Kolkata (erstwhile Calcutta) Metropolitan Area (KMA) has a long history of in-migration at the international and intra-national levels. The nature and trend of such migration streams have changed over time, especially in the colonial and post-colonial phases of India. During the colonial rule in India, the city of Kolkata was developed as a major political, social and cultural center in South Asia. After the Second World War, its past glory started to fade a little, but still, as per population count, it manages to hold the third and ninth rank among the urban agglomerations of India and the world respectively. During the post independent era in India, a large refugee influx from erstwhile East-Pakistan, now Bangladesh, and uneven development of infrastructural facilities in and around the study area have resulted in an unplanned and haphazard urban development. Hence, the process of urban sprawl has become conspicuous in KMA during the last few decades. With rapid development of sub-urban transport facilities and construction of high-rise residential apartments, more and more people are concentrating in the fringe areas rather than the city proper. A dramatic increase in the number of commuters supports this fact. KMA also possesses a rich cultural pluralism, with various international and national ethnic groups residing in specific urban pockets for centuries. The current paper is an attempt to explore the facts behind various migration streams in this metropolis, along with its socio-economic consequences. For this purpose, emphasis was put on the factors responsible for in-migration, the growth of urban population and the flow of commuters in the study area. The study focuses on the nature of differential population growth in the city core under the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and its peripheral urban centers within the metropolitan area.
|Keywords:||Migration, Urban Agglomeration, Urban Sprawl, Commutation|
Professor of Geography, Department of Geography, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Assistant Master in Geography, Hindu School, Kolakta, West Bengal Subordinate Education Service, Kolkata, West Bengal, India