V. Urban and Regional Planning S. MANZOOR A L A M 1. REGIONAL...
V. Urban and Regional Planning
S. MANZOOR A L A M
1. REGIONAL PLANNING:
FUNCTIONAL AND NODAL*
Regional Planning attempts to analyse balanced regional development as a vital step
the territorial systems which are based on in the direction of wider diffusion of em-
functionally homogeneous characteristics or ployment opportunities. (Planning Commis-
are organised around settlement nodes sion 1952: 20). It is in the Third Five Year
which command exchange regions of Plan (1961-66) that the Planning Com-
heterogeneous character. These two basic mission approved the regional approach to
types of territorial systems are not mutually planning and commended this approach to
exclusive but Indian scholars have tended the planning of large industries which will
to treat them separately and consequently serve as focal points of development for
there are very few studies which have areas far beyond their immediate environs.
analysed a territorial system in terms of It also stressed the need for integrated
both its functional specialisation and nodal rural urban development because of the need
exchange characteristics. Of the two terri-
to strengthen "economic interdependence
torial systems Indian scholars have paid between town and the surrounding rural
greater attention to the functionally homo-
areas" (Planning Commission, 1961 : 689).
geneous regions without discussing the
It is also in the Third Five Year Plan
integrating role of urban centres. There are that the key role of urbanisation in
indeed very few studies which have discussed stimulating social and economic trans-
the functional, cyclical and nodal aspects formation has been realised and the need
within a single region. It is proposed to to plan the urban centres stressed (Planning
review in this paper some important studies Commission, 1961). Consequent upon this
relating to both the functional and the nodal increasing emphasis on urban development,
regions. In the concluding section of this master plans have been prepared for 322
review paper some suggestion will be offered towns/cities and their immediate region in
with regard to the type of studies which the country as a whole. These master
may be sponsored to understand the plans have been prepared by the Depart-
organisation and functioning of the system of ments of Town Planning of the respective
nodal regions of India.
states and therefore lack a national focus.
Even at the State level an integrated
Five Year Plans and Regional Planning
approach for a co-ordinated development
Initially the regional approach to planning of these towns is totally absent. As for
was not accepted by the Planning Com-
instance in the State of Andhra Pradesh
mission and consequently we find scant master plans of its three most important
reference to it in the first two Five Year towns Hyderabad, Vijayawada and
Plans. The concept of regional planning Visakhapatnam, have not been formulated
and balanced regional development as as part of the overall urban system of the
understood by the Commission then merely State. Despite this major drawback these
implied "a judicious location of new master plans are a distinct advance over the
industrial units with due emphasis on previous plans as they treat the city and
* The author gratefully acknowledges the benefit of discussion with Prof. C. D. Deshpande
while revising this paper.
Due to unavoidable reasons the paper could not be presented in the Seminar—Editor.

318
S. MANZOOR ALAM
their immediate rural hinterlands as integral
sures and establishment of new
units for purposes of urban planning.
counter magnets in the region
While the need for regional and metro-
(5) Providing minimum level of services
politan planning has been greatly emphasised
for improving the quality of life in
in the Fourth Five Year Plan, it is the
rural and urban areas and gradually
Fifth Plan which examines the problem in
reducing differences between the
the national perspective and suggests the
rural and urban life" (Town and
formulation of a national policy of
Country Planning Organisation, 1974:
urbanisation to minimise the pressure of
17).
urbanisation on metropolitan cities by
This is a welcome document in the sense
promoting "the development of smaller that it clearly establishes the need to view the
towns and new urban centres". This focus urban and metropolitan development prob-
on urbanisation at the national level has lems in the national perspective. Despite a
led to the formulation and enunciation of a reference in this document that a "system
National Urbanisation Policy by the Town of cities" ought to be developed for a
and Country Planning Organisation of the successful spatial planning the document
Government of India.
fails to highlight the pivotal role of settle-
The National Urbanisation Policy ment nodes to organise and integrate the
attempts to draw a framework for spatial regional economy at the macro, meso and
planning as part of the strategy of national micro levels. The document further fails:
economic planning (Town and Country (i) to identify the existing system of metro-
Planning Organisation, 1974: 17). The politan cities, (ii) to explain the organisa-
Town and Country Planning Organisation tion of territorial system around these
of India sets out the following five principal metropolitan nodes, and (iii) to explain the
aims of the National Urbanisation Policy: connectivity between the nodal and func-
tional system. The document further over-
(1) "Evolving a spatial pattern of looks the level of development of the
economic development based on national economy when it suggests that
regional planning and location of a "towns and cities with a population ranging
hierarchy of human settlements.... between 50,000 and 250,000 having deve-
loped infrastructure and necessary condi-
(2) Securing the optimum distribution of tions for self sustaining growth should be
population between rural and urban designated as growth centres" (Towns and
settlements within each region
Country Planning Organisation, 1974.27).
and also among the towns of various
sizes.
The document shows unawareness of the
dynamic role which the growth centres
(3) Securing the distribution of economic should play in transmitting impulses of
activities in small and medium towns growth, diffusing innovations, and trans-
and in new growth centres (to achieve)
forming the regional economy through the
the desired population distribution cyclical movement of the nodal exchange
and maximum economic growth.
system when it restricts the definition of
(4) Controlling and where necessary, growth centres to those settlements which
arresting the further growth of eco-
have the favourable climate "for the deve-
nomic activities by dispersal of eco-
lopment of industries" (Chandrasekhara,
nomic activities, legislative mea-
1972).

REGIONAL PLANNING: FUNCTIONAL AND NODAL
319
Regional Surveys and Studies
social homogeneity but also "functional unity
which will permit effective common fore-
Since the beginning of the Second Five sight and policy in planning". Although the
Year Plan studies on regional planning study does not offer any blue print for
both official and quasi-official were actively development it does however highlight signi-
advanced through the initiative of the ficant development characteristics of the
Indian Statistical Institute. Of the many region. It draws pointed attention to the
studies conducted the following five have inadequacy of linkages of rural settlements
been briefly reviewed:
with urban market and also to its inade-
quately developed central place system
(1) The Pilot Regional Survey of Mysore which is evident from the fact that on the
State.
average one urban settlement serves 570
(2) Macro Regional Survey of South villages. Consequently urban centres fail to
India.
act as foci of development. The Southeast
(3) The Damodar Valley Survey.
Resource Region, it is further pointed out
(4) Southeast Resource Region.
in this study, is oriented towards Calcutta
(5) Indo-Soviet Research Project on and to a lesser extent towards the port of
Regionalisation.
Visakhapatnam in the south, because the
other major settlements of the region fail
The Pilot Regional Survey of the Mysore to act as effective countermagnets to Cal-
State (Karnataka) was a pioneering re-
cutta. The study therefore proposes, and
search carried out under the aegis of the rightly so, that as against the creation of
Indian Statistical Institute (Learmonth et new towns as growth poles, the existing and
al, 1962). The major contributions of this the emerging major urban centres be so
study, in addition to explaining the theore-
functionally strengthened as to effectively
tical formulation of planning regions, was counteract the drift to Calcutta (Town and
to highlight the "distinct regional structure Country Planning Organisation Govern-
and patterns within the Mysore State (now ment of India, 1968: 4.36). In a subsequent
Karnataka)" and to identify its planning study of this region the authors have em-
regions. The Indian Statistical Institute phasised the "growth centre" approach to
followed it up with a Macro-Regional Survey the planning of this region, in order to pro-
of South India, the aim of which was to mote effective integration of the primary
account for disparities in the levels of urban system consisting of the market ser-
development with the help of selected indi-
vice towns and the secondary urban system
cators. It is however, valued more for its consisting of the growth centres and growth
methodological contribution in identifying points (Chandrasekhara et al. 1972: 36-70).
the key variables for a scheme of economic
While the Southeast Resource Region
regionalisation at the macro scales.
Study cuts across the State boundaries the
The Southeast Resource Region Study is Regional Planning for West Bengal con-
taken up by the Town and Country Plan-
fines its observations within the political
ning and Organisation "for organisation of boundaries of the State. It is explicitly stated
planning and economic management of the in this work that "a metropolitan regional
resources of the area" (Town and Country plan for Greater Calcutta would not be a
Planning Organisation, 1968). This region, complete instrument of public policy
the study points out, possesses not only a implementation unless it is supported by an
certain degree of geographic, economic and overall regional plan for the State" (Calcutta

320
S. MANZOOR ALAM
Metropolitan Planning Organisation, 1967). Economic Regionalisation of India is of
While this study does maintain a clear great theoretical value. It starts with the
regional perspective and recognises the assumption that "a correct delineation and
importance of urban centres in formulating articulation of economic regions in
a strategy for regional development, it geographic terms is an essential prerequisite
however conceives narrowly the scope of of economic development in a developing
regional planning programmes when it country and an aid to judicious investment
restricts to the promotion of "planned urban and optimum utilisation of scarce re-
growth" and the prevention of "unplanned sources" (Gupta and Sdasyuk, 1968: ii). It
hasty sprawl of urbanism" (Calcutta explains lucidly the need for economic
Metropolitan Planning Organisation, 1967 : regionalisation in planning for the eradica-
62). On account of this restricted approach tion of economic backwardness and
to regional planning the document fails to minimisation of disparities in the levels of
indicate a clear-cut urban development regional development. Five distinct types
policy to counterveil or even to minimise of economic regions have been identified
the magnetic pull of Calcutta. Jakobson and based on (i) natural resource and natural
Ved Prakash in a critique of regional regions, (ii) population characteristics and
planning for West Bengal have also stressed resource development (iii) agricultural
the need to break Calcutta's magnetism by resources (iv) industrial development, and
changing the existing transportation flow (v) transport and urban nodes. (Gupta and
patterns converging on Calcutta. In addition Sdasyuk, 1968 : 25-26). It further explains
to the radial east-west running transporta-
the practical applicability of these schemes
tion corridors to Calcutta they suggest the of regionalisation to regional planning in
strengthening of the north-south running India. This work is noted for its conceptual
transport system oriented to the ports of clarity, scientific methods and pragmatic
Haldia and Paradeep. This perpen-
approach and constitutes a significant
dicularity of flow between the transport contribution on the theoretical formulations
systems, they feel, "could contribute to a on economic regionalisation for India.
reduction of Calcutta's influence in its
In addition to these institutionally
hinterland" (Jakobson and Prakash, 1966-
sponsored studies on regional planning
67 : 36—65).
some scholars have also made a notable
The Tennessee Valley Authority inspir-
contribution in this field. A pioneering
ed the Damodar Valley Survey which contribution in this respect was that of
was initiated in 1959. This is one of the Deshpande who as early as 1948,
earliest diagnostic regional surveys but it even before the initiation of the five year
did not make any headway beyond the development plans, suggested a scheme of
diagnostic stage. The valley was divided planning regions for the then state of
into a number of sub-regions (upper, middle, Bombay and stressed the need for regional
and lower) and survey reports of resource approach to economic planning to achieve
potential of the valley as a whole or of its optimal level of development in each region
three sub-regions were prepared without based on its resource potential (Deshpande,
suggesting any strategy for development. 1948). The application of regionalisation to
It can serve as a handy reference material economic planning was further advanced
to scholars who intend to probe deeper into by Prakasa Rao and Bhat through their
the matter.
regional survey of the Mysore State (now
The Indo-Soviet Project Report on Karnataka). The State was divided into 21

REGIONAL PLANNING: FUNCTIONAL AND NODAL
321
micro planning units which were regrouped Their approach is pragmatic and of
into six planning divisions (Rao and Bhat). relevance to planning problems at different
Misra's edited volume on Regional area levels. They have therefore gained
Planning includes a set of valuable articles momentum and wider acceptability.
relating to concepts, techniques, and policies Market Town, Growth Pole or Metropolitan
on regional planning ((Misra et at, 1969). Oriented Studies on Regional Planning
Expressing his own views Misra states that
"regional and national goals should, at least
The National Council of Applied Eco-
in theory, coincide". He is against the idea nomic Research (NCAER) initiated the first
of equalisation in the levels of regional major study on market towns in order to
development for inter-regional differences work out a strategy for the social and
must continue as they are due to differences economic transformation of rural areas
of culture and resource potential (Misra). through a network of market towns
Bhat in his thesis on Regional Planning (National Council of Applied Economic
in India highlights that spatial framework Research, 1965). The study holds the
for planning based on resource structure inadequate development of intermediate
of regions is more realistic in terms of level of urbanization in India as a critical
development planning than linguistic frame-
factor in retarding the country's economic
work. Although planning regions ought to development. It, therefore, feels that the
be a combination of both formal and nodal "transformation" process can be set in
regions yet Bhat would like them to be motion by "creating both cities and market
derived more from nodal regions arranged towns to which villages could be func-
in hierarchical order (Bhat, 1972).
tionally related". Hence the study suggests
The regional planning studies reviewed that the existing number of 1936 towns
so far have advocated planning based on should be raised in number to 12,500-14,000
homogeneous (functional) regions. These if the dualistic structure of our economy is
functional regions do highlight interregional to be eliminated, the national economy is
differences and can be of some help in to be spatially integrated, and the pro-
formulating realistic plans to achieve ductive capacity of the rural sector is to be
balanced regional development. None of significantly improved and surplus market-
these studies however have discussed ed. These points were stressed again in a
centring policy in regional planning and seminar conducted by the NCAER in 1972.
hence have failed to appreciate the The Background Note on the Development
integrative and transforming roles which of Market Towns presented at this seminar
towns can play on market and metropolitan emphasised the need of "a well spread out
centres. Christaller's theory of a nested network of intermediate towns, which are
system of settlement hierarchy within a re-
readily accessible to most villages; can
gion (1933) (Christaller, 1966) and Francois function as processing and marketing centres
Perroux' theory of growth poles (poles de for rural populations within their zones"
Croissance 1961) (Perroux, 1950 : 90-97) (NCAER, 1972). Johnson who directed
have stimulated a large number of planning NCAER's first Project on market towns
studies oriented to a system of market or (1962) has re-emphasised, in this seminar,
metropolitan centres. These studies reveal the need for intermediate level urbaniza-
greater awareness of the key role of urban tion and "centrally located market towns
centres as agents of modernisation, and where appropriate facilities will be provided
centres for the diffusion of innovations. and where a variety of ancillary services

322
S. MANZOOR ALAM
will be available (Johnson, 1972 : 60). effective counter-magnets to Calcutta have
Furthermore Johnson conceives of them as not been clearly visualised (Calcutta Metro-
"investment clusters" where "rather full politan P.O., 1966). It may also be noted
range of opportunities is available —
that despite all the developmental inputs
mechanical, clerical, entrepreneurial or Durgapur and Asansol cannot possibly
professional" (Johnson, 1972: 65).
counteract the magnetic pull of Calcutta.
It is also stipulated in his work that In this respect the suggestion of Jakobson
agro-urban communities should be linked and Ved Prakash referred to earlier sounds
through a hierarchy of central places for more reasonable.
the eventual linkage of the rural community
The Kanpur Regional Study, which
with the national economy. The NCAER includes the papers and proceedings of an
proposal for a national strategy for the international seminar focused on the
development of market towns was not developmental problems of Kanpur,
pursued further and consequently no action emphasises the need to promote integration
followed.
of city and countryside by spreading
Meanwhile the Planning Commission urbanization and securing adoption of non-
came out in a big way to support the study traditional modes of thought by villagers
of metropolitan cities and the preparation (Desai et al, 1969). In his paper presented
of their master plans because of their at this seminar Berry suggested a four tier
social, political and economic importance K-7 (1-7-49-343) system of settlement
and also the gravity of their problems. This hierarchy for the adequate spatial in-
naturally stimulated a number of metro-
tegration of the economy of the Kanpur
politan centred regional plans. The master region (Berry, 1969 : 203-19). In the same
plan for Delhi (1969) was the first of such seminar Johnson drew pointed attention to
regional plans (Delhi Development
the inadequate development of the central
Authority, 1962).
place system and intermediate level
The master plan for Delhi examines urbanization. He observed that with one
comprehensively the planning and develop-
town on the average serving nearly 450
ment problems of the national capital at villages within the region one cannot
three levels viz. (1) Central City: (2) Delhi expect metropolitan Kanpur to operate and
Metropolitan Region; (3) National Capital control efficiently the economy of its
Region. This is a sound approach because region. Hence he concluded that to maximise
the planning problems of Delhi, the national spatial integration the "goal of the
capital, have to be viewed in the wider regional development plan, therefore, be the
context of its region. In order to arrest the creation of about 300 more urban centres
growth of Delhi and counteract its magnetic in the Kanpur region" (Johnson).
pull the master plan for Delhi has stipulated
Manzoor Alam and Waheeduddin Khan
the growth of a number of counter-magnets in their study on Metropolitan Hyderabad
on the periphery of the National Capital And Its Region, have strongly stressed
Region. These counter-magnets will be fully the need to view the planning and develop-
developed metropolitan centres with
ment problems in the larger regional, state
diversified economic base and large and national perspective. The study brings
employment potential. Unlike the master out the impact of metropolitan Hyderabad
plan for Delhi, the Basic Development in transforming the economy of its
for Calcutta (1966-1966) does not look immediate rural hinterland. However it has
beyond the metropolitan district and been observed that despite this impact of

REGIONAL PLANNING: FUNCTIONAL AND NODAL
323
the metropolis over the region, the approximately linked with the metropolis
interaction between them is not of the can transmit efficiently developmental im-
desired degree and therefore the economy pulses down to the lowest settlement unit
of the region is not adequately integrated within the region.
with the metropolis. Alam and Khan have
A number of studies in India on pro-
therefore suggested the development of blems relating to urban and regional plan-
growth centres and 42 "rural service centres" ning have focused attention on metropolitan
for the spatial integration of the regional cities and their regions and have used data
economy with the metropolis. This strategy, on traffic, transport and communication
it has been claimed, will improve the flows to highlight planning and development
efficiency of the "trickle down" mechanism, problems. In the Interim Report of the
quicken the pace of spread-effect which will Planning Commission on Traffic and Trans-
thereby accelerate the regional development portation Problems in Metropolitan Cities
(Alam and Khan, 1972). Earlier Alam in concern has been expressed over the hyper-
his paper on the Re-alignment of the Urban concentration of passenger and commodity
System of Andhra Pradesh examined the flows on metropolitan cities due to the
development of the urban system of Andhra "mounting cycle of concentration of econo-
Pradesh in its political context and mic activities in these few large urban
suggested a multiple growth centre or centres" (Planning Commission, Govern-
alternatively a single growth pole strategy ment of India, 1967:11). As a solution
for the economic development of a back-
to this problem the Interim Report has re-
ward region of the state of Andhra commended "a rational distribution of
Pradesh, Rayalaseema (Alam, 1971 : 499-
future urban development into existing
501). Alam has further expressed the hope small and medium size towns within the
that through this developmental strategy the metropolitan region" (Planning Commis-
magnetic pull of the three metropolises — sion, Government of India, 1967: 11). This
Madras, Bangalore and Hyderabad over Report is vague on the concept of metropoli-
this region can be counterveiled and tan region, but one however presumes that
optimal spatial integration of the economy the region here implies major trade and
accomplished.
traffic flow blocks of the national metro-
Wanamali in his work on the Nagpur polises Delhi, Calcutta, Bombay and
'Metropolitan Region has examined in de-
Madras. Berry's study of commodity flows
tail the level of social facilities available also identified a set of regional economies
in all the settlements located within the organised around metropolitan centres. Each
Nagpur Metropolitan Region (Wanamali, of the four national metropolises, according
1970). He observes a sharp decline in to Berry, commands the trade of a well
the level of social facilities between defined region called the "trade blocks"
Metropolitan Nagpur and its rural hinter-
(Berry, 1966). Areas within the macro
land. This 'developmental dualism', Wana-
trading regions vary in their degree of acces-
mali observes, hinders spatial integration sibility and hence in their ability to re-
of the economy. Hence to accomplish an ceive growth impulses which drop off with
integrated development of the metropolis and distance. Consequently in these trade blocks
its region the author has suggested the crea-
according to Berry, "the more commercialis-
tion of seventeen service centres within ed village and town economies are found in
the rural hinterland of Metropolitan Nag-
areas of good access, while isolated tribal
pur. These service centres, it is hoped, if economies prevail in the inaccessible peri-

324
S. MANZOOR ALAM
pheries" (Berry, 1971:122). Berry further phasis on the development of the secondary
observes that although at the national level, sector and therefore tend to ignore the
the urban centres of India conform to rank-
tertiary sector which can be equally rele-
size distribution, at the sub-regional levels vant in promoting this strategy. Although
they do not. This is due to disparities in the authors seem to suggest integration of
the levels of regional development and can the primary and the secondary urban sys-
be minimised by maximising accessibility tems their splitting of a unified urban sys-
and establishing a well articulated system tem into two independent systems is logi-
of settlement hierarchy. Reed in his paper cally incompatible. Misra's growth centre
on Indian Communication Flows using air strategy is rather metropolitan oriented for
passenger flow data and applying sophisti-
he does not want investments to be made
cated statistical techniques identifies three in non-metropolitan centres before the take-
chief types of flow regions which he suggests off stage. The main thrust of Misra's argu-
can be used as planning regions since they ment is that through growth poles and
indicate the degree of connectivity and the growth centres a nation can achieve maxi-
volume of flow integrating the region (Reed, mum productivity, optimal pattern of popu-
1969: 145-171).
lation distribution and total integration of
Lewis, on the other hand, is apprehensive regions or nation's economy (Misra, 1972:
of the metropolitan centred growth approach 1-22). Misra's prescription of linking up
since in many respects "full-blown metro-
investments with take-off stage could rather
politan agglomeration is an appalling des-
lead planners into a vicious circle and deve-
tination for India" (Lewis, 1964:217). He lopment dilemma. His argument is fallaci-
has, therefore, suggested a town centred ous as it overlooks the point that unless
approach as "towns in the 20,000-300,000 investment is pumped into a settlement it
range offer the most congenial physical sett-
can never reach the take-off stage. More-
ing for a synthesis between traditional, rural over, Misra's argument is not supported
and the western-urban strands of contempo-
by any empirical study.
rary Indian culture" (Lewis, 1964: 194).
The concept of growth centres has been
Lewis further stresses the point that only advanced to cover rural settlements as well,
through town centred development policy and a number of micro-regional studies
that India can achieve its goal of organis-
advocating intergrated area development
ing a "technologically progressive, politi-
focussed around rural growth centres have
cally integrated, but geographically decen-
also been undertaken. The National
tralised society" (Lewis, 1964: 217.) Lewis Institute of Community Development
and Johnson seem to agree on decentralised initiated a study on rural growth centres in
development for India focused around Miryalguda Taluq (smallest viable adminis-
towns.
trative unit in a district) in Andhra
The growth centre approach to regional Pradesh with a view to (i) developing
planning has been strongly advocated in a methods for identifying growth centres and
paper on Southeast Resource Region by their hinterlands in our rural areas; and
Chandrasekhara and others. The authors (ii) preparing a plan based on growth
of this paper feel that "agglomeration and centres for an integrated development of the
urbanization economies are expected to immediate study area (Sen, Wanamali et al,
accrue to investments if they are concen-
1971). This study discloses that even in
trated in such centres" (Chandrasekhara such small administrative units a discrete
et al. 1972:36-37). They lay greater em-
three-tier hierarchy of service centres based

REGIONAL PLANNING: FUNCTIONAL AND NODAL
325
on functional characteristics is descernible. Extension Trading Institute (SIET) in its
In order to organise and integrate the eco-
report on Integrated Development of
nomic space of this taluqa the study has Pochampad Ayacut (Andhra Pradesh). This
proposed the establishment of two high-
study has identified 12 growth centres in
level service centres (one located outside the command area and would like these to
the Taluq but within the District) linked "serve as market centres and centres for in-
to the individual villages through a chain dustrial development in order to minimise
of 4 middle order service centres and 15 waste of scarce resources and to optimise
lowest order service centres called "central the use of the existing resources" (Small
villages". Based on this hierarchy of Industries E.T.I., Hyderabad, 1973).
service centres a perspective plan for the Bhat in his work on Karnal district has at-
development of Miryalguda Taluq has been tempted to translate area development
proposed. This is no doubt a pioneering strategy into a spatial development frame
study, for it has for the first time explored work" (Bhat, 1974). This economically
the possibility of using the growth centre prosperous, and topographically homogene-
concept at such a micro level. However, ous district provides a good example to
some of the important problems which are discover the problem of spatial integration
likely to emerge in Miryalguda Taluq as a in an isotropic surface. Bhat has discovered
result of new developmental inputs have wide gaps in the settlements hierarchy due
not been touched upon. A certain degree to lack of functional development among
of intermediate level urbanization is likely the rural settlements. He has, therefore,
to be generated with the growing agricul-
prescribed the generation of a "three tier
tural prosperity of the Taluq consequent pattern of central places from among the
upon the introduction of canal irrigation. rural settlements" (Bhat, 1974:126), for the
These new urban centres are also likely total spatial integration of the economy in
to function as market towns to serve as an the Karnal district. The assumption in this
outlet for the agricultural surpluses of the study, as in many others, is that the western
area. The perspective plan for Miryalguda system of hierarchy is considered as the
as given in this study does not provide standard and valid system for our socio-
for this. There is also a reference in this economic conditions as well. It would be
study to development of "self-sufficient" of great theoretical value to test the vali-
villages which are located outside the in-
dity of this basic assumption itself. At this
fluence of service centres. . One would stage one would like to postulate that the
associate these self-sufficient villages with system of hierarchy develops in response
subsistence economy and as non-central to socio-economic conditions and therefore,
function settlements. To include them in a uniform global system of hierarchy is not
the higher level of K-4 system of hierarchy likely to be a valid concept.
is methodologically unsound. Despite these
drawbacks one cannot overlook the fact Regional Planning and Urban System
that this study on Miryalguda does pro-
vide a perspective for spatial integration at
This brief review of the studies and re-
micro level through a nested system of searches in regional planning does point
central places.
out the fact that the scholars are more in-
The location of market settlements in clined to accept the nodal system of regions
the command area of an irrigation project as a more pragmatic approach to regional
has been emphasised by the Small Industries planning. It is also evident that the vali-

326 S. MANZOOR ALAM
dity of a growth-centre oriented strategy for gional development and reduce inter-regional
spatial integration has been widely accepted. disparities. It is only then that we can formu-
The role of urban centres and market towns late a national policy for the development
as agents of social and economic transfor-
of counter-magnets to arrest the growth and
mation at all regional levels has been fully reduce the magnetic pull of the national
established and appreciated. In the light metropolises. In this connection it might
of these, it is surprising that no effort has be worth examining the French policy to
been made so far to understand the totality encourage the growth of regional metropo-
of the urban system of India and the role lises as counter-magnets to Paris (French
which metropolitan settlements can play in Embassy in U.S.A—New York, 1965) or
integrating the economy spatially. Although the British policy of identifying the deve-
the urban population of India has not been lopment regions in the United Kingdom
growing very fast, nevertheless the fact re-
and developing new towns within each of
mains that the 2641 urban settlements in-
its nine development regions based on their
cluding 147 metropolitan settlements* orga-
respective needs (Ministry of Housing and
nise and control the social and economic Local Government, U.K. London, 1964).
space of India. Because of the concentra-
It may be recalled that the studies on
tion of the major secondary and tertiary market towns have particularly highlighted
activities in and around these metropolitan the dichotomy in our urban and rural econo-
nodes, their population during the last four mies and the consequent development of
decades has grown at a phenomenal pace dualistic structure between the two sectors.
and as per the 1971 census 56 per cent of This dualistic structure of economy exists
the urban population is concentrated in even within the major metropolitan settle-
them (Alam et al). In view of this growing ments and is evident from the fact that
importance of urban and metropolitan set-
the jobs and work centres relating to high
tlements we must have adequate understand-
and low level of technologies coexist in such
ing as to how effectively and in what man-
settlements with a minimal of mutual inter-
ner the national network of urban settle-
action. Such a situation prevents organic
ments, including metropolitan, function as development of the metropolitan economy
a system. This would enable us to appreciate and ought to be eliminated to achieve opti-
the organisation of our national and regional mal internal integration and maximum
economies. One of the primary tasks, there-
diffusion of the benefits of metropolitan
fore, is to identify the national urban system economy to its rural hinterland. It might
of India and its sub-systems. This could lead be, therefore, useful to initiate a number
to the formulation of an appropriate strategy of studies relating to the dualistic structure
to use the metropolitan settlements of diffe-
of metropolitan economies and their im-
rent orders in order to accelerate intra-re-
pact on rural hinterlands.
* All cities with 100,000 + population are being treated as metropolitan cities. According
to the Census of India, 1971, there are 147 such cities ranging in population from 100,000 to
7,000,000. These however, can be broadly classified into three orders of settlements
according to their size and functional importance.
1st Order
2,000,000
Distinguished for their pronounced metro-
politan character and including only the
primate cities.
IInd Order
500,000
Including mature metropolises but lacking the
2,000,000
characteristics of Primate cities
IIIrd Order
500,000
Nascent metropolises.

REGIONAL PLANNING: FUNCTIONAL AND NODAL
327
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