The Ministry of Urban Development has asked 28 States to take action to convert 3,894 census towns into statutory urban local bodies (ULBs) to promote planned urban development, an official statement said.

Rajiv Gauba, Secretary (Urban Development) wrote to Chief Secretaries of these States and informed them that conversion of census towns into statutory ULBs entitle them to Central assistance as per the guidelines of 14th Finance Commission.

A census town is an area with urban characteristics like a minimum population of 5,000, at least 75 per cent of the male main workforce engaged in non-agricultural activities and population density of at least 400 persons per sq km. As per 2011 Census, there are 3,894 census towns as against 1,362 in 2001.

A statutory town is one with a municipality, corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee. As per 2011 Census, there are 4,041 such towns as against 3,799 in 2001.

Under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), 50 per cent weightage is given to the number of statutory towns in any State/UT in allocation of funds, the statement said.

Since people of Delhi are served by four municipal bodies no action would be required for forming statutory urban local bodies, it added.