Process and Characteristics of Urbanisation in Nepal
Basyal, Gopi Krishna, Khanal, Narendra Raj, Contributions to Nepalese Studies
Urbanisation refers to increasingly large number of people living in small places and basically engaged in non-agricultural activities, which depends on development of industrialization, infrastructure within cities, towns and their neighborhoods, thus urbanisation is considered as an index of modernization (Roy 1986:17; Singh 1987:49; Sharma and Maithani 1998:1). The economic system within a country generating migration opportunities to specific locations/regions is a refined input in urbanisation and urban growth as well. In ordinary language `urbanisation' has a dual meaning. Demographers, economists, statisticians and geographers see urbanisation with specific views, and tools in several ways. Demographers usually try to see urbanisation according to urban population, accretion of population in urban areas as `percent of total population'. Economists usually try to relate population growth, pattern of defined technology on the process of urbanisation. Statisticians try to relate production functions, growth rates of urban population (Roy 1986: 17). Geographers consider urbanisation in relation to distribution of urban spaces and see proportions and the growth of urban population at different spatial context. But for present purposes urbanisation has been defined as the proportion of total population living in designated urban areas whereas urban growth refers the net growth of population in designated urban areas (Sharma 1989:19; Singh 1987: 49; Hauser 1961: 21).
Urban population growth is fueled by the differentials in urban--rural wage rate than in the rural areas, refers the greater productivity of labour force in cities (The World Bank 1995:12). In developing countries like Nepal, urbanisation is supposed to have come out because rural migrants have been `pushed' rather than pulled into the urban areas, as a result of great and mounting population pressure in the rural areas.
Urbanisation in Nepal in terms of the rise in the proportion of the total population living in designated urban areas (i.e., municipalities, nagarpanchayats, nagarpalikas etc) is taking place due to the migration of people from rural to urban areas in search of employment seeking opportunities and helping to reduce the pressure of population on land in rural areas (Sharma 1992:2,9). Urban areas function as focal points of commercial, industrial, administrative, recreational and social services required by the rural and urban population. Though urbanization has positive implications if urban areas are managed properly. But haphazard growth of urban areas results many environmental, health, and socio-economic problems and various social disorders. Increasing population in urban areas fails to supply educational and health facilities, and other services to meet the ever increasing demand.
In view of these circumstances, the need of planned and organized urbanisation has become a great concern as new urban areas have been added and proportion of urban population has been increasing. This paper aims to describe the processes and characteristics of urbanisation in Nepal
Methods and Materials
This paper focused on the spatio-temporal context of urbanisation in Nepal. The study is based on secondary sources of data. Population Census data of different period--1952/54, 1961, 1971, 1981 and 1991 have been used. Data on different aspects for individual urban areas declared as urban after 1991 Census (between the period of 1992-97) were collected from unpublished printouts recorded in CBS and they were shorted and calculated according to the needs of study for each theme. First of all, names of VDCs which were incorporated in designated urban areas were listed and data were shorted according to the needs.
Urbanisation and Urban Growth in Nepal
A historical growth before 1951: The origin of urban settlements in Nepal is obscure. Very little is known about urban living in Nepal during the period of Kirants. …