The process of urbanization and the rapid increase in the population provides enormous pressure on the surrounding environment. According to one estimate a million city, on an average, daily requires 6, 25,000 tones of water, 2,000 tons of food grains, and 9,500 tons of fuel. Similarly it daily generates about 5, 00,000 tones of polluted water, 2,000 tones of solid waste and 950 tones of air pollutants whose disposal is a major problem for civic authorities. Hence, a city puts dual impact over its surroundings.
Thus, an uncontrolled and unplanned urbanization may not only make the city life deplorable but may cause serious damage to the physic-socio-economic environment of the surrounding area. Urban problems may, therefore, be grouped under two broad categories: internal problems which affect the city-area and its inhabitants; and external problems which have their impact on the area and people of its fringe area and upland. Some internal problems include shortage of space and residential houses, transport bottleneck, paucity of pure drinking water, pollution, disposal of city waste and sewage, supply of electricity and field, maintenance of law and order and control of crimes, etc.
Cities constantly require more and more space for their growth. This demand for space is met by colonizing fringe or rural areas. But sometimes due to physical and other constraints this expansion is obstructed.
Also there is general tendency in city dwellers, especially in those urban areas in which internal transport is not cheap and efficient, to live closer to their place of work or business establishments. City planners lot different sectors for industrial, residential and commercial requirements which soon become overcrowded and congested.
This leads to enormous increase in land values and rents which make the living of poor people difficult and painful. Many of Idiom, who are not able to pay high rent, are thus forced to live in slums and squatter settlements which is a great slur on the face of modern civic society.
Urban population, particularly in developing countries, is rising at terrific rate which is leading to shortage of houses and residences. According to one estimate there is annual shortage of about 1.7 million houses in Indian cities. This has led to phenomenal rise in house rent and many families are compelled to spend 30 to 50 per cent of their monthly income in hiring residential accommodations.
This has also forced low income group people to live in slums or occupy foot-paths and road pavements. The number of such slum and pavement dwellers is rising by leaps and bounds in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi etc.
Water is life and man cannot subsist without water. That is why sites of settlements are always chosen to keep sources of water supply in mind. Modern cities which represent huge human agglomeration require large supply of water for domestic and industrial needs of their residents.
Similarly each tone production of aluminum, rayon, woolen textile, cotton textile and steel requires 1280,780,560,218 and 170 cubic meters of water respectively. Hydel power stations need 10,080 cubic meters of water per hour to generate 3 million kvt of electricity.
The condition is worse in small cities and towns. To meet this growing demand of water city administration is tapping external sources oil water supply.
India has witnessed mushrooming of cities and phenomenal increase in the number of industries and vehicles in the recent years. As a consequence, there has dramatic deterioration in the quality of urban environment. The problem is aggravated with growing consumerism, luxurious way of life and low environmental perception among urban dwellers. This deterioration in urban environment is caused by air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution and solid waste pollution which have great bearing on the health of urban dwellers.
The unprecedented spurt in the number of vehicles in India has emerged as the most significant contributor to poison in urban air. While industrial air pollution is localised in nature, mobile sources bring entire cities into the grip of severe air pollution. Table 28.VII gives an account of the number of vehicles and pollutant discharge in some of the major cities of the country. Studies by research organisations have already confirmed that the proportion of pollutants and toxins in the urban air has reached dangerous levels in many cities of the country.

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