Crime in NCR

Freedom from violence, as an aspect of the quality of life, is a neglected issue in development studies. Most people would rather avoid being mugged, beaten, wounded, or tortured, and it is also nice to live without fear of these traumatic experiences. Violence also affects human w'ell-being in indirect ways, as when armed conflicts undermine economic growth or the functioning of public sendees. If development is concerned with improving the quality of life, the issue of violence should be a major interest of the discipline. Yet, it tends to receive little attention outside specialized circles. Protection from violence, however, is not a convenient by-product of economic growth and indeed there are spectacular cases of violence rising against a background of rapid improvement in per capita income and other development indicators. Dealing with violence in a society is, therefore, intrinsically a matter of public action. So it is essential to have a careful investigation of the causes of violence. Crime in India, an annual publication of the government of India (Ministry of Home Affairs), presents district-level data on a range of “crimes” such as murder, rape, kidnapping, theft, burglary, and arson (Dreze and Reetika, 2000).

India has experienced several noteworthy demographic changes over the last decade. The 2011 Census also indicated that a large part of the urban population continued to be concentrated in Class-I (1 lakh and above) Urban Agglomerations (UA)/Towns (70%), of which around 43% were in million-plus UAs/cities alone. Interestingly, while the growth rates of some of its mega cities (10 million plus population), especially Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata, reduced drastically in the last decade, the number of million-plus cities increased from 35 as per the 2001 Census to 53 as per the 2011 Census, with 18 new UAs crossing the million mark, implying the rapid growth of other large urban centers (Cities Alliance, 2015).

NCR Constituent Areas

National Capital Region (NCR) is a unique example of inter-state regional planning and development for a region with NCT-Delhi as its core (Fig. 3.11). The NCR as notified covers the whole of NCT-Delhi and certain districts of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, an area of about 55,098 square kilometers, covering a population of about 581.5 lakhs (Table 3.1).

Keeping in view the exponential growth of Delhi and surrounding area, it was considered that the planned growth of Delhi is possible only in a regional context. In fact, the need for regional approach was felt as early as 1959 when the draft Master Plan for Delhi was prepared. Thereafter, the Master Plan of 1962 recommended that a statutory National Capital Region Planning Board should be set up for ensuring balanced and harmonized development of the region. The setting up of the statutory board in 1985 and coming into operation of the first statutory Regional Plan-2001, were the important achievements in the balanced development of the National Capital Region (NCRPB, 1999).

National Capital Region (NCR), India. Source

FIGURE 3.11 National Capital Region (NCR), India. Source: NCRPB. 2018.

TABLE 3.1

Sub-region Wise Area Details of NCR

Sub-Region

Name of the Districts

Area (in sq. kms.)

Haryana

Faridabad. Gurgaon. Mewat. Rohtak. Sonepat. Rewari, Jhajjhar, Panipat. Palwal. Bhiwani (including Charkhi Dadri), Mahendragarh. Jind. and Karnal (Thirteen Districts).

25.327

Uttar Pradesh

Meerut, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar. Bulandshahr. Baghpat. Hapur, Shamli. and Muzaffarnagar (Eight Districts).

14.841

Rajasthan

Alwar and Bharatpur (Two Districts).

13,447

Delhi

Whole of NCT Delhi.

1.483

Source: NCRPB. 2018.

Crime Scenario at National Level

The inability of the system to deliver justice and maintain the rule of law has led to an uptick in violence, which according to the Institute for Economics and Peace, has cost India an equivalent of 9% of its GDP. The rule of law is also irrevocably linked with raising the individual’s quality of life. The Ease of Living Index (2018), which assesses ease of living standards across cities, highlights the importance of improving governance, infrastructure and service delivery, all of which have a direct bearing on the quality of life. There is an emphasis on “safety and security,” quantitatively assessed in terms of the prevalence of violent crime, particularly against vulnerable groups and surveillance (Tata Trusts, 2019).

Crimes are much higher in mega cities (having population of 10 lakh/1 million or more) compared to either small cities or rural areas. Some of the mega cities have comparatively high crime rate than others. High incidents of crimes in mega cities may be due to various factors such as high density of population, greater information availability/flow, greater degree of anonymity in big cities, social milieu of urban slums, etc. NCRB analyzed the crime scenario in its report in 53 mega cities (NCRB, 2015).

 
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