Less traffic, better quality of life drive businesses to suburban areas: Experts

The number of businesses opting for the central business district in a city is reducing compared to those setting up their establishments in the suburbs.
Special Correspondent November 30, 2021 14:53 IST
Updated: November 30, 2021 16:05 IST

They shared their views during a webinar on ‘Suburbanisation of India’, organised by Institute for Social and Economic Change

Many industrial/business/commercial activities located in traditional zones or the central business district of cities have migrated to suburban areas owing to availability of congestion-free transportation, better quality of life, migration for jobs and a strong aggregate economy, say experts.

IAS officer Vishal R., former director, Karnataka Directorate of Municipal Administration and currently, Commissioner of Public Instruction, said, “Half of the business activities located on M.G. Road in Bengaluru moved to suburban areas. Owing to purely economic activity, many business firms located in Bengaluru central business district, from other cities and other parts of Karnataka migrated to suburban areas of Bengaluru.”

Speaking at a webinar on ‘Suburbanisation of India’ organised by Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bengaluru, on November 30, Dr. Vishal said suburbanisation largely occurred in Bengaluru, city corporations and district headquarters of Karnataka. Location of related service or manufacturing industries contributed to suburbanisation, particularly in Bengaluru. “But will the central business districts reclaim their space in the future, is the question.


“Many international schools have been established in suburban areas owing to low taxes, availability of land, water resources, better management of waste, and ecosystem of gated communities. However, the growth and sustainability of suburban areas depends on water supply, particularly during the drought years, and functioning of urban local bodies and future planning,” Dr Vishal said.

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, co-founder and Managing Director, Hiranandani Group of Companies, and Vice-Chairman of National Real Estate Development Council, said the poor quality of infrastructure is the major issue in suburban areas of Indian cities. Metro rail connectivity, and better civic amenities and quality housing would make the quality of life better in suburban areas, he argued.

Arup Mitra, professor, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, said migration from rural to urban areas for jobs and access to facilities, that are available in cities, in suburban areas were major driving forces for growth of suburbanisation in India. However, he noted that investment in land and land scams through money laundering by vested interests were being reported in peripheral areas of urban centres.

Bhaskar T. Nagendrappa, president, CREDAI, pointed out the disappearance of lakes owing to growth of suburban areas of Bengaluru, and demanded better civic amenities in 110 villages added to the BBMP about 15 years ago.

Kala Seetharam Sridhar, professor, ISEC, made the initial remarks, and said at 31% urbanisation in India in 2011, and steady economic growth, there was substantial capitalisation occurring in land and property in cities, and steep disparities had developed in land values and housing prices between the central part of the city and that of the suburbs.