Census Town Issue

Context:

  • Census towns are areas that are governed by village panchayats but are recognized by the census of India as being urban.
  • According to the 2011 census, there are 3,894 census towns in India spread across states
  • This has led to underestimation of urbanisation in India and thus mis-allocation of funds.
  • The ministry of urban development recently directed state governments to convert census towns to urban local bodies to allow for planned development and efficient service provision.
What are the legal provisions to do this conversion?
  • The ultimate decision to convert census towns to statutory urban local bodies rests with state governments.
  • Different states have different criteria for doing it.
What is the issue with current situation?
  • This desire to stay rural stems out of perceived advantages that are enjoyed by rural areas, such as access to funding through rural development schemes or lower taxes.
  • Census Towns are deprived of the benefits of planned development and amenities and services provided to officially urban settlements