According to the 2011 census, the population of Gurgaon has grown by about 73.9% between 2001 and 2011. The growth in job opportunities and housing facilities are the two main reasons for the increase in population of Gurgaon to about 8,70,539 (2011 statistics). Migration of workers from nearby districts and from the far reaches of the country has made Gurgaon witness a heterogeneous population. But is Gurgaon capable of accommodating this huge and burgeoning populace? A closer look unearths some very disconcerting facts.
Census reports reveal that the density of population in the district stands at about 1,241 persons per square kilometer. Growth in population brings with it the issue of housing and lodging. Between 2006 and 2011, over 35,353 new dwelling units have been constructed in Gurgaon, according to a popular survey. Between 2011 and 2014, the construction of over a lakh dwelling units have gotten underway. And yet, this is hardly enough looking at the explosive population. Students, young professionals, and job seekers often settle on paying guest (PG) accommodation facilities as the best solution to meet their lodging and boarding needs. It is also the only affordable option to many who have just started to earn their living.
Almost every house in the city, starting out from the luxurious condominiums to spacious bungalows, and from independent houses to apartments seems to be rented out - most of them partially sublet as PG accommodations. With renting out PGs becoming the most lucrative business in town, property owners have started to accommodate about 4 5 tenants per room defying all standards of hygiene and sanitation. There are separate PGs for girls and boys. PGs in the city's DLF colonies charge between INR 7,000 to 9,000 each month and in other PG hubs in sectors 31, 40, 41, 45, and 50, each tenant pays at least INR 4,000 each month. This may go up to about INR 20,000 depending upon the services provided.
In case of students, PG accommodations often take up to 9-10 tenants per room. An adequate solution to the concern is still nowhere in sight. Until the state and district administration pitch in and embark on construction of high quality hostels for the students and working populace of the city, the young migrants heading to the city with dreams of making a better life will continue to be exploited.
With the phenomenal growth in population, the city of Gurgaon has undergone frantic urbanisation. But the lack of planning has started to reflect as living standards have started to go down considerably. Forbes India highlighted the downsides of the city in its August 2012 feature - Gurgaon: How Not to Build a City. It is high time the state and city administration take a look at the basic concerns that come with managing a growing city such as Gurgaon.