Role of Cantonments in Urbanization of India- Mughals to Smart Cities

Abhishek Parashar


After independence, massive rise in population and migration created problems not only for cities but also for cantonment towns. Lack of maintenance and awareness among public along with mismanagement and illegal encroachment have led to deterioration of cantonment infrastructure. Newly launched Smart Cities Program by Govt. of India hopes to solve some of these problems and give a rejuvenated look to British era towns and associated infrastructure. We as Indians must preserve and cherish these urban landscapes (cantonments) as they are Indian heritage (made out of our resources and blood, sweat & tears of thousands of our men have made these constructions possible). These beautiful structures lend a new dimension to urbanity in India.

Presently there are 62 Cantonments in the country located in 19 states and fall under the jurisdiction of 5 Army Commands. The total area covered by the Cantonments is 1,86,730 Acres and the population as per 2011 Census is 20, 91, 734.

 This paper attempts to focus on some of the aspects of comparative role of cantonments in urbanization of Indian landscapes since Mughal period to present Smart Cities Program.




urbanization, cantonment, smart city, residency, heritage.

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