This is a huge problem, am told, in the Hindi heartland. Years of neglect is a fact that is very surprising.
I think they need to understand one thing. If the rural infrastructure improves, everything improves. People who are wedded to their own ways of life, do not opt to come out of their places and would like to settle in their own places, and not live a hugely unhappy life in the slums of places like New Delhi.
The planners perhaps need to come to cities like Coimbatore to understand how infrastructure development can transform the lives of ordinary people. The city itself has expanded by leaps and bounds but the hundreds of villages surrounding the city, on all the four sides, is still in tact. Agriculture is still alive, though it is all coconut trees, vegetables and other crops, and not necessarily rice. The farmers are both rich and the small farmers, who still hold on to their lands.
Even when some huge development takes place, the places surrounding the actual center of development, is still very green. A particular deemed University came up in the outskirts of Coimbatore city, some sixteen kilometers away from the city center, in a place called Ettimadai, which was till then, a sleepy village. While several acres of land have been taken away, the University has provided some sort of employment or the other to the locals. The farmers are also happy that the entire area has developed and agriculture is no more the main means of income. In fact, many sons and daughters of the farmers have themselves studied in this Deemed University, and have even gone abroad.
The vegetables cultivated in the farms of the University are given to poor farmers who sell them in the Ettimadai Railway Station for a small profit. Yet, they are quite happy with the income since a huge amount of vegetables get sold anyway. Today, this place is one of the most beautiful places of Coimbatore city, which will simply envelop this area, when the city next expands to cover more areas. ( it has already expanded far beyond its original boundaries ) .
In this fashion, the villagers do come to the city to sell their produce but get back to their villages. The villages develop because the cash flow coming out of agricultural produce is not taxed, but the amount gets spent in the neighboring areas for education of children, medical expenses in the superb city hospitals, in small hotels in the villages, and in buying all essentials from the grocery shops within the same villages. Hence, the concept of co-existence of the village with the city is superb, to say the least.
It also helps that all villages have town buses that connect the village directly or come very near the village. The two wheeler is taken to the nearest stop and then the people travel by buses. The infrastructure in terms of buses and the motor able roads has to be seen to be believed. There are private buses operating to all areas too.
We need balanced development, similar to the Coimbatore model. Of course, in recent years, since the educational levels have increased by leaps and bounds, local labor, for the construction industry is just not available. This gap has been, unfortunately, filled up by the very poor people from the Hindi heartland.
In fact, if nothing is done in terms of development, the exodus of the Hindi people to the developed South and the hugely developing cities like Coimbatore, will continue.