Spatial organisation model for rural development: An approach through settlement systems

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HABITATINTL. Vol. 8, No. 1. pp. 29-34. 1984 Printed in Chat Britam. OlY7-31)75/x3 $3.00 + (1.00 Pcrgamon Prw Ltd. Spatial Organisation Model for Rural Development An Approach through Settlement Systems PARSHU R. SHARMA University of Sussex, UK INTRODUCTION The last decade has witnessed a great deal of developmental literature on integrated rural development, if not in practice. Since the poor are predomin- antly rural, the focus in recent development strategies has been on self-reliant integrated rural development with such notions as agropolitan development (Friedmann and Douglass. 1978), selective regional cloture (Stohr and Todtling, 1978), and planning from below (Stohr, 1981). Such rural develop- ment strategies are expected to serve a broad set of economic and socio-political objectives such as a direct attack on poverty by increasing the productivity of the poor, social control over rural resource allocation and mobilisation, self-help and grass-roots participation, and selective spatial cloture from the non-rural realm (Lakshmannan, 1982, p. X35). Integrated area development approach has become a dynamic branch of scientific methodology in planning. In a more rigorous sense, integrated area development implies preparing a general settlement plan (GSP) and sectoral plans (SP). The general settlement plan does not lay down proposals for investment but it lays down the framework indicating the spatial configuration of sectoral activities. The integration of sectoral plans with general settlement plan through adequate infrastructural linkages is the Integrated Area Development Plan. To exemplify, an attempt has been made in this paper to study the existing settlement systems of Janjgir tahsil of Bilaspur district in Madhya Pradesh (India) as a case in spatial organisation of settlement systems, in brief. Henderson starts with this concept by saying, The spatial organisation of a society forms the foundation upon which the structure of the culture rests (Henderson. 1978). The development process, which is selective, tends to propagate outside the growth centres with varying intensities depending upon the circumstances. These circumstances are what is referred to as infrastruc- ture. The radiation of development impulses from growth centresipoints (Sharma, 1975) to the other settlements takes far too long a time in the absence of a good transportation network and fluid communication channels. This potent instrument has not been given due recognition. In the absence of such spatio- organisational flows, the development process is not able to gain full cycle and becomes strangulated at various points. The removal of the choking points is of paramount importance in planning so that the successive waves of innovation may travel fast enough to modernise the countryside. It is in this light that the Hr\B x: L-C 29 process of rural development is also to be viewed. as a part of the total national development. OBJECTIVES AND DESIGN OF THE STUDY The study aims to achieve one or more of the following planning objectives: an improvement in regions potential for adopting innovations: a programme of regional economic growth which is faster, greater or more assured than would otherwise have occurred: a saving in public investment on infrastructure; ;I more efficient pattern of service provision; a dissemination of growth impulses throughout the problem region; and the interception of would-be migrants from the study area (Moscle~, 1974. p. ix). The Janjgir area is selected for the present study mainly because it fulfils certain conditions of geographical homogeneity under which the tendency for spatial regularity in the arrangement of settlement distributions of services and amenities and the integrated development of economic activities can be made possible. The spatial organisation of the economy - through linkages - of this area in its Iliacro-I-egional setting is that it is under the overall influence of transport linking Bilaspur-Kaigarh axis (on Bombay-Howrah trunk route of railway) in Eastern Madhya Pradesh. This attempt has been made to study the existing settlement systems for integrated rural development with these alms and objectives: first, to identify the service centres and their hierarchy in the sense of their adequacy or otherwise to serve the growing needs of the study area: secondly, to recogn&e the gaps that exist: and thirdly, based on these studies a svnthcsls will be attempted in the form of spatial development strategy for planning to close the existing gaps as well as to promote development in a rapid manner (Sharma, 197-I and 1975). SPATIAL STRUCTURE: SALIENT FEATURES The region, Janjgir tahsil (area - 2250, population - 4,6X,140 in 1981), records a population density of 208 persons/ with 40.4% as the working population, of which 87.6% of the total workers are engaged in agriculture. A relatively high proportion of land (66.4%) is under cultivation having 12.W% land under irrigation mainly from tanks. The region covers very fertile soils (clayey loam) with sufficient nitrogen, phosphorus, potash elements. Rice is the leading crop (more than 70 r of the cropped land) followed by gram. wheat and small millets. etc. Linseed is the significant cash crop which provides the raw materials to oil mills of the region. The principal resources available for integrated development are agriculture. forest and mineral resources. Agricu- ture, which suffers from inadequate means of irrigation. non-availability of fertilisers, new agricultural implements and improved seeds to the farmers, cm be developed by providing these facilities. The region does not possess much forest and mineral resources. Forests cover only 3.053 of the total area. The limestone and dolomite minerals, which are of cement grade, occur near Akaltara. Industrially. it is less developed: only a few rice mills, dal and oil mills are located at Champa. Janjgir, Baled and Akaltara. The existing road transport is inadequate to meet the demand of the increasing economic development in the region. IDENTIFICAllON OF SERVICE CENTRES AND FORMATION OF SETTLEMENT SYSTEMS Janjgir tahsil is moderately populated (density - 20X persons/ having an Spatial Organisation Model for Rural Development 31 average of one inhabited village (settlement) per 5 area. In the region, there are 429 rural settlements of which 128 settlements have been put under study, identifying with a population size more than 1,000 persons (Fig. 1). Further, three types of centres have been identified: (i) major centres of intra- region linkages, (ii) minor centres of intra-region linkages. and (iii) places gravitating towards these centres. The existing linkage systems, as trans- portation, have been considered to study the orientation of centres and their influence to the surroundings. The major centres - i.e. Champa, Janjgir, Akaltara and Balod - are attracting the population of the region lying in the northern part of the study region. Such functional gaps exist in the southern region. Such gaps are an intricate problem, as they are related to socio-economic development. However, for suggesting an appropriate settlement pattern for the Janlglr 8330 E Settlement systems and lInkage systems SW45 @ b 0 -8 -3 -- IC Legend. Fig. I. Junjgir: b.s/ing swtems and linkage .rystems development of the region, it is felt that a j-tier system of settlements (service centrc, market centres and central villages) would bc needed (see, Prakasa Kao (1976) Sundaram ( 1077) and Misra ( 1972. 1976)) to provide the organised community facility and services at seven convenient points in the region (see Fig. 2). In this process, the resources. potentialities of the area and the organised community facilities available in that centrc have been considcrcd. Nailla-Janjgir is the regional scrvicc ccntre which should be linked with the modern infrastructures of development so that the market ccntres and central villages may be well organiscd with all the community facilities and services. The present community development blocks have proved less useful for xocio-economic development. owing to the lack of ;I geographical appr~xlch towards totalitarian resource evaluation and planning. Lack of administrative coordination also leaves them to suffer. Settlement systems Service centre Market centres Llnkaae svstemi State hIghway Other metalled roads Proposed metailed roac Ral\WayS ELectriclty transmisslo lines TOWARD NETTING THE SETTLEMENT SYSTEMS: SPATIAL ORGANISATION FOR INTEGRATED AREA DEVELOPMENT The concept of spatial organisation which serves to concentrate attention on the patterns of inter-related locations of human activities interacting with one another, rather than on the problems connected with finding optimal locations of individual activities within a given spatial-functional matrix, needs explanation for this particular reference. A question which may and, in fact, often arises is: what ought ro be? The corresponding theory which aims at providing an answer is termed ~orr~fft~ve and is usually in case of spatial organisation referred to as theories o~opt~~l~~ patterns ~~settZe~e~zi~ (Abler, 197 1). The effective control of the settlement systems, which almost always involves a broad spectrum of interacting and complementary types of populated places, requires a levelling of the conditions of social developments in such systems. This is the phase where we talk of the spatial organisation of settlement systems, both forward and backward, through strong linkages. Indeed, in order to attain sustained growth of the rural sector, dynamic tinks need to be forged between rural and urban areas, the rest of the nation and the international system (Lakshmanan, 1982, p. 887). In the case of Janjgir. the suggested spatial organisation of settlement systems has been based on the following aspects, which may broadly be grouped as indicators of the potential of social developments in small populated areas. deriving from their being part of grouped forms of settlements: (a) general improvement of socio-economic infrastructures: flexible and intensive linkages of transportation and communications, power-grid systems-transmission links, et 1x1.. between small populated areas and the major centres of settlement systems, which tend to be economically developed, denlographically strong and endowed with socio-economic functions and institutions; (b) inducing the social agencies of the centres of settlement systems to serve the needs of the small populated places more actively, in other words, using the available system of communications in the reverse direction from the centre to the periphery; (c) creating certain common elements in the systems of settlement: common economic, social and recreational institLitions, or other service establish- ments that would help to unite the smaller areas as well as with the centres of the entire system of settlement. CONCLUSION Integrated rural development involves the optimum utilisation, conservation and development of human and material resources in an appropriate framework of local organisations and institution. It requires services in the area of health and nutrition, marketing. education, transportation and communication, and other infrastrLlctura1 bases and institutions. This necessitates org~lnisationa~ and structural changes in society and economy, effective administrative culture, socialisation of the process of production, revolutionary changes in education and a universally implemented guarantee of employment. Integrated rural development, therefore, involves the spatial organisation of settlement systems, where the service centres perform a wide range of services and functions - economic. social, administrati~~e, cultural and recreational for such areas and having mutually-dependent relationships (Sundaram, 1977, p. 326). It forms only a link in the chain of the functional hierarchy of areas. For other higher social and administrative services, as well as for all economic transactions, it is connected to a larger centre. which in turn is connected to the next in that order, 34 Purshu R. Shurrnrr and so on. In rural planning, where the problem is one of providing an efficient organisation of economic and service functions for the community, these concepts are of great value. The identification and dclibcratc promotion of these rural communities not only fits in well with the concept of intcgratcd arca planning but, indeed, provides a strategy for the distribution of services and amenities in a situation of scarce rcsourccs. REFERENCES Abler. R. et al., Spatial Orgunisrrrior~: The Gro~raphrrs View o/fl7e World. (Prentice-Hall. Englewood. N.J.). 1971. Friedmann. J. and Douglass. M., Agropolitan Development: Towards a New Strategy [or Regional Planning in Asia, in Growlh Pole Slraregy cd Regiond De~dopment Policy. Fu-then. Lo and Salih. K. (Editor\). pp. 363-192, (Pergamon Press, Oxford). 197X. Henderson, J.R.. Spatial Rcorganisation: A Geographic Dimensmn in Acculturation. 711r~ Cmdiun Geographer 22. I. 1978. Hilhorst, J., Regional Development Theory: An Attemp: to SynthcsiLe, in !Mlrlrittis~~il,lirrtrr?: A.spc~i.~ oj Regional Dewtopmenf, pp. 21-34, (Development ccntrc of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Paris). 1969. Moseley. M.J.. C;roM,rh Crnrwv in Sputitrl Ptrurrlirr~. (Pergamon Press. Oxlord). 1974. Prakasa Rao. V. L.S.. D)PL.~I~,~~II~II/ S~rurcygfiw Au Agric~rttrrrrrrt Rqwn: A Ctr.w S/trdy r~/ Muzjftrrrru,qrtr Ili.\/ric,/. Lt. P. (Institute of Dcvclopment Studies. University of Mysorc. Mysore). 1076. Sharma. P.R.. An Approach to Rcxarch Methodology of Regional Planning in India. ~;~o~rcrptfic~ciI f hccn accurately rcproduccd hcrc. hut accept rc\ponsllxllty lor any deviation therefrom.


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