Small Towns and Decentralisation in India

Urban Local Bodies in the Making

  • Rémi de Bercegol

Part of the Exploring Urban Change in South Asia book series (EUCS)

About this book


This book examines the impact that decentralisation reforms, initiated in the early 1990s, have had on small towns in India. It specifically focuses on small towns in Uttar Pradesh, one of the most densely populated and poorest states in India.

Although considered home to one of the oldest urban civilisations, India remains one of the least urbanised regions in the world. At the same time, the country has many million-strong metropolises that are among the world’s largest megacities, as well as a multitude of small and medium-sized towns and cities. This paradoxical urbanisation, against a backdrop of reforms, has interested the scientific community to gain a more nuanced understanding of the changes and challenges involved. This book analyses an urban environment often overlooked by researchers and public authorities, namely, that of small towns. These towns are of vital importance as this is where the bulk of future urban development will take place. However, decades after implementation of the reforms, the majority of reviews and assessments have focused on large cities and so the impacts of the reform on small towns are still poorly understood. This book includes extensive primary data about political, technical and financial municipal issues in small towns of northern India and, is therefore, of interest to students, researchers and planners working on urban and regional studies in the global South.


Municipal management in small towns Muslim majority towns Poverty and economic development in small towns Restructuring of functional authority Small towns in India Technical utilities in small towns Urban decentralisation laws in India Urban decentralization reforms Uttar Pradesh

Authors and affiliations

  • Rémi de Bercegol
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Urban DynamicsCentre for Social Sciences & Humanities Department of Urban DynamicsDelhiIndia

Bibliographic information