Developing countries are experiencing rapid urbanisation and the consequential changes in the urban systems. Though different policy interventions are made to control and direct the agents of change towards desired ends, the operating politico-economic forces appear to be stronger obstructions. Despite following the path of planned development in India, the area of urban development remained most unplanned, unregulated and hence, chaotic. The urban policy interventions were ad hoc, fragmented and ineffective. There appears to be lack of a political will and commitment to the expressed policy objectives. Resource constraints, lack of spatial perspective in development planning and neglect of urban development in the Indian federal system though not by design, were other causes that made realisation of urban policy objectives difficult. In fact, urban policy objectives remained pious hopes in the absence of planning and administrative follow-up measures at various levels. Analysis of the urban policies attempted here clearly bring out these inadequacies and dilemmas in the Indian context.
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