Migrant flow slows in Delhi

On the World Population Day, the policy planners may have noted with satisfaction the decreasing trend in the two leading metros – Mumbai and Delhi. While Mumbai added just five lakh people to its existing population between 2001-11, growth in Delhi for the period came down from a staggering 47 per cent in the earlier decade to 21 per cent.

In Mumbai, in the past decade five lakh more people were added, taking its population to 1.24 crore, with an average of 20,038 persons packed into every square kilometre in the city and 20,925 persons in the same space in the suburbs. Delhi's decadal pace of population growth has slowed down to 21 per cent, with two of its nine districts, New Delhi and Central, registering even negative growth.

'The slowing down of growth of population in Delhi is attributable to several factors, including Delhi government's effective slum rehabilitation policy, conversion of several residential areas in old city into commercial hub and also development of suburbs in the neighbouring states of Uttar  Pradesh and Haryana,' said Dr Sanjeev K Tiwari of Delhi-based Centre for Reforms, Development and Justice.

Demographers feels that Mumbai's figures are in keeping with global trends where population expectedly peaks at the nascent stages of development and subsequently falls. 'Same is the situation in Delhi. It should give some respite to Delhi government as Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has repeatedly complained about inward migration and increase in population,' added Tiwari.

The New Delhi district posted a negative 25.35 per cent growth, so was the case with Central district, which comprises a large part of the Walled City area, and where the population declined by 10.48 per cent in the past decade.

'People move out of the metros to the suburbs when the property prices move north. This trend has especially proved true for Delhi and Mumbai, where satellite towns have registered a substantial growth. In Delhi, the population boom in South-West district is attributable to the rise of Dwarka sub-city,' said Zia-ul Hussain, a Delhi-based town planner.
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