The emergence of 528 new Census Towns (CTs) in 2011 and their contribution to the growth of urban population brought significant changes in the nature of urbanization in West Bengal, a state in India. This present treatise made an effort to see the locational distribution of these new CTs with respect to Class I towns/cities in each district of West Bengal in quest of the contesting views of concentrated and dispersed urbanization using multiple ring buffers with varying radial distances and a robustness check. Number of new CTs and their population fall within and outside the buffers has counted to assess the intra-state nature of concentrated and dispersed urbanization. The study further examines Centrality Value, using eight nodal services to make a four-tier hierarchical order of new CTs so as to find out the places of eminence in terms of available institutional services. Results show that in highly urbanized districts, non-urban places close to Class I towns have transformed rapidly into urban and symbolized concentrated urbanization. Whereas in low urbanized districts, this kind of transformation can be observed for places located away from Class I towns which can be explained by their functional importance as rural service centres in general. This brought dispersed urbanization in the state, particularly in low urbanized districts. Although, higher order new CTs could be a viable option to develop subsidiary urban centres for the future, particularly in low urbanized districts of the state.
Key words: Census towns (CTs), Class I towns, concentrated and dispersed urbanization, Centrality Value, Hierarchical Order, Rural Service Centre.
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