Imtiaz,<P>The migration into West Bengal is not a hypothesis but a reality and again I have no hard data but first hand impressions while travelling through different parts. The Biharis are located mostly in urban areas and some in border areas, the Nepali migrate to the Northern areas and the tea gardens, the Marwaris and Gujratis own most of the businesses in Calcutta, Howrah, Salkia and that is where they are concentrated and the Oriyas are located in border areas and some urban areas. Migrants from Bangladesh came in three stages a) post-partition, b) around 1971 and c) in the 90s mostly economic migrants - I would say this population would be anywehere between 10-20 million including their offsprings. This has resulted in the highest population density in West Bengal. It speaks less for WB economy and more about the pathetic state of the economy in Bihar, Orissa, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Sagar,<P>I am inclined to agree with your post about the qualitative nature of migration into WB, except that am not sure about the numbers, and hence the extent to which migration has been the cause for the high population density in WB.<P>Am interested in numbers on migration, for WB, and for other parts of the country too. Would welcome any reliable data by any member.<P>Every big city has what is called a hinterland. People knowledgeable about what is called "regional studies" would know better, but Calcutta's hinterland has traditionally included areas that are not part of WB. Partition cut off Calcutta's links with a portion of its hinterland.<P>Another example. Madras. People (especially old timers) in the so called "sircar" districts of AP (i.e. the coastal districts that were under Brit rule and formed part of the erstwhile state of Madras), still refer to Madras as "patnam" i.e. the city.<P><BR>
All of India is going to be like a calcutta slum when the population hits 1.5 billion. <P>Rather than increasing spending on defence, people should demand that a few billions be allocated for population control before the malthusian check hits hard.<P>
An interesting site and an interesting article on the drop in poverty levels in India;<BR> <A HREF="http://www.goodnewsindia.com/Pages/content/economy/poverty.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.goodnewsindia.com/Pages/content/economy/poverty.html</A> <P>There are a couple of interesting observations, to be made.<P>1. The decline in poverty levels is higher in the rual areas in the decade of the 90's, in addition to the fact that both declines, urban and rural were high numbers. This bodes well, because the bulk of the people still live in rural areas.<P>2. I am pleased that Andhra has lower poverty level numbers (less than 20%) than some states such as TN which has a higher per capita GDP (almost 20% higher).I believe this has something to do with the drastic reduction in population growth rate during the 90's. Which means that the disparity in wealth is not as high in AP compared to some other states.<P>Kaushal<p>[This message has been edited by Kaushal (edited 19-04-2001).]
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