to other districts are: higher level of literacy. Here the objective is not the mere purchase of land. The fmdings of different evaluation studies of IRDP. out of the total beneficiary families from diflerent IRDP schemes. 1994). Gaiha (1991) suggests that in general the incremental incomes are not large enough to enable the poor to cross the poverty thresholds. The latest addition in the long list of IRDP schemes is the scheme for land purchase which is an important step in eradicating poverty. a well-organized panchayat system and relatively developed banking infrastructure including 22 banks with its 254 branches involved in IRDP. However. The fulfilment of the objectives of any land-based IRDP scheme is the main concern. its operational deficiency could not yield the expected resuhs (Kuriyan.

• lack of marketing infrastructure. • various leakages and flaws in the execution of these programmes.2. • lack of workshed for the craftsmen.700 in 1997-'98 (DRDA. Training of Rural Youth for Self Employment (TRYSEM) Lack of proper training of the beneficiaries to develop the skill necessary for successful implementation of IRDP programmes has been noted to be a significant drawback of the IRDP. and • selection of non-viable scheme to both the beneficiary and the area. 2. The major causes behind the slow progress ofiRDP schemes in the district as outlined by DRDA are as follows: • lack of proper knowledge and training of the beneficiaries.6. To provide the maximum benefit of IRDP schemes to them.22 per cent respectively in the total population of the district). just following the introduction of IRDP to provide technical skills and to upgrade the traditional skills of rural youth belonging to families below the poverty line.of 27. • inadequate financial support. In spite of these drawbacks. ln the year of 1996-'97 the number ofundisbursed cases were 9. As a 75 . Average ' government investment per family has steadily increased from only Rs. 12._ ope of the programme was expanded to include wage employment for the trained beneficiaries (Kumar and Yadav. A huge number of cases remain pending for disbursement with the banks each year. However.882 in 1997-'98.330 in 1980-'81 to Rs. L •. in 1987. Later. in spite of the success of IRDP schemes it should be mentioned that the DRDA has never achieved their annual target of development projects since its introduction in 1980 in the district.44 and 6. the contribution ofiRDP programmes in the assistance of poorer people is rather significant in the district. • poor recovery of bank-loan from the beneficiaries. To ameliorate this lacuna TRYSEM was introduced in 1979. • lack of price prote1::tion and demand ofthe products. 1994 ). further integration and co-ordination among different government departments and officials and the generous help and motivation of panchayat bodies have to be sought. 1998).538 which increased to 9. 3. Its aim was to enable the rural youth to take up self-employment ventures in different spheres across sectors by giving them assistance under the IRDP.

V. However. TRYSEM has an initial target to train at least 40 youths per block of th(~ country every year. bicycle.supplementary training programme of IRDP. repairing of pumpset. priority was given to scheduled caste. raido. In spite of its grand success the DRDA. The types of activities on which training programmes run in our study region include mushroom cultivation. the formalization of TRYSEM was done by DRDA in the year of 1993 when a number of training institutes run by lx>th government and other reputed private organizations came forward to impart training under different sectors of activities in the district. one in Burdwan-I block. that is. Since the introduction of TRYSEM in 1980 the district authority has been able to provide training to 16. Among the total trained beneficiaries 22. which can be considered as an important advancement of this scheme. All these activities have some positive impact on the everyday life of rural communities. 76 . However. and motorcycle.89 per cent to scheduled tribe and 29. three are located :at Burdwan town. DRDA has been able to achieve and in fact exceed the desired targets.58 per cent belongs to scheduled caste. kantha stich (embroidery). bakery and electrical welding. scheduled tribe communities and women. is facing some problems to run the TRYSEM m Burdwan region. in 1994-'95 and 1995'96 they could achieve 54 per cent and 97 per cent of their targets respectively (DRDA 1998). Among these 8 centres. 3. and can be outlined as follows: • :severe shortage of funds to run the training programmes (as mentioned by the DRDA).956 rural youth up to 1997-'98. knitting. Some of these problems are inherent to the nature of government developmental initiatives. one at Guskara Municipality. • lack of motivation of unemployed people and hence sufficient number of trainees (at least ten) to rw1 training programmes. In the district of Burdwan TRYSEM was introduced as early as 1980. 1 in Monteswar block and the last one in Khandaghosh block. carpentry. poultry farming. 1996-'97 and 1997-'98.25 per cent to the women group. tape and T. sewing. The recently established Rural Technology Centre ofthe University ofBurdwan has begun to extend its generous help in organizing TRYSEM. electric waring. During the last two years. In this scheme. one in Bhatar block. At present 21 government institutions and 5 other private training centres are actively engaged in providing training to the poor rural youth in the age group of 18 to 35 years. 8 out of 21 in the district training institutes are providing training to the rural youth. repairing. In our study region.

and • lack of integration between IRDP and TRYSEM. Inspite of the above-mentioned problems TRYSEM is running better in Burdwan than other government-initiated programmes (in that it has been able to achieve the target). The list of candidates could not reach the training centres due to the lack of coordination among the panchayat samitis. Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA) A gender perspective was added to the IRDP with DWCRA in the year 1982-'83 with its introduction as a pilot project in 50 districts of India. Much more initiative from the DRDA. In emphasizing the need to build up women organizations at the grass root level. The development of awareness of environment and society. 3. low female literacy and high inf~mt mortality (GOI. and knowledge of the laws for women among the poor women is another important 77 .3. panchayat samitis and gram panchayats and better coordinations among them is required to make the programme an ultimate success to alleviate poverty. No individual enterprise is entertained under the programme of DWCRA. health and education are community endeavours. Poor people of the rural areas of the region are not properly informed about the opportunities through this training programme. As Burdwan district is comparatively advanced. DWCRA hopes to integrate women into the cow1try's development process. DWCRA encompasses health and educational aspects of women and children. • lack of care and initiative of the panchayats to recommend the name of the TRYSEM trained persons to help them avail ofiRDP schemes. Apart from the economic objectives. 1996).6.• lack of initiative of the panchayats to encourage rural youth to join this training. it was not chosen for DWCRA projects at that time. The criteria for selection of those districts were general backwardness. thereby minimising the opportunity for exploitation. By their very nature. DWCRA aims at income generation for women living below poverty line through group economic activities. • each training centre is rWl by the candidates from several panchayat samitis. They aim to bring about a sense of common awareness and oneness of purpose. • high rate of drop out among the trainees.

aspect of DWCRA. puffed rice making.'98 the programme covered 24 blocks of the district including the 11 blocks covering the entire study region. Memari-1 and Ausgram-I blocks of our study region are among those 10 blocks chosen in the district. 1996). The DWCRA scheme.524 women. 1997): • to organize rural poor women in order to improve the quality of life of the women and children lying below poverty line: • to make the rural women aware of the legal assistance specially meant for women. The gram sebilw (a female employee of the block office) motivates the rural poor women to form 78 . The basic objectives of DWCRA can be outlined as follow (GOWB.. In our study region 99 DWCRA groups have been formed with a number of 1. 18 is found in both Raina-1 and Jarnalpur blocks. • to improve the economic condition of poor women by enhancing their skill and extending self-employment schemes. Raina-I. In the initial stage only 10 rural blocks of the district were arbitrarily selected to extend this scheme. scheduled tribe and rural craftsmen families. six per cent and seven per cent of the total DWCRA members are from scheduled caste. The construction ofworkshed for the DWCRA groups is complete for 63 groups (DRDA. in spite of its early introduction in West Bengal (in 1983-'84 in the districts of Bankura and Purulia). • to make them aware of the different developmental schemes. bidi (indigenous cigarette) making. The total number of DWCRA groups formed in the district up to 1997-'98 is 260 including 3. The rest seven blocks have on an average four or five groups due to their late introduction of DWCRA programme. According to a survey done by the DRDA in 1996 on 117 DWCRA groups. Each and every group is consisted of at least 10 to 15 me~mbers living in the same village and having same socio-economic status. Ausgram-1 and Khandaghosh blocks have 16 and 15 number of groups respectively. poultry farming. jute-based fancy product-making. Jamalpur. that is. was launched in Burdwan as late as 1991-'92.424 members. In the year of 1997. bamboo works. The types of activities running successfully by the different DWCRA groups are kantha stich. weaving. and making of paper bags and other handicrafts. mushroom cultivation. Khandaghosh. 46 per cent. Among these 260 DWCRA groups 82 have been trained by the TRYSEM programme to develop their skill. and • to improve health and environmental awareness among poor women. The highest number of groups.

000 from the DRDA and start the chosen economic activity. The leader of the group is elected by the members of that group. For providing marketing infrastructure to the consumer products of DWCRA groups.O. According to the 1996 report of DRDA. a shop called 'Sathi' has been started in 'Spandan' complex of Burdwan town. lack of cohesion among members of the groups. In the absence of requisite integration and co-ordination among the different governmental agencies engaged in poverty alleviation with their different and often conflicting objectives. The other sources of capital necessary for the activities of the group are matching grant from DRDA (the same amount of self-deposit fund). skill of the member. 1994).. duplication and wastage of resources (Singh. to the observed reduction in poverty in Burdwan region has been more or less significant. DRDA through discussions with the group members on raw material availability. marketing infrastructure for pt:rishable food items like milk produced by the DWCRA groups is yet to develop. The integration of DWCRA with associated schemes like IRDP and TRYSEM should lx: improved further. Lack of access road especially in the rainy season is another severe problem restricting their connection to the market faced by some DWCRA groups. There are aL'io records of members leaving the group. The selection of activity is done by either the gram sebika or the project officer of Women Development (P. TRYSEM etc. After creating a substantial thrift fund they get the revolving fund ofRs. inability to identify activities that could generate sustained incomes. W. lack of workshed. the DRDA has never been able to achieve the target.D). However. DWCRA. Though the number of DWCRA groups formed is rising steadily. 15. bank loan and the government grant. However. despite these inefficiencies. about 20 per cent of the total groups have become non-operational. financing. Moreover. Therefore. lack of marketing infrastructure. there is a lot of unnecessary overlapping. the contribution of poverty alleviation programmes such as IRDP. further attention should be paid to the development of infrastructure under the IRDP.a group and start making a thrift fund through their limited capacities of saving. The causes of groups becoming defunct and withdrawal of membership should be analyzed to check such trend. The chief problems associated with the DWCRA schemes are lack of initiative among the panchayat members to motivate rural poor women to form groups. 79 .. the expected increase in assets formation through poverty alleviation programmes did not materialize due to various leakages and inefficiencies in the execution of these programmes (Rao. In spite of its initial success the progress of the DWCRA scheme in the district of Burdwan is still far from satisfactory. and above all of all non-viable fund. marketing and other infrastructure. 1986).

Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) The multiplicity of programmes. A self-help group is a collection of rural poor who have volunteered to organize themselves into a group for improving the standard of living ofthe members. the government oflndia has decided to restructure the self-employment programmes. Although provision had been made for expenditure on infrastructure. A new programme known as Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) has been launched from April. development of proper infrastructure and marketing support is highly emphasized in the SGSY.3. and the implementation was more concerned with achieving individual programme-targets rather than focussing on the issue of sustainable income generation (GOI. storage or marketing. 1999) that the poor beneficiaries cannot sustain the loss arising out of a lack of market even for short periods. technology. the self-employment programmes concentrated on the inputs rather than the outputs and their marketing. credit. The beneficiaries of the SGSY can be either individual or groups. 1999). so as to enable the swarozgaris (sclf-employcds) to derive the maximum advantage from their investment. However. Proper infrastructure is essential for the success of micro-enterprises. There was an absence of desired linkages among these programmes. under which the rural poor are organized into Self-Help Groups (SHG). Traditionally. resulted in a lack of proper social intermediation. quality testing. the available skill and the market. Lack of proper infrastructure and marketing support were noted to be the significant inefficiencies faced in the progress of self-employment programme. This is a holistic programme covering all aspe. processing. the investments did not necessarily correspond to the needs of the self-employed. in rural India.4.6. SGSY will seek to ensure tha1t the infrastructure needs for the identified activities are met in full. 80 . experience shows (GOI. Therefore. The choice of activity must be governed by the possibilities that exist on the resource of the area. The infrastructure may be either fiJr production. being viewed as separate programmes in themselves. The recommendation of an activity was not proceeded by the much needc~d market survey. SGSY puts more emphasis on the observed drawbacks of the prior poverty alleviation programmes especially the IRDP. But SGSY lays emphasis on the group approach. infrastructure and marketing. 1999. To rectify the situation.cts of self-employment such as the organization of poor people into self-help groups and their training. Besides the general infrastructure SGSY puts thrust on marketing support which is observed to be essential f(>r any goods or services produced by the beneficiaries.

water supply. 1990. sanitation. 1987) the impact of infrastructure on growth is substantia4 significant and frequently greater than that of investment in other forms of capital in India. intermediate inputs to production. market. According to a number of recent mainstream economics research reports on infrastructure and public investment (see for example Shah. telecommunication. irrigation. Transport. Infrastructural Development The development of infrastructure is an essential component of rural development. in genera~ there can be a good potential for value-added items such as cleaned and packaged food items. Infrastructure includes all things provided by the government which directly or indirectly promote productive activities (Kumar. it can strengthen rural-urban linkage thus giving the urban centre and its surrounding rural areas a nature of well-integrated functional region. housing and water supply. Elison and Martin. nutrition. social infrastructure broadly includes education. Rural haats (periodic markets) can also play a significant role. Costa. 3. irrigation. Now we 81 . Without the expansion of transportation network no development can take place in isolation. The former consists of transport (roads. SGSY considers that the selection of key activities must be on the basis of an assured market. 1989. Krugmann. power. waterways and ports) electricity. 1988. 1994). They work as direct. railways. and improvement in these inputs in any geographical location attracts flows of additional resources. Their contribution in improving productive activity.7. Among the different aspects of infrastructure. is no less important. The survey of the market opportunities should be done both in rural and urban areas. An analysis of the urban markets would reveal the consumer preferences and the potential for the rural enterpreneurs.Therefore. child care. Depending on the nature of input services. processed fruit and vegetables etc. Porter. Aschawer. 1988. consumer tastes and demands are more changeable and elastic than rural. in1rastructure can be: broadly divided into two types: physical and social (Ghosh and De. Elhance and Lakshamanam. Lucas. in urban areas. health. In addition. education and urban services are considered important elements of infrastructure. health. 1991. 1992. The provision of marketing infrastructure in urban areas can go a long way in enabling the rural poor to market their goods in Burdwan. On the other hand. aviation. although indirect in some cases. In the urban areas. 1998). recreation and banking and various forms of financial assistance/fucilities. transport is the most vital element as it plays a crucial role in the development of any region.

relative agricultural prosperity and such other factors. Our study region has :a well-integrated road network.7. 1996) . The arterial roads of the region have formed a radial pattern with the Burdwan town at a nodal point providing ideal urban market for agricultural surplus.can analyzt: the level and role of some infrastructure in the development of rural areas of our study region.25 kilometre per square kilometre for surfaced and unsurfaced roads respectively. the farmers of a region with good infrastructural fu(:ilities may be in a better position to utilize their limited land resources than those of region where infrastructure is inadequate (Ram. To serve the numerous villages located in between the arterial roads. 1994). Among these three. The region has an average bus route of 7 per each rural development block (Table 3. The Ajay river also provides ferry service at two places in Ausgram and Monteswar blocks. Transport Transport network for rural development is constituted of three elements waterways. and the Damodar river. road networks and railway lines. a high density of population. the singlemost important is the G. This town bus network \\-ith 28 routes and 41 buses is operating efficiently to provide a significant infrastructure for development of the rural counterpart of the region (Samanta and LahiriDutt. road network plays the most significant role in agriculture as well as in rural development. an integrated system of town bus network has been developed recently. Burdwan has gradually become well-connected by buses with other parts of the state. ln fuct. The road density of the region is 0. 1984). The Eastern Railway main line passes through the central part of the region in an east-west direction. 82 . 3.24 kilometre and 0. Owing to the physical uniformity of the plain. road running from southeast to northwest across the region.T. still provides ferry services at 27 points (Table 3. The role of transport infrastructure in agricultural development has increased several times especially after the introduction ofHYV technology in the 1960s (Bajpai.1. Among these highways.6) across it over the region. major waterway in the past.6) -quite a high figure for India.

-..13 6 Bhatar 59 25 0..16 0. -.25 0. -... 83 . The productivity of any crop now directly depends on the availability of irrigation water at the right time.27 9 l Memari-11 70 51 0.30 7 Burdwan-I 103 23 0.34 0. The rest nine blocks have an unsurfaced road density varying between 0. -.29 6 Galsi-11 69 99 0...41 0.43 0.45 kilometre per square kilometre of area..-------.2.-----~ --~-~---··-- 5 29 Table 3.. ....07 kilometre per square kilometre) density of surfaced road.07 0. Irrigation Irrigation is a significant aspect of rural infrastructure as it has become the prime factor of the development of agriculture with the introduction of new technology. Among the eleven rural development blocks.... Source: District Statistical Handbook.. Burdwan-1 has the highest (0...Density of roads per Number Road length (kilometre) Number of square kilometre of bus ferry services route Surfaced Unsurfaced Surfaced Unsurfaced . ------. 1995 .19 0....06 0.6 gives the detailed blockwise transportation infrastructure of the region.24 0.. . -~ ~- -~ ~·-··-· """~··-·- ---~--- ~ ~----~· ------~- -~------- Ausgram-I 16 68 0.7..25 6 5 Jamal pur 51 119 0.. "" Name of block Table 3.34 0.10 and 0.-. 3. . -. On the other hand.10 6 Burdwan-II 10 23 0.47 kilometre per square kilometre) and Bhatar block ha<> the lowest (0.06 kilometre per square kilometre) density of unsurfaced roads.41 kilometre per square kilometre.6: Transportation Infrastructure of the Region..07 and 0.47 5 Khandaghosh 88 62 0.25 Region -- .33 0.06 10 Monteswar 48 61 0.24 7 2 Raina-I 65 63 0.""-· -· .07 0. Bureau of Applied Economics and Statistics - ---- ··- -. The density of surfaced road of the other nine blocks varies between 0.20 6 649 649 0. Galsi-II block has the highest (0. .43 kilometre per square kilometre) and Burdwan-II has the lowest (0.45 4 12 Memari-1 70 55 0. ----· -··-· ---.

44 2.92 46. .74 0.-~-~~~"" _. Galsi-II block has the highest level (94.· ·· 1.77 48.10 32.itiS!icai-i1~<fuOOCs~..38 33.86 1.58 8.60 Memari-11 85.16 84.77 54.59 0.54 --.82 36.31 0.ca.In Burdwan district.~-~~•·•-<>-.82 .53 0. The above table gives a detailed picture of the public irrigation infrastructure existing in the region.92 Burdwan-1 Burdwan-ll Bhatar Monteswar ------ Region ---- ------- 87.58 2.•-~·-.61 41.84 1.33 0..~ff.42 1.~·-•·•-- Blocks .05 per cent ofthe net-cropped area are irrigated during khar!f.62 23..20 8...97 16..75 0.58 34.54 40.71 Memari-1 85.61 per cent.46 32. About 87. The proportion of net sown area under irrigation was relatively high in the pre-plan period.-.79 21.68 44.69 0.15 90. 41.. Burdwan district has the highest length of canal network in West Bengal providing irrigation water to 79.90 3.92 78.:Wiied-&o~~. irrigation infrastructure has always been better developed in comparison to other districts of West Bengal since the historic times. In the Post-independence period Damodar Valley Corporation with its integrated <:anal network started to serve the region..46 6.59 18.54 per cent) of irrigation in kharif season and Jamalpur has the highest level of irrigation for both rabi (74.81 1.82 41..~iCC:-oistric:ist.. -·.86 30. .75 0.73 79.46 per cent and 39.35 Gals i-II 94.·- --- 17.05 0. In other blocks 84 ..08 89.31 26.21 39. private means of irrigation in the form of shallow and submersible pumps have started to proliferate in the region specially to facilitate the cultivation of boro crop in winter.28 78.43 Khandaghosh 91.01 26.21 Raina-! 90.10 93..~--·-·-·~-~····-·"'-••~· Percentage of net cropped area under i"igation '" ···-- -··•·•-··•-r••"~·-·•- ••" -·· • ----~··••• Percentage of irrigated area by different sources Kharif Rabi Summer Canal Tank Ausgram-1 76.67 19.s·am1·siatisti~ ~-. rabi and summer seasons respectively. Since the 1970s.71 27.05 &.33 per cent of agricultural fields.65 0.86 0.15 0.73 60.93 33. The introduction of modem canal irrigation took place in the region in 1881 with the construction of Eden Canal.37 92.02 1.~.06 Jamalpur 80.. 1996-'97 •··~•~•• ·-~-~->-v.7: Public Irrigation Infrastructure of the Region..99 74. During the Mughal period the region had a well-developed indigenous system of overflow irrigation.73 2.46 -------- 39.. 71 per cent) crops.86 1.19 73.28 per cent) and summer (78.12 58.07 75. Table 3.18 66.31 1.81 0.18 89.Ic.51 0.81 0.51 93.25 0.22 9.25 River lift irrigation Deep tube-well SRW 4.87 80.50 0.

Deep tube well irrigates only 1. this extension of private irrigation has developed a water monopoly of submersible owners who either sell water or take others' (mainly small and marginal farmers) plots of land in the command area on a thika contract. the National Development Council reviewed the role of rural electrification and directed the rural electrification programmes should be oriented towards providing electric power to pumpsets with a view to assisting the programmes for augmenting agricultural production (Daya . Electrification The importance of electrification as a significant infrastructure of rural development was not given much priority in the early years of planning. numerous shallow and submersible pumps have developed in the region under private enterpreneurship.7. This huge extension of private irrigation has resulted in a remarkable increase in the rice production and productivity. rmal electrification has acted as a catalyst in helping the farmers to adopt more HYV seeds to intensify the cropping pattern and also to shift towards cashearning crops (Surupa. 1971 ). increasingly affecting the distribution of benefits occurring from higher agricultural production and eroding small producer's basis of that success of which the LFG is justifiably so proud' ( 1999. 350). canal network occupies the prime position with 79. share of canal irrigation varies between 54 . p.92 and 60. 3.07 per cent of the net cropped area. Besides the public irrigation infrastructure. 85 . 1989). This trend of using underground water has developed to a large extent specially in the 1980s.84 per cent.92 percent oftotal irrigated area respectively.54 per cent of the irrigated area whereas the share of SRW becomes 17.3.82 per cent.81 and 0. Among the different sources of public irrigation.irrigation for rabi crop varie:s between 26. During the first three plans the programmes of rural electrification were severely neglected (Ram. 74 and 93.33 per cent of the total irrigated area in the region. 1994). Tank and river lift irrigation have lost significance and provide only 0. At the block level. Since then.46 per cent of the net cropped area whereas irrigation for summer crop varies between 6.7) it is quite clear that the public irrigation infrastructure of the region is still dominated by canal irrigation .67 and 48. In the year 1966. From the percentage share of different sources irrigation (Table 3. Webster thinks this 'waterlordism creeps onwards. However.

A high level of rural electrification has opened up immense facilities for the development of minor irrigation specially shallow and submersible private tube wells. the lack of marketing infrastructure for the 86 .Table 3. the farmer has recognized the importance of the market to sell their increased surplus produce.043 97 Blocks Burdwan-I Burdwan-Il Region (Total) Number of villages 72 The above table describes the level of rural electrification in the region as very high (97 per cent of villages). 1996-'97 Percentage of villages electrified Ausgram-1 58 Number of villages electrified 42 Galsi-11 73 73 100 Khandaghosh 106 103 97 Raina-I 1I I 11 1 100 Jamalpur 121 118 98 Memari-1 114 114 100 Memari-11 103 101 98 148 141 95 Bhatar 104 104 100 Monteswar 136 136 100 1.074 1.4. 3. The only exception is Ausgram-I of which 72 per cent villages are electrified. However.8: Level of Rural Electrification in the Region. With the help of this extension of irrigation the agricultural production and productivity has increased. Among the eleven rural development blocks of the region five are totally electrified and five are 95 to 98 per cent electrified. Rural electrification has also facilitated the development of agro-processing units like rice mills and cold storages and different trade and servicing activities which together have accentuated the rural development ofthe region. Increased accessibility in the region has extended the marketability of agricultural products to a large extent.7. With successful introduction of the 'new technology' in agriculture. Market The development of fitcilities for marketing the agricultural crops is an important constituent of the rural infrastructure. This can be considered as an important factor in the rural development of the region.

the region has quite a large number of rural haats (periodic markets) and rural market centres which play significant roles in providing marketing facilities in the region. Bhatar. Marketing infrastructures like marketing co-operatives.different products made by different DWCRA groups continues to remain a major hindrance (GOI. Raina. Shyarilsundar) are more or less distributed uniformly over the region (Figure 6.9: Periodic Markets of the Region Number of total periodic markets Vegetable market Ausgram-1 8 7 8 Galsi-1 6 5 5 Khandaghosh 4 4 3 Raina-1 4 6 6 Jamal pur 7 6 Memari-I 2 Memari-II 5 5 4 Burdwan-1 8 8 8 Burdwan-II 6 6 6 Bhatar 8 8 8 Monteswar 13 12 Region 74 68 Cattle market Once a week 3 6 Twice a week 4 2 II 10 64 sOurce: Pnmary official Statistics The Burdwan region has a total of74 periodic markets ofwhich 6 arc cattle haats and the rest 68 are engaged in vegetable marketing (Table 3. Nari. Seharabazar.5). government institutions to sell consumer goods is still very limited in the region. The marketing efficiency of periodic markets depends on its pattern of distribution in any region (Tamaskar. Satgachhia. Webber and Syamansk~ 1973 ). popularly called haats are also significant centres providing numerous opportunities for marketing the rural products.9). 1972). Kusumgram. Monteswar. Tabh~ Blocks 3. Banpas. Saktigarh. Sura. 1979. Vegetable haats are usually held 87 . Palla. Rural periodic markets also play significant role to bridge the wide gap between rural and urban economies by extending urban amenities into the rural one (Eighmy.. Thirteen rural market centres (Galsi. Besides poorly developed public infrastructure. 1999). The periodic markets. and provide marketing infrastructure.

The above table gives a blockwise picture of the level of health facilities in the region.000 population is 0.48 2. Table 3.92 0.79 0.. --- .00 in Galsi- 88 .54 1.68 1. marriage contacts.41 3. - "~ _.---·-·..35 4.-~...33 1.54 in the region with the highest of 1..21 4.--.76 0.51 Raina-I 0.. migration possibilities to local politics) to the villagers (Tamaskar.67 5.19 Burdwan-1 0.63 Jamal pur 0. opening for higher education.43 4.40 0..01 0. The average number of health centres per 20.60 1..19 3.61 Monteswar 0. ~ ~~- ..000 population) ._ .59 Memari-1 0. Health and Education Health and education together constitute significant social infrastructures for the development of any region.75 1. -~ -~-----~~-~-~ .. vocational courses. Cattle haats are usually held once in a week.47 4.24 2...35 0.10: Public Health Infrastructure of the Region.54 4.32 3. . .76 3.64 5..81 2.51 Khandaghosh 0.00 7. ·- --~ ··.53 0.56 4.33 0.30 3. 1996-'97 (Number of centres per 20.41 3.5.- Health centres Number of beds Number of doctors Veterinary centres Family welfare centres Ausgram-I 0. -~ ~--~-.76 Burdwan-II 0. 1984) and thus play important roles in rural-urban interaction. 3. The region has only one rural hospital located in Bhatar block.84 1.30 3. .--~ ·.95 0.84 Memari-II 0.67 2.57 7.55 0.41 3. Besides vegetables and cattle nearly all sorts of local rural products and external consumer goods are also sold in these periodic markets.17 0.69 2.50 3..57 3.62 Blocks Region --Source: Calculated from Official Ddta ..07 0.39 Bhatar 0..51 2.67 1.71 0... .06 0.7.. The improvement of these two infrastructures has played a significant role in bringing a new perspective in the region.54 3. These are not directly related to economic development but their indirect impact on the rural areas is immense.47 0.26 Galsi-II 1. These periodic markets often act as ·centres of diffusion' as they provide al1 sorts of information related to village life (from new job opportunities.twice a week with a few exception of once in a week.

67 0.27 52.02 0.44 in the 89 .62 centres per 20..48 1.. The highest level of primary education facility (20..17 0.91 0.31 0.13 0.000 population is 4.70 2.58 0.75 per 20. 68 public libraries and 3.51 65. The educational infrastructure.000 population.67 3. 38 higher secondary schools..65 1.03 0.07 in Ausgram-I block.95 2.. 172 secondary schools.52 0.48 0. ·- -~ ~· .95 1. 2.000 population) Middle schools Ausgram-I 18.01 1.01 0.51 0. ___ _.50 58.33 .70 0. The highest number of beds.41 Burdwan-II 11. including 1. secondary schools and higher secondary schools per 20.44 45..000 population on an average in the region with a highest of 1.79 per 20. 3 degree colleges. The average number of beds per 20.. Doctor-population ratio is 0.II block.07 Galsi-II 16...94 Memari-I 12.. The development of family welfare centres is more or less uniform along the all blocks of the region with an average of 3.000 population is 16.78 0.659 literacy centres.95 2._ -~~- ..__-.70 Jamalpur 15.40 0.67 Khandaghosh 18. ~-~ '~ -.74 1.23 0.24 43. ~ ·-·- 16.78 0.33 38.36 1.57 0..92 0. that is. Memari-II and Burdwan-1 blocks (above 2 per 20.71 1.32 0.56 2.84 Memari-II 20.95.81 Raina-I 17.02 Bhatar 15.36 0. The levels of veterinary treatment facilities are relatively higher in Khandaghosh..12 0.01 primary schools per 20.12 0. 7...16 0.~ ···~· ·-~ .67 Burdwan-I 14..69 34.48 38.000 population is 0. caters to the higher level educational attainment in the region.68 2.65 37..23 1.57 39.000 population) than the other blocks.17 2.. Secondary schools Literacy centres Public libraries ~~ Source: Calculated from Official Da1ta The average number of primary schools per 20.88 0.12 and 0...89 1.000 population) is found in Burdwan-II block. The average number of middle schools.95 Monteswar 18.347 primary schools.42 39.33 in the region.55.87 0.11: Educational Infrastructure oftbe Region..000 population is found in Bhatar block because ofthe existence of the rural hospital there.59 0.000 population) is found in Memari-II block and the lowest level (11.12 primary schools per 20.00 0. Table 3.29 1. 80 middle schools.21 50. 1996-'97 (Number of institute per 20.10 2.79 0.02 1.81 Region ··~ Higher secondary schools Primary schools Blocks .

Three degree colleges are also located in rural areas ofMonteswar. besides providing educational facilities. The rural-urban linkage in the region has become strengthened following expanding rural-urban accessibility and consequent mobility of both goods and people. Raina-! and Burdwan-II block besides four (three in Burdwan and one in Guskara town) degree colleges of urban centres.8. The surplus generated from the rural economy has also started lo flow towards urban areas. Summary In conclusion we can say that owing to favourable physical and historical factors rural development in the region has raised to a high level. Public libraries with an average of 0.11 ).1ent. it can be said that the rural development of the region has led to a higher degree of rural-urban interaction in the region. The development of rural areas has increased the need for market accessibility and urban amenities among the rural people.81 per 20. Mass literacy programme with an average 45. also develop general awareness about health and environment. This programme has extended educational awareness among the poor and illiterate folk of the: region to a large extent. health and educational facilities for the poor and backward classes. Infrastructural developments. 3. All these aspects of d~!velopment together have brought economic prosperity to the rural areas of the regiOn. At present post-literacy Continuing Education Centres (CEC) ar~! efficiently running the literacy programme among the poor nco-literates ofthe region.region (Table 3. 90 .32 literacy centres per 20. various poverty alleviation programmes. Poverty alleviation progranunes have been run quite successfully in alleviating the lot of the rural poor and backward classes. have also taken place to a significant e:x. which form the very basis of development of any region. legal assistance for the women etc. These CECs. Therefore.000 population (Table 3. The agricultural economy of the region has also been developed with the help of successful land reforms and adoption of technology package.11) in the early 90s added an important dimension of the educational infrastructure of the region.000 population are also an important element of educ:ational infrastructure of the region.

Hirschman. poverty alleviation etc. Data and Methodology The first point to note is the variables themselves. Friedmann. In this chapter. in general as they bear the impact of development and advancement of a society. The data used here is exclusively taken from census oflndia reports and handbooks pertaining to the year 1991. The question that arises now is: has the impact of these measurers lx::en even over the entire region? In this chapter.2. ln a micro-level study like ours. It is commonly assumed that the areas closer to the central urban point will have. 1957. Introduction In the preceeding chapter we had discussed the different aspects of development such as agrarian reform.CHAPTER IV REGIONAl SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS 4. The pattern of backwardness of the region has been studied with the help of indicators like percentage share of scheduled caste and scheduled trioc in the total population. 4. we will try to map the spatial patterns created by some socioeconomic indicators of development/backwardness. we have 91 . a higher level of economic development (Myrdal. due to some sort of spread effect. Besides such social indicators. the latest available date. Development often does not spread evenly over a region especially when an urban centre acts as its focus. In a specific study on the status of women in the society we have used social indicators like female literacy and female work participation. We have used both the social and economic indicators of development/backwardness selectively depending on the availability of the census data. agricultural and infrastructural improvement. as they have taken place in the region since late 1970s. If the theories of core-periphery contrasts or rural-urban disjunction in third world are valid.1. The social indicators of development used here are female-male ratio and literacy level. 1966). 1958. it is important to examine such spatial differences to help us reach a better understanding of the urban centre's role in regional economy. then the expected spatial pattern would reveal a distinct petering off of the values of the indicators of development and/or an increase in the values of the indicators of backwardness. we will enquire if the whol(~ region has been the recipient in equal measure of the benefits of development.

ln India. we had to make such a map from the scratch on the ba<>is of information gathered by us through surveys. panchayat samiti s at the blo<:k level. one full. based on the principle of democratic decentralization. This calls for a little bit of explanation. The methodology used here to show the patterns in the spatial distribution of different socio-economic indicators is a simple one of isopleth. Next point to note ic.as our unit of study in this chapter (Figure 4. To enable us to do this. This gives rise to the problem of data handling and manipulation.1930 by the colonial administration. lnf01mation on gram panchayat boundaries was collected from block and panchayatlevel elected representatives and officials. we have used block-level data collected from various secondary sources as well as some official data. In the previous chapter. the bow1dary of a village is not necessarily cotem1inous with the boundaries of one mouza.of the gram panchayat boundaries. pertaining to certain areas through which it passes. and the zilla parishads at the district level. Therefore. secondary and tertiary sectors of economy etc.the lowest of the three-tier system of local self-government . Isopleth is a line that represents a quantity or t::numeration assumed to be constant.studied the regional pattem of econormc variables like work participation. or parts or the wholes of several mouzas. The base mouza-level map was collected from 1971 Census Handbook ofBurdwan District. Therefore. Since the Stateinitiated developmental efforts refer to administrative boundaries. we had to adjust and match the census data to gram panchayat boundaries. the level of spatial/administrative units to which the data pertains. rural areas are administered by a complex system of local self-governments. Here. Personal surveys to these offices and to the field were made to fmd out the exact demarcation . The system comprises three-tiers of local self-governments with gram panchayats for the village level. which are revenue survey units set up in the long process of cadastral mapping during 1857. level of employment in primary. 1951 ). The census data pertains to individual mouzas. such as lines of equal density of population (Mackay.which mouzas comprised which gram panchayats . It was surprising that neither the government offices at various levels nor the elected representatives (or the political parties they belonged to) had a map showing the boundaries. we have chosen to use gram panchayats . following 92 .1 ). Article 40 of the Constitution of India directs the state to organize village panchayats as 'units of self government'. Each village can conogist of a part of. In this chapter we will go down to the gram panchayat (village council) level. Each tier is organically linked to the next higher tier by indirect election.


geographers have widely used this kind of measures in their studies. then every single state in the northern region is below this ideal and every single southern state is above it (Basu. Gosal. Krishnan and Chandna. is considered to be an important indicator in the socio-economic analysis of any region. The Female-Male Ratio (FMR). India is marked by an unbal<mced FMR (927 females per thousand males in 1991) with strong regional variations. Therefore. Female-Male Ratio (FMR) Conventionally. The FMR in India has practically declined from 972 in 1901 to 927 in 199 I. It is only in recent years it has come to be acknowledged that 'sex ratio' is an inadequate measure.) has been done to explain the various 94 . Even the state of West Bengal with the higher status of women in terms of literacy and work-participation among the northern states have a FMR of 917. 1971. 1991 ). Female-Male Ratio (FMR) is now more widely used than sex ratio to represent the proportion of women and men in society. If we assume as the census does. The balance of sexes affects the social and c~conomic relationships within a community. In contrast to the balanced FMR of the developed countries. female labour participation etc. Quite an array of studies (Bhutani. much lower than the India average (927) in 1991. 4. we are using the term 'isopleth' in its broadest sense to embrace all lines of quantity. but the measure was called 'sex ratio'. Franklin (1956) rightly observed that the ratio of females to males is an index of economy of an area and is a useful tool for regional analysis. measured in India as the number of female per thousand males. We have also used the method of simple interpolation in drawing the isopleth lines. Chandna. occupational structure. 1961 etc. that a FMR of 950 or above indicates a position of rdative equality. In FMR the number of females mcreases with the increase in the level of development of any country.Monkhouse and Wilkinson (1952). 1973. 1986. as it does not reflect gender positions within society. 1995. Another alarming feature of the FMR in India is its continuous decline in the proportion of females since 1901.3. Trewartha (1953) considered the analysis of such measures as fundamental to the regional analysis as it influences the other demographic elements significantly besides providing an additional means for analyzing the regional landscape. Shryock ( 11976) has also recognized the profound effect of the proportion of the two sexes upon the other demographic elements like population growth. Siddiqi and Ahmad.

However. the rural-urban differential in the FMR of our study region bears the characteristic of a developing t:conomy. 1991 Females per thousand males Number of gram panchayats Percent of gram panchayats Above 990 1 0.47 per cent) have a FMR varying between 930 and 960 which is fairly higher than both the national and state averages.1) we can explain the distribution pattern of FMR in the rural counterpart of our study region.47 900-930 16 14. 1951 ). The majority of gram panchayats (68. ln the developing countries like India the urban FMR is relatively lower than the rural one favouring male because of the economically motivated and male-dominated rural-urban migration pattern. On the other hand.41 930-960 76 68. In developed countries. but the rural-urban differential in FMR in the developed countries is just the opposite of what prevails in the developing world.1). Only one gram panchayat in Aus gram block has a FMR of 1002 favouring females. This rural-urban difference in FMR is a universal phenomenon (Davis. Thus.factors underlying the unbalanced FMR of India and its regional variations. males are more in number than the females in the countryside because of the technology-oriented farming practices which are masculine an occupation whereas females outnumber the males in urban areas (Chandna and Sidhu. Table 4.90 960-990 16 14. Another two gram panchayats have very low level (below 900) of FMR (Table 4. 1979).81 With the help of above table (Table 4. lower level of FMR (between 900 and 930) is noted in 14.41 per cent of gram panchayats. The rural areas of our study region have an average FMR of943 (as per 1991 census) which is much higher than both the India and West Bengal average.41 per cent of gram panchayats.41 Below 900 2 1. here we are going to analyze the pattern of FMR in our study region in the context of both India and West Bengal.1: Female-Male Ratio. Higher level (960 to 990) ofFMR is found in 14. 95 . It is also higher than the average urban FMR of the region (904 in 1991 ).

4. one in Khandaghosh block.ndaghosh block. is noted in Guskara-11 gram panchayat of Ausgram-1 block. four in Burdwan-II block and one in Monteswar block. occupations etc.53 per cent) in the area. 1986). the quality of human population of any soc:iety can be judged through its educational attainment (Kar and Sharma. On the other hand. Paratal-1 and Jarogram in Jarnalpur block. The highest level of FMR that is. Literacy plays a crucial role in eradicating poverty besides influencing several demographic factors like fertility.2).4. two in Galsi-II block. Levels of Literacy Literacy is considered as a fairly reliable index of socio-economic and cultural advancement of any region (Kar.To analyze the spatial pattern ofFMR over the entire rural area of the region we have prepared an isopleth map showing FMR values (Figure 4. Some of these 16 panchayats are located near the Burdwan town whereas others are located at a distance from the town. mobility. mortality. Again.2). Debipur and Daluaibazar in Memari-I block. The high or low level of FMR is found scattered over the entire region without any pattern of distribution on the map. 1996. The rest of the gram panchayats mentioned above have a FMR varying between 930 and 960 which can be considered relatively higher in respect of national and state average. Nabastha-I and Bohar-II in Memari-II block. 96 . Banpas and Eruar in Bhatar block. 1980). two in Burdwan-1 block.10 per cent) and a relatively higher female work participation rate (11. three in Raina-1 block. Natu in Raina-1 block. Chandna. No distinct pattern emerges from the spatial distribution ofFMR in the region (Figure 4. above 990. Bhuri and Sanko in Galsi-11 block. lower level ofFMR (between 900 and 930) is noted in 16 gram panchayats of which one is located in Ausgram-1 block. Relatively higher leve:l of FMR (From 930 to 960) is found in 16 gram panchayats namely Berenda and Dignagar in Ausgram-1 block. higher level of female literacy (43.86 per cent). one in Memari-11 block. As a matter of fact. 1994). Panchra. The trends in literacy are l~onsidered an index of the pace at which the socio-economic transformation of a society is taking place (Chandna and Sidhu. very low level of FMR (below 900) is found in Ausgram-I and Barapalasan gram panchayats located in northwestern and eastern part of the region respectively. Sankari-II in Kha. This high FMR is associated with a higher level of literacy (51. and Bandul-II in Burdwan-II block. one in Bhatar block.

t 23 .930 [l]Bdow 90 Figure No -S.990 U930-96o [!]9oo.Above 990 FilL] 960.FEMALE MALE RATIO 23' 30 RURAL AREAS AROUND BURDWAN TOWN 1991 NUMBER OF FEMALES PER THOUSAND MALES ..

87 per cent (in 1991) which indicates a high degree ofrural-urban linkage.23 40-45 31 27. The rural-urban differential in the region is only 8. Our study region as a whole (taking both the rural and urban areas together) has a literacy rate of 57. Around 12.39 per cent is not applicable in the region. the urban literacy rate of the region is lower (60. the lower the rural-urban differential (Tripathi. Table 4.59 per cent. total population Above 55 Number ofgram _panclt_ayats 14 Percent of gram panchayats 12.72 45-50 38 34.50 Table 4. that is. In our study region we have used the same defmition of literacy.72 per cent) much higher than the average literacy for rural India (44. that is. 27. On the other hand.69 per cent in 1991 ).93 Below 40 5 4. The higher the impact of urbanization on literacy.11 according to the 1991 census. The highest numbers of gram panchayats (34.62 per cent of gram panchayats have a literacy level well above 50 per cent.2: Levels of Literacy. the ability to both read and write with understanding. 1993). 28.41 per cent of which again have above 60 per cent of literacy. The literacy mte is calculated by dividing the literate population with the total population of a gram panchayat. However. 1991 Percentage of literate to . that is.Before going to discuss the literacy pattern existing in the region we have to define literacy..23 per cent) have a moderate literacy leve·l between 45 and 50 per cent. the very high rural-urban differential in literacy in India. The Indian Census has adopted the definition of literacy from the Population Commission of United Nations ( 1949-'50) which US4:!S literacy to mean the ability to both read and write a simple message with understanding in any language (GosaL 1964). The rural counterpart of the region also has a literacy rate (48.62 50-55 23 20.2 clearly indicates the distribution pattern of literacy over the rural areas of the region.08 per Ct~nt. which is well above the national average of 52. Therefore. 73. 5.93 per cent of gram panchayats have a literacy level between 98 . Here we are dealing entirely with the census data. In our study region too the higher impact of urban centres has lowered down the mral-urban differential ill literacy.56 per cent in 1991) than the urban literacy rate of India.

A number of indicators or measures have been outlined by these committees to identify the levels of backwardness in the country. 4. communications. Palasan. Barsul-II. The rest eight of these 14 gram panchayats namely Sagrai. (vi) level of 99 . two in Galsi-11 block. that is. two in Khandaghosh block. Sasanga in Khandaghosh block.40 and 45 per cent. Emar in Bhatar block. Above 55 per cent of literacy is found in 14 gram panchayats among which six gram panchayats namely Ukhrid in Khandaghosh block. (v) availability of transport. three in Bhatar block. that is. The rest 38 gram panchayats have a moderate level of literacy. Sehara.5. Wanchoo Committee etc to identify backward areas of India. that is. With the help of the isopleth map showing the zones of different literacy levels of the region (Figure 4. one in Memari-II block. Galsi-II (3). Five gram panchayats of the region namely Dignagar-11 in Ausgram-I block. Shyarnsundar and Mugura in Raina-! block and Rayan-ll in Burdwan-1 block have above 60 per cent of literacy. (iii) the percentage ofthe working force in agriculture. Barabelun-II. The literacy rate of 50 to 55 per cent is noted in 23 gram panchayats of which one is located in Ausgram-I block. three in Burdwan-I block.3) have literacy rates varying between 55 and 60 per cent. Gohagram in Galsi-11 block and Bamunpara in Monteswar block have very low levels of literacy. Cast Composition of Population The Planning Commission of India had in the past formed several committees like Panday Committee. Monteswar and Jamna (Figure 4. below 40 per cent.3). (ii) the ratio of population to the cultivated land. two in Memari-I block. the majority of which are located in Jamalpur (8). we can explain the spatial pattern of literacy. Raina. Very low level ofliteracy. Nabastha-II in Memari-II block. lower level of literacy ( 40 to 45 per cent) is found in thirty one gram panchayats. between 40 and 45 per cent occupying major part of the region. two in Jamalpur block. All the gram panchayats with higher degree of literacy are facilitated either by nearness to urban centres or by high degrees of accessibility with the urban centres and better levels of educational infrastmcture including schools and colleges. two in Burdwan-11 block and three in Monteswar block. below 40 per cent is found in five gram panchayats. Khandaghosh (3). and other services. two in Raina-1 block. Bhatar (4) and Monteswar (4) blocks. Some examples of such indicators are: (i) the percentage of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe population. (iv) the ratio of urban to rural population. Narugram. Ausgram-I (3). On the other hand.

JO' RURAL AREAS AROUND BURDWAN TOWN 1991 Z3• N Pc:rcentage of Llterates to Total Population ~Above N 60 ~55.10'E LITERACY LEVELS 23.55 04s.l \00 .60 w 50.so [1] Be Iow 23" 45 ss·w'E Figure No -lt.

Very high level of scheduled caste population is found in seven gram 101 . The urban centres of the region have a lower proportion (22. These are also used as indicators of backwardness under the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP).14 per cent) have a scheduled caste population varying between 25 and 35 per cent of the total population. We could not use any economic bt~cause of non-availability of data at the gram panchayat level.14 15-25 18 16. with the help of census data on scheduled caste and scheduled tribe population. Table 4. This high proportion of scheduled caste population in the rural areas indicates the relative backwardness of the region.62 per cent) averages.3: Scheduled Caste Population. the percentage of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe populations are the most significant social indicators of backwardness (Taher.1. 1983 ). Taher. 1979. Among them. Percentage of scheduled caste to total population Above 45 Number of gram panchayats 7 Percent of gram panchayats 6 31 35-45 36 32. This proportion is much higher than both the Indian (16.90 The above table shows the classification of gram panchayats of the region according to their scheduled caste population. Among the many indicators of backwardness. In this chapter. 1977). Distribution of Scheduled Caste Population Sche~duled caste population constitutes 33 per cent ofthe total population in the rural areas of the region. here we have taken only the percentage of schedul1~d backwardnt~ss indicator caste and scheduled tribe to the total population to study the levels of and their spatial patterns in the region. in spite ofthe recent agricultural improvements. we have dealt completely with census data. 4. 1991. Therefore. About 35 to 45 per cent of scheduled caste population is found in 32.5.43 per cent of gram panchayats.43 25-35 49 44.22 Below 15 0.48 per cent) and the West Bengal (23. The majority of the ~ram pandwyats (44.49 per cent) of scheduled caste population than the rural areas. we are analyzing the spatial pattern of the levels of backwardness in the region.literacy and so on (Chand and Puri.

that is. BhagraMulgram.23 per cent to the total population (9.. Satgachhia-II. Mamudpur-1.12 per cent for the urban areas).2. Bohar-II. four in Galsi-II block. one in Memari-I block. that is.08 per cent) and the state (5. with less accessibility and lower levels of rural development. Bhuri and Gohagram gram panchayats in Galsi-II block. Therefore. it can be said that in general the proportion of scheduled caste population decreases towards the north and eastern part and increases towards the south. west and northwestern part from the central urban focus (Burdwan town) of the region. Putsuri.5. and Kurrnun-II gram panchayat in Burdwan-Il block. four in Khandaghosh block. lower level of Scheduled Caste. Very low level of scheduled caste population. six in Bhatar block. five in Jarnalpur block. These areas with a higher proportion of scheduled caste JXlpulation are also area-.aste population over the region. Only one gram panchayat have low level of scheduled caste population. over 45 per cent. Distribution of Scheduled Tribe Population Our study region has an average scheduled tribe population of 8. below 15 per cent is noted in Mamudpur-1 gram panchayat of Monteswar block. Mamudpur-Il. the backwardness in terms of scheduled tribe population is relatively higher in the region. that is. below 15 per cent. Bijur-II. About 35 to 45 per cent of scheduled caste population is noted in 36 gram panchayats among which two are located in Ausgram-I block.60 per cent) averages of scheduled tribe population. 102 . is found in Sasanga and Gopalbera gram panchayats in Khandaghosh block. two in Memari-II block. three in Raina-I block.4 we can explain the spatial pattern of the distribution of scheduled 1. 4.34 per cent tor the rural areas and 7. Very high level of scheduled caste population. Barapalasan-II. The spatial distribution reveals no distinct pattern in the region. With the help of figure 4. Bohar-1. The rest 49 panchayats have 25 to 35 per cent of scheduled caste JXlpulation. 15 to 25 per cent of scheduled caste population. Barapalasan-1. Amadpur. However. Bamunpara and Jamma. four in Burdwan-I block and five in Burdwan-II block. Like the proportion of scheduled caste population this figure is also higher than both the national (8. between 15 to 25 per cent is found in 18 gram panchayats namely Sankari-1. 16.panchayats indicating very high level of backwardness. Piplan. On the other hand.22 per cent gram panchayats have relatively lower proportion_ that is. Hijalna. On the other hand. Daluaibazar-II and Nimo-II gram panchayats in Memari-1 block. that is. Kusumgram. Balgana.

RURAL AREAS AROUND BURDWAN TOWN 1991 23° SCHEDULED CASTE TO TOTAL POPULATION W}8Above 45 rzLZ7J 35 - 45 [ZZJ 25.4 23. .25 )Below15 Figure No -4.8 35'E SCHEDULED CASTE POPULATION 23.35 1(---.zl 15 LZ .

Monteswar block also have ten gram panchayats with less than five per cent.4: Scheduled Tribe Population.70 15-25 24 21. Galsi-11 block have four gram panchayats with less than five p<~r cent and five gram panchayats have between five and ten per cent scheduled tribe population. and three with more than five per cent of scheduled tribe population. Raina-1 block has also six gram panchayats with less than five per cent scheduled tribe population and two (Natu and Palasan) have slightly higher than this figure. 1991 -· . only four gram panchayats have more than 25 per cent of scheduled tribe population. About 21. 25-35 3 2. Major portions (six out of nine gram panchayats) of Burdwan-1 block have 5 to 15 per cent of scheduled tribe population. that is.62 5-15 40 36. Dignagar-II gram panchayat having the highest concentration of scheduled tribe population.74 The scheduled tribe population is not uniformly distributed over the region..5). 103 .5). In Bhatar and Burdwan-11 block half of the gram panchayats have less than five and the other half have 5 to 25 per cent of scheduled tribe population. Memari-1 and Memari-11 blocks have 15 to 35 per cent scheduled tribe population.74 per cent) has very low level (below five per cent) of scheduled tribe population indicating a low level of backwardness.-- Table 4. The: spatial distribution of scheduled tribe population has created a distinct pattern in the region.62 per cent of gram panchayats have between 15 to 25 per cent scheduled tribe population. Another large share of panchayats (36. On the other hand.. northeastern and southern part of the region have lower concentration of scheduled tribe population. In Khandaghosh block all the gram panchayats have less than five per cent scheduled tribe population except two (Sasanga and Sankari-11). On the other hand. 37 per cent. between 5 to 15 per cent (Table 4. Majority of the gram panchayats (38.90 Above 35 1 ·---~··. -~--··- ···~-· --~-·--~~------· --~~~~·-·····-· ~- .. Ausgram-1 block have relatively higher proportion of scheduled tribe population.~ntage of scheduled Number ofgram panchayats tribe tot!J(alpf!pulation panchayats 0. northern. that is. ·-Percent of gram Perct.04 per cent) has lower levels of scheduled tribe population.. is also located in this block (Figure 4. The major portions of Jamalpur.4)... southeastern and eastern part of the region have higher concentration of scheduled tribe population (Figure 4. In general northwestern.04 Below 5 43 38.

SCHEDULED TRIBE POPULATION z3· RURAL AREAS AROUND BURDWAN TOWN 1991 Ce-nt of Scheduled ribe 23' N - to Total Population Above 35 z~· ~25. -lj.35 t72]15 - D 25 s -1s 0Below 5 ea·w'E Fiqure No.l) 104 .

a new classification ofworking population has been done as 'main worker' and 'marginal worker'. age structure.6. status of women. This figure is slightly lower than the national average of 34.50 30-40 75 67.90 50-60 0 0. In general the level of work participation or employment of any region depends upon a variety of demographic (birth rate. age at marriage and general health standards) and economic (type of economy. We. availability of employment opportunities and levels of income) factors (Chandna.57 per cent) in the region have work participation rate varying between 30 to 40 per cent.5: Levels of Work Participation.57 Below 30 30 27.74 per cent of total population. social (level of literacy and education.00 40-50 5 4. Another major section of gram panchayats (27.03 per cent) have less than 30 per cent of work participation.22 per cent only) in the region. The average work participation rate of the region is 31. 1986). u~vels of Work Participation To understand the spatial pattern of the level of employment in the region we have taken the data on census defined 'worker' category.03 The majority of the gram panchayats (67. Indian census defmed 'worker' as any person whose main activity is participation in economically productive work either by his/her physical or by his/her mental activity (Census of India. migration behaviour and average size of the family). Here we have taken the 'main worker' category of Census of India which can be defmed as those workers who participate in economically active work for the major part of the year. On the other 105 . Since 1981 census. 1971). longevity.10 per cent and higher than the West Bengal average of30. 1991 Percentage of workers to total population Above 60 Number of gram panchayats 1 Percent of gram Panchayats 0. consider the higher level of rural work participation as a significant third world characteristic.4. therefore. This higher proportion of rural work participation can be attributed to the dominant agricultural economy of the region which provide job opportunities to the uneducated and less skilled people including females against the masculine urban workforce of higher skill.23 per cent. indicating that the rural areas have a thriving e:conomy. The rural-urban differential in work participation rate is of a lower magnitude (3. Table 4.

Bagar-II (29.8 per C(:nt). Sectoral Employment The traditional three-fold division of economic activities or occupation (primary. between 30 <md 40 per cent. Galsi-II. From the spatial pattern of the level of work participation it can be concluded that the rate of work participation gradually decreases from the central areas around Burdwan town to the peripheries except the northwestern part (Figure 4. In this wne surrounding Burdwan town there are four gram panchayats with slightly lower level of work participation namely Mahachanda (27. Memari-II. we have divided the working population of the region into three categories of primary. On the other hand the urban economy of the region is characteri7. Burdwan-IL Jamalpur blocks. that is. 106 . and parts of Khandaghosh. secondary and tertiary).7. The highest level of work participation.3 p4::r cent) and two gram panchayats with higher level of work participation namely Paratal-1 {42 per cent) and Nabastha-11 (61. secondary and tertiary workers. The northwestern part of the region covering Ausgram-I and Dignagar-II gram panchayats has relatively higher level of work participation (40 to 50 per cent). The rural economy of our study region is dominated by primary activities with its 79.hand.59 per cent primary workers. 1986). societies where Jess than 15 per cent of workers are in tertiary activities have been called as 'primary civilizations'. 5.5). For instance. yet helps in having a broad idea about any region's pattern of economy (Trewartha. Ajhapur (24.69 per cent secondary workers and 14. Bhatar and Ausgram-I blocks have work participation rate between 30 and 40 per cent (Figure 4. above 60 per cent is noted in one gram panchayat. Human societies have often been classified into primary. Raina-!. that is.6 per cent). The southern part covering major areas of Khandaghosh and Raina-I blocks and the northeastern part covering nine gram panchayats of Monteswar and four gram panchayats of Bhatar blocks have relatively lower level of work participation.1 per cent). Burdwan-1. only five gram panchayats have 40 to 50 per cent of workers (Table 4. Around 75 gram panchayats cove:ring large areas of Memari-1. though simple.76 per cent tertiary workers. 19:59).3 per cent).6). secondary and tertiary civilizations on the basis of occupational composition (Chandna.6). 4. to understand the nature of economy and the level of occupational diversification (which together can be considered as important economic indicators of the level of development). The region has a very generalized pattern of work participation. Therefore.ed by an overwhelming dominance of the tertiary sector (see Chapter 7). Rayan-I (29.

so 0 30-40 [ ] ] Below 30 'E Fr gure No .87 35 E LEVELS OF WORK PARTICIPATION RURAL AREAS AROUND BURDWAN TOWN 23' 30' 1991 TO TOTAL POPULATION H WJj Above 2 { 1 60 fZU]so ."·' lOT .60 w4o.

1.51 per cent of gram panchayats have relatively llower level. diversification of ec:onomy has taken place in accordance with the spread of urbanization. Barsui-II and Baikunthapur-I gram panchayats of Burdwan-II block.5 I --~-- 75 Below 70 The spatial pattern of the distribution of primary workers is rather ill-defined over the region. In other words.---·. that is. 108 . Barsul-1. This economy is dominated by agriculture (Table 4. 7. below 70 per cent is found in Saraitikar <:md Rayan-1 gram panchayats of Burdwan-1 block. 1991 Percentage ofprimary workers to total workers -·---.02 70~ 75 8 7. Still. Sehara and Raina gram panchayats of Raina-I block: Galsi gram panchayat of Galsi-II block.73 per cent of gram panchayats.6: Levels of Primary Sector Employment. Jamalpur-IJ gram panchayat of Jamalpur block.6). that is.02 per cent gram panchayats have 75 to 80 per cent of primaTy workers (Table.--· Above 85 Number ofgram . Le·vels of Primary Sector Employment Levels of primary sector employment are relatively high all over the periphral areas of the region with a few exceptional patches around the urban centres where economic diversification has taken place. All these areas have relativ<::ly higher proportion of tertiary workers. On the other h<md. Daluaibazar-II and Nimo-1 gram panchayats of Memari-I block.6).7.73 80 ~ 85 35 31. About 31. pQIIch_ayats 33 Percent of gram panchayats 29. it can be said that a lower level of primary workers is found in the gram panchayats either near Burdwan town or at areas with high accessibility to Burdwan. The rest 18. Above 85 per cent of primary workers is also found in 29. Monteswar and Kusumgram gram panchayats of Monteswar block.53 per cent of gram panchayats have 80 to 85 per cent of workers engaged in the primary sector. 7). The lower level of primary workers.21 per cent and 13. 70 to 75 per cent and below 70 per cent primary workers respectively. Sagrai gram panchayat of Khandghosh block and Bhatar gram panchayat of Bhatar block (Figure 4. Table 4.4.2I I5 I 3. 4.53 ~ 80 20 I 8.

87 3~ E LEVELS OF EMPLOYMENT lN PRlMARY SECTOR_ RURAL AREAS AROUND BU ROWAN TOWN 1991 Per Cent of Primary Workers to Total 23" -Above 85 N WllJ eo .75 3~ E .lJ L &low 70 .7 109 .50 23 N [[_]. 10 E Figure No ·· 4.es [Cl] 75. 70.

10 40 36.. In an agriculturally prosperous region like ours. This economic pattern is not healthy at all.05 per cent have very low level.__. 110 . the central urban focus (Figure 4... below five per cent of secondary employment. Only two gram panchayats have considerably higher secondar~ employment. that is.. I~ above 20 per cent. that is. Even after considerable development of agriculture: of the region. . .#. This fact is evidencc::d by the nascent expansion of the tertiary sector that will be discussed latter on in this chapter.·- . we find that rural areas of the region are no longer as backward as they used to be three decades ago.The rest of the area has a higher proportion of primary workers gradually increasing away from Burdwan town. There are some agro-processing units like rice mill.7. On the other hand._. . •·~•"-~"'"'"'"'---e-----·--.. whereas the figure is 15. Only 5. -. depend4tnt on the monocultw-e of rice in the region..r- r ~.15 9 8.7: Levels of Secondary Sector Employment. Levels of Secondary Sector Employment Employment in the secondary sector in the rural areas of the region is very limited.36 per cent in urban areas.. About 10 to 15 per cent of secondary workers~ found in nine Arram panchayats only. bran oil mill etc. majority of gram panchayats constituting 54. Yet. No large-scale industry has developed in the region.05 The above table clearly explains the distribution pattern of secondary workers in the region. The lack of developmc::nt of secondary and tertiary activities is the main factor behind this very high Ieve I of occurrence of primary workers.. ">•·· •.04 Below 5 60 54. 1991 .2. 7). 4. diversification of economy is yet to develop.-- . Another large number (40) of gram panchayats have five to ten per cent of secondary workers.69 per cent of workers are engaged in secondary activities in rural areas. agricultural surplus has not been able to expand opportunities in other sectors of the economy..---._. ·- Percentage of secondary workers to total workers Above 20 Number of gram panchayats 2 Percent of gram panchayats 180 15-20 0 0 10.11 5. that is. Table 4.

' / LL .LEVELS OF EMPLOYMENT IN SECONDARY SECT RURAL AREAS AROUND BURDWAN TOWN 1991 r Cent of Secondary Workers to Total BAbove 20 IZQ 1s10 - 15 LJ 5 - 10 Fi·. l 8 35 'E 20 ~_j j Below 5 Ill .

that is. Percentage of tertiary workers to total workers ------------. 10 to 15 per cent are noted in 40 gram panchayats (36.15 40 36. Jamalpur-I and Jamalpur-II in Jamalpur block.--·--·· --. six in Bhatar block. The rest of the area including 60 gram panchayats have very poor level. above 20 per cent is found in Baikunthapur-I and Barsul-II gram panchayats of Burdwan-II block because of a high concentration of rice mills there. six in Memari-1 block. that is. above 25 per cent oftertiary employment is found in seven (6. below five per cent is found in 26 112 . lower levels of tertiary employment.8: LeYels of Tertiary Employment. About five to ten per cent of secondary workers is recorded from 40 gram panchayats of which two are located in Ausgram-I block.. that is. . In general. Table 4.32 10. 1991 .r-II in Memari-I block. Very low levels of tertiary employment. About 10 to 15 per cent of secondary workers is noted in nine gram panchayats namely Sagrai in Khandaghosh block. that is. Daluaibaza.76 per cent of tertiary employment as against 55. - - '~·-·-- .-Above 25 ---- ~ ~- . On the other hand..31 26 ·- ---· 23.8). Another 9. -.91 per cent of gram panchayats have also a higher level (20 to 25 per cent) of tertiary employment.·-. that is.7.04 . ----- - -- ·----- ---- The: highest level. LeYels of Tertiary Sector Employment Whatever diversification of economy has taken place in the region is in the form of tertiarizaion. one in Burdwan-11 block and eight in Monteswar block (Figure 4.04 per cent). ~---. two in Raina-1 block.91 15-20 27 24. The highest level of secondary employment.3.42 ---~-- - ------- . four in Memari-II block.-. below five: per cent of secondary workers. Banpas in Bhatar block.8). . four in Burdwan-I block.No distinct pattern emerges from the spatial distribution of secondary workers in the region (Figure 4.. Below 10 •••~A-·- _ptlll_c~aya(s 6. five in Jamalpur block. one in Khandaghosh block.. 4. one in Galsi-11 block.45 per cent in urban areas. Saraitikar in Burdwan-1 and Baikunthapur-II and Barsul-I in Burdwan-II block.. on an average the rural economy of the region has 14. -- Number ofgram _panc_h~yaJ_s 7 Per cent ofgram 20-25 11 9. Schara in Raina-I block.31 per cent) gram panchayats.·--.

113 . Daluaibazar-I. Nimo-I. and Kusumgram. Bhatar. The status of an individual occupies within a society depends upon the role she or he performs within society and the appraisal given to the role by the society. one in Galsi-II block four in Monteswar block and two in Bhatar block (Figure 4. 9) indicates that a higher level of tertiary employment is found in rural areas adjacent to Burdwan town. 4. Tertiary employment is also higher.gram panchayats (23. above 25 per cent is noted in seven gram panchayats namely Raina. 1975). The lower status of women has been the main cause of the uneven distribution of resources (Boserup. The status of women is again dependent on the type of economy and the mode of production.32 per cent) gram panchayats have I5 to 20 per c:ent of tertiary workers. 20.9). About 15 to 20 per cent of tertiary workers is noted in 27 gram panchayats of which one is located in Khandaghosh block. The rest 27 (24. The developing countries of the world are usually characterized by a lower status of women. lower levels of tertiary employment (IO to 15 per cent) is found in 40 gram panchayats and below 10 per cent is found in 26 gram panchayats which are characterized by dominant primary activities. 1979). Satgachhia-I. higher interaction with their nearest urban centre (Memari and Burdwan). five in Jamalpur block. that is. The spatial pattern (Figure 4.42 per cent) of the regton. three in Memari-II block. one in Memari-I block. Jamalpur-II. and the location of rural market centres in these panchayats.9). The highest level of tertiary employment. that is. Gals~ Saktigarh. The transition from the traditional to industrial mode of production specially in developing economies breaks up family units into individual competing units. Status of Women The tt!rm 'status' simply denotes the relative position of persons in a social system or subsystem which is distinguishable from that of others in its rights and obligations (ICSSR. 1998). Sagrai. Rayan-I. Shyamsundar. In this system women have usually been left behind because of their lack of opportunities to develop new skills in the new system of production (Mitra. The higher level of tertiary employment in these 18 (7+ 11) gram panchayats can be attributed to their higher level of infrastructure including health and education. Sehara. DaluaibazarII. three in Raina-! block. On the other hand.8. Barsul-I and Barsul-II (Figure 4.25 per cent in II gram panchayats like Kaiyor.

15 87._~ 10.88 • toE LEVELS OF EMPLOYMENT IN TERTIARY SECTO RURAL AREAS AROUND BURDWAN TOWN 1991 Cent of Terttary \Norkers to Total BAbove 25 ~ 20.25 ~lLJ15- 20 [. 35 E [[~&low 10 ea"to E "" .

Women in the rural areas of the developing world are yet to make significant progress in literacy. Therefore.1. education determines the individual's a<>pirations. Then~ are several indicators by which we can measure the status of women m a society. being a part of rural India. The rural counterpart is again characterized by a lower level of female literacy. Therefore. Female-male ratio is also another social indicator of the status of women (Miller. The prejudices against a woman's education. 1975). Increasing female literacy contributes to greater equality between the sexes (Boserup. Our study region. Levels of Female Literacy Educational level is considered to be one ofthe most important indicators of women's status (Sharma. 1981) which we have discussed earlier in this chapter. higher level of dowry for the educated girls to get married with a suitable groom are the chief social factors 115 . The amount of direct contribution made by women in the formal economy allocates values to women's work and marks their status in society (Agnihotri. Krishnan and Shyam (1973) noted that the countries like India. 1986). Raza and Aijazuddin. prevalence of early marriage for the girls. This lower level of female literacy of the rural region can be explained by several factors the most of which arc social in nature. that is. 1998).. which are still in the midst of the literacy transition display wide male-female differential in their literacy levels.8. 4. Among them the most important two are female literacy rate and female work participation rate (ICSSR. in this section we are dealing with the female literacy rate and the female work participation rate (based purely on census data) to identifY the spatial pattern of the status of women in our study region . 'Employment' is usually defined in a very restricted sense by the modem industrial society and considers only the economic role played by individuals. level of technology used. 1999). which is higher than both the India (39. The average female literacy rate of the region is 49. While employment determines the level of food availability. is also characterized by high differential in male-female literacy. lack of educational opportunities. productivity and vertical and horizontal mobility of the women (LahiriDutt and Ghosh. 1970.56 per cent) average.91 per cent against the urban female literacy rate of 53.07 per cent. 38. prejudices against her mobility.Education and employment are the two most significant factors influencing status of women in any society.29 per cent) and West Bengal (46.53 per cent. nutrition and the level of other essential needs. the role and contribution of women as family labour often gets overlooked or taken for granted. 1995).

9). Economically. one in Memari-1 block. Raina. Monteswar. Narugram and Shyamsundar gram panchayats near Burdwan town (Figure 4.81 per cent of total) have relativdy higher levels of female literacy. Palasan.----. Mugura. Barabelun-II. three in Memari-ll block. that is. that is. Medium levels of female literacy is noted in 30 gram panchayats (27.-· ---- ····- - Number of gram panchayats ----- -~---~·----- ~-----·--- 20. ----- _. 35 to 40 is found in highest number (41) of gram panchayats.81 40-45 30 27. below 35 per cent (Table 4. Hijalna. two in Khandaghosh block. one in Raina-1 block. that is. No distinct pattern emerges from the spatial distribution of female literacy level in the region. 1991 Above 50 5 Per cent ofgram panchayats ·4.72 ··----~--- ------------- The above table (Table 4. Nimo-I. 116 . About 40 to 45 per cent of female literacy is found in 30 gram panchayats of which two are located in Ausgram-1 block. Jamna. two in Burdwan-11 block and five in Monteswar block. Table 4. About 20. Another 41 and 23 gram panchayats with 35 to 40 per cent and below 35 per cent level of female literacy respectively are haphazardly distributed over the regiOn. Barapalasan-II.94 Below 35 23 Perc. ___ ~_ -------.9) explains the distribution pattern of female literacy level in the rural part of the region. four in Burdwan-1 block.1 0). 45 to 50 per cent. lower level of female literacy.9: Levels of Female Literacy. Above 50 per cent of female literacy rate is found in Ukhrid.03 per cent) of the region. predominantly agricultural economy offering little opportunities in other jobs. five in Bhatar block. Rayan-II. Schara. Twelve gram panchayats of the region namely Sagrai. and poor female work participation are the factors of lower level of female literacy in the region. that is. The highest level of female literacy.ent offemale literates to total female population .03 35-40 41 36. Barsul-II and Kurmun-II have 45 to 50 per cent of female literates. two in Galsi-11 block. Another 12 gram panchayats (10. three in Jamalpur block. the appalling poverty.responsible for the lower female literacy rate in the region.50 45-50 12 10. above 50 per cent is found in five gram panchayats only.72 per cent of gram panchayats (23 in number) have lowest level of female litera•cy. On the other hand.

4. ALES rlljAbove 50 23' N ~45.50 WJ 40-45 r=zJ 35 - 40 [!'] Below 35 10 ..10 111 .LEVELS OF FEMALE LITERACY AROUND BURDWAN TOWN 1991 TE FEMALES TO TOTAL ~H.E Ftgure No -1.

1999. 1967). Proportion of female labourers in rural areas is highest in agriculture thus raising the female work participation rate.200 1.8.89 per cent and female participation rate is 13. There has been a concensus amongst scholars that increasing work force participation for women will raise not only their economic status. 1980). In general. the incidence of female participation is high in rural areas in comparison to that in urban areas. and this low-mechanized agricultural economy has provided opportunities for women in low skill field jobs. the occupational structure of female workers in India is more primary sector oriented than that of male workers (Chandna. Krishnan. in spite of its agricultural prosperity. Indian workforce is typically characterized by wide disparities in the participation rates of males and females (male participation rate is 51. 118 .88 per cent only.2. This is proven by the fact that rural areas of the region have higher level of female work participation (11. 1967). and landless farmers is another important factor of higher female labour participation (Mehta. Raina-1 has the highest level of female literacy (49.55 per cent).80 per cent) than the urban areas (7.45 per cent in 1991). Prevailing rural poverty among the scheduled castes and tribes. the second highest being is 40. In tovms.97 per cent).Among the eleven blocks of the region. but social status as well (Shinde. 1970). The average female work participation rate of our study region is 9.48 per cent. This higher level of female literacy in this block can be attributed to the higher concentration of educational facilities including a degree college. which is oldest one (established in 1948) among the rural colleges of the region. the work participation of women outside of home is abysmally low because of the invisibility of women's domestic work in the prevailing measures of labour force participation and the socio-cultural constraints limiting women's economic activities (Sharma. Boserup. Our region is no exception to this general picture. This lower level of female labour participation can be attributed to the social as well as the economic factors like a slightly higher standard of living of peasant families that help to increase middle class values against women working outside of home. Levels of Female Work Participation Female work participation rate is another important indicator of the status of women in any region. This rural-urban differential in female work participation is also caused by the fact that agriculture is still mostly done by hand. 4. Naturally.

32 per cent) have 15 to 20 per cent of economically active female population.71 per cent) gram panchayats of the region. From the spatial distribution of female work participation (Figure 4. Ajhapur. Adra warn panchayat in Galsi-II block. Baikunthapur-I. Baikunthapur-II and Bandui-II gram panchayats in Burdwan-II block (Figure 4. About 27 gram panchayats (24. Nabastha-I gram panchayat in Memari-II block. Of these.1 0) explains the distribution pattern of female work participation among the Ill gram panchayats of the region. The rest 20 gram panchayats with 10 to 15 119 .11). 1991 Per cent offemale workers to total females ··------- ~----~- Number of gram panchayats - Per cent of gram panchayats -- Above 20 13 II. ten gram panchayats of Monteswar block in the northeast and six gram panchayats of Khandaghosh block and three gram panchayats of Raina-! block in the southwest have very poor level of female work participation. Paratal-II and Abujhati gram panchayats in Jamalpur block. Lower level of female work participation that is five to ten per cent is found in 29 gram panchayats. Very poor level of female work participation that is below five per cent is noted in 22 gram panchayats of the region. seven in Memari-II block. 71 15-20 27 24. that is. Dignagar-I and Dignagar-II gram panchayats in Ausgram-I block.13 Below 5 22 19.11) it is found that the northeastern and southwestern parts of the region covering three gram panchayats of Bhatar block. Paratal-I. five in Jamalpur block. The level of I 0 to 15 per cent female labour participation is found in 29 gram panchayats of the region.Table 4. highest level of female work participation. Female work participation among the tribal communities in India has traditionally been rather high. that is.82 The above table (Table 4. six in Memari-I block.10: Levels of Female Work Participation. About 15 to 20 per cent of female lalxmr participation is noted in 27 gram panchayats of which two are located in Bhatar block. above 20 per cent is found in Ausgram-I. tive in Galsi-II block and two in Burdwan-II block.02 5-10 29 26. below five per cent. On the other rumd. Ausgram-I block has a notable concentration of scheduled tribes such as Santhals. Durgapur Kram panchayat in Memari-I block.32 10-15 20 18. The highest level of female work participation is found in l3 (11.


Higher levels of development are found in a scattered manner in certain gram panchayats well-connected to Burdwan town or other urban centres of the region. We can attribute this non-conformity to the recent changes in the rural sector ofthird world countri. that is. it can be said that this chapter on pattern of development helps us to break the myth of the existence of rural-urban disjunction in the third world countries. 4.9 Summary From the detailed analysis of different parameters of development at gram panchayat level it is found that development has not taken place uniformly over the region. the petering off of the values of the indicators of development and/or an increase in the values of backwardness is not seen in the region. The typical characteristic of rural-urban disjunction. The spatial layout of different aspects of development do not lead to any distinct pattern. 121 . Finally. The gram panchayats with higher levels of developments (in any parameter) are either facilitated by higher levels of infrastructural development or by higher degrees of rural-urban interaction in general sense.per cent female workers and 29 gram panchayats with 5 to 10 per cent female workers are scattered over the entire region without any distinct pattern.es like India.

information. the development of infrastructure like roads and rural electrification can expect to contribute towards better social opportunities (Banerjee and Ray. Mass literacy campaign. 1981 ). a number of programmes are undertaken in the region to improve entitlement. are improving human capabilities and.) have observed that the decentralized participatory planning has positively affected the rural economy ofthe state by raising production and productivity in agriculture . The various policies and programmes for the development of the rural part of the region. Decentralized participatory planning has been adopted during the last two decades as an instrument for rural development in West Bengal. 1999. and does not necessarily indicate better governance (Webster. Williams. Rogaly. A number of scholars (e. better. Theretore. in this chapter we shall evaluate the contribution of all the development programmes at the gram panchayat level (same units of study as the previous chapter). 1998). 1999. Lieten. employment generation programmes etc.g. Besides the schemes directly related to the enhancement of production and productivity. Mukherjee and Mukhopadhyay. Ghosh (1988) credited the stable Left Front Government for promoting this kind ofplanning as a tool of economic development. A number of policies and programmes (see Chapter 3) have been launched in the region under study to usher in economic growth with social justice. health for all drive etc. if successfuL would significantly alter the socio-economic condition of the region. However. Introduction Development can be defined as the condition of society in which all strata of population g~:t adequate opportunities to acquire sources of income and production assets. Gazdar and Sengupta. 1995. 1999 etc.). greater and more technollogy-oriented inputs. The land reform measures. and have ample access to inputs such as education. health and nutrition which play a key role in enabling human beings to realise their development potential through individual and collective effort (Rao. Harriss-White and Bose. can be listed under the entitlement related instruments.CHAPTER V INTRA-REGIONAl PATTERNS OF DMlOPMENT 5. 1992 etc. an opinion that is gradually gaining momentum in the last couple of years is that this improved productivity is actually the result of higher.1. capabilities and social opportunities. As 122 . 1995. finally.

Mitra (1961). have used micro units like gram panchayats for their analysis. however. Methodology Choosing an appropriate methodology is a problem in dealing with a micro-level analysis. Both of these indices dealt with the development at district level and stated nothing explicitly and specifically about the basis of relative weight determination. factor analysis and so on) to analyze the level of development at state. Gupta and Sharma. None of these. The: framing of a widely acceptable development index is a serious problem faced by social scie~ntists. concentration index.) have also used different statistical methods (composite index. Aziz and Chattopadhyay (1970). Dutt and Maikap (1969). Some of the earlier works on such developmental indices were done by Hotelling (1933). Composite index is the most commonly used technique for analyzing the level of development in any region. In carrying out this exercise. we shall try to analy7~ the spatial pattern of tht~ level of development with the help of a number of socio-economic indicators at the gram panchayat level. Saravanabavan and Shanmuganadan. Wanmali (1970). Therefore. But the main drawback of this methodology lies in the basis of relative weight determination which can lead to erroneous results. Three Principal Factors 123 . district and block levels. Sharma (1972). Mukherjee (1995) addressed this problem of constructing district development index ahd suggested a more or less similar weight structure. we had to face major problems related to the data and methodology of the analysis. Another set of recent studi1es (Sharma. 1995. Gosal and Krishnan. Most of these studies '- were based on composite index method.development cannot spread uniformly over a region. To overcome this problem. Gram panchayats are the lower most tier of the three-tier local self-government system of administering decentralized planning. 1984 etc.2. 1995. our analysis at gram panchayat level adds a relatively newer dimension in studies of developmental disparities. and we shall use them in this chapter as the micro-level units of our analysis of the spatial pattern of the level of development. 5. however. A proforma of composite index for district level development was suggested by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) in the year 1976 on the basis of information collected from 412 districts of India and the structure was subsequently improved in the year 1985. Pathak. Tripathi. Most of the earlier studies related to the levels of development have used the composite index method. Rao (1973) and Pal (1975). we have used the statistical technique Principal Component Analysis (PCA) which is a branch of well known multivariate technique of factor analysis.

we consulted a resource person from the respective block level officials to verify the data and dropped those where any discrepancies arose about the reliability of data. total area in square kilometre. 5. After collecting the data from gram panchayats. 7. net sown area per agricultural worker. in our micro level analysis we could not use most of the economic indicators owing to non-availability of appropriate . the number of socio-economic indicators finally used in the analysis declined to 29. 4. Among them most are economic indicators like per capita income. we had to collect the data either by questionnaire survey at the gram panchayat level or from the official records of different development blocks of the region. literacy rate. Therefore. our choice had to be limited within the data provided by individual gram panchayat. 6. Up to the block level. female literacy rate. were collected from the Census of India reports and district handbooks pertaining to the year 1991. female work participation 124 . female male ratio etc. A choropleth map has been generated using the score values of the frrst principal component for a spatial analysis. Variables The range of variables or indicators used in this analysis was constrained by the availability of data. The data related to the area and demographic characteristics like level of literacy.3. 2.1). This entirely computer-based statistical operation has been done with the help of Shazam software. No such data base has been developed yet at the gram panchayat level in West Bengal. data on different socio-economic aspects are published by different organizations like Bereau of Applied Economics and Statistics. 3. per capita consumption from industry and mining etc. 5. per capita bank deposits. Therefore. work participation rate. data related to the infrastructure were collected from the block development offices and individual gram panchayats through extensive fieldwork done in 1995-'96. Whereas we would have liked to use many other criteria relevant to rural development. female-male ratio. Data Base A wide range of indicators can possibly be used in the analysis of disparities in developmen1t of any region.highlighting three 'dimensions' of development have been identified which together explained a total variance of more than 75 per cent (Table 5. per capita gross value of agricultural output. These are as follows: 1.md reliable data. total population. On the other hand. the latest available date. 5. These arc frequently used in macro level analyses of development. However.4.

we have used variables related to transport (kilometerage of metalled road and kilometerage of morrum road). Physical infrastructure usually consists of transport (roads. 24. We could not use any indicators related to electricity and housing because of the non-availability of data. 8. length of metalled roads in kilometre. At the same time infrastructure is also a factor of development. waterways and ports). housing and water supply. 20.) The rest of the variables (serial number 11 to 29) are related to different aspects of infrastmctural development. number of beds in health centres. total area and total population were used as independent variables to make the other variables free of scale. 26. 18. 10. number of shallow pumps. 17. In this analysis we have used both the physical and social infrastructural indicators. Tripathi. telecommunication. number of rice mills. number of primary schools. 21. banking and other forms of financial facilities. 22. and 29. On the other hand. 11. number of community tube wells. Among them. percentage of workers in tertiary sector. 28. 14. 19. recreation. 27 child immunization centres. aviation. number of health centres. These physical infrastructures work as direct intermediate inputs to production and raises the productivity of other factors of production (labour and other capital) and profitability of the producing units thereby permitting higher levels of output. sanitation. number of husking units. 16. irrigation. childcare. percentage of workers in secondary sector. nutrition. length of morrum roads in kilometre. income and or employment (Ghosh and De. number of rural libraries. output and income in a chain of'cumulative causation'. number of private practitioners. The frrst and second indicators. percentage of workers in primary sector. in association with other things (Sharma. Among them. number of bio gas plants. we have used mostly education (number of primary schools. 1995). telecommunication (number of telephones) and water supply (number of community tube wells) infrastructure. Infrastructure is a significant component of development as the quality of life in rural India is dependent on this. railways. 13. 25. number of secondary schools. Gupta and Sharma. secondary schools and rural 125 . social infrastructure broadly includes education. 12. work participation rate etc. The positive contribution of physical infrastructure to economic growth and development comes through increases in investment. employment. number of bank branches. 15. number of cold storages. electricity. number of submersible pumps. number of doctors in health centres. The demographic characteristics like literacy rate.rate. that is. (serial number 3 to 10) belong to the significant indicators of development (argument for these demographic characteristics as indicators of development has already been discussed in the previous chapter. 9. 23. health. number of telephones. 1998). irrigation (number of shallow pumps and number of submersible pumps).

the 'level of health infrastructure' explains 5.1 ). we have also used indicators of diversification of economy (number of husking units and rice mills).1 ). but also in creating sociial equity and in improving the quality of life in rural areas of developing countries 5.1: The EigenValues and the Total Percentage Variance Explained by each of the Three Factors Factor Name of the Dimension Eigenvalues % of variance Cumulative % Level of over development 19.05 71.98 65 98 II Level of health infrastructure 1.24 ~ 126 .13 against the second and third dimension with their eigenvalues 1.21 per cent of the total variance. which is the linear combination corresponding to the largest number of variables.5. that is. All these contribute indirectly to development in a significant way. The third dimension of the developmental level dealing with the 'level of secondary activities' contributes 4.22 respectively (Table 5.21 75. Therefore. number of doctors in he:alth centres and number of private practitioners). accounts for a large proportion. the first dimension of the analysis dealing with the 'level of overall development' plays a significant role in the region's level of development. and banking (number of bank branches) facilities. Among these three dimensions. It explains all the variables except those related to health infrastructure and secondary activities. about 65.libraries).46 5. Among them the first principal component. Factor Solution The factor analysis in this study identified three major dimensions explaining a total variance of more than 75 per cent.46 and 1. storage facility (number of cold storages) and non-conventional energy use (number of bio-gas plant). Following Rondinelli and Ruddle (1976) it can be said that the distribution of all these variables (especially services and facilities) is crucial not only for promoting economic growth. that is.98 per cent of the variance in the sample. child care (child immunization centres).22 4. number of beds in health centres.13 65.03 Ill Level of secondary activities 1. The second dimension. the first one is the most significant with an eigen value of 19. ht::alth (number of health centres.05 per cent of the total variance (Table 5. Table 5. lik~: India. In addition.

11 to -1.90 High . Moderately low level of development IS found in 11 gram panchayats (9.03 Moderate -0.10 67 60.2: Levels of Overall Development Number ofgram Percent of gram panchayats 1. Dimension 1: Levels of Overall Development From the above mentioned factor analysis a clear and distinct pattern of intra-regional disparity in the level of development has emerged. that is. Table 5.03 per cent) have achieved moderately high level of development. 5 1 to . 10 30 27.91 per cent) of the region (Table 5.1.2). 5.I. that is.3 127 .71 to -1.36 per cent) have reached a moderate level of development. Very high and high level of development is noted in two and one gram panchayats respectively.6. About thirty gram panchayats (27.2).3). moderate and moderately low levels of development (Table 5.5.36 Moderately low -0. the significant contribution in the category of moderately low is of Ausgram-1 block with its 28.1. we shall represent the level of development on the gram panchayat level map of the region with the help of choropleth method. The rest of the blocks including the major portion of both Jamalpur and Raina-I blocks belong to the moderately high. there is much disparity in the 'level of overall development' (Table 5.1. 90 Moderately high .70 & Above 11 9.90 Among the 11 rural development blocks only Jamalpur and Raina-1 have some of their panchayats in the higher categories. Therefore. In the moderately high category the highest contribution is of Raina-I block covering 50 per cent of its gram panchayats.6. 78 per cent) of gram panchayats in the moderate category of the level of development.57 per cent of gram panchayats. According to the first principal component. Table 5.80 Categories Scores Very high Below -1. the 'level of overall development' because of its higher level counting of the total variance. Galsi-ll block has the largest proportion (77. 67 out of Ill (60. Spatial Pattern of the Levels of Development In the analysis of the spatial pattern of the level of development in the region we have given higher priority to the first dimension. The majority of the gram panchayats. On the other hand.91 p~_chayats 2 0.

.56) 2(22.86) 2(28.11) 7(77. Kusumgram. and Dignagar-II and 128 .00) 7(70.78) 1(11.. Sagrai. Durgapur and Daluaibazar-II gram panchayats in Memari-1 block.00) 8(80.14) Burdwan-1 2(22. .00) 3(37.69) . Abujhati-11 gram panchayat in Jamalpur block. Table 5.11) 8(88. Kuchut gram panchayat in Memari-Il block.· " • " ' . Nabastha-1..22) 5(55.89) Montes war 5(38. Seharabazar gram panchayat in Raina-1 block have achieved high level of development (Figure 5.39) ··- ------------ ·---------- 4(44.1 ).~ -- -- ---- ---------------·-------------------- Blocks . Mahachanda and Bhatar gram panchayats in Bhatar block. Baghasan...3: Blockwise Picture of Levels of Overall Development (Category-wise number and percentage ofgram panchayats in each block) ------- Very high Moderately high Moderate Moderately low Ausgram-1 2(28. Hijalna.explains in detail the blockwise picture of the level of development and their respective number of gram panchayats in different levels of development. Bamunpara and Mamudpur-II in Monteswar block.. Kurmun-1 and Saraitikar gram panchayats in Burdwan-1 block.46) 3(23. with the help of the choropleth map representing developmental scores of the first principal component we can analyze the spatial pattern of the level of overall development at individual gram panchayat level.11) Khandaghosh 3(30.53) Memari-I 2(20. Ravan-Il and Belkash in Burdwan-1 block. Ukhrid and Sasanga gram panchayats of Khandaghosh block. Shyamsundar and Raina gram panchayats of Raina-I block.44) 1(11..29) 1(07.•.00) 4(50. and Ajhapur and Chakdighi gram panchayats of Jamal pur block.08) Bhatar 4(28. .57) 9(64. Jamma and Majher gram gram panchayats in Monteswar block. Bandul-11 in Burdwan-11 block.44) --"'·>· ""' """A-· o>T ---R-·"•• .." . Baikunthapur-1. Banpas.39) 8(61.46) 5(38. Amarun-1 in Bhatar block. On the other hand.. Monteswar.57) 3(42.12) Raina-I Jamalpur Burdwan-11 High 1(12.57) Galsi-11 1(11.22) 4(44..50) 2(15.• • • " • ' • + Now.. Denur. Barsul-II and Govindapur Kram panchayats in Burdwan-11 block.50) 2(15. -- 1(07. Sanko in Galsi-II block.. Narugrarn. Moderately high level of development is noted in Ausgram-1 and Billagram gram panchayats in Ausgram-1 block. Mahata. . Galsi in Galsi-11 block. Two gram panchayats in Jamalpur block namely Jamalpur-1 and Paratal-1 have very high level of development in the region.00) Memari-II 1(11.

. LEVELS OF DEVELOPMENT ~Very Htgh -151--1 90 -1 11-. -1 50 o 71--1 10 Moderate -o Moderately 70& above ' .LEVELS OF DEVELOPMENT 3()N SCORES OF FIRST PRINCIPAL COMPONENT SCORES 23 Below & -1 9\ 0 6 11 l<m.. htgh Moderately ''·g" cO"'f 8~ .

51 Moderate -2.00 5 4.5 explains in detail the blockwise distribution pattern of gram panchayats in different levels of the development of health infrastructure in the region.82 per cent) of the region have attained a moderate level of health infrastructure.00 0.1 ).87 Low Above 2. Table 5.00 82 73. Galsi-II.9 Among the 11 rural development blocks only Bhatar has a high level of health infrastructure because ofthe existence of a rural hospital there.01 to 2. Table 5. 130 .Guskara-II in Ausgram-1 block have moderately lower level of development (Figure 5. Moderately low and low level of health infrastructure is found in 82 (73. Dim.87 per cent) and one gram panchayat respectively (Table 5.00 22 19.01 to -2.6. The rest 67 gram panchayats of the region have attained moderate level of development. Raina-1. Monteswar and Burdwan-1 blocks have moderately high level health infrastructure due to the presence of several health centres with in-patient wards and permanent or resident doctors.4).01 to 0. In the moderat~~ category of health infrastructure the highest share is of Jamalpur and Monteswar block.2. four gram panchayats in each of which belong to this category.82 Moderately low 0. 5.4: Levels of Health Infrastructure Categories Scores Number of gram panchayats High -4 _00 & Below I Percent of gram panchayats 0_9 Moderately high -4. Low level of health infrastructure is found in only one gram panchayat of Raina-1 block. Moderately low level health infrastructure is most prevalent category covering major parts of all the eleven blocks in the region. According to this component high and moderately high level of health infrastructure is found only in one and five gram panchayats respectively.:~nsion II: Levels of Health Infrastructure The second principal component of our analysis explains the disparity in the 'level of health infrastructure' existing in the region. Ausgram-1. About 22 gram panchayats (19.

29) -- .Table 5.23) Memari-1 1(1 0.05 Low -1. • -·.41 Moderately high 0.00) 8(80.··~--·~· .00 60 54.00) 9(90. In our study region more than half of the gram panchayats (60 out of Ill) have moderately low level of secondary activities (Table 5.11) 2(22.77) 9(69.01-0.00 25 22.66) 3(33.11) 8(88. ..71) High 1(14.14) Burdwan-l Burdwan-11 5.77) 8(61.6. II) 3(21.69) 4(30.67) 2(20.01 . Both the low and moderately high levels of secondary activities are found in 10 gram panchayats (9.50) 6(75.3.43) 10(71.6).52 Moderately low -1. 131 .00) Memari-11 1(11.54) I (II. . Dimc~nsion 6(66.00 10 9.33) .22) 6(66.22) 6(66.00) 1(12.. Table 5.01 . Moderate level of secondary activities is found in 25 gram panchayats (22.43) 2(22.52 per cent) of the region.01 -2.67) Montes war Bhatar 1(07.50) Raina.01 per cent) each.5: Blockwise Pattem of the Levels of Health Infrastructure (Category-wise number and percentage ofgram panchayats in each block) Blocks Very high Ausgram-1 Gals i-II Moderately high 1(11.~- < • •·· -· 1(12.6: Levels of Secondary Activities Categories Scores High Number of gram panchayats Percent of gram panchayats Above 2.01 Moderate 0. .I Moderately low Moderate 6(85.89) 1(07.00 & Below 10 9.-. About six gram panchayats of the region have reached high level of secondary activities and these are usually associated with the concentration of agroprocessing units specially rice mills.1.-·. r- "• -•·-'" -·•- --·-~·-~·--·•-"•' • III: Levels of Secondary Activities The third principal component of the analysis has explained the' level of secondary activities'which is essentially a major dimension of development in rural areas as it expresses the level of diversification of economy. .00) Khandaghosh Jamalpur 4(30.00 6 5.

22) 5(55.00) 3(37. Moderately high level of development in this dimension is found in one panchayats each of Galsi-11.-_r.29) Burdwan-1 1(11.11) 2(22. ·-· ·--.29) 9(64. 7). which is an 132 . Table 5. This analysis basically has dealt with the rural part of the region.00) High Ausgram-I Jamalpur 3(23. Janmlpur. Memari-1 and Burdwan-11 with their three.00) 1(10. ·----- ~ --~-- . Diversification of the economy.-.67) 1(11. But the urban centres ofthc region arc also passively included in the study by their impact on the rural development..69) Bhatar 1(07.11) Khandaghosh 1(10.08) 1(07.11) 1(11.11) 2(22. No rural area can develop in isolation without its linkages or interactions with any urban centre.00) 2(20.7.50) 2(25.00) 2(20. Low levels of secondary activities ar'e noted in one gram panchayat each of Ausgram-1.92) 1(07.22) Summary In this chapter we have analyzed the level of socio-economic development of the region at micro level unit of gram panchayats. Monteswar and Burdwan-1 blocks and in two gram panchayats each of Khandaghosh.00) 2(20. Bhatar and Burdwan-I blocks and two gram panchayats each in Memari-I and Burdwan-11 blocks.14) 2( 14.00) 5(50.00) Raina-I 1(12.22) Burdwan-II 5. Raina-1 and Bhatar blocks (Table 5. 7 explains in detail the blockwise distribution pattern of the gram panchayats among diff. Three blocks namely Jamalpur.08) 6(46.Table 5.69) 3(23.29) Galsi-II 1(11. Raina-I. Khandaghosh.00) Memari-II 3(33.28) 2( 14.56) 1(11. Galsi-II. All the blocks have a number of gram panchayats in both moderate and moderately low categories of the level of secondary activities.erent categories of the level of secondary activities.67) Monteswar 2(15.---- .7: Blockwise Pattern of the Levels of Secondary Activities ·---~--"-• .29) Moderately low 5(71.33) 6(66. (Category-wise number and Percentage of gram panchayats in each block) Blocks Moderately high Moderate 1(14.39) 10(76. 2(22. one and two gram panchayats respectively have attained a high level of secondary activities.15) Memari-I 1(10.00) 6(60.34) 2(22.50) 2(25.42) Low 1(14.11) 6(66. • ~--~-··- .22) 3(33.

which have attained a relatively higher level of development. are also well connected to their nearest urban centres. 1981). we can say that the integration of rural and urban economy can bring more prosperity to the rural areas of the region. In thiis study. We have seen in our analysis that the gram panchayats. we shall now focus on the large villages that have grown in the region as a result of recent improvements in the rural economy. takes place with the increasing interaction with urban areas. our analysis of the existing pattern of the level of development at the gram panchayat level will provide micro-level data base and help future planning for the region. 133 . Therefore. The gaps in the level of development have also been highlighted in our study where necessary steps should be taken to strengthen the economic development as well as ruralurban integration of the region. Their existence and growth. Social scientists can help the planners by providing them with a picture of the already developed or existing situation of the area at the micro-level (Rao. Local factors as well as ease of communication to Burdwan both have given rise to these large villages who play a significant role in rural economy.essential component of rural development. Planning for rural development at the micro level requires studies of the existing socio-economic level of development and infrastructure for relatively small and homogenous units like block or gram panchayat. Therefore. that the rural economy has indeed become more diversified and that development has not followed any specific spatial pattern. in fact amplify the fmdings of this chapter.

However. It also discusses the locational pattern of rural market centres and their roles in the integration of rural and urban economies of the region. 134 . that is. only eight.1.2. Some Conceptual Considerations Urban studies literature has for long debated the defmitional problem (for an overview. spatial pattern. has quite an array of large villages. but which has an already thriving tertiary sector. and their occupational patterns. their growth. 1971 also shows the situation existing in the region when it was poised for agricultural growth after the introduction ofHYV seed fertilizer technology. hence this chapter. This chapter focuses on the large villages and rural market centres around Burdwan town. Some of these villages are growing at a relatively rapid rate than other villages or even towns. urban phenomena remain elusive. Intr·oduction One manifestation of rapid agricultural development in Burdwan region has been the growth of sc::verallarge villages.CHAPTER VI lARGE VIllAGES AND RURAl MARKO CENTRES 6. 6. 1972). socio-economic characteristics. growth potential. which are not designated by the census as 'urban'. being an agriculturally prosperous district. These are centres of accumulation of agricultural surplus in a region where no major secondary sector has developed yet. Moreover. In this study of large villages. and the Indian census is no exception. the census authorities of every country adopted its own operational defmition. the year 1971 has been taken as the base year and the changes are •examined over a time span oftwenty years (1971-'91) because ofthe fact that in the region the large villages before 1971 were very few. yet. see Carter. Keeping in view the proliferation of large villages it was felt that a study on their growth potentiality would throw some light on this little studied zone in the rural-urban continuum. Burdwan. It is difficult to understand rural-urban interaction in the context of a developing country like India without a discussion of the large villages. but have crossed the minimum population threshold.

medium towns and then into cities. Though the population size of these settllements is large. The present defmition of 'urban'. In the above context we shall analyze whether the large villages of the regiOn represent the twilight zone of rural-urban continuum where urban traits gradually dissolve into rural ones and integrate the rural economy with the nearby urban economy. identify two distinct types of urban units: 1.From its very early days. since 1971. In the literature on Indian growth centres. But not all large villages can develop as areas of re-investment in the form of 'rural market centres' as well as 'mral growth centres'. they continue to depend mainly on the primary sector for the sustenance of their economies. 1973). an inquiry into the nature of these large villages is critical for an examination of rural-urban interaction. and 2.000 persons) of census-defmed urban settlements are considered as 'large villages' in this study. Moreover. the Census of India has made a clear distinction between rural and urban places (Bose. Without these characteristics. the large villages of our study area have continued to remain rural as per the census definition and are yet to make the transition to urban. therefore. almost unchanged since 1872. places satisfying a minimum population criterion as well as criteria of density of population and occupational thresholds. Thus from the smallest village settlement to the largest urban settlement there will be a gradual changes of occupation as well as services and facilities. This non-agricultural population engaged in industrial or tertiary occupations introduce an element of urbanization in the character of the settlement. Large villages are usually areas of surplus accumulation from the rural sector. The surplus of any settlemt:::nt is proportional to the non-agricultural population. Clearly. The supporters of rural-urban continuum hypothesis try to establish that the process of city growth is such that the surplus arising in small villages concentrates in large villages and from larger villages into small towns. a settlement would be called rural as per Indian census. places having a statutory notified area. Many urban geographers emphasize the existence of a rural-urban continuum while others claim that there is a rural-urban discontinuum (Bhattacharya. Then: is an ongoing debate among scholars as to whether the urban can be really separated from the rural world or whether there is a gradual change of forms from the rural to the urban area. Harriss ( 1976) feels there has been a manifestation of negative ideology against the villages a~ urban centres 135 . Rural settlements <~rossing the minimum population threshold (5. 1987).

According to Misra (1978) growth centres are towns within specific size ranges. 61 out of76 large villages ofthe district. the large villages are nearly invisible in planning literature. we shall defme these overgrown rurban villages as 'market or service centres' but not as 'growth centres' because of this defmitionallimitation. grmvth centres are placed at a higher level than their rural surroundings. Therefore. 1990. The 136 . 1996. 1989. for a sample of such work).3. in India there is a vast array of literature on rural market centres (see Sarap. displaying potentialities for viable growth. Chadha. 1991. Clearly. 1996). Agarwala. Singh. Similarly. Dubc. 1982. Tiwari and Lal. and a formidable nodal point for forging rural'-urban economic linkages (Chadha.). 1960 etc. Harriss-White. 1996. Mikshell. 1986. We intend to identify these convenient locations. supplier of agricultural implements/machinery and other inputs. Dixit. However. Rising rural demand for production inputs and consumer goods leads to a dynamism in the commercial bases of both urban and rural market centres. in such a context. Berry. 1963. there are 32 large villages out ofthe total 76 ofthe entire Burdwan district. At present. Prasad and Mahato. 1970. making each rural market centre 'virtually' a centre for grain trade/procurement. 1984. 6. that is. Ghosh. Some of the large villages develop into rural market or st:rvice centres as these are located at places which are the most convenient from the stand-point of the mobilization and re-investment of regional economic surplus (Bhattacharya. Market centres have been widely studied by geographers and economists but the majority of these studies are on the urban market centres (see. Patte·rn of Growth (1971-'91) Large villages dot the rural landscape of the Burdwan region. a commercial link with surrounding rural hinterland. 1967. 1982 etc.1. Ghuryc. Such places are not always evenly distributed throughout the region and sometimes produce apparently isolated pockets. 1986. Their differences are more notable because in the spatial and functional hierarchy of central places in a rural region. 1996. 1987). The eastern part of the district has the lion's share ofthe district total.tend to attract the attention of planners.3. The rural market centres play the role of local growth centres for the stretch of rural surroundings as these generate livelihood sources as well as wealth. Laq~e Villages 6. large and overgrown villages as well as rurban centres have been studied in great detail in India (see Samanta. 1958) as viable instruments for bringing rural-urban economic parity.

334 II. but contains most of the newborn towns and urban outgrowths of West Bengal (besides greater Calcutta region)..03 15.68 9.._. Mandalgram 6..956 7. ---- -. Karnalpm 5. Satgachhia 5.40 13..89 14. Kurmun 5.788 6.220 18. Oregram 6.398 37. On the other hand.443 23.205 7.3 per cent.- A• ~ • ~-~ ~· Population Name of the villages .633 8. -137 .177 30.80 26.350 8. Nasigram 7..- ~------ . Jaugram 6.741 6. 175 28.237 6.518 7.129 8.482 5.5 per cent) than the 1981-'91 (52.-- ~---- - .37 - -. In 1991 census the number increased to 32 (Table 6.. 200 I).37 7.02 15.965 6.095 8.07 10.02 11. •n ·-~--· .60 18.78 per cent whereas in the '80s the rate stepped up to 39. The western part of the district has only 15 large villages. Sanko 5.95 1981-'91 34.- --- . This variation in the percentage increase ofthe number of large villages can be negatively correlated with the population growth rate of Burdwan town itself In the 1970s the growth rate of Burdwan town was 16.22 24.18 9.50 8...007 11.occurrence of large villages in the eastern part of Burdwan district is predominantly due to its agricultural prosperity in recent years. Chanchai 6.730 8.642 --~--· ~--~-- ---.944 6.03 4.361 6. Rayan 1971 7.50I 6.59 20..739 9. the western part of district with its mining and industrial economy lacks large villages of the kind found in the eastern part and has experienced a greater rate and extent of urban growth in recent decades (Lahiri-Dutt.94 3. In 1971 the number of large villages of the study area was only 8 which increased up to 21 in 1981 census. The percentage increase in the number oflarge villages was higher in the decade of 1971-'81 (162.72 6. -~ ~-·- "·' ·.690 23.500 8...412 1971-'81 30.09 5._. --- ----- ~ --- 23.07 2. Kulingrarn 5._ .1: Growth Rate of Large Villages (1971-'91) '·' ·<"'·--.161 33.1)..608 -10. Table 6.38 per cent).258 1991 12.384 6.194 4. Barabeiun 7.232 7.320 12.I94 7.849 30.07 12. Bohar 6. Eruar 5. Saktigarh 5.- ---- Growth rate (per cent) 1.070 1981 9. .90 5.

35 per cent in 1970s and 23.602 26.738 7.58 per cent in 1980s. On the other hand. As a result.23 17.11 18.191 21.35 23.598 32. Khandaghosh 5.112 6.58 Source: District census handbook.627 Average 15. it can be said that the villages have grown in size at a much higher rate than Burdwan town in the decade of 1970s. Satinandi 5. Barapalasan 5. Monteswar 6.93 19.16. 1971. This situation can be explained by the fact that in the decade of 1970s the adoption of new technology package boosted agricultural production in the rural areas of the region. Sura 5.348 30.622 28. Sehara 5.344 8. Barnsor 5.58 20. Palla 5. villages grew in size with high rate of growth. 1981. Galsi 6. The average growth rate of the population of large villages was 15. Coming to the point of growth rate of population in already existing large villages the scenario becomes totally different. in the decade of 1980s rural to urban migration resulted in a high rate of growth of Burdwan town. Nari 7.399 27.71 22. Ajhapur 6.122 15. As a result.570 24.96 21. These average population 138 .036 32. Dignagar 5. during this period the growth in the size of villages remained very low with only 16.587 25. Balgana 5. Banpas 5.1991 From the relative analysis of the growth of Burdwan town and the percentage increase of large villages in the last two decades.113 23.235 23. Berugram 5. This situation somewhat prohibited the movement of people from rural to urban areas. Kusumgram 5. Ruppur 5.302 7.78 per cent increase in the number of large villages.766 6.688 29.560 34.162 7.632 31.471 12.

Table 6.000 to 10. marketing and other infrastructures.000 6 6. which led to significant growth (growth rate: being 23.000 2 8. In our study region. less developed infrastructure and marketing system. greater accessibility and better-developed infrastructure.8.000 (Table 6.I 0. the highest frequency of large villages is found in the size class of 6.000 to 8. During this time already existing large villages did not increase significantly in size (growth rate~ being I5.5 per cent in their number.growth rates of large villages are at per with the growth rate of the population of Burdwan town. some of the large villages developed into rural market centres due to their favourable location. There are two large villages above I 0. As a result. To explain these contradictory figures of the increase in the number of large villages and the population growth rate in them during the two decades of 1970s and 1980s we can cite several possible reasons.000 -.000 9 Source : Extracted fTom 1991 district census handbook. Burdwan The population size ofthe large villages in the region ranges from 5.35 per cent) because of their very low frequency. in the I980s large villages started to develop their transportation.2).58 per cent) with surplus agricultural products and capital to invest in non-agriculture activities.000 has nine villages.348 to 12.2: Frequency Distribution of Large Villages. 139 . However.000 is fifteen. Therefore.000 has the frequency of six. This surplus came from the agricultural sector as profits begin to accumulate as capital from technology-oriented agriculture.000 I5 5.000 -.000 to 6.6.000 size class. The number of settlements in the size class of 6. the smaller villages started to grow in size and the number of large villages stepped up from 8 to 21 in 1981 with a growth rate of 162. The lowest size class of 5. As a result.412 (a~ per 1991 census). the adoption of new technology started in the decade of 1970s.000 to 8. The size class of 8.000 . 1991 Population size class Frequency Above I 0.

10 E {.i 14 0 2 3" ..LOCATION OF LARGE VILLAGES ___ Meta ll~d Rood -- Unmetalled Road o Large v.J/oge 88 .

Jamalpur Jaugram. Their size varies from 5. Balgana. Ausgram. Bohar. Satgachhia. Table 6. Satinandi. Eruar. Eruar.6. Khandaghosh Kamal pur Kamalpur. Sehara Schara Galsi.1 ).I Chanchai Chanchai. Nasigrarn. Raina. Barabelun.348 to over 12. Kurmun Mandai gram Oregram. Bhatar Rayan. Monteswar Monteswar. Monteswar. Barapalasan. 5. Burdwan -II Saktigarh Saktigarh 3. that is. Nasigram. Kurmun. Palla. Memari. 1 is found in Burdwan-II. Burdwan . Bohar Mandalgram. Galsi.2. Satgachhia. Kulingram. The 32 large villages of the region are distributed over eleven rural development blocks in an uneven manner. Bamsor. The highest frequency of large villages (7) is found in Bhatar block whereas the lowest frequency. Ajapur. Sanko.I Dignagar Dig nagar 11. Eruar. Galsi. Banpas.3: Large Villages of the Region : 1971-'91 Blocks /99/ /98/ 1971 Rayan. Kulingram. Oregram. Ruppur. 8. Sura. 6. Kurmun Rayan. Nari. Banpas. 10. Khandaghosh.. Memari. Oregrarn. Mandalgram. Jaugram. Barabelun. Berugram.II Sanko Distribution Pattern: Methodology Now we can analyze the distribution pattern of large villages ( ooth spatial and temporal) to torm the basis of a better understanding of the rural-urhan interaction of the region. Sanko. 2. 1. Loc~ttion and Distribution Pattern Location The rural counterpart of the region is frequently dotted with several large villages.II 7.3. Kusumgram. Raina-) and Ausgram-1 blocks (Table 6. Nasi gram. Barabelun. Most of these settlements are located at favourable sites having a high degree of transportation linkage with the nearest urban centn:: (Figure 6.000 (as per 1991 census).I 9. Several techniques (For example chi141 .I 4. Kusumgram. The process of growth of these villages and the nature of linkages with urban centres play a significant role in the noXul"e of their growth.3).

The nearest neighbour index has been worked out more directly with the help of the following formula: Rn = cf_o de Where.00. The higher the value above 1. Bhattacharya. 1973.square. the greater is the degree of uniformity or 'open-ness'. 1984. 1982. lt is based on the measurement of distance between each point and its nearest neighbouring point.00. If the pattern under consideration is itself 'random' then the nearest neighbour index should have a value of 1.4) representing the spatial pattern of distribution of large villages between 1981 and 1991 reveal a similar picture in some blocks whereas quit{~ different in others. Spatial Path:~rn of Distribution The figures of nearest neighbour index (Table 6. Tamaskar. This method considers the location of individual points within a pattern in relation to others (Mahmood. Singh. King. 1962 etc. the overall density of points in the area is taken into account in working out the nearest neighbour index. To standardize the result and thus to allow comparison between different point patterns. Among these we have selected the nearest neighbour analysis developed by Clark and Evans (1954) to identify the pattern of distribution of large villages. In practice close values above or below 1. Countenho and Ramamurthy ( 1972) have also applied this method to identifY the pattern of rural settlement in Maharashtra. Rn is the nearest neighbour index do is the observed mean distance between points de is the expected mean distance. 1986). Lorenz's curve. Any overall tendency towards clustering will cause the observed mean distance to fall below the expected and give a value of Rn considerably below 1. 1991.00 may also be interpreted as describing random patterns. Dacey. 1962.) have been used by geographers to examine the distribution pattern of settlements (Sarkar.).00. One great advantage of using this technique noted by Davis (197 4) is its size indifference to study units (blocks in this case). 142 . To clarifY the spatial pattern in detail the situation of both the years of 1981 and 1991 are discussed separately. nearest neighbour analysis etc.

92 Jamal pur 262. However at the micro level the situation is quite different from that of 1981.62 1.66 7.06.75 5.18 of 1981.4 Ausgram-1 235. This zone covers western and southern parts of Monteswar.79 1. From figure 6.61 Pattern of 1981 In 1981 the nearest neighbour index for the whole region was 1. southern part ofMemari-I and northwestern part of Jamalpur block (Figure 6.00 1981 5.13 4.05 Burdwan-1 242.75 6.05 3.50 Khandoghosh 260.51 2 2 3.4: Nearest Neighbour Indices for Spatial Pattern of Large Villages.31 2 3 8.16 0. On the other hand.39 3.56 2. The nearest neighbour index of 1991 was 1.) Number of villages 1981 1991 2 3 1981 11.49 1981 1991 1.49 Rn =do/de 1991 4.33 5. In between these two zones there is a zone representing random pattern of distribution.45 5. Burdwan--1.3 Memari-1 203.74 5. Raina-1 and parts of Memari-I show uniform or open pattern of distribution.54 4. Khandaghosh. Therefore.8 Monteswar 305.00 6.75 3. thus indicating a greater tendency to randomness.63 0. Again the total variations of 143 .50 4.65 1.00 than that of 1.25 ·- de do 1991 7. looking in detail there are local variations with nearest neighbour index varying between 0.9 2 5 3.5 3 4 6.16 6.55 3. it can be said in a nutshell that the spatial pattern of large villages in the year 1981 was uniform or open in larger parts of the region with patches of exception experiencing random and clustered pattern of distribution. Pattern of 1991 In this year too the region a~ a whole indicated a random pattern of distribution of large villages.05 (Table 6.4 Burdwan-11 182.4 2 1. Ausgram-1.4 Memari-11 230.3 Bhatar 414.56 0.35 5.04 4.85 1.75 5 7 7.2 Galsi-11 210.61 0.18 indicating a random pattern of distribution. Memari-II.17 3 0. larger parts of the region incorporating the blocks of Bhatar. However.74 3.Table 6. which is closer to 1.18 1.2). including the development blocks of Monteswar and Jamalpur respectively represent a clustered pattern of distribution.56 1.4 ). Galsi-11.4 Raina-! 256.83 3. km. 1981-'91 ~ Area Blocks (sq.2 it is quite clear that the northeastern and southeastern parts of the study area.61 and 2.

. B&'zolE SPATIAL DISTRf BUTION PATTERN OF LARGE VILLAGES 1991 ~ ~ >1"50 1"25-1"50 ~ 1'00-1"25 u o·?s-'oo !2J < 0 75 i="•gure No .ae· 20 E SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION PATTERN OF LARGE VILLAGES 1981 ....6....<. ·-------L. . NEAREST NEIGHBOUR ~ ~ 0 N INDEX >1 "75 1 50-1'75 1"25-1"50 rz:a 1 00-1"25 [?2j 0"75-1"00 c:::J <o·?s a8'1ZO E I ..

These high density villages together form a linear arrangement along the main transportation arteries of the region.3 ). However. (Figure 6. The large villages of the eastern and western parts ofthe region are highly connected with Burdwan by both national highway (G. with certain sectors of the region.T.1 ). south and west (Figure 6. northwest and southwest. The eastern parts of Bhatar.05). Out of 32 villages a significant number of 28 have crossed the urban density threshold. Spatial Path~rn of Population Density Then~ is much variation in the spatial pattern of population density over the region.3. Density Characteristics The population density figures for the large villages are quite higl\ varying between 334 and 2.2) From the analysis of distribution pattern of large villages in two decades a clear picture of temporal trend of the distribution pattern has emerged. 400 persons per square kilometre (as per 1991 census). Memari-1 and Memari-11 blocks. Burdwan.61 to 2. that is. In spite of that.tern Railway Calcutta-Asansol main line (Figure 6. Burdwan-11 and Jamalpur blocks represent random pattern of distribution. The density gradient from the central urban focus is very high towards north.875 person per square kilometre. This trend points to an improving rural infrastructural level and expanding linkages with the nearest urban centre. the rate of density decline is not uniform in all directions from the central town.61 to 1. northwestern and southwestern parts of the region.nearest neighbour index in 1991 (ranging between 0. east. The rest of the western part shows a uniform pattern of distribution. From this high density zone in the central part. The highest level of density (well above 1. 6.000 persons per square kilometre) is found in a small circular zone near the central town. and western parts of the region ranging between 800 to LOOO persons per square kilometre (Figure 6. The density decreases to 400 persons per square kilometre in the northern.56) are lesser than that of 1981 (varying between 0. On the other hand. a low gradient in density decrease is found in the direction of northeast. But the density is relatively higher in the eastern.3). the general spatial pattern has an overall similarity with the picture of 1981. These communication facilities 145 . that is. The average density of population of all the villages taken together is 883 persons per square kilometre. Burdwan. There is a gradual shift from openness or uniformity towards clustering in the distribution pattern.3. The clustered pattern of distribution is found in the extreme eastern part covering larger parts of Monteswar. Road) and Ea<. density decreases towards the peripheral areas.500 and 2.

J .a1· 4o'E PATTERN OF LARGE VILLAGES 23" 1991 z 3' N 0 5 10 km Figure No - G.

Satgachhia. low density of population. This pattern of population density of large villages is directly related to the ruralurban linkage. Bamsor. Galsi. Ruppur.876 persons per square kilometre) of population density among the individual large villages of the region gives an interesting pattern of density distribution. Bohar. High level of density.5 gives a clear pattern of distribution of large villages among different density classes. Ajhapur. that is. Sura.500 .000 Very very high Shaktigarh 1. 1991 Number of Name of the villages villages Persons/square kilometre Density categories Above 2. Schara.000 Very high Palla 1. The villages with extremely high and very high density of population 147 . Therefore. Nari.1.000 to 1. Table 6. Banpas. below 500 persons per square kilometre is found in 5 villages only. The highest number of large villages.88 per cent). As a result.000 Medium 18 Kurmun.5: Distribution of Large Villages into Density Classes. Sanko. Kulingram. Dig nagar. Satinandi. Source: Extracted from 1991 district census handbook. 18 out of 32 (56.25 per cent) belong to the medium density class of 500 to 1. Kamalpur. Burdwan Table 6. On the other hand.have provided a high degree of linkage with the urban economy. that is. Galsi 500.000 . Oregram. from the above analysis we can draw the inference that the expanding rural-urban linkage of the region direcltly influences the population density oflarge villages.2. To identify the distribution pattern of density among 32 large villages of the region we can divide the large villages into different density classes.500 persons per square kilometre is found in 7 villages (21.000 persons per square kilometre. Chanchai. Kusumgram Below 500 Low 5 Berugram. Barapalasan. Density Distribution A wide range (334 to 2. Monteswar. that is. Only one village is found in very high and very very high category of density classes each. diversification of rural economy has taken place which is an important factor behind the high population density of the large villages of the eastern and western part of the region. Mandalgram. Barabelun. Khandaghosh. Jaugram. Nasigram.1.500 High 7 Rayan. Eruar. Balgana. 1.

15 per cent respectively with a wide range of 187. . Sura.1 ).(Shaktigarh and Palla respectively) have high level of linkage with Burdwan town by both railways and roadways.51 per cent and 193.13 Nari 30-40 High 8 25. Growth in density (1981-'91) The population density of the large villages has considerably increased during the last decade. Monteswar Below 10 Very Low 2 6. Berabelun. These two villages are situated at 10 minutes and 15 minutes time distance from Burdwan town respectively.-.62) of villages experienced medium gro\\th in density. Banpas. Bohar. that is. Table 6.25 Nasigram. on the other side.0 Rayan. Oregram. The highest percentage ( 40. Kamalpur. Satinandi. Again. Barapalasan. Saktigarh. Balgana.-.----- Table 6. 20 . it can be concluded that the linkage with central urban focus. Jaugram. allct--i 991 diStrict ·ce-nsuS 11Midbook-~--B~Td"-:an ·-·· --~ -··. Galsi. High and low levels of growth rate in density arc found in 25 per cent ofvillages each. Kulingram. There is much variation in the growth rate of density among the large villages.6 clearly states the percentage distribution of large villages into diflerent categories of growth in density. the growth rate in density is not at all uniform throughout the region.. Therefore. (1981-'91) Growth rate Levels Number villages of Percentage of Name of the villages total Above 40 Very high 1 3. Khandaghosh. Eruar.6: Growth Rate of Density of Large Villages. only 1 village has achieved very high growth rate in 148 .64 per cent. Mandalgram. Ajhapur. The 7 villages with high level of density are also highly connected with Burdwan town (Figure 6. Satgachhia. Ruppur.i _. 10-20 Low 8 25.62 Palla. Sanko. To analyze the pattern of growth rate in density the large villages are divided into five classes.0 Kurmun.25 per cent of villages experienced very low (below 10) gro\\th rate in density. Only 6.30 Medium 13 40. Bamsor. Dignagar. Chanchai. However. Schara. Burdwan has a direct impact on the density of large villages..--· Source: Extracted from t98. The lowest and highest growth rates in density are 5. Kusumgram. Berugram.

1970). the associated ceiling on land ownership have abolished the class of 'very rich' farmers from the region. on average large villages of the region are yet to diversify their economies with significant proportions in secondary and tertiary activities. trade and commerce of the si7~ 149 . is the relative lack of industrial development. 193. the manufacturing sector of the economy is still limited in scope in spite of the concentration of rice mills. the average percentage share of workforce of these large villages in the primary sector is 71. Another important aspect of the economy of these large villages is their relatively higher proportion of workforce in the tertiary sector than in the secondary sector. it has occurred on the line of tertiary sector especially in trade and commerce.99 respectively. Therefore. In spite of double and multiple cropping and the accumulation of capital surpluses. 1973) states that agricultural surplus accumulates over space in specific locations which gradually increase in size to turn ultimately into urban settlements. Its location at the eastern periphery of the town has facilitated the very high growth in density.). A significant feature of the rural economy.15 per cent during the last decade. rice bran oil and chira (pressed rice) processing units in the region. 1972). In addition. This exceptionally high growth rate of Nari village is due to its proximity to Burdwan town. Fun•~tional Characteristics The theory ofurban origin (Harvey. to earn the designation of a full.density.3. As against the primary sector the average percentage share of secondary and tertiary sectors is 7. Whatever diversification of the economy has taken place. Though some of these large villages are increasingly acquiring urban attributes like physical appearance or morphology (such as metalled roads. that is.fledged town (Agarwala. The large villages occupy that twilight zone in the rural-urban continuum where a settlement stands poised before attaining all the urban attributes. Therefore.26 per cent with a range varying between 40. and as a result our large villages are quite distinctive from the 'urban villages' usually studied by Indian Geographers (Sundaram and Tyagi. The explanation of the non-development of secondary sector activities possibly lies in the fact that the various land reform measures have been successful in the region.4. particularly the urban functions. On the other hand. concrete buildings etc.39 per cent (Nari) and 88. therefore. the comparatively more atlluent farmers have not been able to invest their profit amount on large manufacturing units. 6.75 and 20. population size and density they continue to depend mainly on the primary sector for the sustenance of their economy. mustard oil. This sector is still dominated by agriculture.60 per cent (Balgana) according to the 1991 census. On the other hand.

carried on in the region requires lesser installation capital or initial investment which motivate the bigger farmers to invest their surplus capital into this sector. still remain purely rural with high proportions of their labour force in agriculturerelated occupation. minor irrigation pumps etc.: • agricultural inputs including fertilizer and HYV seeds (distributor or dealership of these commodities). _. Dignagar. Khandaghosh.···--------~·I?. Satinandi. Rayan. Sura. Barabelun. Nasigrarn. there are widespread spatial variations among the villages on an individual basis. Galsi. Sanko. Table 6. Sehare. Mandalgram. Kulingram. ~~~~w~~~~-~:--~-~!~~~:~~-~-. Kurmun. oil-grinding units etc. 1991 Percentage workforce of in Levels . In recent years there have been a proliferation of tiny manufacturing units producing briquettes (as fuel for open ovens for domestic use). 150 . and • wholesale marketing of agricultural products (like rice grains). husking mills. Berugrarn.75 -~u~d~xtni~~d rro~~Wt~~~~ct-~. Bamsor. Kusumgram Percentage of total 34. occupation IS the prime one m identifYing the stage of evolution or transformation of a settlement. Eruar. food items etc. Jaugrarn.7: Pattern of Primary Occupation in Large Villages. Palla. P!i'!!~aiY_!eC!o~ Above 80 Number of Name of the villages villages Very high 11 70-80 High 9 60-70 50-60 Medium Low 3 6 Barapalasan. a few of these settlements have attained relatively higher proportion of non-primary sector workers by the process of rural transformation to achieve a stage where they may be designated as semi-urban or rurban market centres. Oregram. Trade and commerce ofthese villages are basically ofthree kinds : • daily consumer goods including medicine.37 I 8. Satgachhia.26 per cent of the labour force of the large villages are still in primary sector occupations. brick-kilns near urban peripheries. Balgana. Ruppur.13 9. Banpas..38 28.-. service and repairing. as well as some large cold storages for storing agricultural produce. Chanchai. Though. Kamalpur. Most of the large villages in spite of crossing the census-identified size and density threshold of urban centres. sawmilling. on an average. Ajhapur. On the other hand. Spatial Pattern of Occupation Characteristics Among the various economic characteristics. 71.~· ~k. Bobar.

that is.01 46.69 28. Sura. Banpas.13 per cent of large villages. Less than ten per cent growth is found in Sura and Galsi. Table 6. 7 explains the pattern of primary sector occupation of the population of large villages ofthe region. Monteswar. On the other hand.26 per cent on an average (Table 6.32 47.37 per cent of large villages.88 59.07 39.--farm activities 19 71-1991 1971 1991 --- -~- 17. between 70 and 80 per cent of primary work participation rate is found in 28.54 50. Schara.76 per cent) in non-farm activities (owing to increase in proportion of agricultural labourers. Palla and Kusumgram.32 67.12 per cent of large villages have attained high level (above 50 per cent) of non-primary occupation thus experie:ncing a rurban character. Medium level of primary work participation is experienced by 9. High level. Sehara has also experienced negligible proportion of negative growth (-0.94 7. Rural Transformation Nine villages namely Palla. 17 J99I district -cens~~ han~k: B~~dwan · 151 .32 per cent) in non-farm activities (because of the decline of its cotton manufacturing mill).61 39.3 29.64 65. About 10 to 20 per cent growth rate in non-farm activities is found in two villages.31 45. negative growth in non-farm activities is experienced by only two villages. Nari and Saktigarh with their high degree of non-primary functions have experienced diversification of economy as well as transformation of rurality.33 49.76 -6.Table 6.22 33. Gals~ Kusumgrarn.07 26.02 18. Saktigarh and Sehara (Table 6.8: Growth in Non-farm Activities of Rurban Villages 1971-'91 Nameofthe villages Kusumgram Nari Palla Monteswar Banpas Galsi Sura Schara Saktigarh Percentage of workforce in non-farm activities Growth in per cent of non --.28 21. 28.0 44. The growth in non-farm activities ofthe labour force ofthese large villages between 1971 and 1991 is 13.79 -0. Very high level of primary sector occupation is found in 34. These are Nari.24 52.8). and the decline in the proportion of other workers). three villages have experienced more than 20 per cent of growth rate in non-farm activities.97 48.49 ~So~~~~ E~tract<cd from 197i ~~d 47.59 28. Among them.38 per cent of large villages. Saktigarh has experienced negative growth (-6. Banpas and Monteswar. On the other hand. that is.8).72 16.97 3.

it resembles what has happened in PunjabHaryana. such as improved health and education. or ~~venin pockets in Kerala.farm activities. All these rurban centres are highly connected with Burdwan town by means of railways and roadways.From the occupational analysis it is clear that some of the large villages (9 out of 32) of the region are experiencing diversification of economy and gradually absorbing the urban nature with regard to employment characteristics. Demand from the developed agricultural sector for agricultural inputs stimulates non. Agricultural growth also stimulates increased demands by rural people for consumer-oriented services. These resources can be mobilized through the terms of trade. transport. but certainly it is not a representative picture of either rural West Bengal or rural India (Dasgupta. This phenomena is still considered exceptional in a country like India. Most of the people living in these villages pursue diverse economic activities. through the savings and investments of both farmers and agricultural traders. These villages are now in a state of rural-to-urban transition occupying the twilight zone in the rural-urban continuum of the region.3. High degree of ruralurban linkage/interaction has facilitated the diversification of economy of these large villages. Social Characteristics The economies of large villages of the regiOn are gomg through a state of transformation. 6. 1981 ). Agriculture supplies the financial resources necessary to the organization of non-farm activities.5. In a predominantly agrarian region. communication and retail and personal services (Harriss. Agricultural development and consequent rise in rural surplus and demand have facilitated the rural transformation of the nine large villages of the region. development of non-farm economy is materially affected by the development of agricultural sector. and it is expected that it will lead to some social changes as well. Behind this diversification of economy the role of agricultural development of the regton 1s beyond doubt. 2000). The interplay of rural-urban phenomena exerts a great influence on social and cultural attributes 152 . Workers commuting daily to nearby urban areas are a general phenomenon due to the better connectivity. working partly in villages and partly in nearby urban centres.

In other words. Here we shall measure the backwardness of large villages indirectly with the help of census defmed scheduled caste and scheduled tribe population data because of the lack of other data such as per capita income etc. 1993). the concentration of backward population. The large villages of the region have been classed according to their concentration of backward population in the following table. For the analysis of social characteristics of the large villages we have selected some of the imp01iant indicators of social status of a settlement. The average percentage ofbackward population ofthese large villages is 40. This is because when a major section of the population of a settlement belongs to the backward class there is usually less capital available for the socio-economic development due to their poverty. and have not implied any specific 'stage' in the process of urbanization as identified by Misra (1978). Increased transport facilities and expansion of road network and the resultant rural-urban linkage have influenced these social characteristics. literacy and the status of women. Here we have used the term 'rurban' in the sense of having both rural and urban characteristics. These are.91 to 77. as the region is still predominantly agricultural. this 'rurban' is quite different from the planned/unplanned rurban development in post-industrial societies. By these parameters we shall try to analyze the social status of the large villages of the region.58 per cent). they have developed 'rurban' characteristics. Moreover. The villages attaining an advanced stage in the process of transformation have developed certain social characteristics which set them apart from their 'purely' rural counterparts.of rural areas (Tripathi.63 which is slightly lower than the regional rural average (41. Social Backwardness The proportion of backward population is an important indicator of socio-economic status of a settlement. High concentration of backward population in any settlement indicates its social backwardness.60 with a range of2. We have considered the sum total of the respective numbers of population of both scheduled castes and tribes as backward population for our study area. 153 .

The rich agricultural economy ofthe region has geared up the economic prosperity of the region. Banpas. Berugrarn. Palla. It may be assumed that the villages with high concentration of backward population will remain rural in character for a long time in spite of their large size and high density of population and high rate of growth. Mandalgram. Jaugram.9: Concentration of Backward Population in Large Villages. very high level ofbackwardness is found in 12. On the other hand. 31. which again facilitates the social development in the form of literacy 154 . 9. People pay attention to the education of their children after fulfillment of their basic necessities of food.Table 6. Bobar. clothing and shelter. Ajhapur. Barapalasan. Literacy Sta1tus Literacy is an essential component of social and economic development of any settlement.9 it is quite clear that majority of the large villages of the region have high and medium level of social backwardness as 62. Low level ofbackwardness is found in 15. Ruppur. Saktigarh. Dignagar.37 h_ack_wart/ population Number Name of the village of vi!ll!ges Chanchai. Sura.63 per cent of large villages. With a very low level of literacy no settlement can be developed into a point of prosperity as both the social and economic development go on side by side.25 15-30 Low 5 Nari.5 31. Khandaghosh Percentage Level of backward ness Very high Percentage of of total 12. 1991 Above 60 45-60 High 30-45 Medium 10 Rayan. Eruar. 10 Sehara. 4 Oregram Kurmun.25 Source: Extracted from 1991 district census handbook.5 per cent of total population of these villages have 30 to 60 per cent of backward population.63 Below 15 Very low 3 Kusumgram.37 per cent of villages have very low level of backwardness. Satgachhia. 15. Nasigrarn. Satinandi. Kamal pur. Barnsor. Sanko. About 9.5 per cent of villages. Burdwan From table 6. Barapalasan. Galsi. Balgana. Kulingram. Monteswar.

However.5 Kamal pur 3. Mass literacy programme of the region has developed the awareness of people to the importance of education. Kulingram. The average literacy rate ofthese large villages is 48.73 per cent.-. Ajhapur. 25 to 40 per cent. Barabelun. 1993).and the status of women. Four villages have low level of literacy. Jaugram. that is.10: Literacy Status of Large Villages.13 55-70 High 7 Nari. 12. Satgachhia. Bohar. that is. Bamsor.13 10-25 ---.--··-.. This literacy rate is higher than the regional rural average. On the other hand high level of literacy is found in seven (21.. that is. Chanchai. Sak:tigarh. Sehara. Khandaghosh. Dignagar.----- Very low -. Oregram..87 per cent) large villages of the region. 1991 Percentage of literate to total -------------- ·-- Level of literacy ·-------- Number of large villages Name of the large villages Percentage to total --- Above 70 Very high 1 Kurmun 3. 47. Very high and very low level of literacy is found in 3. Galsi._- .-·-------·· Source: Extractc-<l from 1991 district census handbo~~i~. Kusumgram.13 per cent. We hope to fmd its full impact on the data of the census of2001. Banpas. An intensive mass literacy programme of the region has been taken up by the administration in the decade of 90s. Satinandi.__ . 155 .67 per cent but much lower than that ofBurdwan town. Sanko. Table 6. Berugram. Mandalgram.64 to 76. here we have dealt with the 1991 census data and the impact of mass literacy programme is yet to be found on this data._.· B~~(i. Monteswar 21.37 per cent) have attained medium level of literacy. 59.10 explains the level of literacy of large villages of the region very clearly. Palla.87 40-55 Medium 19 Rayan. 65.---·--~---~--------· Table 6. Eruar. 40 to 55 per <~ent of total.. The region also belongs to the district of Burdwan. Sura.05 per cent (as per 1991 census) with a range: of 10. The relatively high degree of rural-urban interaction also results in higher level of literacy in rural areas (Tripathi. Balgana. which is a 'total literate' district as per government description. Ruppur.13 per cent of large villages each. thalt is.-~--· -.37 25-40 Low 4 Barapalasan. Majority ofthe large villages (59. Nasigram.

) and urban centres (Burdwan.The large villages of the region are passmg through changes in both social and economic circumstances.65 per cent which is higher than both the district average (37.06 per cent). Therefore.28 per cent in 1971 to 38. It is now common to see town buses transporting school-going children into the urban centres from surrounding villages.93 per cent in 1981 and to 48. As the green revolution gets more and more solidified in the rural hinterland. it can be said that the large villages are experiencing a social transformation in many ways through the expanded rural-urban interaction. custom-bound rural society. A process of change and transformation is thus initiated in the stagnant. The average literacy rate of the large villages ofthe region rose from 33.08 per cent in 1991. Status of Women A high social status of women in a region indicates its level of advancement of rural society. as the urban contact always leaves some impact on the rural society. each town gets more and more integrated with the economic as well as social life of the people in the countryside (Chadha.84 per cent) and regional average (38. In our study region large villages are well connected to the urban centres as well as rural service centres bearing the impact of urban society on the rural one. A higher degree of accessibility to the educational institutions of different rurban (Galsi. we shall study the status of women with the help of female literacy and fi~male work participation rate in them.46 per cent) for rural region. Bhatar etc.05 per cent) of the region and the female literacy rate of Burdwan town (59. To analyze whether there is any impact of increasing rural-urban interaction on the social life of large villages. 156 . But still it is far below the general literacy rate (48. Memari and Guskara) have facilitated to raise the literacy level of these large villages. a higher status of women indicates a better and increasing linkage with the urban arc~as. Female Literacy The large villages of the region have an average female literacy rate of 38. Sehara. Changes in the level ofliteracy over a period of two decades (1971'91) also bear the same character. For a detailed analysis of female literacy we can divide large villages of the region into the following classes. In rural India. 1996).

.....85 to 53. Women are usually absorbed as agricultural labourer of farm activities. Kurmun. . Eruar. Orogram.. Mandalgram. 10.. Satinandi.13 "'-'~'> . 56. Therefore. Bohar... Banpas.._ -~~- ~· O _. Monteswar. . Female Work Participation Rate Female work participation rate is an important indicator of social development of any region. it can be said that the large villages of the region..11 explains that there are wide variations of female literacy rates among the large villages of the region with the range of 8. Chanchai. Bamsor. Burdwan Table 6.. Large villages of the region still have very poor level of female work participation rate. ... .. Nasigram.. and Monteswar) have progressed to a considerable state in this regard.. _ "T•>'• . This is due to the dominance of agricultural activities in the occupation structure of the region.. . ~ '••• 0 .. 1991 Percentage of female literate to total female Level of female literacy Number of large villages Name of the large villages Percentage of total Above 50 Very high 4 Nari. low (20 to 30 per cent) and very low (below 20 per cent) level of female literacy are found in one village only. Dignagar. Saktigarh. 157 ... . 40 to 50 per ct!nt.11: Female Literacy Levels of Large Villages.. Sehara. .13 Less than 20 o<>~ •• . Therefore. Barapalasan.. _. female work participation rate usually becomes high in farm activities that does not bear the sign of prosperity.. Very high level of female literacy.. Ruppur. Kulingram. Twenty five per cent of large villages have high level of female literacy. 94 per cent. . Sanko 25.. Berugram. . though have low level of female literacy on an average. ... Sura... that is. Khandaghosh... . Galsi. Balgana.5 per cent of large villages. Majority of the large v[llages (56. that is.. On the other hand..00 30-40 Medium 18 Rayan. well above 50 per cent is found in only 12.•'••~--~--~ . .• • ~-- Source: Extracted from 1991 district census handbook..24 20-30 Low Ajhapur 3.. ~ •'~ Kamal pur Very low •oo' ~~---~ '0'.. 3...82 per cent.~> -~- .• Yo<•••·o••"o~- ·< ••• O 0 000 "·.... . Satgachhia. . Jaugram... . .24 per cent) have medium level of female literacy. . . some of them (Nari.Table 6. Kusumgram. _. Barabelun.. Sura. that is. In the agricultural sector in India. 12.~. Nasigram... increased participation of women in farm activities does not indicate economic development.50 40-50 High 8 Palla..

On the other hand. The rest of the large villages (31. percentage of workers in non-agricultural occupation. However. 6. In rural areas female workers are usually absorbed in the agricultural economy as laborurer.25 Percentage of. namely density of population.For example. the female work participation rate in India is an important indicator of social development as economic selfsufficiency forms ilhe very basis of women's empowerment. These women are forced to work because of their poverty. female literacy rate and female work participation rate. now we can analyze their relative level of development. The large villages of the region represent a uniformly low level of female work participation rate with a range of 2. In our study region the same kind of 158 .5 per cent of large villages have advanced to some extent in this regard with female literacy rate above 20 per cent.50 10-20 Medium 10 31. For working out the level of development of large villages we have depended on the census data because of the non. there is a problem of taking female work participation rate as a development indicator.availability of economic data. the large villages of the region have higher female work participation rate (I 0. Levels of D~evelopment After a detailed analysis of large villages with their socio-economic characteristics and individual development indicators. 12: Female Work Participation Rate of Large Villages. 1991 Level offemale work participation Number of large villages Percentage to total Above 20 High 4 12. below 10 per cent. 1998).33 to 25 per cent. In rural areas mainly women of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe groups increase the female work participation rate (Lahiri-Dutt and Ghosh.12 explains the detailed picture of the level of work participation of large villages of the region. However. that is.82 per cent) than that of Burdwan town (6. Table 6. Burdwan Most of the large villages (56. The level of development of large village has been worked out with the help of five social indicators.female workers to total female ~·- - - ~. literacy rate.6. Table 6 .3.25 Below 10 Low 18 56. 12.85 per cent).25 per cent) have low levels of female work participation rate. - Source: Extracted from 1991 district census handbook.25 per cent) have female literacy rate ofl 0 to 20 per cent.

0-0 Low Rayan. --··---·---·--~----~·~------ Table 6. Banpas. Oregram. increased female work participation rate in rural areas does not necessarily indicate prosperity. Jaugrarn. Kulingram.0-4. Sehara. Bamsor. Palla. usually upper caste. Chanchai. Chanchai. 1991 Development index Level of development Name and number of large villages Above4. we have considered it an important indicator of social development in this development index. Therefore. families in rural India do not work outside. About thirteen large villages (40.9). Among those eleven villages (Kurmun.82 per cent).0 High Palla. Satinandi (7) Saktigarh.13 dearly explains the pattern of the level of development oflarge villages in the region. Dignagar. Berugrarn. Seven large villages of the: region have attained a medium level of development.l Very low Barapalasan. Monteswar and Sehara have high levels of development. Palla.relationship is also found. Sura (3) Stagachhia. Kulingram.0 Very high Nar~ 2. Sanko. Jaugrarn. Women of relatively wealthier. The rest two (Galsi and Bohar) have above 35 per c:ent of backward population. 159 .13). The classification of large villages according to their levels of development is given in the following table (Table. 6. Three villages (Nari. Khandaghosh. Sanko. low and very low levels of development have taken place in ten and seven large villages respectively. Mandalgram. and Dignagar) have backward population (scheduled castes and scheduled tribes) well above 45 per cent of the total population (Table 6. 1984). Paulson and Everett. At the same time earning women usually have better involvement and greater say in the decision-making of family affairs. Monteswar (5) 0-2. Nasigram. Kamalpur. which help to raise the status of women in society (Lebra. Oregrarn. Barabelun. Bobar.13: Levels of Development of Large Villages.63 per cent) have female work participation rate above the average (1 0. Kusumgram (I 0) Less than -:M. On the other hand. Eruar. Galsi (7) -2. Satgachhia. Banpas. Saktigarh and Sura) have very high level of development. In this analysis the indices are worked out by composite scoring method (sum total of standardized score of all indicators). Ruppur. Table 6. Following the latter view. Ajhapur. Balgana. Ajhapur. Kulingram.0 Medium Kurmun. Ruppur.

7. is known as potential at area i. lJ Where. way I. We shall analyze the growth potential of large villages with the help of gravity model. I ij = Interaction between i and j Mi =Population of the ith place Mj =Population of the jth place dij = Distance between i and j G = Some Constant Zipf examines this general statement for data relating to the movement of goods..3. the total interaction per unit of population. Methodology of Gravity Model The methodological approach adopted in this analysis had been christened 'social physics' by its foremost proponent Warntz (1965). railway and airline passengers. and the number oftelephone calls between pairs of cities in the United States and concludes that there is a close relation between expected and actual interaction. di/ J = or. the flow ofbus. t he mo de 1' 1s +- 10 11owmg . As applied in Geography the 'general gravity .lhe potential model becomes simpler as the value of b is taken as unity in the absence of any 160 . over J") j=I This Vi. Thus after a detailed analysis of present status we can look at their future growth potential in the light of rural-urban interaction or connectivity. -n d"Pj·h = z lJ v·1 (P.1J = GMiMj d". I dil 6 + di2 6 + · ·· · ·· · ·· + din 6 = -.6. The gravity model is developed from the least effort principle of Zipf ( 1949) and the social physics concept of Stewart (1956). PiPI PiP2 PiPn n PiPj . there being n places. by the simple summation. It is based on the principle that population size can be equated with mass and the friction of distance along with the mass leaves a distinct imprint on the intensity and nature of interaction between settlements. expressed m . ts . Growth Potential From the above analysis it has been observed that the growth and development of large villages of the region are influenced by rural-urban linkages to some extent. But here we are concerned with the estimation of the total interaction between a single place i and all other places.1can be t aken out because summation .

37 Pattern of Growth Potential The emergent picture (Figure 6.44 29. Chanchai 16. Rayan 21.95 4.561. Sanko 12.39 14. -- ···- Name of villages Values of gravity potential . Mandalgram 15.'-. Nari etc. are among the highest due to their proximity to Burdwan town. 161 .28 15.13 28.243.24 26. Satinandi 13.952.207.Barapalasan 14. 1991 Name of vlllages Values of gravity potential -.763. 1. Kurmun 14.20 18.261.554.201.814.507. Nasigram 15. Satgachhia 13.894.214. Balgana 15.07 21.947.49 12. the decline in growth potential with the increase in distance from Burdwan is not at the same rate in all direction.14: Growth Potential Index of Large Villages.917.35 31. Nari 20.824.58 7.419.Ajhapur 15.Ruppur 13.51 25.64 16. Th1~re are some directional variations in growth potential.84 32.740.96 6. Eruar 14.14) of the region.4) has been prepared taking the growth potential values of large villages (Table. Dignagar 10.017.Jaugram 15. Galsi 11. A map (Figure 6.15 24.22 3. Bohar 13.72 17. With increasing distance from Burdwan town the growth potential of large villages decreases in all direction.47 22. Banpas 13.73 2. Bamsor 15.40 19.233. The growth potentials of large villages like Rayan.05 23. Palla 17.38 20. Oregram 11.4) reveals that the pattern of growth potential of large villages of the region is highly influenced by the location of Burdwan town at the midst of the region. However.11 9.882.181.85 8.57 13.516. Sehara 8. Table 6.95 5. as has been assumed by many researchers in India and abroad.378.322.518.211.741.609. Saktigarh 16. Khandaghosh 11.Kamalpur 12.50 ll.142.757. Barabelun 15.Kulingram 13. Berugram 10. Monteswar 14.59 1O. Kusumgram 14. 6.77 27.justification for some other values.Sura 8.- . An interesting pattern of growth potential of large villages has emerged around Burdwan town.118.417.38 30.

88" POTENTIAL OF LARGE VILLAGES 1991 30'N Above 200 ~~175.175 a 16 km...~ .'---'1 12 5 . j..12 5 Below 100 se• GROWTH IN THE DENSJTY OF POPULATION OF LARGE VILLAGES 1981-1991 .£...... km.1 50 hL-----A iOO ..q 150 .200 ~L. 8 &7" S'E ~igure No ·G...

Bemgram.s with increasing distance from Burdwan town not at the same rate in all direction. The directional variation in the growth in density also matches the variation of growth potential very effectively. Now we can compare the theoretical pattern of growth potential with the pattern of reality in the form of actual growth in the density of population (Figure 6.4) shows that the trans-Damodar region suffers with relativdy lower growth potential than the north Damodar region because of the lack of quick and easy communication. Thus the impact of Burdwan town in terms of rural-urban linkage is apparent on the growth pote:ntial of its rural counterpart. This higher growth potential can be attributed to the well developed communication system specially to G.4.T. Here the growth potential values of the large villages like Sehara. Runtl Market Centres Owing to the development of agriculture and relatively high degree of rural-urban linkages our study region is frequently dotted with rural market centres. In accordance with the general declining trend of growth potential away from Burdwan town. The large villages of this area are also not well connected by roads or railways to Burdwan (Fiigure 6.<. They fulfil an 163 . From the above discussion it is quite clear that the pattern of growth potentials of large villages are highly influenced by the existence of communication links with Burdwan town.se .T. the growth in density of population also decreases. Road and Eastern Railway tracks. Road and Eastern Railways lines both running parallel to each other from southeast to northwest) are larger and have a greater growth potential. The zone of high growth potentiality around Burdwan town coincides with the zone of high growth in density of population. Some of the-. are lower. The villages that are located along the main transport routes (the G. 6.e. On the contrary.In dt~tailed analysis the map (Figure 6.. From the comparison a fascinating similarity comes out between these two patterns. like the pattern of growth potential the growth in density of population d. in spite of their proximity to the main urban centre ofthe area. higher growth potential values occur in the northeastern and southeastern parts of the region.4) in the last decade (1980s). Again. Lower growth potential values are again found in the extreme northwestern part of the region.1 ). Khandaghosh etc.TeAse. A well-developed and rapid transport system facilitates the growth potentiality of large villages.__ centres have developed from large villages into rural market centres because of their location on transportation nodes and consequent diversification of economy.

Again.White (1996) changes in an agrarian structure and in agricultural productivity affects markets. transport. they play a role of two-way traffic positively affecting both the rural and urban centres (Harris-White. According to Harris. These are usually points through which the larger economy and its forces enter the rural region or the points at which the resource base supports a larger volume of activities compared to the general run of villages in the rural region. education. along with other subsidiary activities. which is comparatively well-endowed with market towns within the state of West Bengal. Intra-rural migration is also noted into these rural market centres. As such. Their functions also include a host of industries. Role of Rural Market Centres in Integrating Rural with Urban In rural-urban interaction. they become the service centres in the field of trade. administration. Rural market centres are usually well-marked focal points at which econonuc activities and processes tend to be more brisk. 6. These focal point settlements are distinguished from other villages by their occupational diversification and consequent higher level of non-agricultural activities. which are closely linked to the development of transportation. shape the market settlements. 1991). commerce. 1984). In our study region the functions of a market town are often performed by large and overgrown villages whose number is fairly large compared to the market towns. like 164 . The market centres situated at the heart of the rural settlements are generally the products of a surplus economy. and that process has been well-articulated in Burdwan district. They become the nerve centre of an area for the collection and subsequent distribution of various agricultural commodities and industrial products. The characteristic function of the centres is commerce that. The diversified functions help the rural market centres to develop into growth centres for the surrounding village. by providing lirtkages between the regions of various sizes.1. health etc. The market centres originally come into existence for serving the rural areas and thereafter establish lirtks with the urban centres (Ghosh. they effectively integrate the regions of various orders into national exchange system (Dixit. 1996). both urban and rural market centres play a vital role. 1982). industry. Rural market centres provide the opportunity to the villagers to sell their products as well as to generate surplus income for themselves.4. Different sets of functions of these market centres exert strong influence on the development of settlement.intermediate~ role as the two market towns (Memari and Guskara) of the region cannot successfully meet the rising rural demands of the region. (Sarap. As a result.

some generalizations are necessary. we have identified the rural market centres from the long list of large village:s on the basis of the following two criteria: i) a large village having a minimum of 35 per cent workforce in non-agricultural occupation. Rural market centres usually have schools ranging from the primary to the junior high and high school and in some cases even colleges providing educational service to the surrounding rural areas. P. post office. The names and their respective percentage of workforce in non-agricultural occupations and a especially in trade and commerce are given in the following table (Table 6. jewellery works. Rural Market Centres of the Region Rural market centres of the region are usually characterized by a diversified economy. and ii) a large village with at least 10 per cent of workforce engaged in trade and commerce. Such a market centre having specialized activities gradually attains the status of an urban centre. paddy husking. Rural market centres can be identified by different criteria. All the rural market centres have developed from small rural settlements of the region and are located at nodal points of transportation routes (Figure 6. education takes an important place. like the nationalized banks. 165 . are also found functioning in rural market centres. as they are located at transportation nodes. smithy. rural co-operative banks and so on.4. Therefore. police posts.15). If we consider all the non-agricultural functions as indicators of market centres then the number of market centres will be very large. potteries. Therefore. there are different banks.5). In the hierarchy of rural settlements the market centre occupies the highest ordl~r in its spatial and functional context. we cannot ignore the importance of rural-urban linkage in the development of these rural market centres. 1982). wheat grinding.2. Besides some government and semi-government offices. and marketing offices etc.D. 6. Among the other functions. For financing the small farmers. The term 'growth centre' may be applied to the market centres situated at the nodal points (Ghosh.the cycle and automobile reparrmg. In our study region. like telephone exchange. production of agricultural implements etc. W. By this method we have identified 10 rural market centres which have developed from small rural settlements into large market centres over a period of 20 years ( 1971-'91 ).

.3 30 N 0 23 5 10 11.LOCATION OF RURAL MARKET CENTRES .m 0 Rural Market Centre 88 • 1 IQ t 16(.

.Palla ..30 20._ -·- ---~----~-"'""""'-. ...7 per cent 17. Burdwan -~- -~-. the locations ofthese rural market centres at nodal points have facilitated to raise the demand for consumer goods from the surrounding rural region..48 per cent and 16..•• • From the table 6.24 5. ~ ... -....82 47.... Its role as a rural market centre to the surrounding region is still limited because of its location in the urban shadow.. Saktigarh 6.31 13. __ -- ---·· • ---r..__.15).849 2.. It has recently become practically a part of the municipal boundary ofBurdwan town...602 1.. -. Very large size of population have provided the threshold rural demand for the development of trading and commercial activities of a market centre.. .. Among the rural market centres Nari has the highest level of non-agricultural workers (Table 6.471 922 45.. ... . . Satgachhia 7...24 --~ _....01 10.. .570 _.17 17.40 8..15 it is quite clear that the rural market centres have developed in very large rural settlements with high density of population (more than 650 persons per square kilometre)...68 4..---~---~--.45 7.-.91 per cent in trade and commercial activities between 1971 and 1991.. All the market centres except Nari. Again their high degree of linkage with Burdwan town (Figure 6. 1.. Kusumgram 7._'"' -~ ~.33 16.---~-_... 5.. But Nari.Table 6.~-~- Source: Extracted from 1991 district census handbook...15: Occupation Characteristics of Rural Market Centres.32 19. Sehara 6._. Kusumgram and Palla have crossed the threshold to become rural market centres with their growth of 14._.29 2.29 6.._. Moreover. Monteswar 7.. Banpas 6.._... 1991 ...97 14...122 900 52.088 49.532 .5) has played a very vital role as a collection point of agricultural surplus from the rural market centres and the distributing point of consumer goods to these rural market centres._.--..235 1..82 3..499 67._.. Kusumgram and Palla have been seats of commercial activities since 1970s. 167 .88 11.~ -- 25.177 1..·ity of population/square kilometer Percentage of worken· in non-agricultural occupation Percentage of workers in trade and commerce 1 Galsi 8...082 35... .191 1. Nari 7.334 48. This is because of its location adjacent to Burdwan town and its near-urban characteristics of landscape.--.75 12. The other nine market centres perform the role of service or growth centres very effectively for their surrounding region as these are the products of surplus-generating prosperous agricultural economy.560 975 46. Sura 5.--~ Total population Den[.62 9.036 650 47..876 59.27 Name 10.

Rural market centres are placed at a higher level of settlement hierarchy providing the market for agricultural produce of their smaller hinterlands as well as infrastructural facilities for rural people. After the detailed analysis of rural counterpart of the region now we can look into the nature of urban centres with a special focus on Burdwan in the next chapter. Barabelun. Bamsor and Balgana (see Table 6. and Shyamsundar are examples of such relatively smaller rural market centres. The development of these market centres has also been facilitated by larger rural settlements surrounding them. 168 . and also a notable concentration of health. The levels of development of the large villages are relatively higher than the other smaller villages in the region. with the help of these rural market centres of different sizes. Therefore. Rural transformation as well as diversification of economy has started to be experienced by the large villages which are well connected to Burdwan town by road or railway network. street lighting etc.1 and Figure 6. Again. Many of these large settlements have developed some urban infrastructures like piped water supply. we noted that greater integration with the main urban centres results in a higher level of development of villages. but their development has been facilitated by their location at transportation nodes and higher degree of accessibility with Burdwan Town.Exct::pt these large rural market centres there are a few lower order market centres in the region. In this way. rural-urban linkages have been strengthened. Raina. Raina is another market centre. which is facilitated by higher degree of accessibility to the surrountding region and agglomeration of health and educational infrastructures.5.1) and is well connected to these villages as well as Burdwan Town. These rural market centres provide urban services as well as marketing facilities of agricultural produce. For example. Shyamsundar is located at the nodal point of four motorable roads connecting Burdwan town on one side and a large number of rural settlements surrounding it on other sides. These small rurban centres encircling Burdwan town has strengthened rural-urban interaction by linking the rural economy of their respective hinterlands with Burdwan town. education and marketing infrastructures. These market centres have not grown as rich and large rural settlement. Bhatar is surrounded by large villages like Nasigram. Summary From the analysis of large villages and rural market centres of the region it is quite clear that these settlements lying midway in the rural-urban continuum play significant roles in integrating the two ends. Bhatar. It has also been a famous market centre oftrans-Damodar region for a long period of time. 6.

This focal location of the to\\-TI is an important geographical factor that has helped in developing the physical linkages more or less uniformly with the surrounding rural areas. The present prosperity ofBurdwan to\\-TI is related to the agricultural development of its rural hinterland. much smaller in terms of size and influence. urban centres are also discussed in this chapter as they too play significant roles for their surrounding areas. 169 . its population growth.1. Burdwan is the oldest and largest. The landuse pattern.Bmdwan. imprinted on its land and functional characteristics.CHAPTER VII REGIONAl URBAN FOCI 7. its past and present urban roles for the regional rural economy have attributed a distinctiveness to the town. The historical development of the to\\-TI is also closely linked with the development of rural economy of its surroundings. Consequently the chapter gives greater attention to Burdwan and its role as a regional urban focus. We expect that some light on Memari and Guskara will help us understand the urbanization process operating in the region. Introduction This chapter analyzes the nature and role ofthree important urban centres of the study region. On the other hand. Its central location as an urban market has made Burdwan accessible from all parts of the region thus enhancing the smooth use of urban market to the farmers. The objective is to understand how. it is also located at a central point thereby conferring on it certain additional advantages as a regional centre for collection and distribution of agricultural produce and for the concentration of a large number of services tor the surrounding region. Two other. Therefore. density characteristics. occupational structure and social life style of the to\\-TI bear a high degree of association with the rural economy. its demographic characteristics and its present landuse in the context of Burdwan's role as a regional urban focus. Ofthe three. we shall discuss Burdwan town in its historical context. Burdwan to\\-n is located at the central point of our study region. Guskara and Memari. the rruuketing infrastructure provided by the central to-wn has a significant impact on the development of agricultural economy of the region.

In the ancient period.2. north and Wt:st and the river Damodar on the south. Geo:~raphical of Burdwan Town as a Regional Urban Focus Location Burdlwan is located in the midst of a rich alluvial plain on the left (north) bank of the river Damodar and is the administrative centre of Burdwan district. 187).B. 324 . (B. 7. on the main road and rail lines.C. but has now become a municipal sewerage channel due to lack of maintenance by the municipal authority. 1971).alna and Dainhat through river channels). The Banka. Harsha and the Senas (Stewart. 1973 ). This oldest part of Burdwan town is known as Kanchannagar.20 square kilometres extends between 23°li N and 23°15 N latitudes and[ 87°491 E and 87°53 1 E longitudes. This sovereign state had flourished in trade and commerce. Oldham.at one time a spill channel of the Damodar .11ows from west to east through the central part of the town. Gopachandra. a separate state outside the Mourya empire. it used to export fme cotton and other textiles by inland and overseas water-routes to various countries of Europe and Southeast Asia (Smith. The whole district formed a part of Gupta Kindgom with Burdwan town as the centre of activity (Sen and Chaudhury.1. and in the middle of a prosperous agricultural region.C. 1961 ).7. The town is surrounded by rural mouzas on east. Afterwards it came successively under small-time tribal kings and chiefs. 1994). The municipal town 1 occupying an area of 23. We will now see how with time the role of Burdwan has changed as the regional economy prospered or declined relatively. lt was a navigable river in the past. Kanchannagar was the earliest nucleus or focal point for urban growth in Burdwan. Rol~e 7. Historical Antecedent The advantageous location of Burdwan had made it a seat of urban civilization since the ancient times. Its locational advantages are obvious: at the margin of upland terrain of the plateau fringe of Chotanagpur.2. 170 . the urban focus of Burdwan was confined on the south of Banka nala (a lesser drainage channel) along the banks of Damodar because of the flourishing river-borne trade (Lahiri. Burdwan has been an important urban centre at vanous points m history. along navigable rivers such as the Damodar and close enough to the Hooghly (till about Mughal times the town was reachable from K. (1894) assumed that it could have been the royal city of Gangarides.2.2.

the wife ofSher Afgan was sent to Delhi to later became the famous NurJahan. In this period. Kanchannagar. This was helped when Maharaja Mahatab Chand constructed the 'Mahatab Manjil' or the Rajbati (the palace) of Burdwan in the middle of the 171 . also stayed for some time in Alamganj area of Burdwan town to suppress the Hindu rebellion (Stt~wart. These centres later took the shape of trading centres and market towns. 1985). 191 0). shifted his residence here (Mukherjee. Pir Baharam Shakka. The Muslim rulers set up various administrative centres and military camps in the district. Meherunnissa. the foster-brother ofEmperor Jehangir. 1973). which included the present district of Hooghly as well (Ganguly. 1987). Alamganj and Khaja Anwar Berh . Pir Baharam. After the battle of Plassey in 1757 A. namely. Gradually Burdwan emerged as an important collecting centre of agricultural products of a large region. the oldest nucleus was at Kanchannagar. Burdwan. So far Burdwan had mainly four focal points of urban growth. Sultan Azam. In the later part of the 18th century Burdwan became the administrative headquarter of Burdwan district. 1971 ). the East India Company established many kuthis (centres to organize trade locally) (Wilson. Burdwan became more important when in 1576 A. the oldest among these urban centres began to develop quit'e rapidly because of its locational advantages. Soon this new centre of Radhanagar got connected with the older parts of the town through linear growth along Banka nata. 1895).all of which were located on the banks of the Banka nala. The company also set up an administrative centre near Radhanagar. This helped the agricultural products to reach Burdwan easily. This event made Burdwan an important point on the political horizon of India.. These centres stimulated further urban development. Burdwan experienced a new stimulus for urban growth after a kuthi was set up in the town. when Kutb-Uddin.The 1town began to grow rapidly after the Mohammedan invasion in the latter part of the 12th century. It became a major centre of Af!~han power when Sher Afghan was ruling as a zamindar of Burdwan. the Muslim rulers preferred to settle on the north bank of Banka na/a. 191 0). a nobleman from the court of Akbar.D. (Lahiri. Burdwan came to be a part of the Mughal empire in 1610 A. Aurangzeb's Governor of Bengal. north of the Banka. This period was marked by a great improvement of the town as a whole. Particularly considerable physical extension of the town took place during the Mughal period (Sen and Chaudhuri.D. In 1823. Although. a flood of the Damodar forced the urban settlement to move northeastward away from banks of the Damodar. Its importance also rose due to the establishment of Burdwan Raj (Mukherjee. killed Sher Afgan.D. roads were constructed connecting Kalna and Katwa with Burdwan.

who was the first member of the family to have received the title of Raja from Delhi. New area<. his conquests being duly confirmed by an imperial Jarman of 1706. Dev•elopment of the Town under Royal Patronage The immense contribution ofBurdwan raj family in the development of the town has been well documented (Samad. began in the early 18 1h century. was conferred. This was the most important nucleus to be established in the whole urban history of Burdwan. The Burdwan raj was one of the most important zamindari estates in the country. To these. Abu Rai. In 1689. Another important nucleus developed in the south of Sadhanpur and Bajepratappur after coming of the railways in the latter part of 1854.town in the year 1832. a merchant and banker originally from Lahore. Borehat and Alamganj also developed as centres for wholesale trade of agricultural products. Barabazar and Tentultala Bazaar developed as retail commercial centres. the Burdwan Raj came to combine the powers of fauzdar and zamindar and had become an almost independent power. The real transformation from an ordinary zamindari into a strong local power. In 1657. Bhatchhala were added in the urban areas. added 57 parganas from Gopbhum in 1744. when Kirtichand Rai was able to annex several parganas. Borehat. the son of Ghanashyam Rai. But the real development-cum-prosperity of the town was initiated in the period of Burdwan raj that is from the latter part of the I ih century. by an imperial Jarman (circular) of Aurangzeb. the titles of zamindar and chaudhuri of Burdwan Pargana. and got mentioned in both Akbarnarna and Ain-E-Akbari. Nutanganj.2. Ghanashyam Rai was the pioneer among the rajas who contributed highly to the development of Burdwan town. North of railway line along the Katwa Road to Bajepratappur developed a railway colony. Burdwan town had gradually become a famous centre of activity (both administration and trade) in the Mughal period. Krishnaram Rai. Abu Rai's son Babu Rai acquired the pargana (pre-British administrative unit equivalent to a district) of Burdwan and three other estates. supported by small commercial establishments (Gulla. 1980). was appointed the kotwal (law-keeper) and chowdhury (landlord) of Rekabi Bazar and Mughaltuli in Burdwan. He dug a large tank. and the time was not far off when an ailing Delhi would furtht:~r accord the head ofthe family the title ofMaharajadhiraj in 1768. 1989). however. Chitrasen Rai. Soon new construction . Under an imperial Jarman.3. He was succeeded by his son Ghanashyam Rai. such as Nutanganj.both houses of local elite and businessrelated buildings were initiated around the Rajhati. 172 . The area around the Rajbati still bears the ambience of traditional commercial zones. 7.

M. After the battle of Plassey. He developed a whole sale trade centre at Nutanganj area near his palace at Rajbati where businessmen were fmanced by the royal exchequer with six month's interest-free loan to carry on trade on various agro-products of the rural areas (Chaudhuri. 1992). Tejchandra disconnected the Banka nala from Damodar with the help of embankment (Choudhuri. The various administrative and judiciary functions of the town turned it into a regional urban focus to which people from the surrounding rural areas began to come on a daily basis. the total population of the municipality was only 32. 1994). which is a part of present municipality area of Burdwan town. In the ftrst half of the 19th century the educational and medical infrastructure of the town started to develop when Mohatab Chand established one English School (C. the East India Company established the office of the collector and District Judge in the town of Burdwan. 1994). This was less than what was recorded in the previous census of 1814. Krishnaram Ra~ the son of Ghanashyam Rai excavated another large tank called Krishnasayar surrounding which an ecological garden named 'Krishna Sayar Park' has recently been developed by the Municipality. Maharaj Tejchandra ftrst planned to develop the town as a regional scat of trade and commerce at the heart of the prosperous agricultural hinterland (Chaudhuri. Burdwan was constituted a municipality with an area of 8. These water tanks provided effective relief and water security in stressful times such as drought years. They now add to the tourist attraction of the town too. Kritichand Rai constructed a fort at Talit in the northwestern periphery of the town to protect the town from Maratha invasion in the year of 1742.named Shya. To save the town from the devastating floods ofDamodar. The town began to beautifY itself from his period. This step can be considered as the beginning of the development of modem Burdwan town. at the time of the ftrst official Indian Census. the successor of Jagatram Ra~ founded the town of Kanchannagar. The 173 .msayar to meet the crisis of water for the resident of Burdwan town.S Higher Secondary School at present) and one health centre in the town around 1834. miles in 1865. Kirti Chandra.321. All these early developments of the town took place just for the town only. He also made 23 roads in the town (Dawn. 75 sq. 1994 ). Before the period of Tt!jchandra (1770-1832) no attempt was taken place by the rajas of Burdwan to make it a regional urban focus by integrating it with the agricultural economy of the surrounding region. In 1872. He contributed highly to combat malaria in the region with assured supply of medicine. He also excavated the tank Ranisayar in the name of his mother in the year of 1708.

4. contributed a lot in the development of medical and educational infrastructure of the town. Harisabha Girls' School. Vijay Behar.C. Road connecting Rajbati with Vijay Toran became the busy commercial retail centre of the town because of its nearness to the railway station and bus terminal of the town. After the abolition of the zamindari system in (1953 .'54) Maharaja Uday Chand handed over all his landed property in the town to the Municipal authority for the development of infrastructure. which was the important means of 174 . 1994 ). Raj College. The Changing Urban Foci ofBurdwan The focus of urban activities in Burdwan town has changed several times (LahiriDutt. Clock Tower. Vijay Theatre and rennovation of Pirbaharam. The reason behind the growth of this focus was the location of Kanchannagar on the bank of Damodar. especially educational including University and Women's college.1941 ). For the development of infrastructure like health.2. After the construction of Vijay Toran popularly known as Curzon Gate in 1904 the B. He also did beautification of the town with the construction of Curzon Gate. Rarnnar Udyan (garden). He established the technical school. 7. education. the successor of Aftab Chand. The construction of water-purifying plant as a measure to combat the fever was taken up in 1881 by the Maharaja ofBurdwan. medical school and the hostel. drinking water and transport in the rural areas he established Union Board by elected members of tax-paying class. People from the surrounding and even distant areas started to use this urban market because of its high degree of accessibility and Burdwan town began to take the shap·~ of a regional market centre. Initially Kanchannagar (on the southwestern part of the town) was the main focus of urban activities (Figure 7. A1aharaja Vijay Chand ( 1902 .main cause ofthis decline was the outbreak of famous 'Burdwan fever'. Maharaj Vijay Chand was also the first person in the raj family who realized the necessity of the development of surrounding rural areas to make the Burdwan town a prosperous regional urban focus. Sahitya Parishad and so on. Vijay Chand Hospital.1 ). In brief. it can be said that the development of Burdwan town as the regional urban focus has taken place gradually over the historic period specially under royal patronage which can be considered as a significant factor in the development of smooth rural-urban integration in the region.

CHANGING NUCLEUS FOR URBAN GROWT~ BURDWAN TOWN 23' 15'N 930A D 01960 AD Q1500A D 0 Source : H.1 175 .m Burdwan District Gazetteer 87' 49'E Figure No -1.

the intervening areas ofRajbati and Vijay Toran known as B.communication of the then popular river-borne trade. With this development Kanchannagar started to lose its prosperity. which was estimated to have killed about five thousand inhabitants within six months (Paterson. The town presently has approximately 3. The wholesale market of the town serving the whole region was developed by Maharaja Tejchandra in Alamganj area near the Rajbati which is still the main centre of trading activities of the town. Keshabganj Chatti. Sadarghat.121. In the 20th century Burdwan town grew steadily and ultimately the population size reached 2. the major residential area of the town.5. better off residences moved in the Radhanagar area near Vijay Toran because of the establislunent of kuthis (centres for revenue collection) there. Growth of Burdwan Following the discussion on the historical development of the town we can now look at the growth of Burdwan in late 19th and 20th century from the demographic point of view. At present this area is known as the Rajbati-Uttarphatak area and is occupied mainly by non-bengalee business families relate to or brought in by the royal family. 1910) besides large-scale emigration.522 in 1901 because of the outbreak of Burdwan fever.000 population. Road started to develop as a busy comm(~rcial retail area supporting/servicing both the urban and rural consumers from the surrounding areas. The central bus terminus of the town was also constructed near the Vijay Toran making it the most accessible point of the town from the rural surroundings. Damodar was an important trade route and Kanchannagar was an important node along it. Bajepratappur etc. have developed re:cently in the outside areas away from the CBD with the physical expansion of the town. The population size of the town declined to 30. 176 . Later on. another important nucleus developed in the northeastern part ofthe city. During the Mughal period Puratan Chawk area was developed ao. According to this experimental census the then population ofthe town was 46.2.00. Nilpur. As railways were introduced in the later part of 1854.079 in 1991. College more. It has remained the central business district (CBD) of the town till now.45. Some smaller centres like Golapbag.C. Later on. The first experimental census of the town was done in 1869 after the establishment of Municipality in 1865. 7. The Raj family of Burdwan built their court and residential palace in the central part of the city. After the construction ofVijay Toran in 1903. district administrative offices were developed on the eastern side of Vijay Toran..

1 also shows that in spite of the steady rise in the population. Ultimately in 1991 it became the eighth ranking town of West Bengal. Howe:ver.881 32. Therefore..r~- -----· Growth rate -r -~. Total population -- ·- -- .399 17. This is possible a good sign. while it is true that the town has grown rapidly.466 19. Panihati etc. we can identify the year of 1931 as the major 'demographic divide' of Burdwan. ---.292 12. After 1931 Burdwan experienced rapid growth of population up to 1991.305 -3.522 191 1 35. due to partition of the country.1: Growth ofBurdwan Town: 1901-1999 -------- -. Burdwan gradually lost its size rank among the urban centes of West Bengal. The rapid growth of population in the post-independence period can l:x~ explained both by the huge immigration from the rural surrounds followed by the development of transport network.002 14. Bhatpara. Asansol.12 8th 1971 1.63 5th 1931 39. Burdwan has been displaced gradually by the industrial towns like Durgapur.364 24.437 32. The decade of 1911-'21 even experienced negative growth of population due to the occurrence of epidemics. it is also true that it has not grown quite as rapidly as some other towns of the state.43.B.45 5th 1941 1951 62.69 6th 1921 34. • •""""' Year 1901 30. L it is quite clear that Burdwan experienced a steady growth of population in the 20th century. At the beginning of the century it was the fourth largest urban centre in West Bengal just after Calcutta.. Immigration of refugees from erstwhile East Pakistan. now Bangladesh. in view of the agricultural development experienced by its surrounding region.45. The growth of population was very slow up to 1931.-.82 9th 1961 1.---·-. has also helped the population of the town to grow rapidly.. especially in the postindependence: period.618 5. Since the decade of 30s. .049 16.Table 7.--.67.79 7th 75.07.. the Table 7.376 23. Howrah and Serampur. 177 .910 58....921 5.85 lith 1981 1.318 35. and the expanded economic activities of the town.-· -- 4th From Table 7.. •• -.- ___ J Rank among towns of W..J~ -~£ Decada/ variation --- -~- - ~ -~o-.44 8th (%) ---. It is possible that some of the surpluses were locally absorbed within the agricultural region to give rise to large villages. rural market centres and smaller urban units.505 43.616 -1. Thus.-- - • ---. rnalaria and influenza in 1919-'20.079 77.715 46..78 12th 1991 2.

To analyze the role of Burdwan as the regional urban focus.79 per cent (Table 7. then the growth ofBurdwan town slackened. 1914. Population Oensity Pattern The expression of urban population density is referred to as gross density (GD) of population and is derived according to the equation GD = PIG A. 1941-'50 and 1971-'80. 1917 and 1918 causing heavy loss of lives and property in the town. Below 20 per cent of growth rate was also noted in the decades of 1901'10.63 per cent). and Burdwan's population began to grow rapidly. in 191 Os. also experienced negative growth rate. industrial and commercial land use zones.79 percent) was experienced during the decade of 1931-'41. In a nutshell it can be said that Burdwan experienced very slow rate of growth up to 1931 and after that the growth rate increased but with high fluctuations between 16.1). Agricultural growth reaches a peak and then became stagnant in 1980s. Such fluctuations can again be correlated with the agricultural 1ortunes of the immediate hinterland of Burdwan. 7. The growth rate wa-> also high. 'Ibe highest rate of growth (58.1). vary from city to city. Here the unit of area is taken without considering whether the area is devoted to residential uses. well above 40 per cent in the decades of 1950s and 1980s. Present Demographic Character Demographic characteristics. though of very low level (3. This negative growth of population took place because of four consecutive floods of Damodar river in 1913. changes in the use of urban space etc. changes in the means of production of urban enterprises.78 per cent and 58. The town.Burdwan experienced rather fluctuating growth rates of population in the 20th century (Table 7. female-male ratio. Densities difler in residential. in the form of density of population. where the number of people comprising the population (P) is divided by the total area (GA).6. It depends largely on the intensity of use. 178 . 1989). we examine these demographic characteristics with the expectation that they will throw some light on the nature of rural-urban relationship in our study region. and from one point of time to another.2. including changes in lifestyles and living preferences. During the two decades of 1960s and 1970s. when the seed-fertilizer technology along with canalized irrigation raised agricultural productivity manifold. The intensity of usc of a specific type changes for a variety of causes. that is. 1921-'30. (Reddy. literacy etc. are significant social indicators in understanding the nature and the process of development of any urban centre.

The suburbanization process is still in its infancy in towns like Burdwan. This reveals a compact nature of the town.000 persons per square kilometre as well as some areas having below 5.2) from where the densities start to decline to the peripheral areas in all directions except the northeast.978 persons/square kilometre) can be explained by the high degree of immigration from the surrounding rural areas because of better amenities than the rural counterparts. Motorized. From the density distribution pattern it is found that the highest density zone of the town occupies the central areas ofthe tovvn (Figure 7.386 persons/square kilometre). railway staff colonies and a busy wholesale market of rice-trading activity. The northeastern periphery of the town is densely populated because of the location of railway station. According to the 1991 census the density of population for the town was 14. the attraction of living near the central areas has not yet waned and Burdwan has remained a compact city. characterized by the lack of vertical use of land.325 persons/square kilometre) and I 981 (7. with some areas having more then 25. The map shows that vast intraurban differences in density exist. 1972).364 which is significantly higher than that of 1971 (6. The central parts of the town carry both high trading activities as well as a dense residential population.000 persons per square kilometre. The overall population density of Burdwan is much higher than the required threshold density (400 persons/square kilometre) ofurban functions. Here we have only a few residential areas of lower density. To w1derstand the pattern of density distribution within the town we can take the help of ward wise population density distribution map (Figure 7 .2).Density of population is an important demographic aspect in studying any urban centre. The density of population is higher in areas of busy and flourishing economic activities. From the density distribution pattern another significant feature of the town arises. As a result. which is unlike the western cities. The remarkable increase in the density of population between 1981 and 1991 (6. The decline in 179 . developed recently in the peripheral areas of the town. but it is believed that in most urban settlements the population density declines with distance from the central or inner parts ofthe cities to their peripheries (Johnson. private transport is yet beyond the reach of lower and middle classes. The development of agriculture made sizeable surplus to provide the landowning classes the necessary capital for funding their residential move to the town. and the roads too are not wide enough to accommodat<:: cars. Density Gradient The distribution of population within any city is complex when seen in detail.

/~Above 25000 '//1.. 0 / · . 1 1 f:i .-~----------.•.E DENSITY GRADIENT BURDWAN TOWN 25l 0 0 _o 1991 ~ 20 z 2: ::s::: 0 ~ 1_. --~ . f r r / I . be low 87' 53.87' 49 E 87' 53[ DENSITY OF POPULATION 2~· 15 N BURDWAN TOWN 1991 t N 23' 15 N ' Persons per Km2 /\ I I i..----~--..._j 1 ezl120CXJ1-25000 / ..... (f) 0:: w ~ 10 z w i ~ ~ 0 ~ ""'~ ::.-- 0 " 1 2 ~ "' -----.10000 5000 &....... LlJ 15001-20000 m 10001-1sooo 0 0 23' 12 N 87' 49 E 5001..--..-----~-----------..5 3 4 DISTANCE FROM CITY CENTRE (In Km) rsc ..

1985).density usually follows a regular pattern. Most of the earlier works on the gradient of population density had been concerned with the Western cities. the density-decline profile resembles the land value model quite strongly (Hartshorn. the resulting curve drops quite steeply at ftrst. These lower land values encourage lower intensity of use away from the centre and this lower intensity of use. Although a variety of population density !unctions have since been tested (for example see McDonald and Bowman.Western cities. Brush ( 1968) had suggested that the central point should be identified by well-informed advice of the local officials. Colin Clark ( 1951) has shown that in a wide range of cities. which is usually less towards the peripheries. The intensity of landuse is again dependent on the land values. Vijay Toran (formerly called Curzon Gate) and B. Mills and Ohetak. Now. population density decreases at a constant rate with increasing distance from the city centre. The further a site is from the city centre. specially residential landuse. produces lower densities of population towards the peripheries of cities (Johnson. planning studies and resident scholars. 1966. Road area. the lower is its land value because of higher transport cost. 1976. the central density continues to rise through time. In selecting the city centres of India. 1976) whereas in non. The most desirable and hence most expensive sites for all urban land uses lie close to the city centre where maximum accessibility is provided by converging transport routes. According to their view. In this study we have selected the geometric centre of Burdwan town as the city centre because of its nearness to the busiest commercial centre of the town that is. with a variety of locations and at different times in the past. 1981 ). In Western cities population density gradients become flatter over time (Newling. the manner in which their gradients have developed has been different. in the context of the above theoretical discussion we can justify the densitydecline pattern of Burdwan town. 1980). therefore. while both types of city show a negative exponential relationship between density and distance from the city centre. Therefore. Zielinsk~ 1980) Clark ( 1951) had first provided convincing ~empirical evidence to suggest that population density tends to decline in an exponential fashion with increasing distance from the central business district (CBD). if population density is plotted in a graph against distance from the CBD. supplemented by field reconnaissance. Simmons and Tennant (1963) first made an attempt to compare the density gradients found in Western and non-Western cities.C. and then more gradually (Cadwallader. That is. There is no uniform criterion and. The gradient of density decline in any urban centre depends on the spatial pattern of the intensity of landuse. Berry. 181 .

areal expansion. Being born and brought up in the town we have identified the geometric centre as the city centre ea<>ily because of its location near the commercial centre. Like most of the non. Taking all the directions together the rate of density decline is very high in Burdwan thus bearing the character of non. Household density is also very high in this central part for its higher land values. 1989). towards the eastern. Over the period from 1971 to 1991. Towards the northeast the rate of density decline is very low (Figure 7. Science Centre. According to Berry and Horton ( 1970) in most of the urban centres both in developed and underdeveloped countries. Rural Technology Centre. Our selection of city centre is also not free from subjectivity. southern and northern peripheries the density gradient is gentler as these areas are occupied by residential housing. because ofwhich the density ofpopulation is much higher in the core areas. The western periphery has low density because of the low importance of urban activities in the southwest and the institutional use of land (University.2).the selection involved a subjective element (Reddy. The CBD area ofBurdwan town is intensively used both for commercial and residential uses.2) it can be found that the peripheral density is very low in the western part thus giving the density decline a steeper gradient. On the other hand. Anothc:r important aspect of the density gradient for Burdwan is its constancy. Eco-park.Western cities.000 persons per square kilometre to less than 5. the density gradient varies considerably from the centre to different direction.2) because of its busy commercial activities and multi-storied residential uses like housing colonies of the Railways. reorganization of the municipal boundary and the development of low-density residential areas by the immigrants from surrounding rural counterparts have helped the density gradi<::nt to fall sharply towards the peripheral areas. The most prosperous residential area of the town (Radhanagar) is also located near the city centre. Water Works etc.Western urban centres Burdwan also represents a very steep density gradient with a central area density of above 30.). Detailed analysis of density gradient for the Burdwan town also highlights that the gradient of density decline is not uniform in all direction from the central part. the density gradient remained more or less unchanged with a 182 . Hartshorn (1980) justified that usually smaller cities are generally more compact than the larger metropolitan areas thus having steeper density-decline gradients and greater population densities at the city centre because of less specialized non-residential functions in the core area. All these factors together helped to increase the central area density of the town.000 persons per square kilometre in the peripheral areas (Figure 7. From the density distribution map (Figure 7. On the other hand.

996 807 1981 88.000 males 1901 19.428 -~·· ~---.677 78.: of density decline from the centre to the periphery (Samanta. Female-male ratio is the number of females per 1.- .28.Western urban centres..595 790 1971 79..609 804 1911 20.000 males which is liable to a remarkable change in an urban centre experiencing both in-migration and out-migration. 1901. Table 7. to serve the expanding secondary and tertiary occupations of the urban area. Whatever immigration took place during this period consisted predominantly of male workers. predominantly adults.275 749 1961 60..651 ··~·"· -~.485 16. In immigration chain first takes place the in-migration of male working population from the surrounding areas. During this period the general population growth rate was also very low (Table 7. 1991 ).413 15.583 15. Most of them originated from the surrounding areas. The functional nature of an urban centre is also indicated by the female-male ratio as it is directly related to the in and out migration with family for residential purposes..860 653 1951 43.~-~~------ -· ~------. In 183 ....16. The female-male ratio of Burdwan between 1901 and 1991 has undergone a remarkable change.--~¥--··-··-~~-·-·-----··-.133 687 1941 38.527 15. Female-Malle Ratio (FMR) Female-male ratio (FMR) is an important demographic characteristic throwing light on the migration pattern of an urban centre.050 24...constant rat<.101 32.322 63.394 780 1921 19.-------·---- 1. 905 ------------~----~----··-· ----- From the above table it is quite clear that the female-male ratio of Burdwan town experienced a declining trend from 1901 to 1941.033 768 1931 23.286 47.687 887 1991 ------- 1.1).2: Female-Male Ratio of Burdwan Town. Later on.·--~ . these male migrants shift their families to the urban centre from their original place of residence and thus female-male ratio increases. This is also another important characteristics of non. In 1901 the ratio was 804 which decreased steadily to 653 in 1941.1999 Year Male population Female population Females per 1.

The distribution pattern of workforce among different sectors ofthe economy offers some idea of the economic: bases and function of any urban centre. This feature also explains that the peripheral areas of the town are rapidly changing into residential districts to accommodate the migrants from the surrounding rural areas. indicates a more intensive rural-urban linkage. Burdwan is the largest agricultural trading centre of entire radh Bengal (western bank of the BhagirathiHooghly till the plateaus. Urba111 Economy Since the historical past Burdwan town has functioned as a successful regional urban market in tht:~ midst of a vast stretch of prosperous agricultural hinterland. This fact is reflected in the census data. From the spatial pattern of female-male ratio (Sarnanta. The increasing female-male ratio from 653 in 1941 to 905 in 1991 essentially bears the flourishing residential character of the town. The tertiary sector workers of both the town and its surrounding areas began to choose the Burdwan town as their place of residence because of its amenities and the high degree of accessibility with both industrial regions of Calcutta-Hooghly and Durgapur-Asansol belts as well as the surrounding rural areas. As a consequence the immigration pattern was dominated by male migrants pushing down the female-male ratio.general the residential environment of the town was also deteriorating during this period due to the frequent occurrence of epidemic. the tertiary sector activities have continued to remain the predominant functional base of Burdwan since 1961 (Table 7. some improvements of residential infrastructure especially of the transportation network of roads connecting Burdwan with its hinterland made it the most accessible nodal point ofthe region. This is not umcommon for similar urban centres. influenza and also annual floods of the Banka and the Damodar. The improving FMR of Burdwan. Though the relative importance of different sectors of the economy has changed over time. 1991) it is also found that the ratio is highest in the peripheral areas which gradually declines towards the central areas. Raza ( 1980) noted that tertiarization of 184 . Later on. 7.2. roughly) besides providing numerous other services. The infrastructural gap between the town and its surrounding rural counterpart is facilitating the development of residential blocks in the peripheral areas of the town. Sometimes. Since 1941 the female-male ratio experienced a steady rise due to the influx of refugees with families after the partition.3 ). even the rich farmers with productive agricultural land in villages prefer to keep a residence in the town and cornmute to his place of work in villages. malaria.7. helping to improve the female-male ratio. therefore.

from 21.14 77.Tow~ (in -~~rc~n_!~t. In 1961 the share of primary sector was only I. Several multi-storied business complexes have come up in the 90's along the main commercial Road. There are several wholesale markets (such as Alamganj. These complexes house a large number of shops dealing with various kinds of durable and non185 .10 per cent in 1961 to as much as 90. Tertiary sector economy in the form of trade and commerce.07 19.!_~_!991 ________ _ Year Primary Secondary Tertiary 1961 1. Trading of agricultural products especially rice from the prosperous rural hinterland is an important activity of the town.C. and tht~ thorought~ues like B. the secondary sector has lost its relative share of the workforce gradually smce. road connecting Vijay Toran to railway station via central bus terminus. and hence we could not go back further in time.10 1971 11.69 69.76 21. Bajepratappur etc.3).28 per cent in 1991.67 From the above table we can analyze the changes in the relative importance of different sectors of economy in providing the functional basis of the town.economy is the most outstanding feature of most of the present day third world cities.07 per cent in 1971 and then again started to decline reaching 7. The increasing importance of primary sector economy between 1961 and I 971 was mainly due to the physical expansion of municipal lxmndaries that included rural stretches of peripheral land. In this section we have seen the changes in the proportion of workforce in primary. The secondary sector includes the workers in agro-processing units of rice.28 2.25 90. and services has now come to dominate the functional bases of town.3: Sectoral Distribution of Workforce ___ of Bn.1961. As a result.!d~~~.6 7 per cent in 1991. 76 per cent which increased to 11. The relative importance of this sector has continuously increased from 77. Even now.25 per cent in 1991 (Table 7. Table 7.34 I981 I 0.1_!9~!.14 per cent in 1961 to only 2. Not much expansion has taken place in this sector of the economy ~-. the major contribution to the primary sector of the town comes from the peripheral areas (Samanta. 1991 ). Work participation data was made available from 196 I only.) in the town dealing with wholesale trading of agricultural produce. oil and ~hira (pressed rice) mills.15 5. Retail business of both consumer and capital goods is significantly flourishing with growmg demand from both expanding urban and rural demands. secondary and tertiary sectors oYer the period of I 961 to 199 I.49 1991 7.46 84.

1971). a large section of rural unemployed youth.84 per cent oftotaJ workforce ofthe town. The informal activities of Burdwan requiring more or less no skill and no capital (such as rickshaw pulling) are dominated by migrants from the poverty stricken rural areas of adjacent states. 7.ormal or in the informal sectors.8. Review of the present literature reveals three possible 186 . In the developing world. cultivators from the surrounding hinterland use the urban market to sell their surplus agricultural products. The transportation sector.durable consumer goods. consisting 13. is also an important element of the tertiary sector because of the locational advantage ofBurdwan as an important transportation node. This trade and commercial economy of the town is almost entirely run by intormal workers coming mainly from the rural areas. the university etc. mostly from the middle class families.). but the basic difference between the developed and developing world lies in its nature. Burdwan town also bears the characteristic of an expanding informal tertiary economy. In this ways trade and commerce of the town also integrates the rural economy with the urban leading to a high degree of rural-urban interaction. Within the confines of an urban society. mushrooming nursing homes. two polytechnic colleges. banking and administrative services. Present-day agricultural development is dependent on technology. and shops near the central bus stand meet that technological demand especially of agricultural machinery and fertilizer-insecticide in puts. the entire tertiary economy of the town is run by informal type of workforce (see Chapter 8).78 per cent of the workforce. educational infrastructure (three degree colleges. 2000). The tertiary sector economy of Burdwan is expanding at a high rate but this expansion is mainly informal in nature. Tertiarization is a significant characteristic of urbanization all over the world. Jnfrastructural services include higher level of health infrastructure (District Hospital. The service sector of the economy of Burdwan includes various aspects of infrastructure and district administration. However.2. living in rural areas within the region rush to Burdwan town in search of jobs either in the t. Qualilty of Life and its Spatial Pattern An urban community is not a homogeneous mass. both spatial and temporal variations occur in respect of the quality or standards of life of its resiidents (Timms.). one medical college. tertiarization is taking place mostly in the informal sector of economy (Mukherjee. private medical practitioners etc. and banking infrastructure which together comprise 27. Except the railway. Some of these informal sector workers are from the surrounding rural areas. Tn addition.

1975).3) it is clear that the quality of life is higher in the central part ofthe tovm. With continued urban growth there was a concomitant growth in the scale. however. Intra-urban distribution of social well being was for a long time considered as a function of physical conditions. agricultural labourers. We have identified urban people with better quality of life as 'privileged' and those with poor quality as 'deprived'. and (c) be spread out into the peripheral areas. According to a prior study (Samanta.ation. degree of specialization of range of services provided.3) with Burdwan. in the early stages of city development rudimentary versions of most of the urban services emerged near the city centre in order to serve the relatively compact urban area. Cullingworth (1972). marginal workers and illiterates) indicating poor quality of life. The third case is found in the developed countries of the world where the 'compact city' has become a matter of the past and people have moved out of the central congested parts of the city. there is a strong intra-urban variation in the quality oflifc (Figure 7. 1992) done with the help of demographic parameters (backward population. From the figure (Figure 7. the outer parts of the city are perceived to be qualitatively better than the inner parts. The socioeconomic indicators on a intra-urban scale. non-workers. On the other hand.. 'Quality of life' studies are usually done with the help of economic activities and their efficiency. the second is viewed by some authors (Herbert and Thomas. As a result. (b) have their greatest concentration at the core. According to them. peripheral areas have poor qualities of life.social patt1:::rns that have emerged during the history of urban civili?. While the first case is almost a theoretical 'optimum' which have and will never exist in reality.1 to -0. 1982) to be a transitional phase between a pre-industrial and a post-industrial economy. In some cases social and demographic indicators are also used. pointed out that identical physical environments might be associated with quite different social conditions. the positive score values indicate poor quality of urban life whereas negative scores indicate good quality on the other hand. The highest 187 . As all the socioeconomic parameters taken in this study are related to the poor quality of life. may: (a) be uniformly distributed. In view of above discussion we have analyzed the spatial pattern of the quality of life m Burdwan town. The wide range of multivariate score values (+2. The quality of urban population is usually manifested through attributes which may be presented numerically only with difficulty (Knox.81) supports the existing pattern of spatial variation in the quality of urban population in Burdwan.

..Z!.·' '17'149 f VARIATIONS IN THE QUALITY OF URBAN POPULATION ----- ~-~- .:.7..prived 1 Km 0 to+l·O Deprived [Z]J o to.._ ... .:==:c--'C·c-_--_---=----~-=---~-=cc::.c ---=-..I rs.--c-. 1991 87" 53 E Figure No .:: 23" 15 N SCORE -• Above a+ f...o·s D. ..o·s Privileged 23 to -1 0 Highly Pnvileged 12 N Source: 51 Samanta.c --------------~ ·-====-c-:-ccc:..l1 + 1·0 0 5 to+ \0 Hore De.3 199 .

Existence of such polarity in the quality of population forming distinctive belts has considerable policy implication. let us explain both the model and the meaning of the terms 'core' and 'periphery' in the context of a single urban centre. in which the deprived areas co-exist with the privileged ones within the city. The periphery in contrast is less intensively developed and comprises a mixture of functions. The area is far away fi-om the present nuclei. Other deprived parts of the town arc also found in the northeastern and southern peripheries. Intra-urban inequality is a common phenomenon in the present world. offices and entertainment facilities (Herbert and Thomas. with whom the core-periphery models is most closely associated. Burdwan.ack of proper accessibility is another factor limiting the quality of life in that area. 1987). especially the third world urban centres. higher level of backward population and marginal workers. lower work participation rate. the essential character of third world urban centres. backward population and marginal workers. The core-periphery model is a generalization of spatial structure of an economic system. Before justifYing the spatial pattern of urban quality of life with core-periphery model. 1982). Udaypalli. Rathtala which formed the oldest nuclei of the town in the southwestern part on the bank of river Damodar. a strong core-periphery pattern. In Burdwan the quality of population is markedly different between the inner and outer parts. consisting of two major components: a centre or core region and a periphery (Goodball. We can justify whether from this spatial pattern of the quality of life emerges any core-periphery pattern between the inner and outer parts of the city. In most cases Indian urban planners take a city to be a homogeneous mass which is farthest 189 . The 'core' is defined as the area exhibiting the most intensive landuse characterized by the concentration of consumer services. whereas deprived people characterized the peripheral areas. Such a polarized pattern of development leads to economic dualism. being no exception.degree of deprivation in the quality of life is found in areas like Kanchannagar. as the second stage in a four-stage sequence of the development of the space economy. exist in the quality oflifi~ ofthe residents in Burdwan. In these areas the low quality of life is mainly due to the incidence of lower literacy. Core-periphery relations were first observed by John Friedmann (1966). The differences are much more than those allowed by traditional CBD boundaries and often comprise so•cio-economic characteristics of the people per se. also represents the same picture. Privileged people inhabit the core. I . Therefore. On the other hand. people of central areas of the town are privileged owing to higher literacy rate. high incidence of job opportunities and lower occun~ence of agricultural labourers. based on the unequal distribution of power in economy and society.

He has excellently explained the significant role of medium 190 . Whatever criteria or limits are to be taken. for the time being have taken the wide range of 20. K. 1997). In the study of rural-urban interaction these two medium towns deserve special attention because of their crucial roles in integrating urban and rural areas of the region. However. up and down reciprocally (Singh and Singh. we prefer to defiine Guskara and Memari as medium towns of the region as their present sizes are well above 20. 1997).00. The planning process may be successful only if such deprived areas are taken into consideration and given special attention in times pf planning.000 as medium towns (Singh and Krishnan. They are also treated as growth centres especially in the developing world (UNO. Johnson ( 1972) highlighted that these smaller towns have greater potential capacity to utilize rural manpower and elicit human creativity than the large urban centres.000. 1978). 23).000 under its Integrated Development of Small and Medium Towns Programme (Wishwakarma and Jha.000 population size to define 'medium towns' and the size of less than 20. Again the Government oflndia covers towns with a size range between 20.!tween rural and urban areas besides performing the social role with providing several servi<:es tor their surrounding areas (Singh and Krishnan. 1993.000 to less than 1. p. 1978. In this way they play a significant role in controlling the flow in the settlement hierarchy. They are medium sized towns placed at a lower level in the urban hierarchy of the region. Sundaram. and the urbanized space having big cities at the upper end (Bose.3. Singh and Krishnan. Researchers (Diddee and Octania.000 and 3. medium and small towns may always be perceived as a linkage or bridge between an essentially rural-based society and space at the lower end. The Other Urban Foci of the Region Exce:pt Burdwan there are two other lower order urban centres in our study region: Guskara and Memari (Figure 6.000 to 3. 1972). Guskara and Memari had population sizes of 26. 1979).00. In 1991. 1983). 7.R. 1979.000 as 'small towns' (Mallick.995 and 20. Planners and Policy makers conceive medium towns 'as an instrument for quickening the rate of growth. Dikshit ( 1997) has identified large cities as 'problem areas' and medium towns as 'growth centres of the future'.00.5). The census of India defmes towns with a size category varying between 20. 1997).from reality. development and transformation' of any region (Singh and Singh. while making policy prescriptions planners must pay considerable attention to the deprived areas of a city.690 respectively. Therefore. 1979). They serve as catalysts for the economic integration b.

This. They have at the same time grown in importance as regional markets and have acquired new functions like industries. They originated as central places in the pre-industrial phase of economy and have largely retained their character as weekly market places. administrative headquarters of a district or tehsil or as specialized trade centres for certain commodities. a geographically dispersed pattern of investment should be devised. It was hoped that dispersal of industries and other economic activities to medium towns will partly redeem the overcrowding of large cities. However. The modem development of transport has made them more accessible and they have retained their agricultural econorrtic base.towns in the integration of rural and urban areas played since the historic period. trade and commerce and services at the core. I 997). basically they have remained centres of trade over the centuries. he argued. The Government of India introduced the Integrated Development of Small and Medium Towns (IDSMT) programme in 1979-'80 to reduce the primacy of large cities and develop small and medium towns for effective and balanced regional development. They also represent regional culture and extend social interaction between the town and its surrounding rural region (Sinha. 1997). the IDSMT did not prove to be very successful (GOI. can be materialized through the promotion of integrated system of secondary cities which provides potential access to markets for people living in any part of the country or region (Rondinelli. These toea! points have a genuine symbiotic relationship with the countryside. in both social and spatial terms. 1990). These settlements would be facilitated to grow into 'service centres' which would service the rural hinterland and would also act as 'growth poles' to diffuse development into rural areas (Benninger. I 980). medium towns usually occupy focal points in the vast rural hinterland. with some high level medical and educational facilities and a few financial institutions like banks and co-operative societies (Mishra. Wanmali ( 1988) suggested that the prevailing dichotomy in rural and urban development in developing countries can be reduced through the spatial planning in which the development of medium and small towns should get priority as service centres or growth centres of the future. 1979). Phadke (1997) suggested that these medium towns would be multifunctional in character with industry. However. I 983). In his words. 1988). He suggests that to achieve widespread development. Researchers and planners have identified medium towns as diversion centres to decentralize urban development (Despande and Arunachalam. Rondinelli (1983) defmed medium towns as 'secondary cities'. Manufacturing activity would be 191 . and conform to the development of effective nodes in the urban system that is more conductive to development (Dikshit.

The affluent peasants from the rich agricultural area of Raina. Because of its locational advantages. The population size of 20. 1996). A few might be based on external sources of raw materials but their final products might find a market in the region.690 in 1991 has become 35 thousands approximately by mid-90s (Konar. medium towns have been recogni7~d as centres for regional development and their proposed roles are as follows: they would be multifunctional in character with industry. Agriculture would be the ubiquitous source of local raw material input. In the national urban policy. These would provide necessary inputs to regional economy and there would thus develop spatial linkage between the town and the country ensuring their complementarity (Phadke.primarily oriented to regional resource potentialities.3. It is located 25 km east ofBurdwan and is connected with Burdwan by both the Howrah-Burdwan main line of Eastern Railway and the G. These would provide necessary inputs to regional economy and there would thus develop spatial linkages between the town and the country ensuring their complementary development (Phadke. From the point of view action/planning. trade and commerce and services at the core. Manufacturing activity would be primarily oriented to regional resource potentialities. we find that small urban centres have generated a lively debate in the urban literature in India. road (NH 2). The monopoly of traders of this centre over railway transport began to be challenged by road transport and the former began to lose its ground. Agriculture would be the ubiquitous source of local material input.1.T. The larger cities continue to hog the limelight of academic/administrative attention. A few might be based on external sources of raw materials but their final products might fmd a market in the region. the expansion of metalled road and automobile transport took place between Calcutta on the east and Durgapur-Asansol industrial belt on the west. 1997). while the vital roles played by smaller towns in bringing the mral and urban closer continue to remain relatively unacknowledged. putting Memari in a more advantageous position. Thus. not much result has been achieved in spite of various programmes (GOI. raw materials or skills. Mem:ari Memari. raw materials or skills.80 square kilometre. 1997). Jamalpur and Memari police stations started to invest their surplus capital in 192 . covering an area of 19. 7. is an important medium-sized market town located in the eastern part ofthe region. the town has become an important centre of trade and commerce with the development of agriculture in the region especially since 1960s. 1988). Since 1950s.

Small manufacturing units employing 5 to 20 or more workers includes five screw factories. Private capital rushed into potato cultivation. drilling. Various state and central government departments of administration including the sub-divisional office of the D.V. drastic improvement took place in potato cultivation of the region by mid-fifties. People from lower middle class families selected Memari over Burdwan because of its nearness to their village property. jute etc.) by building trading centres and shops by the road side.commercial! activities of consumer goods and trading activities of different agro-inputs and agricultural products (rice. Agro processing units of the towns are composed of two modernized rice mills.V. one paper mill.C. potato. welding and grinding developed as ancillary units. canals and private shallow tube wells) and storage facilities of agro-products. one coal briquette factory besides a good number of mechanical and electrical workshops with lathe. six shaw mills. Besides railways. With the development of irrigation (both O. Electification of railways put Memari in an even better position by reducing its travel distance to two hours to reach Calcutta (state capital) and half an hour to Burdwan (district headquarter). Burdwan. The region's first cold storage was constructed in Memari in the co-operative sector. 193 . 35 bus routes originate from or terminate here and more than 150 inter-district or inter-state buses ply through Memari at present. itself. two bran oil mills. six mustard crushers. The rush towards potato cultivation indicates the transformation of agricultural economy of the region into cash-earning commercial one in which Memari played a significant role by providing storage and marketing facilities. were set up in Memari because of its improved locational advantages. Durgapur and several other place on the Calcutta-Asansol section of the Eastern Railway. four steel furniture factories. Since 1960s small and medium sized manufacturing units started to develop in Memari most of them being agro-processing in nature utilizing agricultural products of the region as raw material. Hundreds of middle class people working in Calcutta. one mosaic tiles factory. five soap factories. four elastic tape production centres. one aluminium factory.C. cheaper land value and lower cost of living than Burdwan. Asansol. At present Memari-I block has 18 cold storages (largest concentration in West Bengal) ofwhich nine are located within Memari town. storage and trading activities of the surrounding rural areas of which Memari became the nodal market. four ice cream factories. two chira mills and seven mustard oil mills. started to choose Memari as their residence because of its high degree of accessibility and urban municipal amenities.

Health infrastructure of Memari consists of a primary health centre with 100 beds and eleven doctors posted there and around twenty private practitioners. a residential town up to the last decade. The trading and commercial activities of the town are supported by three commercial and three co-operative banks.3. flood and allied drainage related problems causing hardship to its residents and its economy. A section of affluent landowning class from the rural surroundings also began to shift their families to Memari simply for its better amenities including health. Due to the slower rate of infrastructural development and the nearness ofthe town to Burdwan (a large Class-1 urban centre) Memari could not prosper a. The Kunur river passes through it and a kandor (narrow natural drainage lines) girdles its southeastern edge. Since 1961 it has been designated as a non-municipal town. The Ajay riv1~ flows through 11 km north of Guskara which sometimes puts great trouble 194 .8 per cent in 1951 to 65 per cent in 1991.Following the prosperity of trading activities of the town. The (~ducational infrastructure of the town is constituted by one degree college. Initially the municipality had nine wards. education and communication facilities. in infrastructun~. It is located in the northwestern part of the region 32 kilometres away from Burdwan (Figure 6. 5). About 67 per cent of Guskara's population is concentrated in 33 per cent of the municipality area. Guskara Guskara is another lower order urban centre of the region functioning as a subsidiary to Burdwan. Physiographically Guskara is located on a low-lying area and as a consequence suffers from water-logging... In the present decade Memari started to develop its residential character because of the improvements. 7. There: are two branch offices of Life Insurance Corporation and General Insurance Corporation in Memari. greatly impeding its uniform growth. Situated on Burdwan-Sahebganj loop line of the Eastern Railway. Three cinema halls are also providing the entertainment facilities.2. two higher secondary schools. The setting up of the degree college has added a new dimension in the education infrastructure ofMemari since 1980s. which have become 16 in number at present by both areal expansion and ward-boundary reorganization. the infrastructural development also took place but at a slower rate. The municipality came into being in 1988. it is the headquarter of both Ausgram police station and Ausgram-I block. one high school and one high madrasa and eleven primary schools which have together improved the literacy rate from 34. This is indicated by the poor female-male ratio (885 temales per 1000 males) of the town in 1991 census.

and act as valuable storage ponds for monsoon rains.during the rainy season by creating flood. There are nine rice mills. At present the college is running in two shifts (both 195 . Collection. The service sector is also another flourishing side of its economy providing educational. education. banking and commercial infrastructure both for people of Guskara town as well as of the surrounding rural areas. The development of secondary sector in Guskara has been slow due to the absence of processing units of its hinterland's produce. four secondary schools and sixteen primary schools. two higher secondary schools. Guskara's urban functions are still based mainly on trade and service activities fulfilling its hinterland's requirements. This higher level of infrastructural facilities of Guskara town has helped in the development of a residential nature of the town. Trading and commercial activities comprise 18 per cent ofthe workforce occupying the second rank after agricultural labourer (28 per cent) among the occupational categories of the urban workers. Guskara has three cold storages. banking. Nearly 40 per cent of the total area is used for residential purposes besides 45 per cent lying still vacant. This sector comprises 14. Commercialllanduse occupy 10 per cent of the built-up area of the municipality. communication and other service sector activities. Agricultural activities still dominate the economic scenario of the town employing 41 per cent of the workforce (cultivators 13 per cent and agricultural labourer 28 per cent) in it.68 per cent of the main workforce basically engaged in administration. Residential buildings are increasingly occupying the vacant areas. In the historic past Guskara was part of the kingdom of the Sadgops (cattle-herders turned cultivators) of Gopbhum. Water bodies dot all over the town occupying 1. In the latter part of the 20th century Guskara has grown as an urban market centre in the midst of a predominantly agro-forest and animal-rich hinterland dominated by Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities comprising 33. The construction of Burdwan-Sahebganj Loop line across the Ajay river through Guskara around 1869 increased its locational importance.67 per cent and 5. Rice trading is an important commercial activity of the town. storage and distribution of agricultural products especially paddy and potato are important activities thus giving Guskara an identity of market town. twenty oil mills and three chira mills within the municipality area. This takes away the incentive for further increasing the production of such raw materials. The secondary sector activities of the town are limited with only a few processing industries.9 per cent of the total municipal area. Being an important collection and distribution centre of potato.29 per cent of total population respectively. The educational facilities of the town consist of one degree college. The (:stablishment of the degree college in the sixties was an important landmark in the history of growth of the town.

we note that there are more intensive and varied interaction between the rural and urban sectors of the region under study.II) and a population of 3. Society For Holistic Approach To Planned Development (SHAPE). Our examination of Burdwan. Bhatar and Mongalkote blocks. Bhatar. This master plan has outlined both the municipality planning area for further extension of the town systematically. the smaller municipality planning area spreads over 43 rural mouzas. Further improvements of their infrastructurt: can pull some of the rural migrants to relieve the increasing population pressure on Burdwan. We shall re-focus our attention on Burdwan town and examine its informal sector in search of tra<. we have chosen the rickshaw-pullers of Burdwan town. The influence area of the town covers an area of 72.4. On the other hand. Guskara has four bank branches providing fmancial services to the residents of both the urban centre and rural surroundings.392.220 hectares including 21 gram panchayats of four rural development blocks (Mongalkote. Ausgram. Medical infrastructure is still limited with one block level primary health centre set up in the public sector. and a few private practitioners and nursing homes. Urban planners now should note these facts.es of rural-urban migration.I and Ausgram. The development of Memari and Guskara as medium towns of the region should get high priority because of their immense economic potentiality. For this. Memari and Guskara as individual urban nodes has proven that they serve different purposes for the rural residents.morning and day) catering to the increasing desire for higher studies of the people from surrounding rural hinterland. Summary In conclusion.02. and influence area for int<egrated development of rural-urban linkages. The dominance of Burdwan town may be reduced with the infrastructural development of such medium towns to lead to an even better rural-urban interaction.I. an 'outline master plan' of Guskara has been preparc::d in 1998 with the help of the Calcutta-based consultancy group. 196 . To create an 'integrated system' with the surrounding rural areas through the establishment of backward and forward linkages. 7. covering fully or partly nine gram panchayats in Ausgram .


The basic objective of this chapter is to examine and comprehend the nature of the

urban informal economy as it exists in Burdwan town. We hope to study the existence of
close rural-urban linkages in this sector. Burdwan will, of course, be viewed in the overall
urban context ofthe third world. Thus, we will try to see in what ways and to what extent the
rural-urban relationship of Burdwan corresponds to that existing in such less developed
We have tried to establish in the previous chapters (Chapters 4 and 7), that the
Burdwan region is experiencing an increasing expansion of the tertiary sector. This fact is
evident from census data on occupational structure of Burdwan town, the main market centre
of an agriculturally rich region. In this chapter a deeper look is taken into the nature of the
informal economy of Burdwan playing a dominant role besides the formal sector, and to
examine if this sector integrates the rural and urban economies of the region.
In other words, it can be said that the main thrust of this chapter will be on the role of
informal sector on the integration of rural and urban economies to give them the shape of a
functional region. The exercise will also help us to answer the following questions:
1. how far does the informal sector of Burdwan economy bear the characteristics of
third world urban informal sector ? and
2. how far does this sector of the economy reflect the close ties between the rural
and urban areas of the region?


Some Conceptual Issues

8.2.1. The Irnformal Sector of Economy

Before attempting to analyze the informal sector structure of the economy of
Burdwan, a discussion on the concept itself would be pertinent. This will help us to
understand the: characteristics ofthe existing situation in Burdwan.
There :is a vast array of literature on the definitional problem of the informal sector of
third world urban economies (Mukhopadhyay, 1998; Aziz, 1984; Papola, 1981; Joshi and
Joshi, 1976;). The International Labour Office (I.L.O) in its report on Kenya, distinguished

the informal sector from the formal one by defining the former as to be characterized by ease
of entry, reliance on indigenous resources. family ownership, labour intensiveness and
adapted technology. skill acquired outside the formal school system and unregulated market
(I.L.O., 1972). Apparently, it seems that this is the most widely accepted defmition of the
informal seetor. Later, Joshi and Joshi ( 1976) defined the informal sector as ·unorganized
sector which contains a very large number of small producers operating on narrow margins in
highly competitive product markets; setting a variety of goods and services ... mainly to low
income groups'. According to them the informal sector is also characterized by the use of
labour intensive indigenous technology, low productivity of labour, lack of finance and credit
from the banking sector and the lack of official protection and benefits. Mazumdar ( 1975)
has mentioned one more characteristic of informal economy, that is, the lack of proper
unionisation providing protection to workers in matters of conditions of work and wages.
Following Mazumdar (1975) we have identified the informal sector of urban economy in


which essentially consists of mostly agricultural labourers. workers in small

industries and commercial units and self-employeds.
In much of the theoretical literature, the informal sector is viewed as being essentially
a stagnant and unproductive sector [see for example, the works ofMazumdar, (1976. 1977);
Fields, (1975); Lal, (1973); Todaro, (1969); etc.]. In sharp contrast to this view. however. the
empirical literature increasingly sees the informal sector as a dynamic and efficient one
responding successfully to changing demand in the economy and contributing significantly to
income and output [see Bhattacharya, 1996; Sethuraman, 1976; ILO, 1972].
Several authors have used different terms to define informal sector of economy.
Geertz in his study of Indonesia (1963) dealt with this question. He used the words 'bazaar
economy' and 'firm economy' for the informal and formal sectors respectively. Geertz's
distinction is that the bazaar economy is made up of a large number of small enterprises,
which are highly competitive among themselves, rely on intensive usc of labour often drawn
from the family, and which seek to minimize their risks rather than profit maximization. This
bazaar economy has its counterpart in the rural areas in the tendency to agricultural
involution in which increasingly rapid techniques of labour utilization absorb extra farm
labour but diminish per capita productivity. Geertz's point is that the bazaar economy is not
conducive to economic development. Santos (1975a) used the terms 'lower circuit' and
'upper circuit' to define informal and formal sectors respectively. A number of scholars
(Singer, 1970:; Dasgupta, 1964; Eckaus, 1955) preferred the term 'dualism' to define the coexistence of tl)rmal and informal economy. Whatever be the term, the informal economy is

interlinked with the formal economy through the flow of goods and services, just as the
peasant economy is linked with capitalist agriculture through labour services (McGee et a/.,

8.2.2. Third World Urbanization and the Informal Sector of Urban Economy
The third world is now undergoing a great urban crisis on a scale unknown to the
advanced countries during their main period of urban growth (Mountjoy, 1978). Though
population is increasing at a very high rate the economy is not expanding to absorb these
extra labour. Rural to urban migration is a significant phenomenon all over the countries of
the third world. This migration to the towns no longer bears any relationship to expanding
urban economies and opportunities; under-employment in the villages is exchanged for

in the towns. Unable to enter into the formal sector employment these low

skilled people are, therefore, pushed to the informal sector because of a high degree of
flexibility of this sector (Kumar, 1989). There are two categories of activities in the informal
sector namely, self-employed and the wage-employed (Ray and Banerjee, 1995). Migrants
with limited capital try to bec-Ome self-employed and the poorest among them goes to the
wage-employed section.


The Informal Sector As A Mirror of Rural-Urban Relationship
In the study of rural-urban relationship of a functional region, the informal sector of

the urban economy is more helpful in understanding than the formal one since it is the prime
recipient of firesh rural migrants to the urban centres. Rural to urban migrants, leaving their
homes due to poverty, are usually employed in the informal sector since they do not have the
skills to get employed in the formal sector (Benninger, 1997).
In Burdwan to\\n too, like most of the third world urban centres, the informal sector
of the economy is expanding at a much faster rate than the formal sector. The dominant
economic activities of the town, trade, transport and agro-processing units are basically of
informal nature. Also, the formal-informal dichotomy is blurred in some cases. For example,
in the transportation sector of the town there are formal workers in the railways and state
road transport services besides informal workers in the private road transport and the
rickshaw-pulling trade. The number of these informal workers is increasing with the rapid
growth of the town and its flourishing trade and transport activities.


At the same time, the number of self-employed informal workers is also increasing at
a significant rate. This group includes the cycle rickshaw-pullers, hawkers etc. The
increasing number of rickshaw-pullers and hawkers is evident from the illegal encroachment
of roadsides and pavements in recent years.
The hypothesis sought to be tested in detail in the course of this chapter is whether
this increasing mass in the informal sector of Burdwan reflects in any way the rural-urban
Our premise is that a stagnating rural economy would push out more rural migrants
into the urban centre in search of jobs, and the unskilled workers are most likely to find jobs
in the informal sector. Our objective, therefore, is to enquire into the rural roots of the
informal sector migrants.

8.3.1. Rickshaw-Puller as Part of the Informal Sector
Tertiarization is a dominant characteristic of the third world urbanization process. The
economy of Burdwan town also bears this characteristic with 72.15 per cent of its labour
force in tertiary sector. Most of the economic activities (both formal and informal) of the
town are tertiary in nature. Trade and transport, employing 39.87 per cent of the total workers
and 55.26


cent of the tertiary sector workers, are among the main components of the

tertiary sector of this town.
Transport activities of the town itself is again bi-polar in nature. A limited percentage
is employed in the organized sector like the railways, but a large section is employed in the
private road transport and its poor cousin, the rickshaw-pulling trade. These rickshaw-pullers
are of utmost importance in intra-urban transport as large areas of the town are still unserved
by town bus services.
Rickshaw pulling as an occupation is of recent origin - to be specific it gained
popularity in India after the World War II (Kumar, 1989). According to the report of
National Transport Policy Commission ( 1980), rickshaw-pulling is a fast growing occupation
in Indian towns and cities. In most parts of the country, there is scarcely a town or city where
the cycle rickshaw is not an important means of transport for both passengers and goods.
While the 'advanced' modes -- buses, local trains, auto-rickshaws, and taxis - have been
growing in importance, it is significant that the nwnber of unmotorized vehicles such as a
cycle rickshaws has also increased somewhat rapidly (Kumar, 1989), and they do play
important role in intra-urban transport. Sometimes, as in the case of Calcutta city (Sen,
1996), the rickshaw-pullers are even viewed as dispensable by trafiic planners and politicians

in their efforts towards city modernization. The rickshaw-pullers have, in recent years, given
rise to a very important public debate implicitly involving the lives, livelihoods and futures
of a huge population which is among the poorest and most exploited sections in the region
and country.
In Burdwan tO\vn though the number of registered rickshaws has been increasing at a
low rate of 21 per year (I, I6l in 1980 increased to I ,503 in I996), the number of rickshawpullers is increasing at a relatively high rate of 34 per year (6,3 28 in 1990 increased to 6,5 3 3
in 1996 as per municipality records). This is because the same rickshaw can be shared by at
least two pullers in shifts. Besides a large number of non-registered rickshaws is seen
regularly on the streets of the town. In addition, there are a large number of rickshaws,
registered with the panchayats of adjoining areas, operating within the town. Therefore. the
rickshaw pulling section is absorbing much of the real crisis of excess labour in the third
world informal economies.
Rickshaw-pullers constitute an important group among the urban poor in the
informal sector. It is a signific:ant entry point for the unskilled workers and migrants to enter
into the labour market of informal sector. A detailed study of this section of informal workers
can also throw some light on the rural-urban linkage, because there is a great opportunity for
migrants from villages to get absorbed into the urban sector. Many of such migrants came
from the class of landless labourers and marginal farmers. Therefore, in our opinion the
selection of rickshaw-pullers as a mirror of the urban informal sector is justified.

8.3.2. Sample Selection
The total number of riickshaw-pullers in Burdwan was 6,533 at the time of survey
( 1996). We selected a samplt~ size of 400 from the list of rickshaw-pullers by systematic

sampling procedure (following Clark and Hosking, 1986). We have restricted on 6.12 per
cent sample size because of time and cost constraint. The list of the rickshaw-pullers was
collected from the Burdwan Municipality's License Department.
The survey is done with the help of structural questionnaire. The survey is conducted
during March to July, 1996. The information sought from the respondents was related mainly
to the four aspects of the informal sector, that is, demographic, economic, social and
migration. Findings of the survey are analyzed to examine some of the prevalent hypotheses
concerning mban informal sector and rural-urban linkages.
Due to the requirement of a sample frame, we could take only 'registered' rickshawpullers. As the ratio of registered/unregistered rickshaws in Burdwan is about 10: I, exclusion

of unregistered rickshaws should not bias our fmdings. Also the fact that those pulling
unregistered rickshaws sometimes tend to exchange roles as shift workers in registered
rickshaws make our choice valid.


A l)rofile of the Rickshaw-Pullers of Burdwan
The cycle rickshaw-pullers are very common to almost all the streets of Burdwan, as

rickshaws are a major mode of transport within the town. The total number of registered
rickshaws were I, 161 in 1980. At present this number has increased to about 1,500. This
increase is not significantly high, and there can be two possible reasons for this low rate of
growth in the number of registered rickshaws. First, the number of unregistered rickshaws
has increased rapidly over the last few years, a feature typical of third world countries.
Second, the panchayats of the peripheral areas of Burdwan have begun to issue licence to
rickshaws, which operate within the town. The number of rickshaw-pullers is 6,533 as per
the municipality register. Be:sides, there are a huge number of rickshaw-pullers without
registration. Such coexistence of registered and non-registered rickshaws also bears the
imprint of third world economy.
The rapidly increasing number of rickshaw-pullers is lowering the ratio of rickshaws
to rickshaw-pullers. At present the ratio between the two is I :4.3. This is also an indicator of
the poor and miserable condition of these informal transport workers.

8.4.1. Demographic Characteristics
Age structure, family size and the number of children are analyzed as they have a
direct bearing on economic background of rickshaw-pullers.

Age Structure
Analysis based on the sample survey reveals that the 20 to 40 year's age group is
most common in this profession. This age group alone constitutes 73.75 per cent of the total
sample of rickshaw-pullers selected. It is this age group which has a greater tendency of
migrating to the urban areas in search of various kinds of job. As rickshaw-pulling does not
require higher skill and capital it functions as an absorber of fresh migrant from the villages
(Misra, 1983).
As rickshaw-pulling requires much physical strength, the number of rickshaw-pullers
decreases with higher age groups. The percentage share of the age groups of 40 to 50 years,


50 to 60 years and above 60 years are 13. Commuters (1. Another 6.1: Age-Group Wise Break-up of Rickshaw-Pullers Age-group Number of rickshaw- (ye_Cl_r) p~ll_ers Percentage share of age _groups 20 and Below 25 6. About 73.5 per cent of the total) also strengthen the rural-urban interaction by their daily commuting from villages to the town (Table 8. The degree of rural-urban interaction is much higher among the first generation migrants as they frequently visit their families residing in villages. However.25 per cent of the total rickshaw-pullers) are forced to do this work.75 per cent and 1. 4.0 7-8 61 15. Poverty among the rickshaw-pullers is so acute that even at the age of 50 and above they (6.25 8 and Above 45 11.25 Above 60 6 1.2: Distribution of Rickshaw-pullers among Different Family Sizes Family size (person) No of rickshaw-pullers Percentage share 1-4 146 36. The permanent residents and the second generation migrants usually maintain their families in the town.25 per cent of them are also forced to enter into this job at the age of below 20 years.5 per cent.1 ).5 per cent respectively (Table 8.50 Total 400 100 Family Size and Structure The average family size is not very high among the rickshaw-pullers of Burdwan.32 per cent) still maintain their families in their village home. Only 26. Table 8.2).25 21-30 157 39.25 Total 400 100 203 .25 31-40 138 34.5 per cent rickshaw-pullers have a family size ranging between 4 to 6 persons (Table 8. the first generation migrants (27.5 5-6 148 37.25 51-60 21 5. Table 8.50 41-50 53 13.50 per cent ofthem have a large size of family (7-8 and more persons).3).

62 per cent are yet to have any children.53 5.5 per cent of rickshaw-pullers do not have any children.25 3-4 132 33. About 36. The number of children is relatively high.34 and 5.75 per cent) seem to have smaller families whereas migrants (32. that is. Permanent residents (43. Number of children (presently alive) Number of rickshawpullers Nil 94 23.77 7.47 Second generation migrant 77 6 92. Only 7.25 Total 400 100 Percentage share 204 .5 1-2 145 36.25 per cent among them have one or two children (Table 8. Table 8. About 23.38 per cent) among them is still unmarried. These proportions highlight the fact that a major section of migrants still maintain their families in their rural houses and thereby have large fitmilies. The rest 20.4).25 per cent of rickshaw-pulllers have 5 and more children.5). 3-4 among 33 per cent of them.91 respectively (Table 8.Table 8. _ofricbha_~-pullers With family Without family With family Without family Permanent resident 121 7 94.23 First generation migrant 133 50 72. The relative percentage shares of permanent residents and migrants with number of childrens 5 and above are 2. This is also an indicator of social awareness of the younger generation rickshaw-pullers and indicates urban influence.00 5 and Above 29 7.5).3: Family Structure of Permanent Residents.32 Commuter 100 6 Number of Children The average number of children is not uninformly high among the rickshaw-pullers.68 27.4: Break-up of Rickshaw-Pullers According to the Number of Children.71 per cent) seem to have larger (Table 8. Migrants and Commuters P_ercent~ge s/_J_f!re _ No. A majority (79.

67 per cent commuters (Table 8."ident Migrant Nil 23..48 per cent second generation migrants and 16. 30-40 on an average whereas an average agricultural labourer earns a wage of Rs. 1998).25 per cent) earns between Rs. 30 and Rs. The rickshaw-pullers are more disadvantaged than the agricultural labourers as they earn Rs.52 5 and above 2. of course. the survey has been done very carefully to draw out the actual income ofthe rickshaw-pullers. ·-~- ".--"· ·-· Number of children Permanent re.2. Income Turning to the informal sector income it is. Like most other informal workers. A daily income of above Rs.17 per cent) and commuters (50 per cent) are still in the income group of below Rs.47 34. The percentage share of rickshaw-pullers in the category of daily income below Rs. the income of workers is difficult to establish with great precision (Bhattacharya. However. 25 to Rs. 20. ~·-' ~ ·.87 1-2 43. 25. On the other hand.34 5.Table 8.5 and 28... one advantage of rickshaw-pullers is the availability of work throughout th~~ year in comparison to the seasonality of the job of agricultural labourers.5: No of Children among Permanent Residents and Migrants (in per cent) .. permanent residents dominate highest income group of above Rs. The major section of them (39. 7).44 26. "- . 50. savings. In this income group there are 35.4. number of earning members in the family and housing are studied in detail. the mcome of rickshaw-pullers also fluctuates heavily. This 205 ..·-· . true that because of its irregular nature.68per cent first generation migrants. 45 per day. 30.70 3-4 30.91 Total 100 100 8. four components namely income. In spite ofthis. 30 and above Rs. 40 are 32. 40 is basically earned by younger generations.6).. 40 daily. 40.25 respecltively (Table 8. The majority of the first generation migrants (43. The average daily income varies between Rs.75 32. Economic Condition To analyze the economic condition of the rickshaw-pullers of Burdwan town.94 per cent permanent residents.

..25 Above Rs.68%) I 7 (20. Therefore. having savings in fixed deposit schemes is certainly rare with only one or two exceptions. Table 8. This saving extends only marginal support and is in no way sufficient for supporting their families at times of emergency..81%) 2 (33. •• •• --. 40 I13 28. - ·~·•> • -· ~ ~·v Average daily income Permanent resident First generation migrant Second generation migrant Commuter Below Rs. 30 . They usually pull rickshaws taken on rent against a fixed payment called ""jama' (deposit) on a daily/shift basis.71 %) 3 (50%) Rs. -'~-~ .7: Average Earnings among Permanent Residents. 30 .15%) 43 (51. Savings The practice of savings is very limited among the rickshaw-pullers...94%) 47 (25.66%) 79 (43.. Majority ofthe rickshaw-pullers (68 per cent) does not have even any savings account.48%) I (16. neither their income nor their informal job provided economic security to the rickshaw-pullers. -~ ---~- - .40%) 57 (31..5 Rs... that there is an element of self-employment in their work but any 206 ..Rs.- ------~- -.67%) Total 128 (100%) 183 (100%) 83 (100%) 6 (100%) -- --.6: Income Distribution Daily income Number of rickshawpullers Percentage share Below Rs. About 32 per cent of the rickshaw-pullers have a savings account either in banks or in post office.17%) 23 (27.. --·-· --- -. 30 130 32.possibly a significant reason why agricultural labourers from poor agricultural areas migrate to towns in search of perennial employment and avoid income-uncertainties. _. Ownership of Rickshaw Only a few rickshaw-pullers actually own their vehicles. Apparently it may seem. 40 53 (41.Rs. They earn just about enough by which they can barely subsist... 40 46 (35. -~ ... Migrants and Commuters .33%) Above Rs. However.. 40 157 39.25 Total 400 too Table 8. They do not have the security of one or two day's food ifthey are forced to go without work for illness or any other reason.- . 30 29 (22.

Migrants and Commuters (in per cent) First generation mjgrant 20. in times of lack of jobs in the villlage.33 Total 100 100 100 100 Rickshaw ~ ~"!iKrtllfl Commuter Nature of SeJrVice Seasonality of job. On the other hand.8: Break-up of Owner and Hired Rickshaw-pullers among Permanent Residents. 6 per shift of the clay.9). Again this section belongs to the higher age group as rickshaw-pulling requires much physical strength. 12 as a rent. with average net earning ofRs. Table 8.67 per cent of the commuters have their o~ vehicles. the rural urban linkages are strengthened. that is. such unskilled labour migrates temporarily to the to~ to pull rickshaws. An important feature is that most of the rickshaw-pullers of low-income group (daily income of below Rs.systematic study would show that they arc merely sellers of manual labour. 30. The largest segment 207 .77 and 33. at the time of sowing and harvesting they go to their village to take up the job of agricultural labourers as they can earn more since wage earnings as agricultural labourer are higher than as a hired rickshaw-puller. from the average daily earning of Rs. is also found in the rickshaw-pulling life.67 Rented 70. However. The rent for hired rickshaws is Rs. Therefore. The relative percentage of rickshaw-pullers with their own vehicles among first and second generation migrants are 20. About 29.23 66. The rest 73. As they eventually go back.74 16.5 per cent of them have their o~rn vehicles. About 14. though at a lesser magnitude than the agricultural wage labourer.26 83. only 16.75 per cent of the rickshaw-pullers are still seasonal to this job (Table 8. They are actually migrants leaving their families behind in the village and living alone in the town. 30) ply rickshaws for half a day. Therefore. 30 to Rs.8). This is also a characteristic of the third world informal sector. for six hours only. 40 most of the rickshaw-pullers have to pay Rs. 20 toRs. From these figun~s it can be said that the economic condition of permanent residents and second generation migrants is slightly better than fresh migrants of first generation. Another dimension of the o~ership of rickshaws among the rickshaw-pullers is that the permanent residents have relatively higher percentage of o~ership.31 79.5 per cent ply hired rickshaws.77 Second generation o~ Permanent resident ---------29.69 33. Only about 26.74 respectively (Table 8.59 per cent of permanent residents have their o~ vehicles. They do not have any control over the means of work they do.

5 per cent are in the category of double income family besides 17 per cent in the category of families with 3 or more earning members. The single income family is predominant among the rickshaw-pullers with 53. They belong mostly to the group of permanent residents. Housing The nature of housing is also an important socio-economic indicator.75 per cent.9: Nature of Service of Rickshaw-pullers Nature of service Number of rickshaw-pullers Percentage share Year round 341 85.5 2 118 29.1 0).5 per cent of them in this category. 55. The quality of housing is very poor.10: Number of Earning Members per Family Number of earning member per family Number of rickshawpullers Per centage share 214 53. (Table 8.25 Seasonal 59 14. The rest 44.25 per cent live in rented houses. does this job throughout the year. Most of 208 .(85.25 per ce:nt) of rickshaw-pullers. Table 8. Table 8. A considerable proportion. that is. second generation migrants and commuters. Single income familiies are very common inducing poverty and consequent misery ofthe rickshawpullers. of rickshaw-pullers of Burdwan live in their own houses.5 3-4 60 15 Above 4 8 2 From the above figures it is quite clear that the economic condition of the rickshawpullers is miserable like most other informal tertiary workers in the third world. About 29.75 Total 400 100 Number of Earning Members per Family The number of earning member per family is also an important indicator of the economic condition of any group.

3.83 100 16. unionization etc. Backward and scheduled castes are predominant among them. A major section of first generation migrants still maintain their families in their village home and live alone in rented house of the town on a shared basis with a number of others from the same profession. Though the quality of housing is poor. A detailed study of the pattern of housing reveals some interesting facts. Table 8. The percentage share of second generation migrants is also high.11: Percentage Share of Ownership and Rented Housing among Permanent Residents.93 per cent) do not have their own houses in the town and live in rented houses (Table 8.83 per ce:nt. Social Characteristics The social characteristics are analyzed on the basis of Religion and caste structure.93 42.17 100 100 100 100 8. In other words it may be said that first generation migrants are neither able to maintain the:ir families nor they can afford their own houses in the town and live in abysmal conditions.11). that is. the rickshaw-puller living in their ovin houses arc slightly better o1T than those living in rented hous•es. 209 . most of first generation migrants (63. 57.59 per cent of the permanent resident have their own houses in the town.41 63. The proportion of general caste Hindus in this trade is also very low. Migrants and Commuters Housing Total Permanent resident First generation migrant second generation migrant Commuters 83.07 57.4.59 36. However. This proportion is in tune with the general population structure. Rickshawpullers having their own houses in the town predominantly belong to the permanent resident category and second generation migrants. literacy.them are located in the low cost slum areas of the town. Religion and Caste Structure:: The amalysis shows that the proportion of Muslims is low compared to Hindus among the rickshaw-pullers. About 83.

as this level of education is provided at free of cost.13).12: Level of literacy Literacy levels Number of rickshaw-pullers Percentage share Illiterate 211 52.56 per cent (Table 8.12).Literacy Rickshaw-pulling is a labour-intensive informal sector activity and attracts only those who are illiterate or have no other skill or efficiency (Misra. 52.08 per cent and 8. The same is seen in the case of education above primary level. The permanent residents have a higher level of literacy.75 per cent of them are illiterate. The level of literacy among the rickshaw-pullers of Burdwan is also relatively low. being socio-economically backward.5 per cent belong to the primary to above primary levels respectively (Table 8.5 per cent.25 per cent are literate among which 34. 1983 ).35 per cent respectiveily. The rest 47.50 Total 400 100 Literate Upto Primary From a detailed analysis it has been observed that the level of literacy is not uniform among the permanent residents and migrants. 43. 210 . 53. The relative prop::lrtion of literacy of the first and second generation migrants are 3 7. This has resulted in increasing the percentage of literacy among the rickshaw-pullers.13 also clears that the level of literacy is not uniform amongst migrants. Table 8. 6. 77 per cent and 49. Burdwan district has recently been covered by mass literacy campaign of the National Literacy Mission. The rickshaw-pullers.75 139 34. the level of literacy among them is limited within the primary levd. Table 8. that is.49 per cent for permanent residents. that is.75 per cent and 12. Therefore. Here the relative proportions are 12. that is. first generation migrants and second generation migrants respectively.91 per cent in comparison to the migrants. cannot afford the cost of e:ducation above primary level. More than half.75 Above Primary 50 12.

This is also reflected in their levels of literacy Unionization From the previous analysis it is quite clear that all the characteristics (Demographic. 1976).5 6. About 54. The socio-economic conditions of the first generation migrants are much worse than the second generation migrants and permanent residents. 12 and 7. The rest (45. Literacy level Permanent residents First generation migrants Second generation migrants Illiterate 46.~~~!iO!J_~ igr:~r1!~--~l!~-~e_c9_1!d (.f1.5 per cent of the rickshaw pullers have come under some form of unionized organizations.75 per cent unionized rickshaw-pullers.41 31.50 per cent) ofthem are at a loose end (Table 8.Table 8. 211 . The rickshaw-pullers of Burdwan also represent the same characteristic.91 Tl[)tal 100 100 100 The literacy rate among different sections of rickshaw-pullers blends with their relative social and economic conditions. There are three unionized organizations of rickshaw-pullers in Burdwan. fi ~1_QC.69 40.14).60 Literate U pto Primary 41.91 Above Primary 12.23 50. Rickahaw Majdur Union and Pragatishil Rickshaw and Van Majdur Union are 35. The case of unionization is an additional dimension in this situation.5 respectively (Table 8._ei_Ie_~_~ti_~r1.13: Levels of Literacy among Permanent Residents.09 62. Among the 53. Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) supported Rickshaw Majdur Union and All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) supported Pragatishil Rickshaw and Van Majdur Union. economic and social) of the rickshaw-pullers ofBurdwan bear imprints of third world tertiary informal sector. These are Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) supported Pashchimbanga Rickshaw and Van Chalak Union.~s_(i()_pe_~~~I!!J. The lacks of unionization and job protection are important characteristics of the informal or unorganized sector (Joshi and Joshi. the percentage share of Pashchimbanga Rickshaw and Van Chalak Union.08 8.M~gr~l_l.14).

is somewhat true in case of rickshawpullers ofBurdwan. and c) movement from one state to another. 1969. b) movement from one district to another district within the same state. Inadequate income and poverty in the villages are the main causes of migration supporting the "push' hypothesis of migration (Tripathy and Das. Todaro. All of these migrants are from rural areas and the motive of migration was predominantly economic.0 Rickshaw Majdur Union 48 12.15 also explains among this 66. 1991 ). Table 8. In India. they have been compelled to leave their villagt:: home and have migrated to the town to be absorbed in its informal sector.5. The hypothesis (ILO. rural-urban migration has been examined (Bhattarcharya.15) of the rickshaw-pullers have originated from rural areas of a wider circle creating a large component of informal sector of the Burdwan town. Without any scope for employment. 1978) that the informal sector is the domain of migrants to the city. 1998) at three levels of spatial aggregation: a) movement away from birthplace (or place of previous residence) but within the same district.5 Total 400 100 Union 8. Majumdar and Majumdar.Table 8. About 66.75 per cent belong to the second generation migrant. international migrant is also found in case of those coming from Bangladesh specially after partition in 194 7.75 per cent belong to the first generation or fresh migrants and the rest 20. An additional type of migrant. 1992. Migration and Rural-Urban Linkage The Urban informal st:ctor in the third world is a significant recipient of fresh migrants from the rural areas.0 Pragatishil Rickshaw and Van Majdur Union 30 7.5 per cent of migrants 45.14: Unionization among Rickshaw-Pullers Numbers of rickshaw-pullers Percentage share Non-members 182 45.5 Member Paschimbanga Rickshaw and Van Chalak Union 140 35.5 per cent (Table 8. that is. In Burdwan town also there are three types of migrants in the rickshaw-pulling section. A significant fact is that they did not have to wait long before finding work 212 .

and most of them have a member of their familv.16).15: Nature of Residence 32.47.14 266 tOO Total The international migration is totally dominated by migrants from Bangladesh. The above figures clearly indicate that migrants are chiefly from the rural areas of surrounding backward states that is. The rest 4. Of the total migrants only 21.17).43 International 19 7.16 also shows that the percentage shares of inter-district. As an explanation for this situation it may be said that the town's surrounding hinterland is a rich agricultural region with profuse opportunities of jobs for the rural poor.16: Types of Migration Migration types Number of rickshaw-pullers Percentage share Inte:r state 93 34. The table also shows Bihar is followed by Orissa (9.96 and 7. In the inter-state migration Bihar holds the prime position with 86.3 per cent of the inter-state migrants are from Punjub. Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. inter-state and international migration into the rickshawpulling section ofBurdwan are 36.02 per cent of inter-state migrants (Table 8.96 Inter district 97 36.14 respectively.47 Intra-district 57 21. 34. Table 8. Table 8.68 per cent) in inter-state migrants. Gujarat.0 128 Permanent Migrant Percentage share No of rickshawpullers Nature of residence First generation 183 Second generation 83 45.43 per cent are from the town's surrounding rural areas (Table 8. the trend of rural to urban migration is limited within the region. Therefore. Bihar and Orissa.75 266 20.50 Total 400 100 A deeper look into the pattern of migration has thrown up a significant pattern. a relative or friend to provide shelter and food during their \Vaiting period (the period between migrating and getting the job in town). Therefore. Table 8.75 Commuters 6 1. this 213 .

migration is also economic and poverty-induced in nature. These migrants live alone in the
town leaving their families in the villages. They visit their villages once or twice a year and
send regular remittances to the::: members of the family.

Table 8.17: Inter State Migration
Number of










Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana

Source region

In the inter-district migration the chief contributors are Murshidabad (27.83 per cent)
Birbhum (21.65 per cent) and Bankura (15.46 per cent) (Table. 8.18). The levels of
development of all these districts are much below the level of Burdwan district. The other
source districts include Purulia, Midnapur, and 24 Paragana (North). Maida, Coochbehar,
Dinajpur (North and South), Hooghly, Howrah, 24 Pargana (South) and Calcutta. Though a
minor section of these inter-state migrants have transferred their families here, the majority
ofthem still maintain their families in the villages. They, with their low income levels, find it
difficult to support their entire families in the town and would also like to retain the link with
the village. No matter what is the scale of operation and what are the underlying forces
behind this migration, there is no doubt that it stresses the rural-urban linkage. Through this
linkage flows money, goods artd information, which plays a pivotal role in transforming rural
values and life style.

Table 8.18: Inter-District Migration





.. , ..

Number of


Source region












24 Paragana (North)



Purulia, Midnapur, Maida, Coochbehar.
Dinajpur (North and South), Hooghly,
Howrah, 24 Paragana (South) and Calcutta.



The rickshaw-pullers arc an important part of \vhat has hccn descrihed as 'the

unintended city' (Sen, 1996). They arc a reality in all towns and cities of the third world from the largest metropolis to the smallest town - and bring forward the contradictions of
modern deve:lopment in these countries. This chapter reveals that the rickshaw-pullers lie at
the lowermost stratum of


urban economy of Hurdwan town with their rural roots,

impoverishment and changing social and family structures.
As evident from our study, the rickshaw-pullers live a reality that straddles both
'rural' and 'urban', and creates a new form of synthesis ofthese two forms of economy. They
also represent how the rural migrants over generations struggle to survive in a radically
different environment.
The rickshaw-pullers of Burdwan bear all the characteristics of third world urban
informal workers. The large size of family, large number of children, illiteracy, poorer
economic conditions, very low level of savings, poor housing condition etc. are chief
characteristics by which we can identify their struggle for survival. Among these rickshawpullers migrants constitute a large section (66.50 per cent). The migrants have to face more
hardships than the permanent residents to adjust in the new urban environment. This is
reflected in the better socio-economic status of permanent residents than that ofthe migrants.
Most of the migrant rickshaw-pullers of Burdwan have come from the rural areas.
mostly outside the region. Recent agricultural developments in the region have reduced the
rural deprivation. As a result, we did not fmd considerable poverty-induced migration into
the informal economy of Burdwan, especially in the rickshaw-pulling sector. This is also a
significant evidence of the existing rural-urban symbiosis in our study region.



A critical aspect of rural-urban interaction is the various kinds of linkages between

the two. Tacoli ( 1999) identified two broad categories of interactions:

'spatial' including flows of people, goods, money. information and wastes
across space; and


'sectoral' including rural activities in urban areas and urban ones in rural areas.

'Linkages' elaborate in much finer details various dimensions ofthe first category. In
our study, we have not considered the second category of interactions mentioned by Tacoli
(1999) but concentrated on economic/occupation data to represent sectoral characteristics
(Chapter 4 and 5). The emphasis in this chapter is more on a qualitative description of the
nature of linkages between urban and rural spaces as complementary to each other.
In an ideal situation a town exists because of the countryside and within it. Urban
centres have always provided certain general services that have benefited the surrounding
areas (Phadh:, 1997). They have thus acted as organizing foci (as recognized early by Grass,
1922; Mckenzie, 1933) and as a door to progress of their surrounding area. The rural area in
turn has provided the urban centres with their basic requirements (Smailes, 1970). Rural and
urban areas have thus always been interdependent in intricate ways.
The rural-urban continuum in its original form merely distinguished the extremes,
thus stressing the differences and discontinuities between the 'rural' and the 'urban'. In this
concept rural extreme has traditionally been identified as an idealized, unchanging peasant
society organized in small inward-looking, idyllic communities based on kinship and
supported by subsistence agriculture. On the other hand, the urban extreme is the everchanging lift:: of the large cosmopolitan, commercial cities (Pacione, 1984). More recent
interpretations have emphasized the transformation, which occurs from one extreme to the
other. Frankenberg ( 1966) had developed a theory of social change in which the rural-urban
continuum is seen as a progressive and historical development from rural to urban, mediated
by industrialization, division of labour and role differentiation.
The relations between urban and rural areas have, however, shown a considerable
flexibility. The interaction has often been strong when the town evolved organically to

discharge certain functions for the surrounding area. ft has remained weak where the urban
function v.:a.s imposed \\ ith


interests. Scholars 1.1'v1cGce. 1971; l\1ountjoy. 196X;

Breese. 1966 etc.) believe that the developing countries like India. with their colonial legacy
and imposed urbanization, are characterized by strong rural-urban dichotomy or disjunction.
Indian urbanization is traditionally viewed by scholars (Prakasa Rao. 1983; Despande

et al., 1980; Bose, 1978a; Misra, 1978. 1998; Prakasa Rao and Tewari, 1978;) as one which
is characterized by a 'rural-urban divide', that is, the existence of exploitative urban centres
and impoverished rural hinterlands. Some of the recent studies have brought out the positive
role of agricultural development in stimulating urbanization in some areas of India
(Dasgupta, 2000; Chatterjee, 1989; NIU A, 1988; Mohan, 1985). According to these studies
the urbanization stimulated by agricultural development is characterized by uniform and
dispersed pattern rather than haphazard concentration, and strong rural-urban linkages. Thus,
sharp division between urban and rural is becoming increasingly less and less perceptible
today with the development oftechnology, transport and communication systems.
This chapter explores the various linkages which enrich the interaction between
Burdwan to'>vn and its surrounding rural areas to challenge the myth of rural-urban
dichotomy/ disjunction in third world countries.


Runli-Urban Linkages
The integration of rural and urban areas and their productive activities transforms

societies and accelerate modernization (Rondinelli and Ruddle, 1976). The goals of increased
productivity, income expansion and greater equity in income distribution can never be
attained without increasing interaction among villages and market towns, and cities and
metropolitan areas. For example integration of subsistence communities into the national
economy increases incentives and opportunities for commercialization and for distributing
services and facilities in rural areas. Again commerce and trade cannot be extended without
linking local rural or peripheral markets to major metropolitan centres.
Increase in the number and diversity of linkages and the growth or transformation of
development centres, either rural or urban, are inextricably related. In some cases new
linkages - extension of road networks, river transport or rail connections-promote growth
and diversification in existing centres. Whereas in others the appearance of new productive
activities promotes increased linkages. That is, some linkages promote accelerated growth of
development centres and others result from the nodal growth. As the development of linkage


and nodal centres take place simultaneously. it is extremely difficult to distinguish cause and
cfli:ct relationships between them.
The varieties of linkages that integrate urban and rural areas into an articulated spatial
system are themselves inextricably linked. Development of one linkage may provide a
'cascade effect' making other activities and linkages possible. As for example new urbanrural transportation linkages can change the flow of economic resources, the spatial patterns
of social and economic interaction and the movements of people.
In Burdwan region complex set of linkages together have transformed and integrated
rural and urban areas. Following Rondinelli and Ruddle (1976) we have identified seven
types of linkages between rural and urban areas of the region. These are physical, economic,
population movement, technological, social interaction, service delivery and politicaladministrative linkages. Each of these linkages is composed of several elements. The types
and elements of linkages observed in the region are given in the following table (Table 9. I).

Table 9.1: Rural-Urban Linkages in the Region



Physical linkages

Road networks
Railway networks
River and water transport networks

Economic linkages

Market patterns
Raw materials and consumption good flows
Consumption and shopping patterns
Capital and income flows

Population movement linkages

Migration -permanent and temporary
Journey to work

Technological linkages

Telecommunication systems

Social interaction linkages

Visiting patterns

Service delivery linkages

Credit and financial networks
Educational linkages
Health service delivery systems

Political and administrative linkages

Informal political decision chains
Administrative decision chains


9.2.1. Physical Linkages

The spatial integration of rural and urban areas results mainly from physical linkages.
Physical linkages, composed of man-made transportation networks, form the has is of all sorts
of linkages. They reduce travel time, lower transport costs, widen marketing, commuting and
migration opportunities, initiate agricultural development, allow greater access to nonagricultural employment, improve communications and extend areas of service delivery
(Rendinelli and Ruddle, 1976). Among the various elements of physical linkages we have
identified three in the region namely road networks, railway networks, and river and water
transport networks. These three elements of transportation network operating in the region
together have formed an integrated and efficient system of physical linkage. Among these
three elements, road network performs the most significant role covering extensive areas of
the region. Besides road network, railway lines and ferry services also provide efficient
means of physical linkage in the region.
Road Networks

Owing to physical uniformity of the plain, a high density of population, relative
agricultural prosperity and such other factors, Burdwan district as well as the town itself have
gradually become well-connected by road network with other parts of the state. The district
has an extensive road network with a density of 36.21 kilometres per 100 square kilometres.
The average road length per one lakh population in the district is 42 kilometre, which is
much higher than the state average of 25.51 kilometre. One National Highway (NH2) named
Grand Trunk Road (G.T. Road), five State Highways (Number 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9), a large
number of major District Roads (MDRs) and Other District Roads (ODRs) and extensive
rural roads together provide an efficient system oflinkage in the district.
The road network of our study region is centred on Burdwan town because of its
location at the geographical centre of the region and at the nodal point of several arterial
roads (Figur,c. 9.1 ). G.T. Road running in southeast-northwest direction provides the most
important linkage of the region connecting it with Calcutta-Hooghly and Durgapur-Asansol
industrial belts on the southeastern and northwestern directions respectively. State highway
SH8 connects Burdwan Town with Birbhum district in the north across the Ajay river.
Another State Highway SH7 connects the region with Arambagh town (Suhdivisional
headquarters) of Hooghly district in the south. Major district roads of the region are
Burdwan-Katwa Road, Burdwan-Kalna Road, Burdwan-Nadanghat Road,.;;Burdwan-Guskara


or Suri Road, Burdwan-Keralaghat Road, Burdwan-Bankura Road (Figure 9.1 ). All of these




Other district roads and rural roads have been developed in a fashion that they can serve the small and medium sized settlements lying between the major arterial roads. NadanghaL Guskara. namely. Trans-Damodar. Burdwan. on the basis of which the route permit is granted (Rites.arterial roads and the State Highways were developed in a radial pattern centering on Burdwan town. 1997).T. The road transportation system of the region comprises two elements. This application is then sent to the Transport Department (Government of West Bengal) for approval. Road and Western G. Strengthening of the existing bus service in terms of increasing the number of buses operating in an existing route is done through advertisements by RT A. diversification of rural economy and the desire of the rural people in the region for urban amenities and a higher level of infrastructure. The Regional Transport Authority (RT A) on the basis of public demand and information/requests creates a new route.T. Eastern G. The public bus system of the region is mostly operated by private operators who are organized in a group named Burdwan Bus Operator's Association under the control of Regional Transport Authority. On getting the approval. Section wise break up ofbus routes and number ofbuses are given in table 9. South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC) also operates a number of routes.2). Private bus system with 220 routes and 630 buses covers extensive areas of the region (Table 9. Katwa. Katwa-allied.the bus system for carrying passengers and a truck system for carrying goods. Keeping in view the system of bus route development it can be said that the nearspectacular improvement of road network and bus system in the region have taken place due to the cmergilng rural needs of the region. Kalna. The demand for a higher level of linkage emerged due to agricultural development. It then invites applications from bus operators.1).2. the route is finalized. Road section (Figure 9. 221 . The total routes being operated by various private operators in the region have been classified into eight sections. The willing operators are interviewed for the availability of a bus and other such financial aspects of bus operation in a screening committee meeting of the RTA Board. mainly long-distance.

1998 .T. Burdwan In addition to that State Transportation system.3: Routes and Buses Operated in the Region by SBSTC. Out of 102 standard size SBSTC buses operating in the district 54 pass through different routes of the region. Road 22 73 220 603 Total ---- --~ Sourc{:: Regional Transport Authority. Table 9.Table 9.2: Routes and Buses Operated in the Region by Private Bus Associations. with 33 routes and 54 buses serves some limited! sections of the region (Table 9.\'ection Number of routes Number of bu!l·es Katwa 38 89 Katwa Allied 8 17 Nadanghat 27 59 Guskara 24 53 Kalna 23 53 Trans Damodar 29 105 Eastern G. 1998 Depot Number of routes Number of buses Burdwam 11 16 Kalna 4 6 Arambagh 3 4 Durgapur 6 14 Asansol 4 7 Bankura 2 3 Puruliya 3 4 33 54 Total 222 .3). Road 49 154 Western G.T.

Most of the remaining bus routes in the region either originate from or terminate at Burdwan town (Table 9. The district headquarters activities (both administrative and commercial) and the long tradition of urban history of Burdwan town are other factors in the development of such Burdwan-centred transportation network. These routes are also of short distances mostly joining the gaps between railway lines and bus routes.4). Another set of long distance bus routes passes through some parts ofthe region without cutting through Burdwan (Table 9. pass through Burdwan t0\\-11 providing additional linkage along the main arterial roads of the region.4 explains the relative contribution of different route patterns in the bus system ofthe region. This is because of the location of Burdwan town at the geographical centre of the district. Table 9. Therefore. There are 32 trekkers at present operating in 17 routes. Usually trekker services have been developed in the areas of poor availability of bus services and unmetalled roads (such as those along the embankments of the Damodar). These trekker routes are mostly found in the eastern part of the region 223 .4: Route Pattern of Buses SBSTC Private buses Route Pattern Number of routes Number of buses Number of routes Number of buses Originating and terminating at Burdwan 119 412 19 37 Passing through Burdwan 25 41 13 15 Passing through other parts of the region 69 136 Circular routes centred on Burdwan 7 14 220 603 Total 2 33 54 In addition to the bus service. These routes originate and terminate at Burdwan town. the entire region depends on Burdwan for higher-level urban functions. Table 9. Some long distance bus routes. mostly inter-district. Circular routes (only seven) connecting the smaller settlement lying between the main arteriall roads around Burdwan town have also developed in response to the need for better and more roads. In our study region there are two other smaller towns but they are not at all comparable in size or influence to Burdwan town.4). some trekker (wagon/van type utility vehicles) services are also operating in more remote parts of the region. This factor has also led to the development of a radial pattern of roads centred on Burdwan.

Burdwan.Khargram 21 . the town bus routes were very few in number and of short distances. which have a carrying capacity of only 12 passengers. Burdwan . Burdwan. The lengths of individual routes vary from 11 kilometre to 35 kilometre (Table 9. a new system of bus service called ·town bus service' had come into operation since 1991. In most cases there is one or two buses per route plying almost continuously since early morning till evening.Bahirghanna 33 2 6+6 10. However.2).Jaykrishnapur 20 4+4 6.Kumirkola 24 2 6+6 3.~ ~-- -~--- Name of the route 1... Burdwan . The frequency of trips depends upon the length of route and number of buses. As a consequence the trekkers.·-----· -----~. However. Number of buses Number of daily trips (up+down) Burdwan. One is to serve the intra-urban areas of Burdwan town itself and the other is to connect the rural areas with the town. ..- -------·-·. are often f(Hced to carry about 30 passengers. Table 9. Burdwan. Here we are more concerned with the latter as it provides an integrated system of rural-urban linkage within an area of about 35 kilometres radius ofBurdwan to~n. Initially. Jamalpur.Jujuti 24 4+4 7. with people sitting on the bonnet and hanging from the sides ofilhe vehicle. with the passage of time the number and length of routes have increased to keep pace with the rising demand from the rural dwellers. ..5). Burdwan. Burdwan.Saranga 21 4+4 5.. Memari-L Mcmari-11 and Montcswar blocks.5. As a result.. 8+8 4. At present there are 28 routes and 41 buses connecting large and medium size villages with Burdwan to\Vn (Table 9.5: Town Sen>ice Network -~- ·-·-··~ .Sikerpur 31 2 6+6 9. Length of road i11 kilometre.Dadpur 22 1 4+4 8. This new system of town bus service is composed of two wings. The existing road network system ofthe region with bus (both private and public) and trekker services became unable to keep pace with the rising demands during the postagricultural development period of 1980s. Burdwan. Burdwan.Sankrai 19 4+4 224 . the number of trekkers is not sufficient to cater to the growing demand for rural-urban linkage. Figure 9.Sankari 18 2 8+8 2.covcnng Raina-!.

Burdwan.4+4 11. Burdwan. the existence of the system has played a positive role on the road network too. Burdwan . Burdwan.Simdal I8 2 IO+IO 24.. Burdwan.m . Burdwan .Channa 2I 12.Jamar I2 2 IO+IO 22. marketing etc. entertainment. administrative. The concerned gram panchayats usually take initiatives to get the roads metalled earlier through several projects. Burdwan. Burdwan. Burdwan.Bijur 35 2+2 19.Bhota 27 2 6+6 I4. In turn. The d1~nsity of routes has increased to a considerable extent too. Burdwan. 1996). Various urban services like medical. Burdw. Burdwan. Road) 29 5+5 ·-· ·- .Amarun 23 I6. Kalna Road. educational. Shaktigarh. Burdwan.Korer I3 2 IO+IO 23.Palitpur II 9+9 28.Sunur 23 I 7. Burdwan . It has opened up markets 225 . Burdwan.Burdwan (Via Atagarh. have been accessed by the villagers of the surrounding region with the help of this new transportation service. The town bus service has opened up immense possibilities for the integration of rural and urban economies of the region.Pilkuri 20 4+4 25.. .Rayan II 27.--=--c·-. G. In this way.Balgona I5 5+5 2I. Burdwan.Gangpur I3 6+6 26. Burdwan . Burdwan.. Burdwan During the last few year~ town bus service has turned into an eftlcient transport system linking Burdwan town with its surrounding rural areas (Samanta and Lahiri-Dutt. the availability of a service has led to new initiatives to keep the system effective.T. The roads meant for town bus service are not metalled (surfaced) in all cases.Eruar 32 2 6+6 I3. In areas of morrum (unmetalled) roads.Kurmun I7 I8. buses ply with considerable difficulty during the rainy season.Sukur I4 5+5 20.'""' """'"· - r 3+3 2 8+8 4+4 2 2 8+8 I2+I2 - Source: Regional Transport Office.Kurumba 25 15.

6e·lw ' NETWORK OF TOWN BUS SERVICE AROUND BURDWAN 0 5 W km ==== Unmetalled Road N • Town Serv1ce Termmus 88" 10'£ F1gure No - 9.<. .

country cheese etc. fish and milk sold in the urban market. 227 . 1963). Even in case of town bus network. This disparity in the physical linkage between north and trans-Damodar regions is due to both historical and economic: reasons. banks. the tr8. is a historical legacy ofthe region. two major canal systems (Eden canal constructed in 1881 and Damodar canal in 1933) used to serve the left bank or north Damodar area of the region (Basu and Mukherjee. numerous buckets of country cheese are carried from the villages to meet the growing demand of sweets in Burdwan town.11SDamodar area was entirely deprived of modern irrigation facilities of any kind. with only one bridge over it at Sadarghat. we can say that the town bus service in Burdwan region has strengthened reciprocity in the relationship between rural and urban. During their morning trips from villages to Burdwru1 town. The road network has not been developed uniformly over the entire region. As a consequence. Similarly during the afternoon off-peak hours. Until the construction of DVC canals in late 1950s. The Damodar river. This relative backwardness of agriculture can be attributed to the recurrence of flood and the relatively less canal irrigation facilities. Therefore.north Damodar and south D8. rural to urban migration has been checked to some extent due to the increased accessibility or better commuting facilities. Moreover. only four routes among a total of28 serve the trans-Damodar region.for local produce (vegetables. These trips practically carry more goods than passengers. Families of farmers living in rural areas can now more easily commute to schools. markets. The agricultural productivity index of the section is 153 against 189 of north Damodar region. on which side Burdwan town is located. The trans-Damodar region. lying on the right bank of the Damodar river. the cost of living is higher in urban areas.2). If the urban amenities can be easily accessed then the need of rural people to migrate to urbc:m areas becomes less.1llodar or trans-Damodar region. colleges. therefore. has a better integrated network of bus system than the transDamodar section (Figure 9. the town buses usually carry bulk of the fresh vegetables. so rural-based farmers do not always wish to migrate to Burdwan. The agriculture-cum-rural economy is relatively backward in trans-Damodar region. private nursing homes and private chambers of specialized doctors in Burdwan tovvn to meet their daily needs. In spite of notable improYements in the road tr8. The better development of agriculture in the left bank area.) in the town. milk. has always been somewhat deprived of adequate irrigation facilities since the historic past. public and private health centres including hospitals. still poses a considerable barrier and has divided the region into two distinct parts .11Sportation system there still are some gaps in the network within the region. The northern bank. Before the introduction of the DVC.

Even at present the percentage of flood-prone to total area is higher (7. Most of the long distance express or mail trains connecting Calcutta with north India pass through Burdwan. is an important railway junction between Howrah and Asansol. is a major physical factor in the development of this dichotomous nature of road network. Burdwan-Howrah Chord line. By express or mail trains it take:s approximately two hours to reach both Asansol and Howrah stations located in Durgapur-A<. the right bank area continued to remain as the spill off (nikashi) area of the Damodar. improved management of available resources. These arc Burdwan-Ho\\Tah Main line. Besides the poor canal network. Railway Neh'Vorks Besides the integrated road network in the region. the drainage outlet has traditionally been through breaches on the embankment of the right bank. Burdwan. 228 .75 per cent) in the trans-Damodar region than the northern part (3. 1969). All these railway lines together provide an efficient system of rail network in the region and help to integrate rural areas with urban centres of both inside and outside the region.Even after the introduction of the DVC canal network the right bank area continued to remain relatively unserved. A large number of commuters both from Burdwan town and surrounding rural areas commute to these industrial-commercial belts for their daily work. Beside:s mail or express trains there is a network of local/suburban trains connecting Burdwan. Another narrow gauge line connecting Raina with Bankura pa'>ses through Raina-1 and Khandaghosh blocks of the region. Burdwan-Asansol line and Burdwan-Bolpur loop line. To tackle the flood situation of monsoons. located on the Eastern Railway main line. Calcutta and Bolpur (Figure 9. railway network has also played a significant role in the rural-urban linkage. In total there are four railway routes connecting Burdwan with the surrounding areas.ansol (on the west) and Calcutta-Hooghly (on south-east) industrial belts respectively. In addition a narrow gauge line with a limited number of trains connecting Burdwan with Katwa (subdivisional headqum1cr town) also passes through the region. Guskara (the three urban centres of the region) and a number of villages directly with Asansol. Less than one-third (27.95 per cent). Memari. The Damodar river itself flowing through the middle part of the region.3).42 per cent) ofthe DVC command area lies to the right bank region (Chatterjee. a comprehensive vision and proper planning on behalf of the district administration would have been able to remove these gaps in the rural-urban linkage ofthe region. Better administrative co-ordination.

RAILWAY NETWORK OF THE REGION 23' 30'!-. 0 5 10 km L..--"---~ .

located on the bank of the Damodar. The Damodar river passes through the region with only one bridge on it connecting the southern part of the region with Burdwan town. especially the rural hinterland. River and Water Transport Networks The Damodar. To enhance efficient system of physical linkage in the region the constraint 230 . Pa<>sengers sometimes carry their bicycles on boat to cross the river and then to catch the bus or train on the other bank. If further expansion of railways in form of branch lines takes place and the narrow gauge line is replaced by broad gauge then it might possibly tum into a major means of physical linkage in the region. has become well connected by roadways and railways to both the surrounding areas and the other parts of the district as well as the state. the linkage efficiency is much higher of the railways than the roadways. Due to its high seasonality of flow. The journey hour for the same distance is two hours by bus against 1 hour and 10 minutes by train. waterways lost their importance as means of trade. With the progress ofthese land routes. people have to walk a considerable distance on the sandy riverbed to cross the water by boat. passing through the region. Therefore. these ferry services provide important linkages between vast rural areas of the trans-Darnodar region and Burdwan town.In comparison to the road network both the journey time and fares arc much lower in the railway system. 20 per person whereas it is only Rs. The journey by bus is also more tiresome than that by train. 12 by local train. At present ferry services across the Damodar in different areas constitute bulk of the water transport network of the region. In the absence of adequate number of bridges on the Damodar river. The construction ofDVC dams since 1948 has significantly reduced the flow of water along the river. Therefore. roadways provide a more efficient mode of physical linkage in the region. the ferries do not provide services from bank to bank. This sort of walking across the sandy riverbed is a troublesome task tor the passengers especially for those who carry considerable loads. was a busy water route till the Mughal period in India. However. from the point of view of area served. Railway lines still cover a limited portion of the region. For example the fare of Burdwan to Durgapur (a distance of 60 kilometres) by bus is Rs. After the introduction of railway line by the British in eastern India between Raniganj and Calcutta in 1855 this water route started to decline in relative importance. Burdwan town. The vast stretch of trans-Damodar region is connected to Burdwan by ferry services at a number of points across the river.

posed by the Damodar should be replaced by at least two more bridges within the region. 9. capital and income flows. Burdwan town along with its marketing ac:tivities provides all sorts of tertiary (trade. diversifYing production and expanding spatial system of exchange (Skinner. The construction ofthis bridge has already begun. The rural areas of our study region are characterized by a more efficient agricultural economy (Chapter 3). 1998). The urban centres on the other hand. service as well as administrative) services to the surrounding rural areas. 1964). raw material and consumption goods flows.2. The vertical coordination of marketing systems provides substantial benefits to the farmers of the region by increasing their bargaining powers through improved price information and increased market competitiveness. Market Patterns Broadening the market linkages is a primary force in commercializing agriculture. however. are the starting point for the upward flow of agricultural products and crafts items into the higher reaches of marketing system and also the downward flow of finished and consumption goods for pea<. and access to urban markets and services are often crucial for agricultural producers. In addition. either rural or urban. we should look into the nature of economy in the region. Economic Linkages Economic linkages between rural and urban areas are of utmost importance in the spatial integration of any region. Market centres. many urban enterprises rely on demand from rural consumers. a large number of households in both urban and rural areas rely on the combination of agricultural and non-agricultural income sources for their livelihoods (Tacoli. 231 . Some ofthe important economic linkages in the region are market networks.2. is still limited though some agro-processing units and trade and business actiivities (Chapter 4) have come up. are characterized! by tertiarization of economy. Before analyzing the economic linkages between rural and urban areas of our study region. Within the economic sphere. Economic diversification. On the eastern part a bridge connecting Jamalpur block with Raina-1 has been sanctioned by the district administration.ant consumption. consumption and shopping patterns. The intermediate urban centres of Memari and Guskara are essentially small market towns (Chapter 7). A popular demand is growing in the region for the construction of another bridge in the western part.

The vertical coordination of marketing syst(. 1987). Forward linkages or the resultants of supply of agricultural products to agroprocessing industry. The market pattern in our study region is more or less well-articulated. Below these rnarket towns are a large number of rural market centres collecting local agricultural produce and providing basic urban services (both commercial and infrastructural). initiate a 'cascade effect' of investment in industries. In the hierarchical order they act as subsidiary market centres of Burdwan town. These are as follows: 1. rural market centres and market towns. The development of agricultural economy provides three types of economic linkages for regional growth (Harriss. the other two urban centres of the region. these lower order urban centres act independent of Burdwan town. All these rural market centres are well connected to Burdwan town on one hand and their smaller hinterland on the other (Chapter 6). storage and distribution of potato for example. Burdwan town lies at the top of the marketing system in the region providing national-level economic linkages with other parts of the country as well as the state. Gradually agricultural resources arc used more productively. However. At the lowest level of market pattern there are a large number (74) of periodic markets (rural haats) providing limited transactions of local agricultural produce (Chapter 3). once established. are typical small market towns providing marketing facilities for local agricultural products. 2. It reduces transaction and physical distribution costs and makes market centres more accessible to the producers. Vertical coordination of marketing systems is practically impossible without an efficient system of transportation. The extension of market linkages again creates incentives for other types of economic interaction.The transportation network plays a key role in the development of marketing linkages. Consumption linkages emanating from the expenditure of income obtained from the marketed surplus. services and commercial activities. like the collection.:m has been developed properly in the region with the help of well-connected periodic markets. Backward linkages or the resultants of demand from agricultural sector for inh:rmediate or capital goods. generating higher incomes per unit of land. Backward and forward production linkages widen the market area for rural products and attract part-time workers from surrounding rural areas by providing off-farm employment. and 3. The growth of market centres link urban markets strongly with rural hinterlands and encourages growth of manufacturing and commercial services within the cities. in respect of some activities. 232 . Guskara and Memari. Urban-rural production linkages.

to the agro-processing units or rice mills located mostly in and around urban centres. a uniform price level for both agricultural products and consumption goods is found in rural and urban markets. The in1tegrated market system of the region has strengthened the bargaining power of the farmers. gas oven etc. HYV seeds. colour television. Forward linkage has also been developed with the supply of agricultural products. To meet the higher standard ofliving this class of rich farmers frequently uses the urban market at Burdwan as it provides a wider choice of goods than rural markets. potato. Backward linkages have increased demand tor capital goods. especially paddy. the improved transportation network has made the urban markets accessible to the rural producers. Raw Material and Consumption Goods Flows Exchanges of goods. Other capital goods are available in the rural markets. such as cooking gas and T. vegetables. The most recent generation of spatial policies considers market interactions as a crucial factor in the development of rural 233 . pesticides. The same is true of consumable goods originating in Burdwan town. that is. As a result the consumption of both capital goods and intermediate goods have increased dramatically among the rural people. Again. are provided both by urban and rural market centres. have become parts of daily life in rural areas ofBurdwan region. Motorbike. farm implements and machinery) the farmers still depend on the urban market at Burdwan town. fertilizer etc.V. Agricultural development again has given rise to consumption linkages in the region. that have become more accessible to rural consumers through the economic linkages. country cheese etc. The prices of rice. it can be stated that a vertically coordinated and well-articulated marketing system significantly displaced conventional rural deprivation in the region. eggs.All these three types of linkages have emerged following the agricultural development in the region. Among them (for the supply of higher level capital goods. These capital or intermediate goods in the form of farm machinery and implements. The sizeable surplus income generated from agricultural development has facilitated the rise of a class of farmers with a higher purchasing power. between rural and urban areas are an essential element of rural-urban linkages. either raw materials or finished products. are the same in both rural and urban areas. Therefore. On the other hand. refrigerators. The price fluctuation in accordance with the seasonal demand also takes place uniformly in rural and urban areas. As a result. the consumption of poorer section of rural people (mostly marginal formers and landless labourers) is mostly satisfied within the rural market centres.

After meeting the local rural demands a major section of surplus paddy goes to the urban market in the processed form as rice. This is because of the significant presence within rural areas of small processing units with a capacity of ten quintals or one thousand kilograms. On the other hand. The flow of vegetables to the urban market is not organized and thereby dominated by individual sellers. Memari and Guskara towns. reflecting the global trend towards market-led strategies. Vegetables are also an important rural product meeting the huge daily needs of urban market. In our study region paddy is the only agricultural product which can be treated a<> raw material of the agro-processing industries. Some bus trips from rural areas in lean hours carry rice on the bus floor and passengers on the seats. Potato is an important agro-product of the region. Rice from the mral producers usually goes to these collection and distribution centres in urban markets. Besides paddy and rice a number of rural products are supplied to the urban market as consumption goods. rice is supplied in smaller quantities either by tractors or by buses during the lean hours such as early morning and noon. Rice collection and distribution centres with storage facilities are also large in number in Burdwan. Double cropping of paddy is a common phenomenon of the agricultural economy in the region. The paddy in the fonn of raw material is usually carried in bulk by trucks or tractors from the rural areas to the manufacturing units. which comes to the urban market through organized potato trading channels. Small and marginal farmers of the areas highly 234 . The urban manufacturing economy of the region is constituted by agro-processing units the raw materials of which come from the surrounding rural areas. For example. In case of such mills the flow of paddy takes place over short distances.atwa road in the morning with usually less than ten bags of rice for sale. Rice mills are also common in the rural areas of the region located along the main transportation lines. The passenger traffic becomes very low in these bus trips. Retail market for rice is also found in different parts of Burdwan town. The potato collection and distribution in the entire region is controlled by potato trading centres located in Memari town (Chapter 7). An improved road network has helped the individual small producers to sell rice in the urban markets. The agents of rice traders coUect this rice from rural producers at the Bus stand. The rural areas usually supply raw materials to the industrial sector in urban areas. in Bajepratappur area of Burdwan town small producers of rice line along the Burdwan-K.areas. Th<~ total production of paddy in the regiOn does not necessarily go to the manufacturing sector as raw materials. Productivity is also higher than other parts ofthe state (Chapter 3) resulting in huge volumes of paddy being supplied to the rice mills of the urban centres.

However. The milk supply comes mainly from the adjacent villages by individual milkman. The demand for this local milk is much higher than the organized supply from outside the region because of its better test. One is organized fish market which supply fish to urban people imported from other states specially Andhra Pradesh. mainly meat and egg from the rural areas. The demand for local fish coming from the surrounding areas is also high in the urban market. The bulk of the poultry products. much of the fish products ofthe mral areas are supplied to the markets ofBurdwan town. The prices of fish supplied through organized channels are lower than that of local informal supply. The milkman from the surrounding villages come in the morning with their milk container by town buses. Dairy products such as milk and country cheese are also important items of consumption goods flow from rural to urban area. This market is located in Tentultala Bazar. The supply of milk in unpacked condition is also difficult because of its high perishability. Early trips of town bus from the surrounding mral areas bring bulk of fresh vegetables to the urban markets. meet the urban demands.accessible to the urban markets grow vegetables of different seasons on smaller plots of land and sell that produce in the urban market on his own. The other section is informal fish market the supply of which comes from the surrounding rural areas by individual traders. Poultry farms have developed in considerable numbers in the rural areas recently. the organized supply ofMother Dairy (a state owned company) milk also runs parallel to the Burdwan town.rming. Fish and poultry products (egg and meat) sold in the urban market are also supplied from the surrounding rural area<>. Therefore. Therefore. Country cheese is another important dairy product of the region which have a very high demand in sweet shops of the urban market. However. During afternoon hours the buses especially town buses from rural areas carry huge number of buckets of country cheese into Burdwan 235 . crop and dairy planning in the region. However. The credit for such development goes to the successful implementation of rural development schemes under the panchayat system in the region (Chapter 3). that is. In Burdwan they have own bicycle in cycle stands by which they supply the milk from door to door. the central market area ofthe town. this poorly organized supply cannot meet the urban demand. To make the local milk supply into viable commercial units co-operativization of milkman is a utmost necessity in the region. One probable explanation is the fragmentation of agricultural plots due to effective land reform. The increased crop intensity has not been followed by considerable shift to mixed fa. market gardening of commercial scale is yet to develop in the region. the fish market in Burdwan town has two parallel sections. This informal fish market is found in almost all the vegetable markets of the town.

mostly capital goods like farm machinery. The shopping. the prices of these goods are more or less same in Burdwan town and in rural market centres. An intensive town bus network developed in the last decade has provided greater impetus to the urban shopping habits of rural people.. In spite of that. Some of these goods. The attraction for fashion goods and urban 236 . On the other hand. Consumptio111 and Shopping Patterns In the consumption and shopping pattern of the region a high degree of rural-urban interaction is noticed. refrigerator. motorbike etc. stationary and luxury items are supplied to the rural areas from the urban market through rural market centres. Industrial or fmished products dominate the f1ows of urban goods to the rural areas. can be done both by urban and rural dwellers in their own areas. in the urban market for their purchase. The only difference is the varieties and choices. The rural products are supplied to the urban market either by producers themselves or by petty traders. The improved transportation network has facilitated such exchange in that no additional transport cost is added. The rural demands for such capital goods have not yet crossed the threshold limit for establishment of business the-re. In the flow of consumption goods. This trend of shopping pattern has developed after the spectacular improvements in transportation network especially roadways during the 1990s. On the other hand. especially consumption goods.town. Rural people cannot purchase these goods from the rural market because of the lack of authorized dealers. consumption goods including clothes. Therefore. Therefore. pumpsets. are also supplied to the rural markets by rural based businessmen. therefore. groceries. The urban market in Burdwan provides many options for all sorts of consumption and capital goods. The main commercial area of Burdwan also lies within walking distance of both the central bus terminus and railway station. A higher level of accessibility of the surrounding rural areas to Burdwan town has strengthened the t1ow of shoppers. are directly sold in the urban market. which are still limited in rural market centres. a significant flow of shoppers from the surrounding rural areas comes to Burdwan town. besides rural to urban flow there is a considerable extent of urban to rural flow. This 11ow of country cheese IS also unorganized but sufficient to meet the urban demands. Frequent visits to Burdwan to\Vn have affected the life styles of rural people. rural consumers prefer to have a better option from varieties of goods available. television. The surplus income generated by agricultural development has created a rich class of rural people whose consumption power is high. urban commodities.

ceo-park. The flow of capital in the region has taken place both from rural to urban and urban to rural areas. for example. local raw material and thrive because ofreduced transport cost of raw materials. up to the 1950s. Women of middle class furmer families often spend their afternoon hours for shopping in Burdwan. commercial activities started to flourish in the rural area<> and quite an array of large and growing rural market centres came to exist in the region. it can be said that before the development of agricultural economy. On the one hand. whereas. science centre etc. Development of the agricultural economy helped to incrca<>e the purcha<>ing power of people living in rural areas. Burdwan town being a traditional royal seat and an important centre for trade and business since the Mughal period. the capital used to flow from rural to urban areas. that is. started to develop in the rural areas of the region. This group includes the Raj-karmacharis (royal employees) of Burdwan raj. 1957) as ·parasitic· 237 . the shopping of light consumption and fashion goods is commonly done by women. Later on. trade and commerce was also concentrated in Burdwan town in the pre-agricultural development period. the rural surplus used to drain out to the urban centre. The shopping of heavier goods. capital goods. In the initial stage. Capital and Income Flows The generation of capital in rural and urban areas of the region has taken place in two different ways. with the improvement of the agricultural economy and road transportation network.) has increased considerably among the rural people. On the other hand. Low travels cost and lesser journey time provided by town bus network have supported the increased flow of rural people. chira mills and oil mills took place in Burdwan town. The generated capital either from rural agricultural economy or from urban trade and functions like business are used to develop agro-processing units and to expand tertiary activities mainly trade and commerce over the entire region. mainly rice mills. food items is usually done by male members of rural families. groceries. Therefore. agro-processing units. that is. These processing units in rural areas use local labour.entertainment (recreation like movie halls. the rural capital of the region is the product of recent agricultural development and associated surplus income. As a result a huge agglomeration of rice mills. The other area of capital investment. local landlords and businessmen. has accumulated over time a sizeable capital among the group of people engaged in those activities. This relatively extractive nature of urban economy was representative of what has been described (lloselitz. restaurants. This was probably because of the lack of a threshold demand in rural areas. As a result.

rural to urban commuters within the region are engaged in both the formal and informal activities. At present. that is. medicaL educational. In Burdwan town we can find three types of income groups of urban people based on the place ofwork. administrative. commute to areas outside the region. On the other hand. although somewhat fewer in number. The other section of urban people works outside the region leading to an in-flow of income to Burdwan from outside the region especially from Calcutta-Hooghly and AsansolDurgapur industrial belts. Whether formal or informaL the income of this sect ion of people flows from urban to rural areas. financial and others) of Burdwan town. fmancial and transport etc) public sector service activities of the rural areas. On the other hand. educational. informal jobs are dominated by commercial or business activities. Ofthese three groups. The other major section commutes to Burdwan town for their daily work. In this case. The development of town bus network around 238 . the rice mill owners or rich businessmen living in Burdwan town have initiated businesses and manufacturing units like rice mills away from the town in the heart of rural areas. A major section of these informal commuters are being absorbed in the flourishing business sector (such as commercial establishments like shops) of Burdwan town. in rural areas of the region we find similar types of income groups as in urban areas. The formal jobs in this case are mostly provided by the organized service sector (administrative. There has now emerged a third group of people who live in Burdwan town and work in the surrounding rural areas. In this case there is no flow of income between rural and urban areas. with the improvement of agricultural economy and associated growth of commercial activities the surplus has started to be invested in the rural area itself Even in some ca<>es the reverse capital flow ha<> hegun. This section of people. This group of people is mainly engaged in the organized (such as medical. from rural to urban and urban to rural in the region. that is. one section lives in Burdwan town and also works there. The majority of the rural people are engaged in agricultural and business activities in the rural areas. In this counteractive way the rural-urban economic linkages have been strengthened in the region. there is a flow of income from rural to urban areas ofthe region. Another group of rural workers. In respect of income there is also a two-way flow. however. The proportion of informal workers is higher than that of the formal workers among this group of commuters. This income section has grown recently due to an improved network of transportation especially roadways. Such a strong relation has in tum helped to develop a sound level of rural-urban interaction in other aspects ofthe economy as well. However.urbanization or rural-urban disjunction.

cost and convenience of moving. the movement of rural people towards Burdwan is still of a much larger scale than that of its urban to rural counterpart. Landless people are employed as labourer in the agricultural activities of the region almost :'39 . Interactive flow of income has significantly reduced rural deprivation and improved the level of rural-urban interaction. The paddy is the main crop of the region which requires much labour in the production process. Not only do people from rural areas come to Burdwan town but urbanites too move to the rural areas for their daily work. and the distance. Migration: Permanent and Temporary There is a popular notion in Indian urban context that the rural poor arc the ones who migrate to urban centres. 9. wage. 1984). including the availability of jobs in towns and cities. commuting from rural areas to outside the region has become possible. Both the rural and urban areas are benefited from the flow of income. Short-term and permanent migration is a ubiquitous characteristic of development and an important form of urban rural linkage. The agricultural development in the region has been associated \Vith multiple cropping.Burdwan town in early 1990s has also helped to provide a higher degree of accessibility and Jess travel time to those living in surrounding areas. It is mainly the lower and upper middle cla<>s people of the rural areas who migrate to Burdwan town in search of a better standard of living. In our study region a high degree of accessibility between Burdwan town and surrounding rural areas has enhanced the movements of population. In Burdwan region. it is not applicable to all urban centres in India. poor cla~s of people does not dominate migration from rural to urban areas (Chapter 8).3. The methods of agriculture are still dominated by labour-intensive techniques. In this case also the rural region is benefited from an inflow of income. However. As a result. Population Movement Linkages The well being of individuals. From the above analysis of income patterns in the region it is found that the flow of income is two sided. Temporary migration and journey-to-work depend on transportation and communication linkages. However.2. public service and educational opportunity differentials between cities and villages. More permanent migration depends on a wider range of economic and social determinants. families and rural communities depends on their movement to employment and to basic services and amenities (Pacione.

). on the other. The other family members along with the older parents continue to live in rural areas. in this process of change. As joint families split up. Therefore. tele-communication. due to their changed outlook of life and the way of living. they become more individualistic and self-centred. these migrated class maintain (strong ties) links with their rural counterpart to retain their share of landed property (mostly agricultural land) there (Dasgupta.throughout the year. their preference for urban amenities and comparatively easier life grows. On one hand the self-confidence and self-reliance increase. agricultural prosperity and associated rural development have brought remarkable changes in rural areas in 1990s. 1988) because of their partial dependence on the income from landed property in rural areas to supplement urban incomes. They get. there is now comparatively less pressure on poorer people living in the rural areas to migrate to an uncertain urban life m Burdwan town. 240 . separated not only from the stream of village life. On th~ other hand. Before the development of agriculture and transport network in the region. As a result. those middle class people engaged in tertiary activities usually migrate to Burdwan town to satisfy their needs for a higher standard of living. The higher degree of rural-urban interaction has affected the joint family system in rural areas. and districts Murshidabad. Besides migration from rural areas within the region there is a large-scale migration from rural an:~as outside the region. With the development of rural market centres rich farmers started to reinvest their capital in commercial or business activities there. However. These migration streams originate from other parts of eastern Burdwan District northern parts of Hooghly district and northeastern parts of Bankura district. The unorganized part of the economy (rickshaw-pulling for example) ts dominated either by local urban poor or by migrants from outside the region (such as from poverty stricken areas of Bihar. Breaking of joint families and the development of nuclear families have also led to migration. rich farmers or jotdars used to migrate to Burdwan town and invest their surplus incomes in commercial activities in Burdwan. However. education and health) have made these rural areas somewhat more convenient places to live than before. Infrastructural developments (such as transport. Birbhum etc. The poorest among the poor arc again supported by different poverty alleviating schemes run by rural panchayats. After a period of adaptation to urban life. but also from that of their families. the migration stream at present is dominated by a section of middle class farmers recently transitioned to tertiary activities both in Burdwan and surrounding rural areas. As a result. the trend of mral to urban migration has declined. a nuclear section migrates to Burdwan leaving their rural home.

The masons of Murshidabad district dominate the construction of building trade in urban areas. two medical colleges and two polytechnic colleges. technological and administrative capacities of communities of different sizes and stages of development. Technology . They compose a section of temporary migrants in Burdwan town. nursing homes etc. offers higher educational services to the younger students living in surrounding rural areas. the relative proportion of rural to urban commutation is much higher that the latter. In the pattern of journey to work both rural to urban and urban to rural movement are found in the region. appropriate to different sociaL economic. The brick kilns around Burdwan town also employ temporary migrant workers. Journey-to-'Work Journey-to-work 1s an important component of population movement linkages between rural and urban areas. procedures and methods of production 241 . pathological laboratories. One distinctive type of temporary migration is found among the students of the rural areas of the region to Burdwan for higher education.equipment. This stream of rural commuters is chiefly composed of formal workers in service activities and informal workers in commercial activities of Burdwan town such as working in shops. om: university.4. All these types of labour circulation originate from outside the region and do not play any notable role in ruralurban linkage. A section of these migrant students continue to live in Burdwan. However. Temporary migration of agricultural labourers to rural areas of the region takes place fi·om poorer rural areas outside the region especially from the districts of Bankura and Puruliya.2. with its three degree colleges. a large section of rural people commutes daily for their work to Burdwan town. Technological Linkages: Telecommunications System Developing nations need a variety of technologies. Burdwan town. A group of artisans especially from Bhatar block commute to Burdwan for work in the large number of gold jewelry workshops concentrated in the Bara Bazar area of the town near Rajbati.Temporary migration from rural to urban areas especially for job is rather limited within the region. Those living in urban areas but engaged in formal jobs such as government or semi-government services in rural areas and also those in informal itinerant trading activities commute to the rural areas. On the other hand. Even from areas of inadequate number of higher secondary schools students move to Burdwan town after passing secondary examination. 9.

4). 300 per kilometre. The widespread development of telephone lines in the region has immense impact both on the rural-urban linkage and socio-economic life of rural areas. 1978 ). Telephone has become an essential means oflife not only for the better off farmers. The most significant form of technological linkage is the telecommunication system. However. The low cost of local calls has made the telephone a really effective means in dissolving the rural-urban gap. These smaller exchanges normally serve an area of five-kilometre radius. In those few patches of rural area in the region where electricity supply is yet to reach. Under the divisional exchange there are sub-exchanges or smaller scale exchanges scattered all over the region (Figure 9. located in Burdwan town. These public booths exist even in rural market centres like Seharabazar and Galsi. Rural producers always can get information 242 .03. However. The telephone cables are usually operated by electric power. The central divisional exchange.must also be integrated spatially and functionally. poorer people who are not able to subscribe telephone can access it through public telephone booths.99). This system of telephone connection is also found in areas still uncovered by smaller exchanges. Business and marketing activities in the rural areas too have experienced considerable expansion. Inaccessible areas are also served by this system. has a capacity of 7. No single technulugical innovation promotes social and economic transformation in developing nations unless it is appropriate to local needs and conditions. The price level of any commodity remains usually the same in both urban and rural areas due to this means of communication.399 has been utilized (based on data collected from divisional office at Burdwan on 31. the telephone lines have reached by l\1AAR (Multi Access Radio Relay) system directly from the divisional centre in Burdwan town. There are concessional rates for telephone sUtbscription for the rural areas.800 connections of which 7. massive rural electrification has helped to expand the rural telephone networks. This rapidly expanding network has provided an efficient means of rural-urban linkage in the region. Therefore. and linked to both higher and lower levels of technology and related inputs (Rondinelli and Ruddle. Presently there are 400 to 500 lines by MAAR from Burdwan central exchange. 10 to 15 kilometre of distance is also covered under consideration by taking an extra charge of Rs.


fashion trends etc.2. However. which in tum affects in varying degrees his/her pattern of life in the villages.. illiterate and uninformed rural people usc these market places as aggregated 244 . Sometimes they have upset the traditional balance of rural society. 1988). periodic markets may evolve into permanent exchange points and diffusing social linkages promote increasing social and spatial integration. they came to know almost every other adult in the marketing area. With market expansion and increasing commercialization of agriculture.about the price of products in Burdwan town. 1964). These periodic markets also play an important role in the diffusion of iinformation and consequent social interaction in the rural areas of the region.. mode of living. In the town. and the acceptance of common criteria of exchange evolved from the need to maintain social harmony among disparate villages and groups \Vithin a trading area. older values and social customs such as caste barriers etc. In the increasing social interaction between towns and villages the influence of urban areas becomes more pronounced on the rural society. In our study region social interaction has increased to such an extent that no clear-cut distinction can be drawn between the urban and rural ways of life. these changes in rural values of life have not always taken place in keeping with social health. Due to the spread of education. adoption of modem ideas. a villager gets exposure to the prevailing ideas. Rich farmers are probably the group that can access fully these urban benefits. 9.'>actions.5. Increased transport facilities and consequent physical interaction bring fundamental changes in the social structure of the village and in the interrelations of town and village (Dickinson. The poor. increased reading habits. and expansion of mass media. The rural market centres in the region are the focal points for a wide variety of social linkages both with Burdwan town and their rural hinterlands. the deprivation of rural producers by middlemen has lessened to a considerable extent in the region. spread of electricity. marriage arrangements were most often made from within the trading boundaries. The village community is affected in many ways by the growth and concentration of services in neighbouring rural market centres and towns. As people made regular visits to the market throughout their lifetime. Traditional values of life in rural areas changes with increasing interaction to urban society (Dasgupta. are changing. Social Interaction Linkages Social interaction between rural and urban areas is the product of increased physical and economic interaction. Therefore. credit and lending decisions were based on people's regulations formed through frequent market tran.

The distinct ion between urban and rural ways of lite is getting blurred in the region. They gather knowledge/information about urban phenomenon in these areas. recreational visits too have increased. The Sarbamongala temple is visited by a large number of women performing puja occasions like Bipadtarini brata.the social impact of these visits is very high on the rural people of the region. People throng the six movie halls in Burdwan more from rural areas than the town itself. commercial or recreational . Such visits usually occur in the morning by first trip of buses leaving rural areas. The visiting patterns of rural people to urban centres have undergone notable changes during the last ten to fifteen years mainly due to increased accessibility. The religious festivals and fairs in Burdwan town are also attended by rural people. Visiting Patterns Among the social interaction linkages between urban and rural areas the most outstanding in the region is the visiting pattern. As a result. Serviice Delivery Linkages Increasing physicaL economic and technological linkages play a critical role in the expansion of service delivery networks within a functional area of any urban centre. Rural people visit the Puja Pandals in Burdwan during different religious festivals.6. The buses packed with school children escorted by their teachers are frequently found visiting the Planetarium and the Science Centre. Annual urban events like the Book fair. The purpose of visit is also multiple in nature.information field. To 245 . A large number of people come from villages to the town for medical treatment.l and political issues arising within and outside the region. The frequency of visits to Burdwan town has increased more or less among all classes of rural dwellers.2. Frequent visits to Burdwan for economic purposes have increased the desire of rural people for attaining urban ways of life. They visit market places either daily or frequently depending on the accessibility to collect information not only about economic matters like production and market hut also about socia. 9. Some visits are to the urban market for shopping and usually take place in the noon hours. The visits to the offices in the district headquarter for administration-related purposes arc also frequent. health fair and children's fair attract large rural visitors from the surrounding areas. Whatever is the purpose of visit educational.

Therefore. Large and overgrown villages especially provide the favourable condition. Threshold levels tor services vary widely. The distribution pattern of all bank branches in the rural ateas ofthe region is given in the tollowing tahle. State Bank of India.<. for the development of service centre there. Rural areas of our study region are agriculturally prosperous with a high density of population providing the 'threshold demand" for different service deliver) systems.ation and delivery range of services found in any given community depends on the size and density of its population. These rural branches function under the control of regional branches located in Burdwan town. in our analysis of service delivery linkages between Burdwan town and surrounding rural areas the pattern of these three service delivery systerm are analyzed.develop spatial integration and linkage between rural and urban areas the distribution of social and commercial services need to be wide to increase the access of rural population to urban amenities. a "threshold population· of sufficient size and density to attract enough customers to earn profits for suppliers of commercial and professional services and to allow public services to reach the largest number of people at the lowest cost. its occupational profile and income distribution. Nearly all kinds of services require the support of a minimum number of people concentrated in a limited geographical area. Central Bank of India etc. The types. transportation access and economic diversification. Rural market centres of the region can also be treated as rural service centres because of the concentration of different service delivery systems there. A large population size and higher density create economics of scale that allow services to be offered at lower cost. There has also been wide expansion of the grameen (rural branch) bank network. Among the various service delivery systems running in the region the three most significant are . education and training linkages and health service delivery systems.ation in 1969. Credit and Financial Networks The rural prosperity has provided the threshold demand for the development of credit and financial networks in the agricultural areas of the region. Oriental Bank. 246 . degree of speciali?. Various commercial banks like Allahabad Bank.credit and fmancial networks. have taken up rural financing since their nationali?.

-er threshold of grameen banks makes it possible to open branches even in relative!. dairy. poultry. The numerous rural development schemes specially meant tor poorer people in the region (Chapter 3) are usually run on credit system. The individual deposits together torm a sizeable amount to tlow upv. The cooperative societies developed by the farmers.s against Jifterent rural development schemes is better among small and marginal farmers. piggery. The credit tlows from urban to rural areas are compensated by reverse financial tlows of savings. inland fishery etc.I 8 Jamalpur 14 Memari-1 II Memari-II 14 Burdwan-I 12 Burdwan-fi 7 Bhatar 13 Monteswar 17 Region Total 122 Source: Block Profile..Table 9.ards the financial hierarchy.6: Number of Financial Institutions in the Rural Areas Name of block Number of bank branches Ausgram-1 3 Gals i-II 9 Khandaghosh 14 Raina. The lov. The bigger farmers . that is. though te\ver in number also provid~~ efficient credit and financial linkage to the rural areas ofthe region. However. the repayment of loan sanctioned hy commercial hank. backward areas. These financial resources in the form of credits to the poorer section of people are usually disbursed through these banks. Small savings schemes especially those run hy post offices are quite popular in the region. Grameen banks with an easier process of disbursement and recovery of loan are more accessible to the rural people of the region. Burdwan District (1998) The banks are actively participating in financing farmers along with the cooperative sector and the regional rural banks both directly and indirectly. They are granting short term loan for production purposes and mid and long term loans for creation of minor irrigation facilities. from rural to urban areas.

7: Educational Institutions of the Rural Areas.. . 18 -~--------- 80 Source Block Prolilc..arc usual defaulters of credit recovery in the region. On the other hand. Burdwan District Higher Secondary Schools 1 . secondary and higher secondary schools. Table.) 388 6 Bhatar 166 10 21 5 406 10 Montes war 172 14 6 Primary Schools Middle Schools Secondary Schools Ausgram-1 88 8 10 Galsi-II 100 Khandaghosh 137 5 16 Raina-! 124 4 16 Jamalpur 162 13 19 Memari-1 105 . Private education system is still limited with few primary and pre-primary schools scattered over the rural region.. degree colleges. . in Burdwan to\\TI a private education system runs with a few secondary schools and many training institutes.659 68 --- .. higher educational service is still under the control of government atTiliated public education system.. The rural public educational services are given in the following table... 1996-'97 Name of Blocks Literaq Centres Public Libraries 237 5 231 4 385 6 3 285 5 6 . -----··------------- 172 Colleges (degree) 345 - 38 3 8 ---------- --------~------ 3. medical and engineering colleges. Education and Training Linkages Education is an important service which forms the basic background of all sorts of socio-economic development. 1990). However.) 16 Memari-II 120 4 Burdwan-1 108 Burdwan-II ---------·----- Region Total 1. 423 10 - 359 7 18 3 347 4 8 18 253 3 65 6 8 5 .347 16 . This problem exists in almost all the states of India (Reddy.. university and different training institutes. 9. The educational services in the region are dominated by government-aided public education system including primary schools.

Primary and secondary schools are not insufficient in number in the rural areas (Table 9.8).The educational services of the region arc not distributed uniformly over the cnt ire region thus leading to a higher movement of people to attain these services. Secondary health care comprises hospital in-patient and out-patient services and access is normally by referral from the primary sector. Primary health care covers general practitioner service including the work of doctors. The a\vareness of the need for higher education as a means of employment is increasingly attracting youths from rural areas to Burdwan especially from the new well-todo families. In this way the educational linkage in the region has become integrated. Still. dentists. in the educational linkage of the region the flow is not always towards urban centres. repairing centres and so on arc prolific in numbers in Burdwan town.V. Sometimes relatively intellectually poorer students from Burdwan town commute to the higher secondary schools and colleges in rural areas as well those in Memari and Guskara towns. The lack of residential facilities has resulted in the mushrooming of a large number of privately run students' hostels. The university and three degree colleges are located in Burdwan town. Private and Public training institutes like computer training centres. Memari and Guskara have one degree college each. However. Students from surrounding rural areas commute to attain this higher educational service. treatment and care of those who become ill and with promoting the health of and preventing disease in the population. The transportation network with high frequency of buses has made this movement possible. Young people from the rural areas commute to take these technica:l courses. Shyamsundar and Hatgobindapur. A distinction may be drawn between primary health care facilities and secondary health care. brighter students after completing madhyamik (class X) standard migrate to Burdwan because of better educational opportunities there. 249 . knitting and sewing training centres. opticians and pharmacists supported by community health services such as clinics for expectant and nursing mothers and the health visitor service. There are only three colleges in rural areas of the region located in Monteswar. Besides these. radio. driving schools. Health Sen·ic(: Delivery Systems Health services are concerned with the provision of facilities for diagnosis. The public has direct access to these services. Thus a high degree of educational and training linkage is found between urban and rural areas of the region. T. An improved means of transportation including town bus network has made this commutation easy for the rural students. motorcycle.

specialized medical services with sophisticated diagnostic and treatment equipment that are available in Burdwan town. As a result. 1996-'97 --- Name of Block Health centres Number of beds Number of doctors Ausgram-I 3 25 5 Galsi-II 6 44 Khandaghosh 3 Raina-I Hospital Veterinary centres Family welfare centres 20 4 9 21 29 6 17 26 4 31 6 II 26 Jamal pur 5 43 8 6 38 Memari-I 2 20 5 II 32 Memari-II 4 33 4 I4 25 Burdwan-I 3 23 5 I8 20 Burdwan-II 3 I6 4 7 20 Bhatar 6 82 IO 8 38 Monteswar 4 37 5 I2 32 43 383 62 114 298 Region Total 1 -- - Source: Block Profile. Table 9. the maintenance of these services has fallen far behind expectation. However. 7). Primary health centres are better equipped than secondary health centres. people in rural areas have lost faith in public health care delivery system and try to obtain diversified. Some of the rural health centres in the region are larger in size and have in-patient beds and a small staff of doctors. The rural health services in the region are chiefly composed of government-sponsored public health services (Chapter 3 ). both types of centres provide only very basic health services without any specialized treatment.A better access to health facilities has improved the quality of life in rural areas. There is only one rural hospital located in Bhatar (Table 9. 250 . However. Burdwan District The provision of rural health services was done in the region quite efficiently during the early fivt:-year plans. Primary health centres and secondary health centres are the only health services provided by the government in each rural development blocks.8: Public Health Services in the Rural Areas of the Region.

as against the other kinds of linkages. 9. Administrativt~ Decision Chains In our study region the authority-approval-supervision pattern is totally controlled by district administration of Burdwan under the government system of West Bengal. The administrative linkages evolve as the government functions. 7. Some doctors visit the dispensaries located in rural areas once or twice a week. Administrative and Organizational Linkages The functional relationships between rural and urban areas are integrated and transformed through a set of political and administrative linkages. and interdependencies among spatially dispersed specialized organizations (Rondenelli and Ruddle. In our study region the government sponsors most of the services in both rural and urban areas. services and resources are fragmented among organizations and jurisdictions. These public sector services are channeled from the district headquarter to the grassroot level through an administrative and political hierarchy. only from rural to urban areas. among government jurisdictions. the developed physical linkage network in the region have made it possible to at least obtain the higher level medical services available in Burdwan town. Political. transactions. These are reflected in formal government structural relationships. flows of public budget resources.2. administrative authority. 1976). helping to develop a wellintegrated functional system. In this linkage pattern the flow of people is om~-way. The demand for higher level health services arc growing in the rural areas but the proximity and improved transportation facilities to Burdwan town with specialized medical services are playing as hindrances in their development in rural areas under private ownership. There are different and disparate administrative organizations with their hierarchical levels serving the whole region. However. 251 . In the context of health service delivery systems the rural areas are very much dependent on the services provided in Burdwan town. The organizational linkages between political and administrative set up are also efficient. that is.Due to the poor maintenance of government health care services private health facilities hav1~ mushroomed. They are usually full-time practitioners in Burdwan town and commute to rural areas only on a part-time basis. informal political influence and decision chains.

smaller urban centres for example Guskara and Memari do not anyway depend on the larger urban unit.These linkages among government organi7~tions not only extend services. However. The two systems are not necessarily parallel to each other at all three levels. The rural areas of the region are under the three-tier system of both administrative linkages and panchayati raj. but also act as channels tor obtaining political support and authority to undertake developmental activities. The Sub-Divisional Officer again controls a number of blocks. cooperative etc. facilities and budgetary r. Panchyat Samiti I Block Development Officer Pradhan. all the municipalities act under the control of district administration. savings. Gram Panchyat Zilla (district) Parishad is the top panchayati raj institution which runs parallel to the district administration. Burdwan. Besides the administrative hierarchy there is a three-tier panchayati system in the rural areas which provides support to the administrative linkages and integration. The District Magistrate supervises all the subdivisions in the district occupying the top of the district administrative hierarchy. relief. In this urban administration there is no hierarchical system. Three-Tier Structures of Authority-Approval-Supervision ~listrict Magistrate~ Sabhadhioati. Municipalities that function independently within their respective urban boundaries run the three urban areas. The number of social functions performed by the government tends to increase as communities grow. With the growth of these urban centres political and administrative linkages change and functions are transformed within each centre.esources throughout the spatial system. water supply. that is. The lowest level of panchayali raj institutions is occupied 252 . In the administrative set-up. Under Zilla Parishad there are a number ofpanchayat samitis parallel to the block level administration. the Development Blocks lie at the lowermost level and are managed by a Block Development Officer with a number of officers managing each rural development departments like agriculture and irrigation. Zilla Parishad ~)Divisional Offic~ Sabhaoati.

Proper administrative and organizational linkages integrating these panchayati raj institutions and inter-departmental coordination in rural areas have provided the basis of the successful implementation of agriculture. horizontally with other organizations at the same level and especially vertically between local organizations and structures at the centre of government which sets policy and allocates resources (Upholf and Esman. facilities and resources in the rural areas takes place through the top down approach starting from the Zilla Parishad and District Magistrate"s Office to the gram panchayats. The sub-divisional administrative office does not have an equivalent panchayati institution. The long tradition of being into power has made CPIM a well-integrated and highly linked political party with a well-organized hierarchical network in the region.onal Committee ~ Qucal Conunittee r--- J J J * J Branch L __ _ Controlling entire district consisting of 16 zonal committees Controlling local conm1ittccs Controlling parts of different gram panchayats together Controlling parts of a village ~53 .by wam panchayats. The efficient functioning of this panchayati system is a significant factor in the rural prosperity of the region (already discussed in chapter 3). Informal PoHtical Decision Chains The political decision chains forming informal linkages in the region are much stronger providing support to the formal administrative linkages. The same party also runs the state government. 1974). PoHtical Hierarchy ~strict Committee i c=z. The success of rural development essentially depends on the effectiveness of linkages between and among institutions. CPIM is the dominant political party controlling panchyati institutions of the region for the last 24 years.cum-rural development programmes. The flow of services. Marxist (CPIM) is in no way parallel to the others. Both the horizontal and vertical linkages integrating organizations of Ill gram panchayats and II rural development blocks are very strong in the region which have strengthened rural-urban interaction. For this reason we have selected the CPIM to analyze the informal political decision chains in the rural-urban interaction ofthe region. There are four political parties among which the supremacy of Communist Party oflndia.

1978). There may be as many as six to eight branch offices in large villages. 1998 . - Number of local committees Number of branches Total members Whole time members Budbud-Galsi 5 90 843 20 Guskara 6 86 957 23 Memari 7 94 1. Table 9. Belov.098 58 Dakshin Damodar 6 118 1'1 78 48 Burdwan Sadar 4 60 518 25 Burdwan Shahar 3 55 628 16 86 1. .-.9: Political Network in the Region. The panchayati institutions run hy democratically elected representatives provide intormal support system at all levels of administrative hierarchy. The number of branch offices varies according to the size of villages.--.. the district level there are 16 zonal committees among which 5 cover the entire rural area of the region. ... Decentralization of power through the three-tier panchyati ~ystem and local employment have been enhanced in the region with the help of this informal political decision chains.- .5 ).- -·. The lowest political hierarchy is occupied by numerous branch offices. it can be said that the intensive political networks with integrated informal decision chains are the characteristic of CPIM party in the regiOn. . In a nutshell.240 376 Zonal committee Total The land reform measures would have been difficult to realize without the active participation of especially those engaged in Krishak sabha (peasant society) movement in which the district has a long history (Konar. The agricultural development in the region is partially based on the land reforms (Chapter 3 ). Among the 86 local committees in the district 31 function in the region under 5 zonal committees (Figure 9.279 13.The CPIM district committee occupies the topmost hierarchy of political decision chains and is located in Burdwan town. - ~ -.

/I f 1I I II I {{ 1 SATGACHHIA ~~-~--HAT GOBINDAPUR /II I ' ffl IIII I I I I If " 'e 'tl SAKTIGARH I ME MARl UKHRID .88... BHATAR MANTESWAR r 'KUSUMGRAM I ~ URA I I I I I I /MADHYAMG \ ~.{N GUSkARA \\ \\ -.."-..." BADULIA • I " SEHARABAZAR N 0 / / " i 23' /'l MASAGRAM e'/// • / SHYAMSUNOAR 5 10 / / .. 10 E NETWORK OF CPIM PARTY rN THE REGION .e SAGRAI MORE 1 '.JAMAL PUR km • Local Comm1Hee Office- -· N .

ln its place there often exists a healthier interaction as in the case of Burdwan region. Thus political and administrative linkages between Burdwan town and surrounding rural areas have helped to strengthen the rural-urban interaction in the region ultimately to form an integrated spatial system. Summary We have described in this chapter the various aspects of rural-urban linkages. The information of the rural areas even at the grassroots level is easily communicated to the district committee through hierarchical channels. 9. 256 . We have tried to outline almost all the dimensions of such intensive interactions existing in the region. The voice of rural members get priority in the decision-making process related to rural development. Frequent visits to Burdwan are very common among the members of rural organizations. From our description. frequent party meetings at all hierarchical levels and a large number of party bulletins either published by District Committee or by State Committee.3. _Much of this linkage is the product of recent times and the gaps now need to be filled to remove the existing disparities between rural and urban. our study brings out clearly that at least in some prosperous rural areas the myth of rural-urban disjunction is no longer valid. we hope that a close rural-urban relationship becomes apparent. On the other hand. informal orders and advice smoothly flow from the district committee to the branches through zonal and local committees.The political decision chains run in the rcg1on with the help of developed telecommunication linkages. Still.

It is customary to wind up such discussions with an outline of a plan~ variously called 'rural development plan' (Rao. 1981 ). HYV package and the extension of irrigation (mainly shallow and submersible pumps). We intend to draw ~m outline of our stated objectives and the work done. we will try to put forward some broad suggestions for further explorations. Consequent rise in marketable surplus and its mobility as well as infrastructural developments such as expansion of road transportation network resulted in dissipation of rural isolation and increased levels of ruralurban interaction. agricultural production of the region received a boost from the combined effects of successful land reforms. 1998) and so on. 'micropolitan plan' (Misra. We also attempt to discuss the reality of the need for planning in the context of recent paradigm changes in development planning literature. Finally. 257 . We have attempted in the work. especially since the 1970s.. to explore all possible dimensions of interaction between the two sectors. 1972).. So far we have examined various aspects of the rural economy and the urban centres acting as the foci for the surrounding countryside. presented in the form of this dissertation.1. 'regional plan' (Bhat. The agricultural part of the region has always been famous for '~conomic prosperity since the historical past.CHAPTER I LOOKING AHEAD 10. From our enquiry into the nature of rural-urban interaction between Burdwan town and surrounding rural areas we can summarize our fmdings in the following manner. and summarize the fmdings/conclusions. 10. The historical development of both rural and urban areas of the region went on side by side complementing each other. Int1roduction This is our penultimate chapter ofthis dissertation. and their interlinkages. 1972). Findings We started with the objective of probing into the nature of rural-urban relationship in a specific regional context. 'micro-level plan· (Sen. Numerous rural development schemes run by government agencies such as the DRDA have helped to reduce rural poverty and created situation amenable to rural-urban bonding. In the post-independence planning period.2.

Thus. health and amenities) between the rural and urban areas of the region. The results revealed that higher levels of development are closely associated with higher degrees of rural-urban interaction. is based on agro-processing activities (such as rice milling. we have also observed that there is still a considerable degree of gap (mainly education. The urban economy of the region on the other hand. Most of these rural market centres are basically large villages with higher levels of trading and commercial activities. Agricultural produces from the surrounding rural areas supply these agro-processing units. These market centres are gradually developing urban characteristics too. besides going into Burdwan town. has also started to accumulate within the rural areas themselves. a complementarity has developed between the economies of rural and urban areas of the region. The recently introduced town bus service network ha<> successfully linked several villages to Burdwan town and has opened up access of the rural produce to urban markets. It is a recent phenomenon and reveals healthy rural-urban reciprocal relationship. 258 . The case study on rickshaw-pullers of the urban informal economy has also proved that poverty-induced rural to urban migration is negligible within the region. These migrants arc mostly engaged in tertiary jobs either in urban centres or in the surrounding regiOn. However. A detailed analysis was made of the levels of socio-economic and infrastructural development of 111 gram panchayats belonging to the influence area of Burdwan town. we can say that the increased rural-urban interaction is closely related to the development of rural areas. This amenity gap has led to some rural to urban migration of middle income families.The surplus income generated from agricultural economy of the region. The rapid extension of road networks in the last decade connecting Burdwan with surrounding rural areas has strengthened rural-urban linkages in the region. The flourishing trading and commercial activities are again based on the rising rural demand of the region.) and trade and commerce. The main impetus behind their development is the higher degree of accessibility with Burdwan town. This has laid to the growth of several rural market centres in the region. Therefore. At the same time villagers have also begun to enjoy the benefits of higher levels of infrastructural facilities provided by Burdwan town. On the other hand. oil milling. chira milling etc. many other informal sector activities of the town are performed by commuters from the surrounding rural areas.

An integrated telephone network has again helped to diminish the actual physical distances in the region. As a consequence.The <malysis of the nature of different elements of rural-urban linkage in the region showed that the linkages in the region are well developed to give the region an integrated functional identity. Thi111king about Region Planning as a tool has been widely used in India for developmental purposes. Although there has been considerable emphasis on the preparation of district plans. This impact has been aggravated by the improved levels of contact or mobility due to frequent visits to Burdwan town.. Urban settlement planning was again limited to the large and metropolitan cities only. Therefore. 259 .3. it can be said that our fmdings in this study have helped to demolish and invalidate the generalizing myth of rural-urban disjunction in the third world. 1976). 1982). The economic linkages ofthe rural and urban area<. cultural and economic contrasts which are part ofthe national panorama (GOI. These linkages have led to higher degree of rural-urban interaction between Burdwan town and surrounding rural areas of the region. The term 'micro level planning' refers to the preparation of development plans for smaller areas such as the district. el al. strong rural-urban linkage exists in the region. very few attempts have been successful so tar. development block and the villages (Bhat. This healthy relationship between Burdwan town and its surrounding rural areas does not conform to the conventional notion of rural-urban disjunction in the third world countries. This type of planning is based on the concept of spatial integration and therefore can be considered as a form of spatial planning. where specific planning bodies such as Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority {CMDA) were set up to administer such activities. The social impact of town life is also very high on the lives of rural people in the region. Even in the last decade ofthe 201h century new planning organizations were being set up for large urban centres in the form of Development Authorities (for example Asansol-Durgapur Development Authority or ADDA. are complementary to each other. the concept of micro level planning developed in the late 1960s and early 70s. 10. The macro-economic growth models of the earlier period of planning could not take care of the extraordinary details of physical. Finally. service delivery linkages have also tied rural areas with urban through the different infrastructural services. In the beginning of the planning period especially up to the third five year plan (1961-'66) there was emphasis only on economic planning at the national level and physical planning at the metropolitan level. Similarly.

is thus a development centre of the microregional economy. A rnicropolis. 1996). it was only during the sixth plan period that the scheme of Integrated Development of Small and Medium Towns (IDSMT) was introduced by the government (GOI. government policies and numerous discussions by planners and academicians on the positive role small and medium towns can play in regional 260 . small and medium towns should be developed as local growth centres. The implementation of IDSMT scheme in India is still limited at the individual urban settlement level.for the urbanized tract lying in the western part of Burdwan district). To reverse this process and also to solve the problem of isolation of rural areas. The need for exploring the potentialities of developing small and medium towns were highlighted for the first time during the fourth five year plan period. The guidelines for IDSMT scheme clearly emphasize that for a planned development of these towns it is necessary that an integrated development programme of each town is drawn up keeping in view its locational importance and linkages in the region (GOI. so that the differences between the quality of life in urban and rural areas are considerably reduced (Misra. One of the main roles of a micropolis would be to promote the diversification of rural economy from merely crop production to the production of all goods and services which a micro-region needs (Misra. 1998). He suggested that a 'rnicropolitan approach' to rural development can be very effectively and fruitfully used to develop rural areas in general and village settlements in particular. Master plans for individual municipalities is a common feature in most of the medium sized urban centres in India. 1998). According to Kulkarni ( 1997) urban agglomerations in India have taken care neither of villages which are absorbed nor of cities which absorb them. In spite of several plans. Municipalities or other forms of local selfgovernment without any plan outline usually run smaller towns. Misra (1998) preferred the term 'micropolis' to imply this smaller urban centre located in rural setting. However. Priority of IDSMT scheme was to develop the infrastructure of these centres to make them suitable as growth and service centres for their rural hinterlands. These centres can bring together the rural and urban economies and in due course integrate the two. 1988). identical to the secondary cities mentioned by Rondinelli ( 1983 ). Balanced regional development through a system of growth centres in the form of small and medium towns and the diffusion of urbanization from the urban agglomerations were other objectives of IDSMT. There is a large body of literature on the promising role of small and medium towns can play in bridging the rural-urban gaps in Indian/third world situations (Chapter 7).

sewerage. these master plans too have remained concerned with development of roads. Burdwan and Guskara municipalities have taken initiative to prepare master plans for holistic urban development. Let us now look into the attempts so far made to develop Burdwan region. Municipal authorities usually run the towns with the help of several departments related to different sectors like roads. These master plans prepared by SHAPE ( 1996) have identified influence zones of each urban centre for planning to meet the expanding nature of future requirements and extension of municipal boundaries. According to size and function also it is placed at much higher level than the other two (Chapter 7). drainage. The rural counterpart is constituted by 111 gram panchayats under 11 rural development blocks. The rural areas are usually run by a three-tier panchayati institution consisting of zilla parishad. These schemes run individually without any coordination with each other. irrigation. Recently with the considerable increase in both area and size of the towns. However. Individual departments without any integration or co-ordination with other sectors run this sort of sectoral development. In this region there are three urban cetnres among which Burdwan is the most significant as it is the main focus of our study of rural-urban interaction. The objective of these master plans was to empha. Spatial planning is more or less absent in these areas. health. water supply. agriculture. fishery etc. panchayat samitis and gram panchayats. Besides. Consequently the plans tor integration of rural areas with these urhan centres are yet to he developed.) is taking place through top-down approach of planning from zilla parishad to individual panchayats through block development offices. there are numerous rural development schemes run by the DRDA to uplift the economic condition of poor rural people living below the poverty line.'iize the development of an integrated system of individual to\-Vn with the surrounding villages through the development of backward and forward linkages. Rural development through this system of panchayati institutions is purely sectoral in nature. There is another question regarding the effective implementation of rural development programmes By effective implementation we mean reaching development components to smaller villages and lower strata of rural population.development. market. 261 . tax etc. small scale industries and such other urban amenities and features for the areas lying within the municipal boundaries. municipal authorities the domain of which is limited within the physical boundaries of individual towns govern urban areas. Sectoral development (transport. the relationship of such individual units (small and medium towns) with their surrounding countryside has not been analyzed in detail. On the other hand.

in attending to sanitation. Transport In our previous discussion (Chapter 9) we have seen that a radical improvement in road transport has taken place in the region especially during the last decade. Master plan. The town bus 262 . But very little actual development has taken place. The rural-urban linkages have so far developed to some extent spontaneously with the help of agricultural improvement and expansion of transport network. Proposals for Infrastructural Development The planning experience (through Regional plan.transport. Development authority etc. drainage. and • construct another by-pass road along the northern boundary of the municipality. 10. garbage disposal and recycling. However. • take measure through a holistic approach. Therefore. • rationalize Traffic system and network. marketing. Similarly. for further integration ofthe rural and urban economy. swamps and waterlogged areas. are . improve roads. • develop goods terminal facilities in several areas at the outskirts of town. • explore the vast and innumerable waterbodies of the town for the purpose of water supply. how these will be achieved was not mentioned.4. For example. further improvement of infrastructure is an urgent need. Rural development plan.For example the 1996 Master Plan of Burdwan MunicljJality has recommended the following measures: • facilitate distribution of medical facilities in all the wards of municipality. mention was made of developing the transportation network of towns with the surrounding rural areas in order to integrate rural with urban. cattle sheds. which need to be given emphasis for development of the region. The basic infrastructures. Development of infrastructure uniformly throughout the region can also check the migration trends towards Burdwan town.) in the region clearly indicates that no further plan along conventional lines is necessary. diffused pattern of urbanization and smooth development of rural-urban linkages in the region. the modalities of rural-urban integration were completely bye-passed though it formed the essential backbone of the plan. • improve organized open spaces and facilitate community activities. education and health.

These smaller market centres can absorb the rural surplus and can create spread effects for their smaller catchment areas if they are developed properly. These improvements will work towards making the road transport network of the region an efficient system. • weak and seasonal bridges.network has helped to develop the physical linkages between Burdwan town and the surrounding rural areas. • high frequency of level crossing on the railway lines putting major bottlenecks to road transport. from the detailed analysis ofthe road transport network in the region we have identified some deficiencies. However. Distribution of these market centres should be fairly even (Chadha. Road by truck servicing centre. Rural market centres Th(~ economic mechanism between large villages and the rural hinterland can be stepped up with the help of developing rural market centres. eating places (dhabas) etc.. which need to be ameliorated immediately for further integration of the network. 1996) for the successful integration of a functional region. T. • the encroachment of shoulders and carriage ways especially along G. • poor condition of road surface (unsurfaced in some cases). • lack of truck terminals. Feeder roads to remote villages in the form of town bus service network have facilitated the growth and expansion of these rural market centres. Better infrastructure in these semi-urban market centres can help them to develop into small market 263 . • narrow width of road with high traffic volume creating heavy traffic jams specially in the rainy season. • lack of link roads connecting major roads. The market centres of Burdwan region are the products of both agricultural development and the improvements in transportation. Some of these centres (such as Galsi and Seharabazar) have already acquired an urban outlook. and • lack of circular corridors due to the absence of link roads. They are suitable for forging and strengthening agricultural and commercial linkages: economies of scale in rural-urban exchanges are duly realized while diseconomies are avoided. truck washing stalls. Some ofthese problems are: • lack of better road connection across the Damodar river is the topmost in the list oftransport bottlenecks.

water supply. Private schools are yet to be developed in the villages. electricity. • credit and co-operative facilities should be expanded. tertiary education (beyond the school levels) facilities arc still limited within the urban centres with a very few degree colleges located in the rural areas. • better health and education service should be provided m these rural market centres to improve human resources. Education Though the rural areas of the region have quite a large number of both primary and secondary schools. In this context we can look forward to an expansion ofthe privately owned educational institutions which can cater to the emerging gap between the demand and availability of educational infrastructure. These measures may be considered by the district planning board or the Zilla Parishad. telecommunication. On the basis of our study. • rural market centres should be connected with the central urban focus. entertainment facilities should be provided to transform the large villages into smaller urban growth centres. the educational infrastructure is not sufficient to meet the rising demand for education. we can now suggest some concrete policy measures for rural market centres of the region.towns. Moreover. The rurban centres located at nodal points surrounding Burdwan town should be immediately provided with at least one degree college in each. These centres then can relieve the pressure on Burdwan town with their transition to smaller urban settlements. and • regulated markets and mandi committees with authority to levy taxes for smooth operation of marketing should be set up. Better and more urban amenities like pucca (metalled) roads. All the educational institutions are under a government sponsored system of education. Burdwan by speedy modes of transportation to reduce the travel time distance between them. 264 . and are as follows: • a wide and well-developed network of village roads linking villages with nearest rural market centres should be provided.

Pathological clinics and sophisticated machinery are totally absent from these health centres. Agro--processing activity too is entirely under the monopoly of rice milling and oil milling. To check the migration rush of better-off classes from these rural areas to Burdwan. potato. needs to be encouraged to meet the growing demand of the region. To meet the growing demands of egg. Panchayat samitis and Gram panchayats) to develop the diversified cropping pattern and diversified processing units. wheat. Crop diversification will also help to check the soil dereliction and related problems such as salinity and waterlogging arising from mono cropping. etc. As rural and urban existed in two completely different spheres before. we may note the need for diversification of the rural economy through the development of rural agro-based and other smaller industrial units. the institutions formed to maintain them too were parts 265 . meo. We.Health Lack of a well-articulated public health care delivery system has been observed in the rural areas of the region.5. The service and maintenance of these health centres are very poor. poultry farming and meat production need to be encouraged by the government. therefore. The farming of marketable vegetables. 10. tomato etc. This diversification of cropping pattern will help to protect the farmers from recent economic disasters such as the price fall of rice after liberalization of Indian economy and import of cheaper rice from southeast Asian countries. The public health centres are located at considerable distances from each other.t. Diversification of cropping economy away from the present pattern of mono cropping of rice is an immediate necessity. Finally we must mention the issue of governance. At present there is hardly any coordination of rural and urban governance in the region. milk etc. This pattern of agro-processing needs to be diversified. look forward to the initiatives taken by panchayati raj institutions (Zilla parishad. mustard. Conclusion In the end. in the urban centres as well as rural market centres dairy farming. In some cases only nurses without any doctors run these rural hospitals as the doctors decline to reside in the hospital premises. so are operation theatres and in-patient beds. necessary steps should be taken immediately. The health infrastructure has totally collapsed in the rural areas of the region. Food processing units can be developed based on marketable vegetables like potato.

we have noted in our study that this situation is rapidly changing and there is now a greater interaction and closer linkages between the two. For example. 266 .of two different worlds. the need to deal with them jointly by both rural and urban local bodies has also become apparent. new problems of rural-urban relationship are emerging which these state institutions are hard put to solve in isolation.rural and urban . Notwithstanding the differences between the problems of the rural and urban areas. A sound interrelationship and mutual co-operation between the urban local bodies and panchayati raj institutions in this context can make the rural-urban interaction stronger. Therefore. we may note here the co-existence of rickshaws registered with the municipality and the nearby panchayats to the Burdwan town creating problems of administration.have to exist side by side and to develop together. As such problems have emerged. llowever. the two systems .

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