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Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 1

Regional Planning & Development


Concept of region-- Functional and formal regions --Techniques of regional delimitation.
Classification and hierarchy of regions Regionalization in India) -- Concept of rural-
urban continuum.
Definition. Scope and content of regional planning-- Regional imbalances and
inequalities in India Methods and techniques of regional analysis and development.
Export Base Model. Neo-classical Model. Input –output Analysis. Central Place Theory.
Growth Pole Hypothesis. Myrdal’s Theory of Cumulative Causation,
Directions in regional planning. Town and Country Planning. River Valley Planning.
Resource Planning. Multi –level Planning. Need and Methods of Micro-level Planing.
Relevance of micro-level planning in community development.
Tamilnadu . Planning regions in Tamilnadu. Regional planning in Tamilnadu. Resources
of Tamilnadu. Rural and urban development with reference to Tamilnadu.
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 2
Regional Planning & Development
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 3
Regional Planning & Development

Concept and Meaning of Region

Region means a tract of land; any area; a portion of earth’s surface.
There are two aspects of Region
1) Spatial dimension-objective reality
2) Non spatial dimension-subjective idea-mental construct-spaceless

Region-area larger than the community

Three locality groups
1. Neighbourhood: A group of people
experiencing social interaction with in a
localized area with one or two social
institutions as the local point or means by
which the area can be identified physically
is thus a neighborhood.
2. Community is the first social group in
modern life that approaches self sufficiency
(a group is self sufficient when it possess
most of the (important) major social
3. Region
Use of the concept-
1. To divide the space into relatively
homogeneous units
2. To further our analysis and understanding of specific studies
Purpose of the concept:
1. Delineation of the space into homogenous units
2. To study the human association with in a specific regional environment
3. To facilitate comparison
Definition of region is limited by the purpose

 A large tract of land; a country; a more or less defined portion of earth’s surface, as
distinguished by certain natural features, climatic conditions, a special fauna and
flora or the like.
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 4
Regional Planning & Development

 An area, space, or place of more or less definite extent or character.

 Any portion of space considered as possessing certain characteristics-Mill
 An area of earth’s surface differentiated (from adjoining areas) by one or more
features or characteristics which give it a measure of unity, According to the criteria
employed in differentiating regions are termed as physiographic regions, political
regions and economic regions.
 An area homogenous with respect to certain announced criteria-James
 Any portion of earth’s surface where physical conditions are homogeneous can be
considered to be a region in the geographic sense-Joerg
 A region is a complex of land, water, air, plant, animal and human beings, having
spatial relationship, which constitute a definite portion of earth’s surface-Herbertsor
 An area with in which historical and environmental factors have combined to create
relatively homogeneous social structure and a conciseness of individually.

Identification of regions
Special Regions (each one being unique)
Generic Regions (containing a number of similarities)
Synthetic Regions (made up of a number of contrasting though related parts)

Homogenous Regions- based on the similarity of one or two or combination of

phenomena, alike in all its parts; emphasis similarity-formal regions
Nodal Regions-based on the centrality-emphasis interdependence-functional regions
Programming/ Planning Regions-based on administrative convenience-emphasis
uniformity and convenience, Planning and Programming Regions
Homogeneous Nodal Regions Administrative
Regions Regions
Formal Region Heterogeneous Regions Planning / Programming Regions
Single Factor Region Functional Regions
Geographical area which is Functional regions emphasis A combination of homogeneity,
homogeneous in terms selected interdependence. It composed of nodality and administrative
criteria Geographical criteria heterogeneous units such as convenience
(topography, soil, climate) cities, towns and villages which
are functionally inter related
Economic criteria (per capita The functional relationship is Large enough to make substantial
income, similar production usually revealed in flows of investment decisions, but small
styles, consum- ption patterns, people, factors, services, enough to comprehend the problem
uniform unemployment commodities and as a whole
Social/ political criteria (party Distribution area of retail and Contiguous area
allegiance) household goods Freight and Socio-cultural homogeneity
passenger movement Special data collection unit
Telephone commun ication One administrative agency
density Optimum size
News paper circulation areas Narrow disparity
Domicillary origin of students in Consensus in defining problem and
educational institutions solving it
Labor catchment areas Enable direct peoples participation
Should have a growth point
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 5
Regional Planning & Development

Definitions of region on the Web:

the extended spatial location of something; "the farming regions of France"; "religions in all
parts of the world";
area: a part of an animal that has a special function or is supplied by a given artery or nerve;
"in the abdominal region"
a large indefinite location on the surface of the Earth; "penguins inhabit the polar regions"
domain: a knowledge domain that you are interested in or are communicating about; "it was a
limited domain of discourse"; "here we enter the region of opinion"; "the realm of the occult"
In European politics, a region is the layer of government directly below the national level. The
term is especially used in relation to those regions which have some historical claim to uniqueness or
independence, or differ significantly from the rest of the country. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Region_(EU)
The region (sometimes known as Government Office Region) is currently the highest tier of local
government in England. The powers of the regions are very limited and there are no elected
regional governments. Historically the primary subdivision of England was into counties, which
still exist in modified form. In addition, many local government functions are the responsibility
of boroughs. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Region_(England)
An area having some characteristic or characteristics that distinguish it from other areas. A territory
of interest to people and for which one or more distinctive traits are used as the basis for its
identity. www.geographic.org/glossary.html
A larger-sized territory that includes many smaller places, all or most of which share similar
attributes, such as climate, landforms, plants, soils, language, religion, economy, government or
other natural or cultural attributes. www.nmlites.org/standards/socialstudies/glossary.html
A group of districts, located within a geographic area of a state
large and indefinite part of the earth www.epa.gov/reva/glossary.htm
An area of the Earth having a distinctive plant or animal life.
linguistic landscape of a particular region. They show which languages are spoken where, explain
how this particular situation came about historically, and discuss language-political issues
relevant in this region. www.routledge-ny.com/ref/linguistics/
A region of the world. For example, North America or Europe. www.summary.net/manual/glossary.html
An area with one or more common characteristics or features, which give it a measure of
homogeneity and make it different from surrounding areas.

Elements of a region:
1.Relative homogeneity
2.Uniqueness, distinctiveness and identification
3.Blurred boundaries
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Regional Planning & Development

Types of a regions (Techniques)(Classification)

1. By using indicators
Single factor regions e.g. Physiographic, Agriculture, Economics
Composite regions e.g. backward regions
2. Based on relationship
A. Macro e.g. India B. Meso e.g. South India C. Micro e.g. Tamilnadu
3. Based on administrative convenience
Region making forces
1. Geographic and physiography 2.History 3.Culture
Regional Approach to the study of Rural Populations
Studies of Rural Region
(Its origin-contribution of various scholars Especially Margin & Taylor)
Rural regions of the United States:
Cotton Belt Corn Belt
Range livestock region Wheat Belt
Specialty crop region General and self sufficing region
The Cotton belt
Hot weather…economic and social activities attuned to the rhythm of cotton cultivation…busy
seasons and slack seasons…Hospitality is the by product of slack season…sharply defined class
system-conservative and resistance to social change is due to the difficulty of mechanizing
cotton crop-illiteracy.
The Corn belt:
Richest agri regions…deep fertile soils plentiful and dependable rain fall… farmers are
ambitious to get ahead…democratic atmosphere…prestige attaches to successful farming rather
than land ownership-believes and use latest technological methods…consider himself as a
superior one…hard workers, good managers, intelligent and moral persons…relatively high
level of formal education…frequent contacts with industry.
The range live stock region:
Rugged topography…sparsely settled areas…cultural complexity…reverence for good horse
man ship and distinctive cowboy boots…schools and churches are small…lesser number of
central places-sentimental attachment to the wide open spaces-
The Wheat region:
Low density population…mechanization of agriculture…work load is heavy during the short
seeding and harvesting periods…small numbers of rural schools…children are put up in
boarding schools…cohesive neighborhood… opposed market forces which operated to their
disadvantages…believes in that success depends upon one self
The Diary region:
Close to large population centers…twice a day milking…because of this meetings have to be
organized during the middle of the day…arduousness of his tasks made him to practice scientific
and mechanized farming…level of living is relatively high…steady income…stability in school
and church attendance-encouragement to co-operative approach.
The western specialty crop region:
Productivity depend upon the control of water by human effort…commercialization and
mechanization of the agriculture…uncertainty in farming is absent…perishability of the crops…
co-op system has emerged… materialistic philosophy of the region is the out come of
The general and self sufficing region:
Relatively little commercial production…isolation of the area is a detriment to
commercialization …family ties are very strong…attachment to home and locality
Utility of the rural social areas;
Effective dissemination of information
Overcoming the limitations
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Regional Planning & Development

Concept of Region, Regionalization

The Factors that promoted Regional Studies
Regional Planning / Regional Development

Region & Regionalization: Uncertainty of Definitions and Evolution of Ideas

After World War II, the interest towards regional studies has greatly increased all over
the world in connection with the tasks of planning. Such studies are being undertaken by
representatives of not only geography, but also of other sciences, primarily economics
and community organization. Concepts of Regionalization have also been evolved.

The absence of a generally accepted interpretation of the basic notion of region is a

major terminological difficulty. A wide use of this term in every day life-by politicians,
journalists and in private life-makes the picture
still more complicated.

‘The use of one and the same technical term

in different senses is inconvenient, but in no
science can it be altogether avoided. The
“merits” of academicians themselves in
confusing the matter are also great. In the 1930s
the American geographer, H.T Odum and
H.E.Moore gave 41 (sic) different definitions of
region. Early in the 1950s another geographer,
George Kimble described his colleagues dealing
with regionalization as people “trying to put
boundaries that do not exists around areas that do not matter”.
Stressing the difference between the generally used, non-committal word “region” and
the geographic terminological concept, James writes. “Earth space can be indefinitely
subdivided into segments of various sizes. When such a segment of earth space is set
off by boundaries it is known as an area. Here it is necessary to distinguish between
areas that are arbitrarily separated segments of earth space and a special kind of
area known as a region.

A region is identified by specified criteria, and its boundaries are determined by

these criteria. This is a rather general and vague definition of region, which hides quite
different interpretations of its essence, including, the basic one: is region just an
intellectual category or is it an objectively existing reality reflected in our minds?

“Any segment or portion of the earth surface is a region if it is homogeneous in terms of

such an areal grouping. Its homogeneity is determined by criteria formulated for the
purpose of sorting from the whole range of earth phenomena, the items required to
express or illuminate a particular grouping, areally cohesive. So defined a region is not
an object, either self-determined or nature given. It is an intellectual concept, an entity
for the purpose of thought created by the selection of certain features that are relevant to
an areal interest or problem and by the disregard of all features that are considered to be
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Regional Planning & Development

Acceptance of the region as an objective reality has been increasingly criticized by

geographers, and is flatly rejected by several academicians.

In the post-war period, when regional planning acquired importance in capitalist

countries and became widely spread in developing ones (in socialist countries regional
planning is the law of social development) concepts of regional development began to be
particularly actively elaborated and the interest in regionalization was revived.

International Geographical Conference distinguished principal categories of regions

delineated on the basis of different purposes.
1. Regions- areal units, including statistical areas (the basic tool for research)
2. Regions-tools for action (organizational, e.g. administrative or planning regions)
3. Regions- the goal and results of research i.e. objectively really existing regions which
should be studied and delineated.

This simple and clear classification, uniting diverse, usages, interpretations and readings
of the concept of “region”, is undoubtedly an achievement of the IGU commission.
Summarizing the result of the commission’s work, its Chairman, prominent Polish
Geographer Kazimiers Dziewonski stressed that the question of an objective existence of
regions remained disputable. He wrote: “for some affirmation of their existence becomes
a point of honor, for others it is a point of deep skepticism (it is very difficult to identify
them), or even of complete agnosticism (it is impossible to find them). Eventhough
region is an elusive concept, it is used as a base to build geographic ideas/theories

Eventhough there is a lot of research is conducted on regionalization, new entrants to the

field seems to ignore the earlier work and proceed in their own way.

One often comes across the situation when representatives of economic, social and other
sciences related to geography get to the study of regional development problems and of
regionalization, not taking trouble to know the already, found solutions.

Some claim that there is no particular mystique about identifying them and working with
them as units of analysis. There are ordinary, common practical geographic areas of
which social and economic improvement programs have been conceived, planned and
under region. ‘River basins, agricultural zones trade zones, metropolitan regions, and
areas of ethnic and cultural communities, areas inhabited by tribes, autonomous
administrative territorial units etc. all these are given as examples of regions. There are
two essentials stand out in the criteria of the region’s delineation; 1) an awareness of
regional problems and opportunities, 2) and an anticipated capacity to do something
about them through planning and development activities.”

The following categories of regions are listed:

1. ”Single purpose” or “limited purpose” regions are defined as areas of an intensive
development of a specific natural resource-a river basin used mainly for the purpose
of irrigation is given as the most typical example of such regions. e.g.Vaigai-Periyar
Command Area

2. Frontier regions-usually sparsely populated areas having rich natural resources. An

intensive explosion of these resources, creation of heavy industries and new towns
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Regional Planning & Development

are characteristic of the development of such regions (for instance, Guyana in South
America, Aswan in Egypt. Etc). North-eastern Frontier Region. Arunachal Pradesh

3. Depressed regions-‘Problems areas” distinguished by much lower living standards

than the country as a whole (North Eastern Brazil, South Italy, Comilla in
Bangladesh).BIMARU States in India

4. Metropolitan regions and their hinterland (the Capital City Region-New Delhi).

5. Economic regions or administrative-territorial units established under a nationwide

plan of regionalization. Export zones
To conclude there is no universally acceptable methods of regionalization

Reason for the popularity of the concept

Lavrov and Galina Sdasyuk assigned several reasons for the growth and popularity of the
concepts related to regions i.e. regional studies/ regional planning/ regional development.

1. The failure of the socio-economic development and the realization about the
necessity to change priorities and the look for compromises led to a new thinking
i.e. Growth and Equal Conditions of Life (or qualitative growth).This new thinking
emphasized …

--Provision of equal living conditions in different regions including employment,

housing and social security
--Guaranteeing an appropriate infrastructure equally distributed and brought close to
residential areas

2. The concept of ‘Spatial Social Justice’ (D. Harvey) led to a new thinking on social
and economic equality. This resulted in “Core-Periphery concept” (core areas-
advanced industrialized nations, industrially developed areas, big cities-peripheral
areas –backward areas, villages etc)

3. New emphasis on the quality of life or social development

The term “quality of life” began to be widely spread in the west in the 1970s.
Destabilization of social conditions and primarily sprawling unemployment, inflation
and stagnation of the economy, as well as deterioration of the environment and the
growing concern of the broad public, determined the need for politicians and specialists
in the field of planning to try to tie up the programs of development (including regional
ones) with the concept of quality of life.

This term is very ambiguous and vague. It means “both peoples living conditions and the
goals of urban and regional planning.” But among many utilized indices, a common
denominator can be discerned, namely, “accessibility of its inhabitants to employment
alternatives, educational and medical facilities, essential public social services, a
representative range of commercial and culture service and ‘nature’, or extensive
recreational open spaces”.
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Regional Planning & Development

On the whole, the quality of life concept includes a set of material, economic, social and
ecological conditions of life, which is considered to be indispensable, proceeding from
the ideas common for the given society and region about what is needed for a full and
happy life. These ideals are quite different in socialists, advance capitalist, and former
colonial and dependent countries. The greatest contrasts in the ideas about the necessary things
and still more important, in the real needs are found between the rich and the poor, between those
living in advanced capitalist an in developing countries.

4. Emergence of the new concepts like ‘development from below’/ “agripolitan

development’ as an antidote for polarized development. this was the outcome of the
growing recognition of the growing discontent on the part of sub-national social
groups (including local and regional ones) i.e. mass living in periphery, feeling
powerlessness and defenseless to shape their own destiny against the ‘omnipotent’

Since the mid 1970s development from above is more and more often characterized as
dogmatic, alienating, anti-human, irrational, senseless, destructive etc. To counter
balance it, a concept of ‘development from below’
is put forwarded in Eric Trist’s book ‘New
Directions of Hope: Recent Innovations,
Interconnecting Organizational, Industrial,
Community and Personal development’

Eric Trist presents the experience of four local

“societies of innovation” found in economically
deprived regions of advanced capitalist countries
and striving on the basis of local initiative to
break away from the closed circle of a depressive
state. These are (1) The Jamestown Area Labour-
Management Committee in the West of the New
York State of the USA functioning since 1972; (2)
The Greater Philadelphia Partnership functioning
since 1978 (Southeast of Pennsylvania, USA); (3).
The Society of Sudbury 2001 (Northern Ontario,
Canada); (4). The Craigmillar Festival Society
(Edinburgh, Scotland, Great Britain), functioning
since 1963.

With all the difference, these organizations have

the following characteristics in common:
(a). They are set up in a critical situation when it
becomes evident that “the crisis is chronic and
requires long-range remedies”;
(b).The problem to be met is not merely local but
is rather a microcosm of major societal problem, so, locally taken actions, if they are
effective, “soon begin resonate widely through the social fabric” of the country.
(c) At the same time this “meta-problem” is strictly local and to be solved, requires
profound and diverse knowledge and work both under current conditions and from
the point of view of a long-term perspective etc.
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Regional Planning & Development

Many things become clearer if concrete examples are taken. Let us consider in greater
detail on of the four examples given by the author- the Craigmillar Festival Society,
which is one of the oldest (functions since 1963) original and most effective societies of
this kind.

Craigmillar is a small town (25,000 residents) near Edinburgh, which failed to make use
of the successes of development in the 1950s and 1960s but which acutely felt the crisis
of the 1970s. The level of unemployment among the grown-up population is between 22
and 30% there, while it is still higher among the females. The gap between the level of
development of this town and that of the growing centers increasingly deepens. The
activity of the local society began with the organization of local arts festivals, which
began to be held as an antipode to international festivals in Edinburgh. The success of the
local festivals inspired the town residents, acoording to the author, it allowed to
overcome the inferiority complex, which they had developed. In the process of the
organization of these festivals the Society itself became “an all-round community
development organisation”. In 1978 they brought forward “The Craigmillar
Comprehensive Plan for Action” which covers all aspects of community life and must
now be negotiated with the various authorities concerned”.

Besides the organisation of festivals, the society secured the foundation of a high school
and a community centre. An important side to the activity of the Society is organisation
of social self-service by local forces. Hospitalization of elders in this town became less
expensive than in other similar centers, more children began to attend schools. The
author pays special attention to the activity of the Employment Working Party organized
here, and also expressed hope that the society will be able “ to create more industry in
Craigmillar and fill the Industrial Park the Society has acquired”. They also make
attempts at providing such conditions that unemployed would be able to be trained
professionally and to find the application of their skill in the “Market economy”. The
activities to the Society in Craigmillar culminated in the securing of a grant from the
regional development fund of the common market. One can hardly build the concept of a
cardinal renovation “from below”as in Craigmillar.

The experience of local societies is raised up to the highest level of generalization and is
announced to be a panacea against many troubles.

Trist compares the main features of the modern social systems of western society with
those, which in his opinion emerge in the process of the local innovation societies,
believing that they will “become one force which will help push Western society to
wards a new paradigm”.

The above said is summed up in a table:

Basic features
Present Emerging
Centrally formed An innovative periphery
Statutory bodies allocate Resources Power is share with Non-statutory bodies
Party politics Community politics
Passive electorate Active participation
Technocratic bureaucracies Democratized organization forms
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External controls Internal controls

low q. of life for the many High quality of life for the many
Discreet problem solving Meta-problem appreciation
Independent objectives Interdependent objectives
Competing interests Collaborating interests
Privatized Shared values
dissociated Network conceitedness
Powerless though autonomous Empowered, socially responsible

Regions and Their Types

 Regional Economics
 Multi-level planning
 Stages-of-development
Activity status analysis Popular Region Types
 Homogenous
 Heterogeneous (Nodal/Functional)
 Planning
Types of Regions – Multi-Level Planning Perspective
 Macro Regions
 Meso Regions
 Micro Regions
 Micro – Minor Region
Types of Regions on the basis of stages of economic development
 Developed / Development Regions
 Backward Regions
 Neutral Regions/ Intermediate regions
Types of Regions based on the activity status analysis
 Mineral regions
 Manufacturing Regions and Congested Regions
 Cultural Regions

A region is a sub-system within a system (the country itself) and if sub-systems

develop greater inter-connectivity, the greater will be the efficiency of the system.
All regions are ‘problem regions’ in one way or the other, level of development
notwithstanding. A structural set of different types of regions has its own ‘dualism’
everywhere. The essential task of planning is to bind various regions into a system in
which only those inequalities remain in which simply cannot be obliterated.

A) Regional Economics accords highest importance to these regions.

1. Homogeneous Regions of various hues. Formal regions.
2. Nodal, polarized, heterogeneous, or functional regions.
3. Planning and Programming Regions.
B) Multi-level planners accords highest importance to these regions,
1.Macro region
2.State region/ Micro region
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4. Micro region
C) In the ‘stages-of-development’ analysis, we distinguish between the
1. Developed Region
2. Backward and Depressed Region (Vestigial regions also)
3. Neutral and Intermediate Regions.
D) In the activity status analysis, following types are mentioned
1. Mineral regions
2. Manufacturing regions
3. Urban and or Congested regions

Regionalizing India based on Human Index

Regions have been delimited on several criteria: economic, administrative, physical or

activity regions. Geographers, economists and administrators invariably delimit the
regions in different manner.
Harry W.Richardson wrote.
“Defining regions precisely is such a nightmare that most regional economists prefer to
shy away form the task, and are relieved when they work with administrative regions on
the grounds that policy considerations require it or that data are not available for any
other spatial units.”

Too small sub-regions are less significant for comprehensive planning. In the words of
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“Countries differ enormously both in size and in the variety of localized economic
communities that they contain, but in most of them there is some sort of awareness of a
small number usually form two to a dozen-spatially distinguishable division, different in
economic aspects that bear upon national policy. Beyond them there lie and indefinite
number of smaller divisions, some times with very clear differences of welfare and
interest separate towns and rural districts, working –class and middle-class suburbs,
manufacturing- which exclude from the discussion for a variety of reasons.”

“There has been a great deal of discussion of the regional concept, but this has not led to
any firm agreement. Probably the most prevalent view is that there is no unambiguous
method of defining an ideal region and that wherever possible spatial analysts should
work with the more neutral concept of space. It is clear that a region is a supra urban on
the one hand, and a sub-area of the nation on the other. A common procedure is to delimit
the region by reference to physical criteria, administrative boundaries or data availability.
Certainly, most researchers accept that it is easier to define the core of a region (usually a
central city) than to map its outer boundary.”(Richardson)

North defined that a region should be defined in terms of its export base.

Many writers belonging to disciplines other than economics were more inclined to define
region as a homogeneous geographical region, even when they accepted such concepts as
‘export base!

Popular Region Types

(Homogenous/ Heterogeneous (Nodal/Functional)/ Planning)

1 Homogenous Region

They are formal regions and if the basis of homogeneity is topography, rainfall, climate
or other geo-physical characteristic, they are geographer’s darlings.

Economic homogeneity is more relevant

for planning. The structure of
employment, the occupational pattern, the
net migration, the density of population,
the resource and industrial structure, if
similar in a space, the regions become
homogeneous in economic sense. The
greater the economic similarities, the
greater the interest the economists will
have in homogeneous regions. Internal
differences in a region are unimportant.
Sometimes, however, a clear-cut
homogeneous region may have, as many
differences in sub-regions as to make
them quite different yet a region may
remain ‘homogeneous’. Scotland or Uttar
Pradesh are clear-cut homogeneous regions but in topography the hilly districts of Uttar
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Pradesh have nothing in common with the districts of the plains. Eastern and Western
districts are also different but Uttar Pradesh remains a homogeneous region in
administrative terms. Thus, a homogeneous economic region can have differing physical
characteristics. Homogeneous region on economic or political criterion may have a lot of
heterogeneity from several other standpoints.

A region being a collectivity of people is a sociological phenomenon and thus a region

goes parallel to the concept of community also. A homogeneous region is therefore a
homogeneous problem-bound entity.

2. Polarized / Nodal / Heterogeneous /Functional Regions

Polarized or nodal regions look to a centre-a large town usually-for service. Its influence
extends beyond the area of the city. The villages are dependent upon it for services and
marketing. There is little concern for uniformity when a polarized or nodal region is
taken. Cohesiveness is due to internal flows, contacts and interdependencies. The city
region need not correspond to the administrative region because hinterland of several
clear-cut regions may be served by a city. (For example even the persons of Gwalior may
visit Delhi for buying some consumer durables of high value. A capital city may attract
customers form several districts around the capital city.)

A nodal region will have heterogeneous economy around it. Regional economists are
more concerned with what happens within a nodal region and spatial dimension of the
nodal region assumes importance. Population and industries agglomerate and there are
core regions with higher per capita income generation through higher production of
goods and services. Within regions there are dominant cities or nodes to which flows of
inputs, goods, people and traffic gravitate. Within the cities there are nuclei that form
business and social centres and which are discernible at a glance from an intra-
metropolitan traffic-flow density map. (Richardson). If the ‘size of the mass’ of the nodes
is large, then there will be great pull effects of the centre. However, as the distance
increases, the costs of overcoming frictions will rise and the people of different areas will
look for a different nodal point. Each region will have one or more dominant nodes and it
will be interesting to find and record as to which interior areas form the areas of
influence of one or the other node.

Nodal regions provide an understanding of the functional relationship between

settlements, which fill up the space. Big, medium, small and tiny settlements dot the
space and because of their intra-regional differentiation, flows emanate. These
heterogeneous units in rural and urban areas are functionally related because each
settlement cannot have all the functions and facilities.

All functions require a particular threshold population and other facilities (each
settlement cannot have a college; or, unless there is electricity there cannot be cinema
hall; or a bank branch will require not only critical minimum deposit-credit ratio). The
size of the settlement and the hierarchy of functions are mutually determining. Lower
and higher order functions can naturally be found in the same order hierarchy of the
settlements. Thus between hamlets and metropolitan cities there are lower and higher
order functions in all types of services (from one-man post office to head post office;
from primary school to Institutions of higher learning and so on). Since not all
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Regional Planning & Development

settlements can afford to sustain all types of functions, they depend upon other
settlements / areas for meeting their needs of services and goods and thus functional
linkages develop. Markets of various orders exist. Nothing can be bought unless
something is sold and thus all exchanges are ultimately barter, unless supported by
grants, donations and subsidies. Functional; linkages are revealed by the flows of men,
materials and money. Such linkages result in the emergence of the dominant nodes-focal
points, which attract and provide all types of flows. In a hierarchy of settlement we find
several nodal points which receive and provide flows and functions. Each node has some
settlements to support and receive and provide flows and functions. Each node has some
settlements to support and receive sustenance e.g., a city receives its food items from the
villages; while the villages receive goods of the secondary sector from the urban nodes.
(Nodal points are always urban centres). Thus a nodal region is composed of
heterogeneous units which are closely inter related with each other functionally.
Functional linkages give unity to nodal region and a certain amount of functional
coherence/utility/ interdependence is always present.
Nodes attract labour while the hinterland becomes the labour catchment area if the
hinterland cannot provide jobs to the people. In some respects the boundary of a nodal
region may extend far and beyond for some facility e.g. Bombay attracts persons from
distant places in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar because the persons can find employment in
Bombay. Similarly even the rural areas of Punjab attract labour from Chhatisgarh region
of Madhya pradesh or from Eastern Uttar Pradesh or Bihar because highly paying
(comparatively speaking) employment can be found in Punjab during agricultural

All functional linkages keep in changing in nature and volume. While economic
activities are scattered in a homogeneous region, they are concentrated in or around
specific foci of activities. Inter dependence is a rule in heterogeneous region and thus
nodal region is Heterogeneous region. The demand and supply conditions at different
points / settlement in the heterogeneous region differ and that is the reason for
interdependence. Around a node (a focal point in space) revolve not only economic but
political and cultural activities also. Yet, it can be said that all activities become weak
with the distance and ultimately terminate also. The forces of distance weaken the
linkages of all types, unless it is the linkage of all areas of the country with capital of the
nation. The size of a nodal region shall depend upon the efficiency of means of
communications and transportation and all those facilities, which give rise to localization
of industries/activities at a certain place. An improvement in transportation,
communications finance, accommodation, and other facilities will widen the radius of
influence and the hinterland will get enlarged and the node will get further strengthened.

In a sense there is an element of homogeneity in a nodal region! A nodal region is

homogeneous in that it combines areas dependent in some trade of functional sense on a
specific centre (Meyers). There are a number of possible sets of nodal regions depending
on the level of activity one is specifying. (Smaller node for vegetables: bigger node for

All nodes have their own periphery but different nodes have interdependence with other
nodes outside their region.
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Formal Regions and Functional Region.

A formal region is homogeneous with reference to some geo-physical characteristic such

as topography, climate of vegetation. This is physical formal region.

Later on there was a shift from this narrow approach to a broader approach and
economic, social and political criteria were also applied. An industrial or agricultural or
plantation region is a formal economic region; or a state governed by a particular party is
a formal political region.

As against this, the functional region is concerned with interdependence. This is a

geographical area in which there is economic interdependence. The nodal regions are
functional regions between which there are flows of men, material and money.

In practice, the formal and functional regions very rarely overlap neatly, and often vary
markedly. We have to “carve out” a planning region after compromising the two
approaches. That region becomes the planning region (formal or functional) which is
administratively viable. All regions are geographical regions because they exist on space
and all regions are economic regions because people cannot remain alive without being
economically active.

Functional Regions & Flow Analysis

This is relevant for nodal regions with considerable degree of inter-dependence. The
actual flows of men, money, and materials can be studied (flow analysis) and / or
simulation may be made as to how they would flow (gravity model). Functional regions
can be delineated on the basis of the direction and intensity of flows between the
dominant centre and the surrounding satellites. Each flow will show (a) decreasing
intensity as it becomes more distant from the main centre and (b) increasing intensity as
it approaches another centre. If a small town “A” is 100 km. from Delhi but just 10 km.
from another city, then flows to Delhi will be weaker, unless those flows can be
exclusively to and from Delhi. Thus the boundary of the sphere of influence of the
dominant centre will be where the flow intensity tapers of or becomes minimum.

Export and import of goods, transfer of money, migration of persons in search of jobs
etc. are all ‘flows’. Students going to colleges in big cities or to specialized hospitals or
girls going to the place of their husbands are “Social Flows”. People going to pilgrimage
are cultural flows, also involving economic flows as the people spend money on the way.
Information flows (Newspapers) also involve monetary transactions.

3. Planning Regions
Planning regions depend upon the type of multi-level planning in the country. A very
small country will naturally have one level planning. Markedly different geo-physical or
agro-climate areas may be chosen as planning region for special cases e.g., developing a
mining or plantation or power grid region. A planning region in a multi-level setup
requires regional plan, which is a spatial plan for the systematic location of functions and
facilities in relation to human settlements so that people may use them to their maximum
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 18
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advantages. Infact more important than reducing the regional disparities is the task of
ensuring that backward region and rural areas have basic minimum needs. Planning
region for different activities can be different and a regional plan will be locational in
character for that activity/function. For comprehensive planning, there has to be a
national plan and then a state plan and finally district/block plans. Since a planning
region is a sub-national area demarcated for the purpose of translating national objectives
into regional programs and policies, and since plan formulation and implementation need
administrative machinery, administrative regions are generally accepted as planning
regions. This may not be wholly correct, as administrative boundaries may be
inconsistent with regional boundaries, derived from economic criteria. However, in some
cases a planning region can be small, say a city but a village cannot be (and, probably not
even a cluster of villages) a planning region unless the objective is too limited.

The hierarchy of planning region would be (I) national level (ii) macro level (iii) state
level (iv) meso level (v) and micro level.

A planning region is (or should be) large enough to enable substantial changes in the
distribution of population and employment to take place within its boundaries, yet small
enough for its planning problems to be tackled effectively. It should have a viable
resource base, a manpower base, and internal homogeneity/cohesiveness. It should be
such that satisfactory levels of mutually satisfying levels of production, exchange, and
consumption levels obtained.

Boudeville defines a planning region in the following words “It is an area displaying
some coherence or unit of economic decisions”.

Klassen defines it as follows- A planning region must be large enough to take

investment decisions of an economic size, must be able to apply its own industry
with the necessary labour, should have a homogeneous economic structure, contain
atleast one growth point and have a common approach to and awareness of its
problems. In short, a planning region should be defined according to the purpose of
one’s analysis.

Ideally a planning region should have adequate resources to establish a satisfactory

pattern of savings, capital formation, investment, production, employment, income
generation and consumption pattern. It means that the area should be economically
viable. This usually is not the case. The States of East India are rich in natural resources
and logistics/infrastructure support. Unless the aid comes from the centre, these states
cannot be viable states as planning regions. As the things stand at present, these states are
not capable of being self-sufficient at higher levels of economic activity and are not able
even to grow at a reasonable growth rate of income, comparable to some of the
developed states of the country. Thus planning regions are spatial units of different sizes,
(city, block, district or state) depending upon the objectives in view and the problems to
be tackled. In rare cases only, a planning region extends beyond a state.
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Types of Regions – Multi-Level Planning Perspective

Macro Regions
Macro region is naturally bigger. Macro region can be a state of even a group of states, if
the states of a country are not big enough. A Macro-major region can be a zone in a
country, which may comprise of a few States. For example, in India there are East, West,
North, South and Central Zones and ‘Zonal Councils’ of which function is mutual
consultation, developing cooperation and mutual counseling.

In a sense macro regions are second in hierarchy, next to the national level. It is also
possible that a physical macro region may comprise parts of different states of a country
for project planning purposes. (e.g., big river valley projects, an electric grid of different
states, and, for the purpose of a particular activity (facility) planning) the macro region
will be parts of different states. State boundaries are not respected in the sense that the
macro region may transcend or cut-across administrative boundaries of the states of a
country. A macro region may not be uniform or homogeneous in all respects. It may have
homogeneity in one respect (physical complimentarity) and may have heterogeneity in
other respect (administrative boundaries). A macro region should have a common
resource base and specialization in that resource base, so that production activities can
develop on the principle of comparative advantage based on territorial division of labour.
(India has been divided into 11 to 20 macro regions-agro-climate or resource regions).
The planning Commission of India would have just 5 zonal councils-Eastern, Northern,
Central, Western and Southern comprising of certain states but beyond this there is no
macro-regionalisation in India.

These so-called macro regions of India have to have inter state cooperation in the matter
of utilization of river water and electricity grids etc.

Meso Regions
Meso region can be identified with a ‘division’ of a state. Chattisgarh Region,
Bundelkhand Region, Baghelkahand Region, Mahakoshal region is usually a sub-
division of a state, comprising of several districts. There should be some identifiable
affinity in the area which may even facilitate planning. It can be cultural or
administrative region and it will be even better if it is a homogeneous physical region
(resource) region. A meso region can also become a nodal region provided the combined
micro regions or parts thereof can be developed in a complementary manner. (NSS of
India has identified 58 meso regions of India but they are not shown on maps as planning

Micro Regions
In multi-level planning, district is the micro region. It becomes the lowest territorial unit
of planning in the hierarchy of planning regions. The most important reason why district
is the most viable micro region for planning is the existence of database and compact
administration. This is the area, which is viable for plan formulation with administration
for plan implementation and monitoring.
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A metropolitan area can be one micro region and the area of influence can be another
micro region. A nodal point is also a micro region, though in many cases micro regions
are basically rural areas, which may have a number of minor nodes without any
organizational hierarchy influencing the entire area. The basic characteristic of a micro
region is its smallness. There can be some specific micro regions such as belts of
extraction of mineral or a reclaimed area, or a not-so-big command area of an irrigational

Micro – Minor Region:

This is the region which is associated with, what is called, the grass-root planning. A
micro-minor region can be a block for which also data exists now and for which there
may be a plan. (So far as the quality of data is concerned, there is hardly any activity, or
sector, or region or field for which data is not cooked by the vested interest groups: but,
that is another story).

The block level plan is integrated with the national plan, through the district and state
level plans. A block level plan is not surgically cut portion of the district plan, which has
its own logic and linkage.

At block level, most of the officers will be more concerned with the implementation of
the plans than formulating the plans. At block level, the main exercise will be to take into
account of the physical and human resources and to find out the prime moving activities
which will enable the block people to make best use of the development potential of the
block to meet the basic needs of the people.

Minimum needs can be satisfied with the production of basic goods with the help of low
entropy local resources. Yet it cannot be said that ‘external help’ will not be necessary.
Infrastructure support has to come from the developed regions. Infact, planning of the
development of the transport, communication, banking, education, medical and many
service facilities has got to be done at the national level.

At the panchayat level, basic goods and services can be arranged through the efforts of
the local people. Many activities can be so planned that they improve the socio-economic
conditions of the people without being the part of the national plan. Several activities can
be undertaken with the cooperation of the local people, with minimum of financial and
real resource support from outside e.g., development of dairying, animal husbandry,
pisciculture, poultry, soil conservation measures, optimization of the cropping pattern,
production of inputs locally, improving the storage and transport facilities can be done at
the micro minor level. Many agro-based industries and tiny sector guild-type activities
can be developed at the micro-minor level. A good planning can secure ‘ruralization of
the industries’ instead of ‘industrialization of rural area’. This will involve production
of goods ‘by the masses for the masses and near the masses’.

The most important test of micro-minor planning is that the people need not look
towards the centre for it. Now a days a lot of importance is given to ‘water harvesting’.
Water is proxy for the use of modern inputs in agriculture. Much of the run-off water
goes waste and the infiltration rate is also low. If this water can be harvested, not only the
run-off water can be stored, but sub-soil water reserves can also become rich. Micro-
minor watershed development program probably will be the most important programme
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for a country like India. The optimum land use planning can start from the micro-minor
area only.
Types of Regions on the basis of stages of economic development

Developed / Development Regions

Developed regions are naturally those which are having a high rate of accretion in goods
and services i.e., their share in the GDP of the country is relatively higher. This may be
with or without rich natural resources by most certainly because of the use of upgraded
technology by highly skilled and motivated persons. The locus of infrastructure facilities
in abundance will put a region in the state of “ nothing succeeds like success” and the
region may continue to forge ahead of the backward regions at a higher rate.

A developed region may become ‘overdeveloped’ in certain respects e.g., it may suffer
from the diseconomies of congestion and the Perroux’s ‘growth pole’ becomes over-
critical here. Infrastructure costs become very high and people can go into the jitters due
to pollution and stresses of various types.

A developed region is the counterpart of the backward region: the ‘positive’ side is
emphasized in case of the developed region while ‘negative’ aspects are emphasized in
case of the backward region. A developed region is one, which has exploited its
potentialities fully, which has removed the bottlenecks and speed breakers of
development. Developed regions emerge of their own because of the comparative
advantage or may emerge as a result of the diversion of funds by the government. In
many cases imbalances emerge between developed and backward regions and these
imbalances can be the creation of planners also. Many times disproportionately high
amounts of investment are made in the constituencies of the influential politicians and
some regions become far more developed than the neighboring regions. In a resource
short economy such a development may be at the cost of denying legitimate share of
investment to some other regions. Those regions where quick maximization is possible
i.e., high outputs are obtained with relatively lower levels of inputs, get further attention
and become even more developed.

Backward Regions
There can be ‘backward or depressed’ regions in the developing as well as the
developed economies. Backward economies are thoroughly depressed regions.

Regions, in which the economy is largely subsistence one, have in the most co-existed
with the modern sector regions since long. There is development even in these regions
but these regions have not come out of the low level equilibrium trap. There can be
region, which may not be at subsistence level but may be relatively backward. Lack of
infrastructure facilities, adverse geo-climate conditions, low investment rate, high rare of
growth of population, and low levels of urbanization and industrialization are causes and
consequences of backwardness. In less developed countries, even the most ancient
occupation (agriculture) is backward and unless it is made progressive with massive real
and financial input support, the region cannot come out of backwardness. It will be
imperative that for the overall development of the backward regions, those industries
should be developed on priority basis which supply vital inputs to agriculture as also
those industries which take outputs of agriculture as their inputs. Thus, depressed regions
can be very poor under-developed regions, which failed to modernize.
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Some vestigial regions (as the regions inhabited by the red Indians in USA/ or tribals in
India) can remain backward and may even remain near the subsistence level. The
inhibitions may have ancient traditions and may be smug in their surroundings, but the
per capita income may be much lower than in the neighboring regions. A region can be
backward because of the high population density or even without it. If we take some
selected indicators of development (e.g. road length per sq.km, literacy rate, beds per
thousand population, percentage of villages electrified, percentage of cultivated land
under irrigation, longevity, and availability of low, intermediate and high order functions
and facilities) a low total will suggest backwardness.

Depressed regions have rudimentary type of industrial activity; major centres of

industrial and economic activity are not in the region and/or are at a distance from the
region. Compared to the developed regions, wide chasms exist in most of the economic
activities leading to wide differentials in the per capita income and intensity of
productive and well paying employment.

Neutral Regions/ Intermediate regions

New towns and satellite belts are designated as ‘neutral’ regions and they promise good
prospects of further development because here further employment generation and
income propagation is possible without congestion. Such regions can be demarcated
around urban centres.

Intermediate regions are those regions, which are ‘islands of development around a sea
of stagnation’. Some metropolitan regions are surrounded by areas of utter penury. It
should be the task of the planners to develop linkage activities that the hinterland of such
intermediate regions also develops.

Types of Regions based on the activity status analysis

Mineral regions
Many mineral regions promise high growth rates for the region as well as for the
prosperity of the country, unless the region suffers from ‘Bihar Syndrome’. If mineral-
based industries can be developed in the region itself, then industrial development will
be less costly because much of the load shedding will be done in the region at low cost.
The iron ore deposits of Bailadeela (Bastar District of Madhya Pradesh) are exported
abroad: if, however, a plant could be established near the ore deposits, it would have
brought tremendous development for the region.
As the mines continue to yield sufficient minerals and the costs are also not prohibitive,
not only the mineral-producing region develops but it helps other regions also to
develop. After the minerals exhaust, the region will bear degraded look; people will
move away to other areas and the erstwhile area will bear a deserted look. Germany took
great pains to rehabilitate such areas and vast pits and trenches were suitably reclaimed
for various purposes like water storage, eco-forestry and even cultivation after enriching
the soil. If new deposits of minerals cannot be discovered, there can be several ways of
reclaiming wasteland and developing non-mineral based activities. Regional planning
will require a long-term plan for developing such regions after extraction is no longer a
profitable activity. The middle east countries have made adequate planning to diversify
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 23
Regional Planning & Development

their economies so that after the oil wealth exhausts their economies do not relapse to

Manufacturing Regions and Congested Regions

Some regions become big manufacturing regions not because they have natural resources
but because of the infrastructure development, momentum of an early start, continued
government support etc. Autonomous, imitative, supplementary, complementary, induced
and speculative investments keep in giving strength to the manufacturing regions. It
would be prudent not to develop narrow manufacturing base, otherwise territorial
specialization can become a problem if the crop supplying the raw materials fails or if
the minerals which are base for the industries, exhaust. In such regions the internal and
external economies are available in ever-greater measure and such regions keep on
developing. When all the thresholds are crossed, such regions become too congested
and the diseconomies overwhelm the economies of production - High density,
increasing pollution, reduction in the quality of life result.

Cultural Regions.
A cultural region can also be quite well demarcated. (French Canada and English Canada
are such regions). In India various states are demarcated on the basis of language and
culture primarily. There are affinities of cultural origin in such region. A rich cultured
region should be rich in economic terms also.

Regionalization is the process of delineating regions, but each time depending upon the
purpose for which the region is to be delineated. If the intention is to develop an arid
region, the ‘region’ will be differently defined, including only arid areas. If the
congestion is to be removed then the most congested and polluted areas will be included
in the ‘congested region’. If the intention is substantially reduce poverty and
unemployment, then a ‘depressed region’ is to be delineated. The homogeneity of a
region will differ with the purpose for which delineation is being made.

According to Groenman, “Regionalization deals with the differentiation of political

measures in space”. If the physical region, having homogeneity, is an administrative
region also, then all tasks of regional and national planning can be facilitated.

Geographers were always interested in the process of regionalization and were very fond
of pictorial characterization rather than scientific explanation. (Pokshishevskly).
Geographers believed that there is some sort of determinism in economic development.
USSR geographers even coined the word fortunatov for a region well endowed with

They probably meant that what is physically impossible, money cannot make it possible.
However, ‘deterministic’ situations are not too many and the man and his brain-child-
technology –can bring a lot of changes. The neo-determinism underlies the fact that as
the techno-economic conditions change, the ‘degree determinism’ also undergoes a
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Regional Planning & Development

change to be near the reality, we need adjustments by stages. Infact both ‘determinism’
and possibilism’ are facts of life.

Techniques of Region Delimitation

Delineation of Regions
Identification / Classification of Regions

Identification of formal regions:

Formal regions are localities possessing homogeneity. The criteria, which we use, may
relate to
Geography – soil, rainfall, climate
Economic – per capita income, no. of industries
Socio-cultural – language, political affiliation etc
Problems arise when we use multiple criteria. When we are using composite criteria we
have to assign weights

Three methods i.e.

1) Fixed index method
2) Variable index method
3) Cluster method is used to assign weights

Fixed Index Method:

Under the fixed index method, a number of characteristics common to regions are
chosen. (E.g. population, density, per capita income, unemployment, rate of
industrialization) An arbitrary weight is given to each index and a single weighted mean
is obtained for each region, then contiguous regions with similar indices are grouped
together in order to minimize the variance within the group.

a b c d < 1000
e f g h 1000 -2000
i j k l 2000 -3000
m n o p 3000 - 4000
q r s t >4000

Population of Regions
a) 3800 e) 4600 I) 2600 m) 3100 q) 4100
b) 600 f) 950 j) 2100 n) 4600 r) 3300
c) 1800 g) 756 k) 1500 o) 300 s) 1100
d) 2300 h) 3200 l) 2000 p) 1600 t) 1229
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Regional Planning & Development

144 147 1645 2070
125 148
990 4471
143 806
128 1453
157 3511
132 129 661
399 2416
137 151
141 3896 773
126 153
1497 5687
139 138
5 137 8263

FINAL CLUSTERS Minimum 6000 population

11341 Distance Not more than 4 Kms





The Variable Index Method

Under the variable index method, variable weights are assigned to highlight the different
regions. The weight given to each activity, in each region is different, in accordance with
the value or the volume regionally produced.

For e.g., if region A is the wheat region and the region B is the coal region, the weight of
the wheat index will be the largest in the former, and the weight of the coal index will be
the largest in the latter. This method is good when those criteria can be compared with
each other. However in those cases where compatibility is not possible (e.g., in case
where one feature is literacy and the other is steel production) it becomes necessary to
employ the cluster method
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The Cluster Method:

Cluster means grouping together. This concept is used to implement IRDP. This concept
is used in the planning as a strategy to strengthen lateral links and to dissipate growing
vertical links in the settlement system. Such a cluster while providing greater viability
and threshold for development efforts will also create for themselves a greater bargaining
power in bringing about reciprocity in exchange of goods and services.

Both at the macro and micro level clustering can be done by

(1) superimposing of maps and
(2) by developing a composite index of development
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Regional Planning & Development

Delineation of Regions in India

Physiographic Regions

1. The first attempt in classify natural regions or physiographic regions was made by
L. Dudley Stamp (1922)

3 Major Natural Regions

22 Sub Regions scheme based on the homogeneity of physiography,
structure & climate
2. JNL Baker made second attempt (1928). It was similar to Stamp’s
3. Spate (1957 & 1967) made another attempt based on Stamp’s & Baker’s work
The Mountain Rim

3 Macro Regions Indo Gangetic Plains

34 Regions of first order
74 Region of Second order
225 Subdivisions
4. SP Chaterjee (1965) scheme of classification is considered as a standard one and it is
frequently quoted by others.
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Regional Planning & Development

The Great Western Kashmir Himalayas

Mountain Wall Himalayas Punjab Kumaan Himalayas
Eastern Darjeeling Sikkim, Assam Himalayas
Himalayas Eastern Bodar Hills & Plateau
The Great Plain North Western North Punjab, South Punjab, Rajasthan
Sutlaj, Beas,Ravi Upper Ganga Ganga Yamuna, Rohilkhand, Avadh
Ganga,Upper Ganga Middle Ganga
Yamuna,BrahmaPutra Delta
Assam Valley
The Great Plateau North Western Aravalli Hills, Chambal Basin
of Peninsular Bundelkhand upland, Malwa
Peninsular India Peninsular India Vindhyan Scrap land
North Eastern Baaghelkhand, Chattisgarsh Basin
Peninsular Bastar Plateau, Orissa Hills, Chotnagpur Hills
Maharastra Western Ghats, Lava Plateau, Western Ganga
Karnataka Plateau Malnad region, Maiden region
Tamilnadu Plateau
Andhra Plateau
Coastal Plains West Coast Kutch Peninsular, Kathiawar Peninsular, Gujarat
Plains, Konkan Coast, Karnatic Malabur Coast
East Coast Tamilnadu Coast, Andhra Coast, Orissa Coast
The Island Laccadive, Minicoy & Amindiv, Andaman & Nicobar Islands


Regionalization is an exercise of dividing regions of higher order into sub-regions or

aggregating regions of lower order (small units) into those of higher order (regions). This
is based on homogeneity in the selected characteristics or functional interdependence
between the nodal centre and its hinterland or between the different functional centers of
different hierarchic levels.
1. Regionalization for Planning – A strategy for areal development.
2. Nodal Regionalization to create central places and functional intergration

Author Title Criteria used No. Of regions

1. V. Nath Resource Soil climate topography 15 regions
development regions land use
& divisions of india
2. Bhat & Rao Regional planning for Distribution of natural 11 regions
india resources
3. Sen Gupta & Population resource Population density, 3 regions
Galina dasyuk regions growth rate, resource dynamic,
potentiality, levels of prospective,
socio-economic disparity problematic
4. K.l. Vij & Energy resource Energy & power 8 regions
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Regional Planning & Development

Chandra regionalization
5. Sri. Hasim Inter regional Movement of 61 6 macro
linkages & economic commodities regions
6. Gidabhuly & Economic Movement of 5 selected
Bhat regionalisation commodities
7. Regional Land & raw materials
Chandrasekara development & for industrial develop-
planning regions ment
8. Sengupta Homogeneity, nodality,
production specializ-
ation, energy resources

Economic Regionalization in India.

Delineation of natural or physiographic regions helps us to understand the basic

geography of the country. It describes the existing situation only. But, for the purpose of
planning it is necessary to study the natural resources of regions in detail and also to find
out areas of potential development and to trace inter linkages among them (and within
them) in such a fashion as to promote maximum development of resources.

By combining physio geographical, economic and socio-cultural variables we can have

different homogeneous regions.
Following classifications are frequently quoted in the books
1) The regionalization scheme proposed by V.Nath
2) The regionalization scheme proposed by Bhat & Rao
3) The regionalization scheme proposed by Sen Gupta & Galina Sdasyak
4) The regionalization scheme proposed by S.R. Hashim
5) The regionalization scheme proposed by Gidadhubly & Bhat
6) The regionalization scheme proposed by Sen Gupta
7) The regionalization scheme proposed by Town & Country Planning Organization.

1) The Scheme Proposed by V. Nath (1964)

Title: Resource Development Regions and Divisions of India

1) Providing a framework about the physical conditions & resource potential to
planners both at the central & state level.
2) Based on such identification helping the planners in planning the programmes,
adjustments in programmes, content & pattern.
3) Furnishing a scheme of homogeneous units within the state.
Variables Used: Physical – topography, soils, Geologic Formation and climate –
Agricultural- Land use & cropping pattern.

This study based on the earlier studies

1. Census 1951 2.Spate scheme 3. Indian Statistical Institute
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Regional Planning & Development

Nath classified the country into 15 Resource Development Regions (RDRs).It is further
classified into 61 RDRs.
1. Western Himalayas 2.Eastern Himalayas
3. Lower Gangetic plain 3.Middle Gangetic Plain
4. Upper Gangetic plain 5. Trans Gangetic plane
6. Eastern plateaus & Hill regions 7. Central plateaus & Hill regions
8. Western plateaus & Hill regions 9. Southern plateaus & Hill regions
10. East coast plains & Hills 11.West coast plains & Hills
12. Gujarat plains & Hills 14.Western Dry regions
15. The Islands

2) The Scheme of Bhat & Rao

Title: Regional planning in India.

Variables Used:
Distribution pattern of natural resources as represented in the maps and agricultural land
use pattern on the basis of district wise data.
Major regions should have minimum disparities within and distinctiveness from their
neighbours in respect of regional character and resources for development. While the
regional development norm is common for the major region as a whole, sub - regions are
identified depending upon the concentration of resources, problems for development and
administrative convenience.

Scheme: 11 Major Regions 51 Sub regions.

1. West Coast Region 2.Western Ghats
3. Central Plateau 4.Eastern Ghats
5. East West 6.North Eastern Plateau
7. The Ganges Plain 8.Assam
9. Gujarat 10.Rajasthan
11. Kashmir
Bhat has made an another attempt to classify our country based on the presence of power
and metallurgical base.

Macro Economic Regions Group of States

1. Southern Region 1.Karnataka, Tamilnadu, A.P, Kerala
2. Western Region 2.Maharasthra, Gujarat
3. North Western Region 3.Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, J & K
4. North Central Region 4.Uttar Pradesh & Madhya Pradesh
5. Eastern Region Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Assam,
5. Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh,
Manipur, Tripura etc.

3. The Scheme proposed by P. Sen Gupta & Galina Sdasyuk

S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 31
Regional Planning & Development

Title: Population Resource Regions

To understand the population characteristics in terms of territorial units like states,
districts and thereby to assess the latent capacity of the country in supporting population.
Variables Used
Population (Density and growth rate), resource potentiality, and levels of socio-
economic development.
Scheme: Three major regions and 19 sub regions.

1 Dynamic 1. Parts of W.B, 2. Gujarat, 3. The Dynamic Regions supports

regions Maharasthra, 4.Tamilnadu 5. advanced industrial areas and
Punjab predominantly urban population.
2 Prospective 1. Northern Eastern Peninsula 2. The Prospective Regions have
regions Godavari Basin, 3. Aravalli Hills immense resource potential but
& Malwa Plateau. 5. Brahma Putra face socio – economic obstacles to
Valley technological transformation.
3 Problem 1. Parts of Bihar & U.P 2. Orissa The Problem Regions are
regions Coast, 3. Kerala Coast those which show little
4. Laccadive Islands, 5.Konkan promise of development
Coast in Maharasthra & in the near future
Karnataka, 6. Rajasthan Desert
7. North Western Himalayas
8. East Himalayas, 9. Andaman

4. The Scheme proposed by K. L. Vij & C. K. Chandran

Title: Energy Resource Regionalization.

This scheme based on energy and power resources because those resources will play a
dominant role in determining the distribution of industrial activities.
Scheme: Eight Macro regions.

5. The Scheme proposed by S.R. Hashim

Title: Inter-Regional Linkages & Economic Regionalization.

Variables Used: Movement of 61 commodities based on Inland (Rail & River borne)
trade accounts.
Scheme: Six Macro regions
1) Assam, Manipur, Tiripura, Nagaland.
2) West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Calcutta.
3) Uttar Pradesh
4) Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir.
5) Gujarat, Maharasthra, Bombay.
6) Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh

6. The Study of Gidadhubly and Bhat

S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 32
Regional Planning & Development

Objectives: To analyze the inter and intra regional relationship.

Variables Used: Movement of five selected commodities i.e., Sugar, Cotton, Textiles,
Cement, Coal, Iron and Steel.

7. The Scheme Proposed by Sen Gupta

Variables used & Methodology:
Keeping the natural regions of the country as a base and considerations of homogeneity,
nodality, production, specialization, energy resources utilization etc in view and
accepting the state boundaries, Sen Gupta suggested that within a frame work of meso
regions that resource development of macro can regions take place.

Macro and Meso Regions of India – Sen Gupta’s Classification

Macro Region Meso Region
North – Eastern Region 1. Upper Brahmaputra Valley, 2. Lower
(Assam, Manipur, NEFA Nagaland & Brahmaputra Valley, 3. Mineralized
Tiripura ) Plateau, 4. Eastern and Northern Hills
Eastern region ( West Bengal Bihar and 1. Calcutta- Hoogly region, 2.Damodar
Orissa ) Valley area, 3. Chotanagpur and
Northern Orissa Plateau, 4. Southern
Hills and Plateaus of Orissa, 5. Lower
Ganga Plain, Deltas and Coastal plain
6. Darjeeling Hills and Sub mountain tracts
( duara)
North Central Region (Uttar Pradesh ) 1. Northern Himalayan Area, 2 West
Ganga Plain, 3. Eastern Ganga Plain
Central Region (Madhya Pradesh) 1. Eastern Madhya Pradesh, 2. Western Madhya
Pradesh, 3. Bastar area, Central Madhya Pradesh.
North Western Region ( Rajasthan, 1. Punjab Plain, 2. The Union territory
Punjab, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir and of Delhi, 3. Western Rajasthan,
Himachal Pradesh) 4.Eastern Rajasthan, 5. Himalayan
Hills including Dun area, 6. Kashmir valley and its
surrounding hills.
Western Region ( Maharasthra Gujarat, 1. Bombay city and its sub-urban area,
Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu) 2. Interventings area along the railway between Bombay
and Nagpur, 3. Coastal part of Maharasthra, 4. Western
Maharasthra mainly plateau area, 5. Eastern Maharasthra
5.Central Maharasthra, 7. Gujarat plain, 7.Sourasthra, 8.
Southern Region (Andhra Pradesh 1. Coastal Plain of Andhra Pradesh, 2.Telengana area, 3.
Mysore, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Pondicherry, Rayalaseema Area, 4.South Central Industrial Area, 5.
Yanam, Goa, Andaman & Nicobar and South – Eastern Coast, 6. Anaimalai, Cardamom and
Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Nilgiri Hills,& WesternCoast,7. Malnad and
WesternGhat, area, 8. Maidan area, 9. Coral Islands.

Macro Regions = 7 Meso Regions = 4 + 6 + 3 + 4 + 6 + 9 +10 = 42

8.The Scheme Proposed by the Town & Country Planning Organization or

S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 33
Regional Planning & Development

C.S. Chandrasekhara’s Scheme.

Title: Balanced Regional Development
and planning regions
Variables & Methodology Used:
1) Land, 2) Raw materials for industrial
development, 3) Power. These factors will
enable each planning region to achieve a
degree pf self-sufficiency in food, an
employment potential in the agricultural
and non agricultural sectors to meet.the
needs of the region’s population and a
power base which will serve the
developmental needs of both agriculture
and industry.

Scheme: 13 Macro regions divided into 35

Meso regions.
1) South Peninsula, 2) Central Peninsula,
3)Western Peninsula, 4) Central
5) Eastern Peninsula, 6) Gujarat, 7) Western Rajasthan, 8) Aravalli Region,
9) Jammu & Kashmir, 10) Indo Gangetic Plain, 11) Ganga Yamuna Plains,
12) Lower Ganga Plains, 13) North Eastern Region.
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 34
Regional Planning & Development
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 35
Regional Planning & Development

Most of the countries of the world are faced with the problem of regional imbalances and
regional inequalities. But it assumes a more acute and explosive form in the developing
countries. The problem is assumed such a magnitude that their very political and
economic stability is threatened. Rivalry and the search for maximal profits (including
political advantage) engender the unevenness (disproportionately).

The primary causes of regional imbalance can be located in the region making process
itself. i.e., Geographic and Physiographic characteristics, History and Cultural
experience. But there are much deeper causes as Lenin discovered, “The law unequal
economic and political development under capitalism as a universal law
characteristic of all stages of capitalist development and embracing all parts of the
world capitalist economy”.

1) Whatever may be the causes, if marked differences in economic prosperity of

different regions persists overtime, political discontent is bound to emerge sooner or
2) The problem becomes further complicated when economic disparities among
regions overlap with differences in race, religion, language or culture of the people
living in different regions.
3) Regional inequalities exist not only in the form of income or output levels among
regions, but also in other forms such as unequal access of the people of different
regions to economic and social services, employment opportunities or political
1) eg. Jharkand, Darjeeling, Rayalaseena, Telangana issues.
2) eg. North Eastern Part of our country, Cauvery issue.
3) eg. Intra regional disparities existing in several states regarding industrial
establishment, health services some regions are more represented in the cabinet.


1. Classical Economist’s view

2. Marxist view
3. Perrouxian view
4. Myrdal’s view
5. Hirschman’s view
6. Miscellaneous theories

1. Classical Economist’s View:

The Classical economists hardly evince any interest in the spatial dimension of economic
development. They believed that factor flows/ market forces would bring equilibrium
automatically. They argued that wage and income levels among regions would not last
long. They further argued that labor would flow from (migration) low wage region to
high wage region, While capital will flow in the reverse direction (i.e., from high wage
region to low wage regions). Classicalists view failed, and many economists started
questioning the “Self Equilibrating Model” of the classical economists.
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 36
Regional Planning & Development

Regional disparities
Social Service Indicators

StatesPer capita expenditure on healthPer capita expenditure

on educationInfant mortality per 1000 live births 1971 Life expectancy at birth 1971
of life indexAndhra Pradesh21.236.5113.6953.8920.6Assam17.038.1112.2253.5322.7
Bihar12.227.7103.6254.7023.4Gujarat22.947.9152.2055.33 24.0Haryana28.046.410060.00.
52.1Karnataka19.943.110050.52 37.6Kerala28.776.555.6561.00 100Madhya Pradesh17.229.9
151.6953.89 14.8Maharashtra24.2 51.697.3258.72 57.6Orissa17.2 37.6103.3056.3035.2
Punjab30.658.8103.2961.2361.6Rajasthan25.339.1147.8060.23 31.4Tamil Nadu20.945.9
117.2055.00 36.4Uttar Pradesh11.727.7159.2654.295.3West Bengal22.043.2100.2557.2645.8
All India20.240.1----------------------

Infrastructure Indicators

StatesPower in kwhElectrified % in 1980Road length kmRailway length in kmNo. of post

% in 1981No of hospitals 1000 sq.kmAndhra Pradesh9563.4381731.329.92.1Assam3420.87328
34.11.6Punjab328100904323.640.72.9Rajasthan10443.3181628.524.120.8Tamil Nadu18199.0
1302924.945.82.9Uttar Pradesh9635.7633016.827.42.4West Bengal11335.41584214.240.93.9
All India13445.1491821.036.2 1.6

2. Marxist View:
Regional disparity is the characteristic feature of capitalism and is aggravated by rivalry
and competition and the search of maximal profits is the very nature of capitalist
relations of production any by the private ownership of the means of production.

3. Perrouxian View:
French Economist Perroux in his attempt to understand the modern process of economic
development, discovered that,
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 37
Regional Planning & Development

a. Growth does not appear everywhere at the same time.

b. It manifests itself in points or poles of growth with variable intensities.
c. It spreads by different channels and with varying terminal effects for the economy
as a whole.
[Perroux heavily relied on Schumpeter’s theory of economic development to explain
why growth appears in a particular place. A/C to Schumpeter “development occurs as a
result of discontinuous spurts in a dynamic world”]

According to Perroux once growth emerges in a particular place, it becomes centre of

growing economic activities and in their turn induces growth in the dependent regions.
A/C to Perroux the process of economic development is essentially unbalanced, and the
centers of growth may give birth to other centers or it may become a centre of stagnation.

Myrdal’s View:
The outstanding Swedish Economist Gunnar Myrdal was one of the first among western
scholars to pay attention to the grave consequences, not only economic but political as
well, which may result from the aggravation of disparities in economic development. In
his book, “Economic Theory and Underdeveloped Regions” he presented the
“Cumulative Causation Model”.

According to this model, economic development having started in some advantageous

place, continues to develop in that place and the play of market forces normally tends to
increase rather than decrease inequalities between regions. Myrdal goes on to argue that
once growth starts through historical accident in a locality, “the ever increasing internal
and external economies–(lower average costs of production from and increased rate
of output, availability of trained workers, communication facilities, access to larger
markets) tends to sustain the continuous growth at the expense of other localities
and regions where instead relative stagnation or regression became the pattern”.

Myrdal explains the impact of the growing region (nucleus) on rest of the economy with
the help of two opposite kinds of forces, which he calls the “Spread effect” and “Back
wash effect”.

“The Spread effect” – refers to all growth inducing effects i.e., inflow of raw materials,
new technologies, demand for the agricultural products, If strong enough, these forces
may start a cumulative expansionary process in the lagging regions.

“The Backwash effect” – refers to all adverse effects i.e., withdrawal of skilled labour
from underdeveloped regions, capital and goods–all of which rush to the dynamic centre
of development.
Due to the accumulation of concentration advantages, the backwash effect predominates.
This of course, increases the relative backwardness of underdeveloped regions. Thus
Myrdal made a synthesis of various elements involved in the process of regional growth
including agglomeration economies, factor flows, social environment, and role of public

Hirschman’s View:
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 38
Regional Planning & Development

Albert Hirschman, an American Economic Professor, explained economic growth

process interms strikingly similar those of Myrdal. Hirschman felt that “ Inter regional
inequality of growth is an inevitable concomitant and condition of growth itself”.
Hirschman explained his concept with the help of two terms i.e.,” Trickling–down
effect” and Polarization effect”. Trickling down effect (analogous to Myrdal’s Spread
effect) Polarization effect (analogous to backwash effect).

(Some economists criticized Hirschman’s theory of “economic transmission” – for

having created terminological confusion for the terms already accepted in the scientific


Problems associated with understanding regional Imbalances.

1) It is a misnomer to use the term “regional imbalance” in our country. It is advisable
to use the term ‘inter-state imbalances’ (states are analogous to regions but they are
not regions in the strict academic sense) because information required to understand
the spatial imbalances is available collected either at the state level or district level.
2) Even the data collected / information available are not comparable. Data /
Information available in our country at their best can indicate the ‘broad trends’ only.
3) Absence of comparable data / information for all the aerial units (districts).
4) The problem of selecting indicators to highlight the imbalances, for example
‘percapita’ income is widely used to highlight the disparities in our country. But this
indicator suffers from many weaknesses. What are they?

1. Uncomparability:
a. Price levels are different in different states. Because of these reasons per
b. The commodities included in the compilation of capita income is uncomparable
price level by different states are different.
c. Weights assigned to different commodities are
different in different states.
2. At times underdeveloped regions may possess
1. Traditional Society
better infrastructure and other preconditions for Pre-Newtonian
development compared with developed regions. science & technology
Using percapita income may conceal other Political power –
positive aspects.
3. Some parts of our country is still depending on
barter exchange (exchange in kind). Economy Economy is not fully
is still not fully monetized. So it is unwise to use
percapita income which is calculated based on
money exchange.

So on account of all these considerations, percapita income alone cannot be a sufficient

indicator of development.
If ‘Per Capita Income’ is not sufficient, what are the other Indicators?
1) Differences in Industrial Growth
2) Disparities in Agricultural Growth
3) Level of Literacy in different states
4) Percentage of Urban population to total population
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 39
Regional Planning & Development

5) Percentage of workers in manufacturing industries to total workers

6) Total Road length
7) Infant Mortality rate.

Some value judgement about Indicator may be

Which indicator to choose what is important & unimportant important, but data
indicator. may not be available
It depends upon availability of
Indicator may not be important, but data may be available
Disparities in Industrial Growth:
Before Independence:
Our Country inherited a lopsided pattern of Industrial development with most of the
industries concentrated at a few centres, and in some cases this concentration was not
the result of natural advantages but was imposed by historical forces.This disparity in
still continuing.

 Cotton industry showed a tendency to disperse that too in a limited sense. The centers
of concentration shifted from Bombay to Ahmedabad and to Coimbatore.
 As far as soap industry is concerned Bengal & Bombay shared 86.3% of the workers.
 As far as woolen industry is concerned United Province, Punjab, Bombay shared
80.0% of the total workers employed.

Identification of disparities based on

1. Productive capital employed, 2.Total no. of workers, 3.Value addition and
4. Gross output.

As per 1950 Information:

 The total share of capital employed was concentrated in West Bengal (24.65 %) and
Western Region (34.60%). Western Regions include Bombay State, Kutch,
Sourasthra, Goa, Daman, Diu their combined share was 59.25%.
 Both the regions (Western & West Bengal) accounted for 63.03% of the total persons
 Both the regions accounted for 60.41% of the gross ex-factory value of output.
 They accounted for 63.95% of value added by manufacture
 The rest of India (excluding Bengal & Western region ) accounted for
40.75% of the productive capital
36.97% of the total persons employed
39.59% of the gross ex factory value of output
36.05% of the value added by manufacture

As per 1960 Information:

S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 40
Regional Planning & Development

(After 15 years of planned development no decline of concentration was noticed.),

Maharastra, West Bengal, Gujarat (combined population was 22.0% of the national
These three states accounted for 42.2% of the productive capital
50.1% of the total number of persons employed
53.1% of gross output

If we include Tamilnadu with these 58.8% of the total persons employed

three states, the 4 states accounted 61.6% of Gross output
for (29.3% of the national population)

Bihar, U.P. and Orissa accounted for 31.1% of the total population
21.3% of the productive capital
14.5% of the persons employed
17.6% of the gross output
As per 1975 information (after 25 years of planning)
Maharasthra, West Bengal, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu accounted for
• 29.81% of the total population
• 47.5% of the total factories
• 42.2% of the total fixed capital
• 53.1% of the total employment
• 57.0% of the total output
• 58.6% of the total value added.
The remaining 17 states (70.19% of the population) shared only 40% of the total output
& value added.

Consumption of Electricity:
 Disparities in per capita industrial consumption of electricity. ( KWh)
1969 –70 1976-77
National average 57.5 68.4
Gujarat 88.6 119.8
Karnataka 64.1 107.8
Kerala 57.3 68.1
Maharasthra 114.0 120.4
Orissa 57.6 71.2
Punjab 138.5 143.5
Tamilnadu 74.5 76.8
West Bengal 86.3 78.8

Industrial Licensing Policy and Regional Imbalances:

A policy and a legislation was passed (Industries Regulation & Development Act 1951)
with the objectives of
• To regulate industrial investment and production
• Protecting the small entrepreneurs
• To prevent the monopoly and concentration
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 41
Regional Planning & Development

• To reduce the disparities among regions

The purpose of this policy is to grant more licensees for establishment of industries in the
lagging regions and controlling the establishment of more industries in the leading
regions by denying licensees to them.

Based on number of licenses issued.

Out of the 2293 licenses issued during the period 1953 – 1961
 Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, got 1778 licenses ( 35.77% )

 Maharasthra , West Bengal , Gujarat & 59.31% of the applications

Tamilnadu (1956-1966) accounted for 62.42% of the licenses approved
 Bihar and Orissa - 6.34% of the licenses approved

 Uttar Pradesh & Madhya Pradesh - 9.17% of the licenses approved

 Out of the total licenses Maharasthra  51% gone to 3 districts Bombay, Thana
for issued for Poona
West Bengal  71% gone to Calcutta, Howrah &
Tamil Nadu  59% gone to Madras & Coimbatore.

In 1968 Pande Working Committee identified the backward areas of our country.
Everyday expected that these areas would get more licenses based on that. What

 The backward areas of relatively more developed states received more licenses.
 Out of the total 486 licenses issued during the period 1970 – 1974, 227 licenses were
given to the backward districts located in Maharastra, West Bengal, Gujarat and

The above facts demonstrate that industrial licensing policy has all along favored the
already developed states while the claims of the backward states were ignored. Even
when recommendations were made to grant more licenses to backward areas, the
backward areas of the developed states received a preferential treatment. Even the
licenses given to backward areas were not appropriate, since they did not possess
sufficient spread effects and significant linkages.

Financial Institution and Regional Imbalances.

The Central financial institutions also favored the backward area of the development
states in granting direct assistance on concessional terms.
Average per capita assistance extended by Financial Institutions Rs. 126.12
Average per capita assistance extended to Tamilnadu Rs. 188.26
Average per capita assistance extended to Punjab Rs. 168.40
Average per capita assistance extended to Maharasthra Rs. 255.54
Average per capita assistance extended to Karnataka Rs. 163.43
Average per capita assistance extended to Haryana Rs. 268.39
Average per capita assistance extended to Gujarat Rs. 316.79
Average per capita assistance extended to Bihar Rs. 56.41
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 42
Regional Planning & Development

Average per capita assistance extended to Uttar Pradesh Rs. 75.22

Average per capita assistance extended to West Bengal Rs. 98.93
Average per capita assistance extended to Madhya Pradesh Rs. 65.45
Commercial Banks and Regional Imbalances:
Commercial banks gave a large proportion of their advances to the developed industrial
states. A more serious allegation leveled against them is that they worked as channels
through which funds from backward states kept flowing to the developed states. This
situation has not changed even after the nationalization of banks in 1969.
Other Indicators of Disparities:
The choice of indicators should depend upon the value judgement and the availability of
data. The chosen indicators should be relevant, objective and measurable and reflect the
multidimensional character of development. Several attempts were made by persons like,
• Ashok Mitra V. Nath Hemalatha Rao Ganguli & Gupta.
Indicators to measure Development & under developemnt
Development Index for Agricultural Sector
Agricultural output per lakh of population / per capita production of food grains.
Agricultural output per worker. Gross area irrigated as percentage of grass area sown.
Yield per hectare. Consumption of fertilizers per 1000 hectares of gross cropped area
Area under commercial crops / Mechanization index.
Index for Industrial Development
Number of factories per lakh of population / 1000 km2
Percentage of Industrial workers to total workers
High Voltage Industrial power consumption
Percapita gross output / Value addition
Index for Banking Development
Number of banks per lakh of population
Deposits in banks per lakh of population
Percentage of bank offices to bank offices in the country
Percentage of deposits in the total deposits
Percentage of credits in the total deposits
Index for Educational Development
Literacy rate
Percentage of school going children to total population
Percentage of college / university students to total population
Number of schools /Number of colleges per 1000 sq.km
Number of colleges /Number of teachers per lakh of population
Female Literacy rate
Index for Infra Structure Development
Road length in Kms per 100 Sq.Km of area
Number of post, telegraph and telephones per 1000 sq.km
Number of post, telegraph and telephones per lakh population
Percentage of electrified villages to total villages inhabited
Per capita consumption of electricity.
Index for Medical Services
Number of Government / Private medical centers per lakh population
Number of hospitals beds per lakh of population
Number of professionals (Doctors/ Nurses) per lakh population.


S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 43
Regional Planning & Development


The problem of regional disparities in development is not taken seriously and
inconsistently dealt in the concept of development. Regional disparities are the
manifestation of spatial injustice and should be reduced for attaining the goal of
just and egalitarian society. But, in reality the regional disparities in development are
more acute and quite persistent at global, national and international level. Therefore it
would be a quite fruitful exercise to explore into the theoretical expositions and actual
position in regard to regional disparities at the various scale of spatial units. The
findings may be helpful in the plan formulation for the removal of regional disparities,
which is a main plank of contemporary development planning of all the developing

Disparities in the development has been a theme of great academic interest and practical
significance during the post world war 2nd period when a large number of colonies
attained political independence and became conscious of the distressing disparity that
existed between those colonies and their erstwhile colonial master. The contemporary
world consisted of two-different realms; one that of the west, immensely rich,
industrialized, urbanized and with a history of steady development since the
industrial revolution, the other of newly independent countries, abysmally poor,
agricultural, rural and with an equally long history of exploitation and stagnation.
This dualism could not escape the concern of academicians, politicians and

Several studies were undertaken and numerous theories were postulated to explain the
global duality of development and underdevelopment. Hinderink and Sterkenburg
(1978) classified the studies dealing with regional disparities into three types:
• those which use space as a mere framework to describe regional differences in
• those which employ space, particularly in terms of physical space and built
environment, as an explanatory variable to analyze spatial inequality; and
• those which adopt space with reference to the level and nature of its development, as
a variable to be explained through historically developed politico-economic social

Spatial theories of unequal development were also grouped by Nash (1963) into three
categories of spatial differentiation, spatial diffusion and spatial integration. This
classification was based on the mode of analysis adopted. An improvement upon it was
suggested by Browlet (1980) who again offered a three-fold classification of various
theories into those which deal with comparative analysis of development pattern, which
make inductive study of development stages in a specific region, and which examine the
process of spatial diffusion of development. This grouping was done essentially in the
context of diffusionist development paradigm which highlights the role of spatial

For a convenient understanding, theories, explaining development in spatial context may

be divided into two categories;
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 44
Regional Planning & Development

• those which emphasized the play of intra-regional factors leading to development or

underdevelopment, and
• those which stressed the role of spatial interaction between developed and
underdeveloped regions, largely detrimental to the interest of the latter.
What explains development and underdevelopment spatially from the basis of this


Theories in this group assign importance to factors relating to natural resources, technical
advancement, and social institutions that hindered or accelerated the process of
development in any areas.
Nurkse’s (1958) ‘vicious circle theory’ presented an attractive idea that underdeveloped
countries were trapped in a series of interlocking problems of poverty and stagnation.
The starting point was poverty, which was an insurmountable obstacle to development.
If this thesis was valid then it would be difficult to understand as to how the presently
developed countries, which were not so always could make advancement.
Boeke (1953) attributed underdevelopment in the oriental world to limited needs,
backward sloping supply curves of effort and risk taking, and an absence of profit
seeking attitude. He stressed that the eastern society was moulded by fatalism and
resignation. His gloomy analysis was rightly questioned by a number of scholars
including Lewis, Baner, and Yarney
McClelland (1961) found a high association between a country’s level of achievement
motivation and rate of its economic development.
Hagen (1962) postulated ‘authoritarian theory’ holding feudal bringing up of the
children responsible for the economic development of a country, In his ‘theory of social
deviance’, Hoselitz (1960) assigned key role to ‘deviants’ in development. He defined
deviants as the one who break traditions, adopt innovations and thereby accelerate the
process of transformation from underdevelopment to development.
George (1981) accused the local elites of the third world countries as the real cause of
underdevelopment in postcolonial situation. According to her these elites remained the
natural friends of western developed countries and exploited the native poor for their
own vested interest and retarded the process of development.
Berry (1969) underlined the development role of integrated urban hierarchy in which
innovations filtered down from cities to towns and from both to their surrounding
Llyod and Dicken (1972) observed that definable hierarchy of central places was a
characteristic feature of an economically developed region.
Johnson (1965) associated development inequality with varying access to urban market.

Some other theories described the sequence of development phases, and viewed the
existing gap between developed and developing countries as a matter of time lag. The
chief exponents of this historical thesis were German scholars namely list, Brune,
Hilderbrand, Bucher, Schmoller and Sombart.
Rostow (1960) borrowing an analogy from the flight of an airplane noted five stages in
economic transformation of a capitalist society: traditional society precondition for
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 45
Regional Planning & Development

take-off, drive to maturity and age of High Mass consumption. The different
countries of the world could be assigned to a particular stage a given point in time.
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 46
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Theories reviewed above explained development and underdevelopment in an area and

regional disparities accruing out of them through the intrinsic conditions. Role of social,
psychological and spatial factors were emphasized. The historical perspective was
strong in most of them.


The second group of theories, with spatial interaction as the main analytical
framework, viewed development and underdevelopment as the two facets of the same
coin. Development in one region was at the cost of underdevelopment in some other due
to operation of ‘backwash effect.’ Western colonial power exploited the third world
through direct control during the colonial period and through tied trade and by extension
of their aid and model of development in postcolonial period. The developed world
created third world and third world created fourth world in their own countries by the
greed of elites, arrogance of bureaucrats, hypocrisy of politicians and of western trained
pseudo planners and academicians

In just contrast some theories, such as ‘Growth Pole’ of Perroux, Boudville and
Richardson, ‘Spatial Diffusion’ of Haggerstrand (1967): and ‘Growth Foci’ of Misra
et al. (1976) gave due recognition to spread effects of development. These theories
envisaged that if metropolitan development is sustained at high level, differences
between center and periphery may be eliminated, as the economic dynamism of the
major cities trickle down to smaller places and ultimately into most tradition bound
peripheral areas.

The spatial interaction theories derived their meaning from three different context of
space economy; free market mechanism, colonial setting and neocolonial situation.
Free market mechanism was always biased in favor of development areas. ‘Core-
Periphery Theory’ by Friedmann (1966), ‘Circular and Cumulative Causation
Theory’ by Myrdal (1957) represented this context. These theories are well known and
need no elaboration.

The second was colonial setting in which the imperial powers flourished at the cost of
the their colonies siphoning off the latter resources. This was well illustrated by colonial
dependency theory of Kundu and Raza (1982) and in the writing of Marxist scholars
such as Davey (1975) and Pavlov et all, (1975).

The third context was postcolonial situation in which the newly independent developing
countries remained dependent on developed countries and found it difficult to extricate
themselves from the network of exploitation. Amin (1974) called this process
‘Peripheral Capitalism’ and Santos used the term ‘dependent capitalism’ (1978). The
other exponents of this idea were Baram (1970), Frank (1972), Fanon (1963) and Potekin

Most of the scholars referred to above tried to explain multifaceted and multicausal
phenomenon of development and regional disparities in development by a
unidimensional theory. This amounted to some distortion of the fact. Therefore to reach
on a conclusive result an indepth analysis of ground realities in regard to development
disparities in different regions and various countries of the world is needed.
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 47
Regional Planning & Development


On the basis of study of trend and pattern of regional disparities in development in

different regions and various countries of the world the four hypotheses were extended:

1. The first hypothesis was spatial convergence based on development experiences of

the western developed countries. It was stated that regional disparities tend to lessen
with the process of development. The hypothesis found its support in the ‘Spread and
Backwash Theory’ of Myrdal (1957), ‘Trickle Down and Polarization Effect
Theory’ of Hirschman (1958), Urban Hierarchy Thesis for Development Innovation
of Berry (1969), Growth Pole Theory of Perraux, Baudville and Richardson, Spatial
Diffusion of Haggerstrand (1967) and Growth Foci of Misra et al., (1976).

2. The spatial convergence hypothesis was falsified in case of third world developing
countries where regional disparities increased with the process of development. In these
countries the self-perpetuation hypothesis was based on the findings of Latin American
and African situation and found its support in colonial and neocolonial dependency
theory of Frank (1972), Amin (1974) and Kundu and Raza (1982). Additional point that
favoured this hypothesis was development planning based on the principle of techno-
economic efficiency and demonstration effort. In the capital scarce third world countries
the meager development resources were invested in economically efficient regions that
accelerated the regional disparities.

3.The third hypothesis, which was concentration cycle hypothesis, is a synthesis of

convergence and divergence hypothesis. It is well known as inverted ‘u’ shape
hypothesis of Williamson (1965). It denotes that regional disparities increases in the
beginning of development process, remain constant for some time and ultimately
decrease with the process of development. It may be true in case of very long duration
of time. However, the experience of developing countries showed that there was no
visible sign for the decrease of regional disparities in these countries.

Recently some novel facts in regard to regional disparities in development were

• At the global level fourth world countries namely Afghanistan, Nepal and Ethiopia
which were poorest pocket of the world (Dubey, 1984).
• The degree of regional disparities varied from one area to another within the same
country (Tewari, 1985).
• The regional disparities in various components of development do no move with
same intensity and some time moved in opposite direction (Singh and Dubey, 1985;
Dubey, 1988).

All these facts lead to fourth hypothesis that there is no association between development
and regional disparities. In short it may be stated as ‘no trade-off hypothesis.’ Now it
would be better to investigate the position of regional disparities in India in the light of
above discussed hypothesis.


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Regional Planning & Development

A large number of studies carried out at different scale of spatial units namely States
( Mishra 1915; Bhat 1982), National Sample Survey Regions (Kundu and Raza, 1982);
Districts (Krishan, 1984; Pal, 1975) and Tahsils (Talukas) (Dubey, 1981; Gosal and
Krishan, 1979 and Alam, 1974 and Mitra, 1967) showed that regional disparities in India
were high. Most of the scholars of regional disparities agreed that regional distortion
created during colonial days was exacerbated on post-independence period (see Krishan,
1084; Nair, 1984; Kundu and Raza, 1982; Mathur, 1984). But this postulation was
based mostly on theoretical understanding and disjointed linkages of development
disparities of various periods of time and/or relating to various parts of the country. As
far as our understanding there is altogether dearth of the empirical study that visualized
the trend of regional disparities comprising colonial and post-independence period.

Generally the study of trend of regional disparities remained exclusive domain of

economists. Most of them employed per capita GDP as surrogate measure of regional
disparities in the development and used state as unit of investigation (Nair 1985, Singh
1985, Mathur 1978, Mahajan 1972). The data of per capita GDP was not available for
the colonial days. Secondly, a new spatial administrative structure of the state was
formed in 1956 by state reorganization. These two factors made back longitudinal
comparison of regional disparities almost an impossible task.

The study deal with the trend of regional disparities during post-independence period
suffered from two handicaps. First these studies only demonstrated the trend under
operation. To confirm the self-perpetuation hypothesis the position of regional
disparities at least three point of time was needed; at the starting of post-colonial
development, after the post-colonial development, after the post-colonial development
and equal period back in colonial days. This type of study would reveal that if the
regional disparities increased in post-independence period then increase was more or less
rapid to that of colonial period. If this was less or remained constant, it would manifest a
positive sign in the sense at least increasing trend of regional disparities of colonial
period was arrested. The self-perpetuation hypothesis would be only confirmed in case
of more rapid increase of regional disparities in post-independence period. But this type
of study was not possible on the basis of per capita GDP indicator.

The second the measurement of regional disparities by one surrogate indicator of per
capita GDP did not manifest the structural composition and trend of regional disparities
of the different components of development where lied the real problem. As the Finance
Commission in India in allocation of central assistance to the state take care of
backwardness of states measured on the basis of per capita income. It is but natural that
disparities amongst the states will be lessened not only the basis of full and free
operation of development but also due to the consequence of central assistance provided
by the federal governments. Hence per capita GDP does not manifest the real trend of
disparities in development.

As indicated above the removal of regional disparities is one of the basic planks of
Indian planning. Apart from fiscal and financial measures the Indian constitution also
envisaged the free mobility of people and resources within the country is a potential
factor in the removal of the foot. Despite the existence of the even remained constant, it
posed as alarming situation. In this context a brief perusal of planning and development
process and their impacts on regional disparities would be more revealing.
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Regional Planning & Development

On the eve of planning period, just after independence, the problems of refugee
settlement, food problem and problem of national reconstruction and development were
all pervasive. To solve all these problems centralized macro planning was more planning
was more effective. Therefore in the First Five Year Plan (1951-56) agricultural
development with emphasis on development of irrigation and power generation was the
central theme. And in Second Five year Plan (1956-61) overall industrial development
was the chief objective of the plan. It was considered that multipurpose projects and
establishment of large industrial territorial complexes with their porous impact in the
area of their location would take care of balanced regional development. But in a
pioneering study on ‘Occupational Structure and Level of Economic Development in
India’ Swartzberg (1961) found that prominent administrative, commercial and industrial
centres made little impact on the development of their surrounding areas. These centres
remained a prosperity cathedral in the poverty desert.

Apart from this the Community Development Project (CDP) was launched all over the
country in 1952 for the development of the rural areas. Here it would be worthwhile to
emphasise that for the uniform development of all the areas the blanket treatment of all
the areas CDP was a major factor in the perpetuation of regional disparities and structural
inequalities. Reason being in an unequal regional development conditions and in an
unequal society a legacy of colonial past equal treatment exacerbated already existing
spatial and structural inequalities (Dubey, 1987).

After the state reorganisation in 1956 on the basis of linguistic homogeneity state
planning became significant for the regional development during Third Five Year Plan
(1961-1966). At that time know-how of planning at the state level was meager. The
State Plans remained mere sectorial demand draft in conformity with central line
departments (Dubey, 1988).

The centralized sectoral planning tendencies became very strong in mid-sixties. The
country faced an abnormal situation in the form of Indo-Pak War (1965) and severe
droughts in 1965 and 1966 (Bharat, 1984). The food problem was aggravated.
Therefore, package programmes for agricultural development like Intensive Agricultural
District Programme (IADP), Intensive Agricultural Area Programme (IAAP), and High
Yielding Varieties Programme were introduced. The most crucial, was the introduction,
of Green Revolution Technology a basket of technology of irrigation, fertilizers and new
variety seeds. The notable feature of these programmes was that all these programmes
were beneficiaries of these programmes were the cultivators who owned the land for
cultivation. And thirdly, these area oriented programmes were implemented by the
central line departments on the principle of economic efficiency.

In this way the development for all practical purposes became agricultural development.
In the allocation of development assistance the principle of economic incrementalism
was followed whereby those places already well endowed by being favoured in the past
got proportionately greater share. The states invested central grants and subsidies in the
areas which were economically more efficient. This solved the food problems at national
level but accelerated the regional disparities and inter-personal inequalities.
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Confronted with the problem of regional and structural inequalities government shifted
its emphasis from ‘economic efficiency’ to development with equitable distribution’ to
cope the problem of increasing inter-states and intra-states disparities. The National
Planning Commission advised the State Planning Departments for the formulation of
separate plan for the backward area development in Fourth Five Year Plan (1969-74). A
number of fiscal and financial measures were introduced for the backward area
development. Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP), Hill Area Development (HAD),
Integrated Tribal Development Project (IIDP), Command Area Development Agency
(CADA), for the development of special problem areas were given emphasis.

The above policy of backward area development was followed more vigorously during
Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-78) and Sixth Five Year Plan (1980-85). But the working
experience of these area unequal social and economic structure of traditional societes
accelerated the inter-personal distances. These programmes benefited the powerful
groups and already richer section of the society and by passed the poor people.

In order to benefit the weaker section of the society poor people oriented i.e., target
group oriented programmes were started. To reduce the structural inequality and
specifically to benefit the Training of Rural Youth for Self-employment (TRYSEM),
Antyodaya. National Rural Employment Scheme (UCDS) and Development of Women
and Children in Rural Areas (DWACRA) were undertaken in some selected areas.

The chief attribute of all these area and people oriented programmes was that these
programmes were formulated by the central departments and were extended to the state
governments for the implementation. Mostly the central or state line departments were
responsible for their implementation at the grassroots level with blocks or districts as the
spatial units of implementation. A large number of development, without proper
coordination at grassroots level, resulted into multiplicity of functions in one area and
altogether neglect areas that also accelerated the process of regional disparities.

The Chief attribute of all these area and people oriented programmes was that these
programmes were formulated by the central departments and were extended to the state
governments for the implementation. Mostly the central or state line departments were
responsible for their implementation at the grassroots level with blocks or districts as the
spatial units of implementation. A large number of development departments
independently involved in development, without proper coordination at grassroots level,
resulted into multiplicity of functions in one area and altogether neglect of another areas
that also accelerated the process of regional disparities.

To solve the problem of regional disparities by accelerating the process of development

in backward areas decentralized planning or micro area approach was suggested by
working group on block level planning (1977), working group on district planning and
Rao Committee to review the existing administrative arrangements for rural development
and poverty alleviation (see IIPA, 1997). Most of the state started decentralized planning
and district was adopted as the grassroots planning unit. Now the development budgets
of the states are divided into heads:

(i) ‘Divisible pool’ earmarked for the district plan sector and ‘non-divisible pool’
remained under the state sector schemes.
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How far the decentralized districts level planning was effective in the reduction of
regional disparities is still to be seen. A quick exercise made by the present author in
case of Uttar Pradesh, the mini India, revealed that the impact of disparities during
1981-82 to 1984-85 was not significant. The year 1981-82 was the year of
introduction of district planning in the state and 1984-85 was the latest year for
which data was available. But the exercise has two ‘after’ decentralized planning
position. It was a picture of trend in operation. But the real significance of
decentralized planning position. In other words, to reach a conclusive result the
measurement of inter-district disparities at three point of time was needed:
(i) at the starting of decentralized planning;
(ii) after the commencement of decentralized planning; and
(iii) equal period back from the starting of decentralized planning.

Only then the real change in trend of regional disparities may be obtained.
The Second Limitation of the exercise was too short span of time to assess for the impact
of decentralized planning. When the needed data for the year 1987-88 would be
available then 5 years without decentralized district level planning (1977-78 to 1982-83)
would provide more meaningful result.


In sum, in case of regional disparities in India the convergence hypothesis of regional

disparities was not confirmed. It is very difficult to confirm the hypothesis of
perpetuation of colonial disparities in post-independence period in the lack of empirical
study of regional disparities pertaining to colonial period. The inverted ‘U’ shape
hypothesis of Williamson was also rejected in case of India. With the changing trend of
regional disparities from one period to another and from one component to another
favoured the no trade hypothesis. It is not the development per se but the strategy of
development that matters in case of regional disparities.

The Certain dimensions of regional disparities are still dark; it remained unexplored
which area contributed in the increase and / or decrease of regional disparities by upward
and by downward movements in the process of development. How far the spatial
pattern of development changed from colonial to subsequent independent period and
how far colonial trend was accelerated or restarted. Whether the intensity of regional
disparities changing from one state to another state? To what extent the Finance
Commission was effective in reduction of regional disparities? And how far the trend and
pattern of regional disparities of corresponded to that of other development and
developing countries of the world. All these areas are very potential ground that needed
immediate exploration.

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Regional Planning Definitions
Need for Regional Planning / objectives
Features of Regional Planning
Unit of Planning – meaning
Characteristics of planning region
Role of regional planning
Regional planning and five year plans
Regional planning / development policies (Three conceptualizations)

It means ‘a tract of land; an area homogeneous with respect to announced criteria’
“larger than any single urban area i.e. ‘supra urban’ space’.

Regional development is the provision of aid and other assistance to regions which
are less economically developed. Regional development may be domestic or
international in nature. The implications and scope of regional development may
therefore vary in accordance with the definition of a region, and how the region and
its boundaries are perceived internally and externally.
The word ‘region’ is also used to stand for a tract of land, which is smaller than the
individual state but larger than its basic territorial unit, namely the district. This meaning
has been recognized in governmental pronouncements as well. The planning
commission, for instance, employs this term to convey such a meaning, but in none of
the five-year plans, it has made this explicit.

Planning: Planning means making decisions in advance Planning may be viewed as

highly disciplined and formalized activity through which a society induces change in
itself. It involves the application of scientific knowledge in order to solve the problems
and achieve the goals of a social system. Any social system, therefore, which has
adopted planning, whether it is a firm, family, town or region may hope to
determine its own future. Further, in evaluating the steps taken to reach this future, it
may learn and through learning it may engage in a continual process of self-realization.

Regional Planning
Regional Planning is essentially a process of orderly and systematic anticipation of the
future of a region, involving recommendations of the necessary remedial and
constructive actions by public and private agencies to achieve the objectives of the
plan/regional community.
Regional planning may involve extensive areas that include one or more regions or more
limited areas such as drainage basins or metropolitan areas.

eg :
Southern Regions (Tamil nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala) European
Economic Market, Colombo Plan, SAARC Damodar Valley, TVA, Vaigai Periyar
Command Area Madurai Metropolitan Planning Area.
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Regional planning on one hand is an extension of local planning at the municipal or

country level and on the other hand is a part of national and international planning.

Why Regional planning: (Objectives)

Basically the purpose of Regional Planning is to correct the distortions in the
planning process.
General objectives of Regional Planning are as follows:
1. The clash between economic goals (formulated in terms of outputs only) and the
social development objectives and needs.
2. The concentration of industry and infrastructure in a few areas thus creating enclaves
of modernization in the midst of growing economic stagnation.
3. Undue emphasis on heavy industry to the neglect of agriculture
4. Promoting a pattern of education unsuited to the needs of general masses
5. Problems of inadequate employment opportunities.
6. Problems of adequately exploiting resources in a particular area.
7. Overcoming limitations on agriculture through the use of most advanced technology.
8. The problem of improving access to and the distribution of the higher order type of
social facilities.
9. The problem of insecurity in some newly acquired territorial addition to the state.
10. The problem of groups experiencing social economic or political disadvantages in
some area of the ‘nation state’.
11. The problem of experiencing physical discomfort through overcrowding and

Features of Regional Planning:

• Regional Planning is a bridge between national economic planning and local

physical planning.
• Opportunity for the regional governments to order its own affairs.
• Regional Planning is holistic – i.e. economic, social and physical.

Unit of Planning:
The important question in regional planning is
“What should be the unit of planning”?
Planning Region (Unit)
(1) should be large enough to take investment decisions of economic size,
(2) should be able to supply its own industry with necessary raw materials and
(3) should have a homogeneous economic structure,
(4) contain at least one growth point and
(5) Have a common approach to and awareness of its problems”. – Klaussen

Planning region to be an area that is large enough to enable substantial changes in the
distribution of population and employment to take place within its boundaries, yet which
is small enough for its planning problems to be viewed as a whole – Keeble.

In demarcating planning regions, administrative convenience assumes paramount

importance, but for the sake of administrative convenience one should not forget about
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the homogeneity and nodality. So, homogeneity, nodality and administrative convenience
should given equal importance.

Characteristics of a Planning Region:

1) Contiguity
Geographically it should be a contiguous unit, though could be sub divided into plain,
hilly tract, coastal
2) Social cultural homogeneity
The people of the region should have social and cultural cohesiveness.
3) Separate data collection unit
The region should have a separate unit for data collection and analysis.
4) The region should have an economic existence, which can be assessed from
statistical records.
5) People’s participation
It should be small enough to ensure local people’s participation in its development.
6) Span of control
It should be under one administrative agency.
7) Optimum size
It should not be too small. Its geographical size should be big enough to exploit
resources and avoid duplication (by way of partially used capacity in neighbouring
regions). This is as much relevant for new investments in capital for production as for
technical training, medical facilities colleges etc. It should be big enough to permit the
major part of labour requirements in any employing center to be met from within the
8) Minimum (or) narrow disparity
It should have fairly homogeneous economic structure, i.e. the variation in local
proportions of employment and output in agriculture; industry and services should be
within a narrow range. To this we may also add a minimum topographical homogeneity
which ensures absence of seasonal or permanent breaks in road links.
9) Presence of growth point
It should have one or more growth points.
10) Consensus in defining problems and solving it
There should be common aspirations and approaches to their solution; it should permit
and encourage competition but not rivalry or apathy between one area and the other.

Role of Regional Planning

The main purpose of regional planning is to ensure optimal utilization of space and
optimal distribution pattern of human activities over the space. To achieve this, it plays

1) Passive or indicative role is to point out how the sectoral investments decision can
be integrated at the regional level and the advantages there of.
2) Active or imperative role is formulating and then implementing measures to assist
the growth of certain regions, while restraining the growth of others

Regional Planning and Five Year Plans

I FYP: A research committee was set up to study about the problem.
II FYP: The plan emphasized
a) Less developed areas should receive due attention
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b) Keep the claims of underdeveloped regions in mind while deciding the

location of new enterprises.
III FYP: There was a separate chapter on “balanced regional development”. The
plan emphasized
a) Balanced development of different parts of the country,
b) Extension of benefits of economic progress to the less developed regions
c) Wide spread diffusion of industry

IV FYP: Attempts were made to identify the backward regions (Pande Committee) for
the purpose of granting concessions and financial assistance to industries (Wanchoo
Committee) was initiated and weight age given to backward states in
allocation of central assistance.

V FYP: Emphasis was laid on as follows:

a) Resource / Problem based Area Programs: DPAP, CADP, HADP
b) Target Group Programs: SFDA, MFDA
c) Area Specific Incentive Programs: Sub Plan Approach for Hill / Tribal areas.

Other Five Year Plans …. Regional development policy-conceptualization

Considering the period of planning as a whole the policies adopted by the govt can be
classified into either of the following categories.


1) Policies aimed at industrialization of lagging regions

eg. a) Location of public sector projects in backward regions
b) Use of industrial licensing policy to direct private investment in backward in
backward areas.
c) Encouragement to prospective entrepreneurs to set-up industries in backward
2) Policies for development of irrigation, agriculture & allied activities
eg. a) Command area, Drought prone Area, Hill Area development
3) Policies aimed at providing infrastructural etc in facilities regions transport,
communication, banking etc in backward regions
4) Transfer of resources from centre to state in the form of plan assistance, non
plan assistance and discretionary grants in such a way so as to reduce regional
5) Special Programs for the development of backward and less developed regions

II Dr.K.V. Sundaram’s Conceptualization of Regional Development Policies

1. An inter-regional allocation policy for the distribution if central assistance / funds to

State Governments governed by a formula tilted in favour of backward areas.
2. Incentive Policies designed to direct investments in the industrially backward
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Regional Planning & Development

3. Action planning based on area / regional development approach to tackle identified

problem areas – tribal areas, hill areas, drought prone areas, desert and flood prone
areas, problem region like north-east.
4. Integrated approach to local level planning focused on the district and the block.
5. A basic needs strategy oriented towards the provision of minimum needs, so that
disadvantaged areas and groups may achieve parity with others in terms of social

III Policy measures to abolish regional in balance in India

1. Capital and Technology transfers.
2. Incentive policies for agricultural and industrial growth
3. Land development and resettlement with a package of incentives
4. Rationalization Strategy.
5. Integrated development focused on delimited small areas
6. Target group approaches
7. Bottom-up strategies and decentralized development
8. Comprehensive regional planning approach.

Backward Area Development

Attempts to identify the poorest or most backward districts in the country have been made
since 1960. A committee of the Government of India’s Ministry of Rural Areas and
Employment the previous name for the Ministry of Rural Development conducted one of
the most elaborate exercises for the identification of backward districts in 1997. Headed
by EAS Sarma, who was then Principal Advisor to the Planning Commission, the
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committee used a composite method with differing weights for parameters such as:

• Incidence of poverty
• Education
• Health
• Water supply
• Transport and communications, and
• Degree of industrialization.

The Sarma Committee's list of 100 most backward districts included:

• 38 districts from undivided Bihar
• 19 from undivided Madhya Pradesh
• 17 from undivided Uttar Pradesh
• 10 from Maharashtra, and
• A smaller number of districts from other states

There were no districts from Gujarat, Goa, Kerala, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil
Nadu. The committee did not consider the northeastern states and Jammu and
Kashmir as it felt "they had problems which were specific and peculiar to them".

List of Backward Districts in India

Uttar Pradesh 68 Madhya Pradesh 40
Bihar 37 Rajasthan 32
Orissa 18 Assam 17
Jharkhand 17 Arunachal Pradesh 13
Chattisgarh 12 Haryana 11
J&K 8 Karnataka 7
Nagaland 7 West Bengal 7
Gujarat 5 Maharashtra 5
Manipur 5 Meghalaya 5
Uttaranchal 5 Mizoram 2
Punjab 2 Andhra Pradesh 1
Dadra & Nagar Haveli 1 Sikkim 1
Tripura 1 Total 327


‘‘backward areas’’ include the desert and drought prone areas with very low
or scanty rainfall and the areas which are economically, industrially, educationally and
socially lagging behind from the rest of the country and so declared by Central
Government by notification in the Official Gazette;

The criteria recommended by these committees for identification of

Backward areas can be summarized as follows:
1. Density of population per sq.km. of area.
2. Percentage of agricultural workers to total workers.
3. Percentage of literate population.
4. Percentage of school going children.
5. Total per-capita income.
6. Per capita income from agriculture.
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7. Sex ratio, industry and mining.

8. Availability of infrastrutural facilities.
9. Per capita consumption of electricity
10. Chronically drought prone areas.
11. Chronically flood prone areas.
12. Length of surfaced roads per 100 sq. km. Of area.
13. Public health care system.
14. Safe drinking water facility.
15. Poverty rates.

List of Backward Blocks in Tamilnadu

Name of the District Name of the Backward Blocks

1 KANCHIPURAM 1. Wallajnabad 2.Kancheepuram (Urban) 3.Lathur 4.Chitahamur

2 THIRUVALLUR 1. Poondi 2.Kadambathur
3 CUDDALORE 1. Portonovo 2.Melbhuvanagiri
4 VILLUPURAM 1. Melmalayanur 2.Vallam 3.Thirunavalkur 4.Kanai 5.Kandamangalam
6.Thagadurgam 7.Rishivandiyam 8.Kalrayan Hills
5 VELLORE 1. Arcot 2.Jolarpet 3.Kandhili 4.Nemili
6 THIRUVANNAMALAI 1. Cheyyar 2.Vembakkam 3.Polur 4.Chetput 5.Jawadhu Hils
6.Pudupalayam 7.Thandayampet
7 DHARMAPURI 1. Mathur 2.Veppanapalli
8 KARUR Kadavur 2.Thogaimalai 3.Perambalur District 4.Uppiliyapuram
5.Andimadam 6.T. Palur 7.Alathur 8.Veppanthattai 9.Veppur 10.Sendurai
9 TIRUCHIRAPALLI 1. Marungapuri 2.Vaiyampatti 3.Karur District
10 THANJAVUR 1.Thiruvonam 2.Sethubavachatram 3.Ammapettai 4.Thiruppanandal
11 THIRUVARUR 1.Madukkur 2.Kodavasal 3.Koradachery 4.Thiruthuraipoondi 5.Muthupettai
6.Kottur 7.Koothanallur (Urba)
12 NAGAPATTINAM 1. Sirkali 2.Kollidam 3.Keelaiyur
13 MADURAI 1. Sedapatti 2.Kottampatti
14 THENI 1. Chinnamanur 2.Cumbam 3.Kadamalaikundu 4.Myladumparai
15 DINDIGUL 1. Natham
16 RAMANATHAPURAM 1.Nainarkoil 2.Bogalur 3.Thirupullani 4.R.S. Mangalam 5.Kadaladi
17 SIVAGANGAI 1. S. Pudur 2.Kannangudi
18 THIRUNELVELI 1.Courtallam (Urban) 2.Kadayanallur (Urban) 3.Melaneelithanallur

Drought & Backwardness

What is Drought?
Understanding and Defining Drought
The Concept of Drought
Conceptual Definitions of Drought
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Operational Definitions of Drought

Disciplinary Perspectives on Drought

The Concept of Drought

Drought is a normal, recurrent feature of climate, although many erroneously consider it

a rare and random event. Drought is a temporary aberration; it differs from aridity, which
is restricted to low rainfall regions and is a permanent feature of climate.

Drought is an insidious hazard of nature. it originates from a deficiency of precipitation

over an extended period of time, usually a season or more. This deficiency results in a
water shortage for some activity, group, or environmental sector. Drought should be
considered relative to some long-term average condition of balance between
precipitation and evapotranspiration (i.e., evaporation + transpiration) in a particular
area, a condition often perceived as “normal”. It is also related to the timing (i.e.,
principal season of occurrence, delays in the start of the rainy season, occurrence of rains
in relation to principal crop growth stages) and the effectiveness (i.e., rainfall intensity,
number of rainfall events) of the rains. Other climatic factors such as high temperature,
high wind, and low relative humidity are often associated with it in many regions of the
world and can significantly aggravate its severity.

Drought should not be viewed as merely a physical phenomenon or natural event. Its
impacts on society result from the interplay between a natural event (less precipitation
than expected resulting from natural climatic variability) and the demand people place on
water supply. Human beings often exacerbate the impact of drought. Recent droughts in
both developing and developed countries and the resulting economic and environmental
impacts and personal hardships have underscored the vulnerability of all societies to this
“natural” hazard.
There are two main kinds of drought definitions: conceptual and operational.

Conceptual Definitions of Drought

Conceptual definitions, formulated in general terms, help people understand the concept
of drought. For example:Drought is a protracted period of deficient precipitation
resulting in extensive damage to crops, resulting in loss of yield.

Conceptual definitions may also be important in establishing drought policy. For

example, Australian drought policy incorporates an understanding of normal climate
variability into its definition of drought. The country provides financial assistance to
farmers only under “exceptional drought circumstances,” when drought conditions are
beyond those that could be considered part of normal risk management. Declarations of
exceptional drought are based on science-driven assessments. Previously, when drought
was less well defined from a policy standpoint and less well understood by farmers,
some farmers in the semiarid Australian climate claimed drought assistance every few
Operational Definitions of Drought

Operational definitions help people identify the beginning, end, and degree of severity of
a drought. To determine the beginning of drought, operational definitions specify the
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degree of departure from the average of precipitation or some other climatic variable
over some time period. This is usually done by comparing the current situation to the
historical average, often based on a 30-year period of record. The threshold identified as
the beginning of a drought (e.g., 75% of average precipitation over a specified time
period) is usually established somewhat arbitrarily, rather than on the basis of its precise
relationship to specific impacts.

An operational definition for agriculture might compare daily precipitation values to

evapotranspiration rates to determine the rate of soil moisture depletion, then express
these relationships in terms of drought effects on plant behavior (i.e., growth and yield)
at various stages of crop development. A definition such as this one could be used in an
operational assessment of drought severity and impacts by tracking meteorological
variables, soil moisture, and crop conditions during the growing season, continually
reevaluating the potential impact of these conditions on final yield. Operational
definitions can also be used to analyze drought frequency, severity, and duration for a
given historical period. Such definitions, however, require weather data on hourly, daily,
monthly, or other time scales and, possibly, impact data (e.g., crop yield), depending on
the nature of the definition being applied. Developing a climatology of drought for a
region provides a greater understanding of its characteristics and the probability of
recurrence at various levels of severity. Information of this type is extremely beneficial
in the development of response and mitigation strategies and preparedness plans.

Disciplinary Perspectives on Drought:

Meteorological, Hydrological, Agricultural and Socioeconomic

Meteorological Drought
Meteorological drought is defined usually on the basis of the degree of dryness (in
comparison to some “normal” or average amount) and the duration of the dry period.
Definitions of meteorological drought must be considered as region specific since the
atmospheric conditions that result in deficiencies of precipitation are highly variable
from region to region. For example, some definitions of meteorological drought identify
periods of drought on the basis of the number of days with precipitation less than some
specified threshold. This measure is only appropriate for regions characterized by a year-
round precipitation regime such as a tropical rainforest, humid subtropical climate, or
humid mid-latitude climate

Agricultural Drought
Agricultural drought links various characteristics of meteorological (or hydrological)
drought to agricultural impacts, focusing on precipitation shortages, differences between
actual and potential evapotranspiration, soil water deficits, reduced ground water or
reservoir levels, and so forth. Plant water demand depends on prevailing weather
conditions, biological characteristics of the specific plant, its stage of growth, and the
physical and biological properties of the soil. A good definition of agricultural drought
should be able to account for the variable susceptibility of crops during different stages
of crop development, from emergence to maturity. Deficient topsoil moisture at planting
may hinder germination, leading to low plant populations per hectare and a reduction of
final yield. However, if topsoil moisture is sufficient for early growth requirements,
deficiencies in subsoil moisture at this early stage may not affect final yield if subsoil
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moisture is replenished as the growing season progresses or if rainfall meets plant water

Hydrological Drought

Hydrological drought is associated with the effects of periods of precipitation (including

snowfall) shortfalls on surface or subsurface water supply (i.e., streamflow, reservoir and
lake levels, ground water). The frequency and severity of hydrological drought is often
defined on a watershed or river basin scale. Although all droughts originate with a
deficiency of precipitation, hydrologists are more concerned with how this deficiency
plays out through the hydrologic system. Hydrological droughts are usually out of phase
with or lag the occurrence of meteorological and agricultural droughts. It takes longer for
precipitation deficiencies to show up in components of the hydrological system such as
soil moisture, streamflow, and ground water and reservoir levels. As a result, these
impacts are out of phase with impacts in other economic sectors. For example, a
precipitation deficiency may result in a rapid depletion of soil moisture that is almost
immediately discernible to agriculturalists, but the impact of this deficiency on reservoir
levels may not affect hydroelectric power production or recreational uses for many
months. Also, water in hydrologic storage systems (e.g., reservoirs, rivers) is often used
for multiple and competing purposes (e.g., flood control, irrigation, recreation,
navigation, hydropower, wildlife habitat), further complicating the sequence and
quantification of impacts. Competition for water in these storage systems escalates
during drought and conflicts between water users increase significantly.

Hydrological Drought and Land Use

Although climate is a primary contributor to hydrological drought, other factors such as

changes in land use (e.g., deforestation), land degradation, and the construction of dams
all affect the hydrological characteristics of the basin. Because regions are interconnected
by hydrologic systems, the impact of meteorological drought may extend well beyond
the borders of the precipitation-deficient area. For example, meteorological drought may
severely affect portions of the northern Rocky Mountains and northern Great Plains
region of the United States. However, since the Missouri River and its tributaries drain
this region to the south, there may be significant hydrologic impacts downstream.
Similarly, changes in land use upstream may alter hydrologic characteristics such as
infiltration and runoff rates, resulting in more variable streamflow and a higher incidence
of hydrologic drought downstream. Bangladesh, for example, has shown an increased
frequency of water shortages in recent years because land use changes have occurred
within the country and in neighboring countries. Land use change is one of the ways
human actions alter the frequency of water shortage even when no change in the
frequency of meteorological drought has been observed.
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Sequence of Drought Impacts

The sequence of impacts associated with meteorological, agricultural, and hydrological

drought further emphasizes their differences. When drought begins, the agricultural
sector is usually the first to be affected because of its heavy dependence on stored soil
water. Soil water can be rapidly depleted during extended dry periods. If precipitation
deficiencies continue, then people dependent on other sources of water will begin to feel
the effects of the shortage. Those who rely on surface water (i.e., reservoirs and lakes)
and subsurface water (i.e., ground water), for example, are usually the last to be affected.
A short-term drought that persists for 3 to 6 months may have little impact on these
sectors, depending on the characteristics of the hydrologic system and water use

When precipitation returns to normal and meteorological drought conditions have abated,
the sequence is repeated for the recovery of surface and subsurface water supplies. Soil
water reserves are replenished first, followed by streamflow, reservoirs and lakes, and
ground water. Drought impacts may diminish rapidly in the agricultural sector because of
its reliance on soil water, but linger for months or even years in other sectors dependent
on stored surface or subsurface supplies. Ground water users, often the last to be affected
by drought during its onset, may be last to experience a return to normal water levels.
The length of the recovery period is a function of the intensity of the drought, its
duration, and the quantity of precipitation received as the episode terminates.

Socioeconomic Drought
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Socioeconomic definitions of drought associate the supply and demand of some

economic good with elements of meteorological, hydrological, and agricultural drought.
It differs from the aforementioned types of drought because its occurrence depends on
the time and space processes of supply and demand to identify or classify droughts. The
supply of many economic goods, such as water, forage, food grains, fish, and
hydroelectric power, depends on weather. Because of the natural variability of climate,
water supply is ample in some years but unable to meet human and environmental needs
in other years. Socioeconomic drought occurs when the demand for an economic good
exceeds supply as a result of a weather-related shortfall in water supply. For example, in
Uruguay in 1988–89, drought resulted in significantly reduced hydroelectric power
production because power plants were dependent on stream flow rather than storage for
power generation. Reducing hydroelectric power production required the government to
convert to more expensive (imported) petroleum and stringent energy conservation
measures to meet the nation’s power needs.

In most instances, the demand for economic goods is increasing as a result of increasing
population and per capita consumption. Supply may also increase because of improved
production efficiency, technology, or the construction of reservoirs that increase surface
water storage capacity. If both supply and demand are increasing, the critical factor is the
relative rate of change. Is demand increasing more rapidly than supply? If so,
vulnerability and the incidence of drought may increase in the future as supply and
demand trends converge.

A drought is defined as an extended period of abnormally dry weather that causes water
shortages and crop damage. A drought starts when total rainfall is well below average for
several months. Other signs of drought include: unusually low river flows, low ground
water and reservoir levels, very dry soil, reduced crop yields or even crop failure, and
algae blooms in reservoirs and lakes. Groundwater is not replenished because not enough
rain is falling to wet the soil's entire surface area and to be absorbed properly.

A drought is a period of time when there is not enough water to support agricultural,
urban, human, or environmental water needs. A drought usually refers to an extended
period of below-normal rainfall, but can also be caused by drying bores or lakes, or
anything that reduces the amount of liquid water available. Although what is considered
"normal" varies from one region to another, drought is a recurring feature of nearly all
the world's climatic regions. The effects of drought vary greatly, depending on
agricultural, urban and environmental water needs. Water companies, farmers, and
ranchers are those that suffer the worst as a result of drought.
Conceptually, there are three main types of drought:

• Meteorological drought is brought about when there is a prolonged period with less
than average precipitation. Meteorological drought usually precedes the other kinds
of drought.
• Agricultural drought is brought about when there is insufficient moisture for crop
or range production. This condition can arise, even in times of average precipitation,
owing to soil conditions or agricultural techniques.
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• Hydrological drought is brought about when the water reserves available in sources
such as aquifers, lakes, and reservoirs falls below the statistical average. This
condition can arise, even in times of average (or above average) precipitation, when
increased usage of water diminishes the reserves.

Drought conditions lead to increased growth of algae in lakes, ponds and other slow-
moving bodies of water. The water is no longer a safe place for fish and other aquatic
life. Animals that drink from the rivers or streams can become sick and die; swimmers in
affected waters may become ill. The ecology of an area may be affected by the drying of
wetlands, with wading birds dying out. Crop production will be lower than usual; trees
may die. Wildfires spring up; lack of irrigation can lead to famine and disease.

Sociological consequences of drought range from social unrest to relocation of

populations to war.

Periods of drought can have significant environmental, economic and social
consequences. The most common consequences are:

• Wildfires (called Bushfires)

• Ground drag and Desertification.
• Loss of agricultural production
• Disease
• Thirst
• Famine due to lack of water for irrigation
• Social unrest
• Migration or relocation of those impacted
• War for water and foods.

The effect varies according to vulnerability. For example, subsistence farmers are more
likely to migrate during drought because they do not have alternative food sources. Areas
with populations that depend on subsistence farming as a major food source are more
vulnerable to drought-triggered famine. Drought is rarely if ever the sole cause of
famine; socio-political factors such as extreme widespread poverty play a major role.

Drought can also reduce water quality, because lower water flows reduce dilution of
pollutants and increase contamination of remaining water sources in that

Main mitigation strategies

The main mitigation strategies are as follows-
• Drought monitoring-- It is a continuous observation of rainfall situation and
comparison with the existing water needs of a particular sector of a society.
• Water supply conservation-- We can conserve water through Rain Water Harvesting
which can be used for agricultural purposes.
• Land use-- Crops which needs less water should be grown in a drought prone area.
• Livelihood planning- A section of a society which is least affected by the droughts
should be advised to live there.

1900, India
250,000 to 3.25 million people died from drought, starvation and disease.
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1928-30, northwest China

Famine resulted in over 3 million deaths.
1936, Sichuan Province, China
This was the worst drought in the modern history of the area. 34 million farmers were
displaced and 25 million people starved

Planning Commission’s list of 100 backward districts for RSVY programme

Name of state Name of district

Andhra Pradesh Adilabad Warangal Chittor Mahbubnagar Vizianagaram

Chhattisgarh Bastar Dantewada Kankar Bilaspur

Gujarat Dangs Dohad Panchmahals

Haryana Sirsa

Jharkhand Lohardagga* Gumla* Simdega Saraikela West Singhbhum* Goddha

Karnataka Gulburga Bidar Chitradurga Davangere

Kerala Palakkad Waynad

Madhya Pradesh Mandla* Barwani West Nimar Seoni* Shahdol Umaria Balaghat*
Satna Siddhi

Maharashtra Gadchiroli* Bhandara Gondia Chandrapur Hingoli Nanded* Dhule

Nandurbar Ahmednagar

Punjab Hoshiarpur

Rajasthan Banswara Dungarpur Jhalawar

Tamil Nadu Tiruvannamalai Dindigul Cuddalore Naggapattinam Sivgangai

Uttar Pradesh Sonbhadra Rae Bareli* Unnao* Sitapur* Hardoi* Banda Chitrakoot
Fatehpur* Barabanki* Mirzapur Gorakhpur Kushinagar Lalitpur*
Jaunpur Hamirpur* Jalaun* Mahoba Kaushambi Azamgarh

West Bengal Purulia 24 South Parganas Jalpaiguri West Midnapur South Dinajpur
Bankura North Dinajpur Birbhum

Assam Kokrajhar North Lakhimpur Karbi Anglong Dhemaji North Cachar


Arunachal Pradesh Upper Subansiri

Himachal Pradesh Chamba Sirmaur

Jammu and ashmir Doda Kupwara Poonch

Manipur Tamenlong

Meghalaya West Garo Hills

Mizoram Lawngtlai
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Nagaland Mon

Sikkim North Sikkim

Tripura Dhalai

Uttaranchal Champavat Tehri Garhwal Chamoli


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Policy Objectives
Industrial policy should address the vision of our nation i.e.
Rapid agricultural and industrial development of our country,
Rapid expansion of opportunities for gainful employment,
Progressive reduction of social and economic disparities,
Removal of poverty and attainment of self-reliance

In 1954, immediately after Independence, Government introduced the Industrial Policy

Resolution. This outlined the approach to industrial growth and development. After the
adoption of the Constitution increase in production and ensuring its equitable
distribution. After the adoption of the Constitution and the socio-economic goals, the
Industrial Policy was comprehensively revised and adopted in 1956. To meet new
challenges, from time, it was modified through statements in 1973, 1977 and 1980.

The Industrial Policy Resolution of 1948 was followed by the Industrial Policy
Resolution of 1956 which had as its objective the acceleration of the rate of economic
growth and the speeding up of industrialization as a means of achieving a socialist
pattern of society. In 1956, capital was scarce and the base of entrepreneurship not strong
enough. Hence, the 1956 Industrial policy Resolution gave primacy to the role of the
State to assume a predominant and direct responsibility for industrial development.

The Industrial Policy Statement of 1973, inter alia, identified high priority industries
where investment from large industrial houses and foreign companies would be
The Industrial Policy Statement of 1977 laid emphasis on decentralization and on the
role of small scale, tiny and cottage industries.

A number of policy and procedural changes were introduced in 1985 and 1986 under the
leadership of Shri Rajiv Gandhi aimed at increasing productivity, reducing costs and
improving quality. The accent was on opening the domestic market to increased
competition and readying our industry to stand on its own in the face of international
competition. The public sector was freed from a number of constraints and given a larger
measure of autonomy.

Government has decided to take a series of initiatives in respect of the policies relating to
the following areas.
A. Industrial Licensing.
B. Foreign Investment.
C. Foreign Technology Agreements.
D. Public Sector Policy.
E. MRTP Act.
A package for the Small and Tiny Sectors of industry is being announced separately.

A. Industrial Licensing Policy

Industrial Licensing is governed by the Industries (Development & Regulation) Act,
1951. The Industrial Policy Resolution of 1956 identified the following three categories
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of industries: those that would be reserved for development in the public sector, those
that would be permitted for development through private enterprise with or without State
participation, and those in which investment initiatives would ordinarily emanate from
private entrepreneurs. Over the years, keeping in view the changing industrial scene in
the country, the policy has undergone modifications. Industrial licensing policy and
procedures have also been liberalised from time to time. A full relaisation of the
industrial potential of the country calls for a continuation of this process of change.

B. Foreign Investment
While freeing Indian industry from official controls, opportunities for promoting foreign
investment in India should also be fully exploited. In view of the significant development
of India’s industrial economy in the last 40 years, the general resilience, size and level of
sophistication achieved, and the significant changes that have alos teken place in the
world industrial economy, the relationship between domestic and foreign industry needs
to be much more dynamic than it has been in terms of both technology and investment.
Foreign investment would bring attendant advantages of technology transfer, marketing
expertise, introduction of modern managerial techniques and new possibilities for
promotion of exports. This is particularly necessary in the changing global scenario of
industrial and economic co-operation marked by mobility of capital. The Government
will, therefore, welcome foreign investment which is in the interest of the country’s
industrial development.

C. Foreign Technology Agreements

There is a great need for promoting an industrial environment where the acquisition of
technological capability receives priority. In the fast changing world of technology the
relationship between the suppliers and users of technology must be a continuous one.
Such a relationship becomes difficult to achieve when the approval process includes
unnecessary governmental interference on a case to case basis involving endemic delays
and fostering uncertainty. The Indian entrepreneur has now come of age so that he no
longer needs such bureaucratic clearance of his commercial technology relationships
with foreign technology suppliers. Indian industry can scarcely be competitive with the
rest of the world if it is to operate within such a regulatory environment.

D. Public Sector Policy

The public sector has been central to philosophy of development. In the persuit of our
development objectives, public ownership and control in critical sectors of the economy
has played an important role in preventing the concentration of economic power,
reducing regional disparities and ensuring that planned development serves the common
It is time therefore that the Government adopt a new approach to public enterprises.
There must be a great commitment to the support of public enterprises which are
essential for the operation of the industrial economy. Measures must be taken to make
these enterprises more growth oriented and technically dynamic. Units which may be
faltering at present but are potentially viable must be structured and given a new lease of
life. The priority areas for growth of public enterprises in the future will be the
• Essential infrastructure goods and services.
• Exploration and exploitation of oil and mineral resources.
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• Technology development and building of manufacturing capabilities in areas which are

crucial in the long term development of the economy and where private sector
investment is inadequate
• Manufacture of products where strategic considerations predominate such as defence
At the same time the public sector will not be barred from entering areas not specifically
reserved for it.

E. Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act (MRTP Act)

The principal objectives sought to be achieved through the MRTP Act are as follows:-
i. Prevention of concentration of economic power to the common detriment, control
of monopolies.
ii. Prohibition of monopolies and restrictive and unfair trade practices.

F. Decisions of Government
A. Industrial Licensing Policy
Procedural Consequences
B. Foreign Investment
C. Foreign Technology Agreements
D. Public Sector


1. Arms and ammunition and allied items of defence equipment, Defence aircraft and
2. Atomic energy.
3. Coal and lignite.
4. Mineral oils.
5. Mining of iron ore, manganese ore, chrome ore, gypsum sulphur, gold and diamond.
6. Mining of copper, lead, zinc, tin, molybdenum and wolfram.
7. Minerals specified in the Schedule to the Atomic Energy (Control of Production and
Use) Order, 1953.
8. Railway transport.

Industrial Estates - The Concept

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The Concept
The term "industrial estate" is often used interchangeably with industrial district,
industrial park, industrial zone, special economic zone, eco-zone etc. An Industrial Estate
(IE) is a self contained geographical area with high quality infrastructure facilities, which
house businesses of an industrial nature. An industrial estate is administered or managed
by a single authority that has a defined jurisdiction with respect to tenant companies. The
authority makes provisions for operation and management; enforcing restrictions on
tenants and planning with respect to lot sizes, access and utilities. The IEs offer
industrial, residential and commercial areas with developed plots/ pre-built factories,
power, telecom, water, sanitation and other civic amenities such as hospital, sewerage
and drainage facilities, security etc.The main targets of Industrial Estates are the high
value adding small and medium scale industries, which do not have the wherewithal to
invest in
developing their own basic infrastructure facilities, but have the capacity to pay for the
services provided to them. Hence, Industrial Estates are regions where infrastructure
facilities are provided for and thus a conducive environment is created to attract small
and medium scale industries. Advantages of Industrial Estates Industrial Estates can
positively influence the socio-economic development and industrialization of the region

• Attracting investments
• Generating employment
• Leveraging on raw material sources, skilled manpower resources, proximity to end-use
markets, etc.
• Adding to and improving social infrastructure in terms of healthcare and educational
facilities Industrial Estates have led to the development of large urban regions especially
in the States wherein large-scale city/ town development has taken place. Bharuch, Vapi
and Valsad in Gujarat and Nashik and Nagpur in Maharashtra are examples of such

Industrial Estates can be developed either as a:

• General Industrial Park (GIP) which caters to all types of industries, an example of the
GIP being the Industrial Model Township at Manesar (Haryana) which has facilities to
house different types of industries like auto and auto components, high precision
industries, textiles, pharmaceuticals, software etc. or
• Special Industrial Park (SIP) which focuses on a specific industry like software,
textiles, plastics, etc. The Software Technology Park at Whitefield in Bangalore is one
such example

Industrial Estates – The Issues Involved

One of the most important factors contributing to the success of an industrial estate is its
location. The main criteria that should be considered while deciding the location of an
Industrial Estate are as follows:
Natural competitive advantage of the region
Potential for forming industrial clusters in the region to ensure the economic viability of
Industrial Estates
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Presence of transportation nodes in the region in the form of airports, railway terminals
and road networks both from raw material sources and to end-use markets
Presence of technological research institutions and training facilities such as universities,
colleges, etc., which would add value to the growth of these Estates
Fiscal incentives applicable for setting up the Industrial Estate in a particular region
Proximity of the region to important markets
Proximity of the region to important raw material sources
Connectivity of the region to other regions
The formation of industrial clusters would in turn, make the Industrial Estates
commercially viable. As is evident, determination of potential location of an industrial
estate requires a comprehensive and scientific analysis.

Configuration and Design

Usually, an industrial estate is configured around three zones- the industrial, the
residential and the commercial zones.
The industrial zone encompasses industrial units catering to both domestic and export
The residential zone provides for housing facilities, and
The commercial zone comprises of support facilities like banks, post office, hospital,
shopping centres, clubs etc. While designing an Industrial Estate, a mix of industrial,
residential and commercial zones must be kept in mind.

Government’s Role and Policies

Promotion of industrial parks was given a boost by the Government of India towards the
end of the first five-year plan (1952-57) when the ‘Industrial Estates Development
Program’ was initiated. The role of the Central Government in the establishment and
upkeep of Industrial Estates in India has been mainly that of laying down the guidelines
for the State Governments. The responsibility for the selection of sites, development of
areas, construction of infrastructure facilities etc., has been the mandate of the State

Private Sector Participation

Private sector participation is being encouraged by all the States to ensure a more
commercial approach to the entire exercise of setting up and managing Industrial Estates.
Private sector participation would lead to:
A better choice of location, design and infrastructure facilities
Better collection of revenues
Professional and innovative management
Greater accountability and responsibility
Fund mobilization to bridge the infrastructure investment gaps

Institutional Arrangements with Private Participation

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So far the Government has been the sole promoting, investing, implementing and
operating agency in this sector. Participation of the private sector requires changes in
institutional arrangements. This would lead to increase in the number of players and
would encompass:
• The State Government
• A promotional agency set up by the State like the State Industrial Development
Corporation (SIDC) or a State Industrial Estate Promotional Authority (SIEPA)
• The Private Sector
• Financial Institutions

Land Acquisition
Land acquisition is considered to be a major hindrance in setting up any industrial estate
on account of two main reasons:
• Inability to acquire contiguous land due to reluctance of some owners to sell the land
• Problems in fixing the compensation price of the land

The quality of Infrastructure of the Industrial Estates is India is deteriorating, thereby
defeating the purpose of their creation. Sustainability of the Industrial Estates is
therefore becoming an important issue, with the State Government finding it difficult to
maintain the infrastructure facilities in these estates. Deterioration of infrastructure
facilities affects the performance of the industrial units, which in turn affects the revenue
source for the estates. Hence, a vicious cycle is created, leading to the failure of the
industrial park.

Fiscal Concessions

Tamilnadu --Industrial Development

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The key areas of TANSIDCO’s activities are as follows:

Development of industrial estates with infrastructure facilities and provision of work sheds &
developed plots.
Raw Materials Supply Scheme Marketing Assistance Scheme
Export Assistance Scheme Guidance to Entrepreneurs
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State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited (SIPCOT) was

established in the year 1971, under the Companies Act. The main objective of the
Corporation is to promote medium and large scale Industries in Tamil Nadu. SIPCOT is
striving to achieve the objective through the following activities:
(a) Developing, Marketing and Maintaining Industrial Complexes / Parks and
Growth Centres;

(b) Implementing Infrastructure Development Schemes.

The details of area acquired, developed and sold upto 31.3.04 are given below -
In acres
Total area acquired 21,343.73
Total allottable area 15957.29
Total area allotted 6,764.26
Number of units allotted 1,131
Area Development expenditure incurred so far Rs.31645 lakhs.

I. SIPCOT Industrial Complex / Parks/Growth Centres:

The Corporation has developed 17 Complexes/Parks/Growth Centres in 12 districts in
Tamil nadu. The locations and area of the complexes are given below:
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S.N Location of Name of District Area in acres

complex/park/growth centre
1. Ranipet Vellore 1663.97
2. Hosur Krishnagiri 2410.71
3. Pudukottai Pudukottai 421.10
4. Manamadurai Sivagangai 492.07
5. Gummidipoondi Tiruvellore 1257.08
6. Thoothukudi Thoothukudi 2707.86
7 Cuddalore Cuddalore 712.27
Cuddalore Industrial Park 1266.00
8 Irungattukottai Kanchipuram 1843.68
9 Sriperumbudur Kanchipuram 2469.00
10 Siruseri (Information Technology Park) Kanchipuram 980.00
11 Nilakottai Dindigul 386.21
12 Bargur Krishnagiri 1348.00
13 Export Promotion Industrial Park, Tiruvellore 224.11
14 Perundurai Erode 2751.98
15 Gangaikondan Tirunelveli 2038.33
16 Oragadam Kanchipuram 2043.00
17 Cheyyar Thiruvannamalai 631.00

II. Infrastructure
SIPCOT is implementing the
following special infrastructure development schemes:
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(A)Govt.of India Schemes:

Food Park, Nilakottai, Dindigul district:
SIPCOT is promoting a Food Park in the SIPCOT Industrial Complex at Nilakottai over
an extent of 100 acres at a cost of Rs.13.00 crores.

Apparel Park-Irungattukottai, Kanchipuram district:

SIPCOT is developing an Apparel Park in association with Apparel and Handlooms
Exporters Association (AHEA). The cost of the project is Rs.24.00 crores..

Development of Coir Cluster and Leather Cluster:

SIPCOT will facilitate developement of critical infrastructure for leather and coir
industries by combining the funds of the Government of India and the beneficiary bodies
under Public-Private partnership. The project proposals for development of the Leather
Cluster at Ambur and Coir cluster covering Salem and Dharmapuri districts have been
forwarded to Govt.of India for approval.

(b)Govt.of Tamilnadu Schems:

Eco-Enterprises Park, Nilakottai, Dindigul district.
SIPCOT has set apart 50 acres in the SIPCOT Industrial Complex at Nilakottai to
establish an Eco Enterprises Park at a cost of Rs.5.00 crores. The Eco Enterprises Park is
conceived to promote industries in the field of herbal, horticulture, bio - technology and
renewable sources of energy.

Integrated Knowledge Industry Township at Siruseri Information Technology Park

In line with announcement made in the budget 2003-04, SIPCOT had identified M/s Lee
Kim Tah Holdings Ltd, a consortium of Singapore Companies to develop an Integrated
Knowledge Town Ship with in the Information Technology Park (ITP) Siruseri near
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Hazarduous Industrial Waste Disposal Project at Melakottaiyur in Kancheepuram

A suitable site of 68.92.0 hectares has been identified in Melakottiyur, Kanchipuram

Existing Industrial Estate Upgradation:

SIPCOT will improve the infrastructure in the select industrial estates which have high
potential for investors, involving the Industries Association in the management of the
estates on a participatory basis.

Economic Reforms - Tamilandu

 Abolition of industrial licensing, except in few ‘strategic’sectors
 Foreign Direct Investment up to 100% allowed in most ectors under the ‘Automatic
 Rationalization of both indirect and direct tax structure
 Portfolio investments by foreign institutional investors
 allowed in both equity and debt markets
 Rupee made fully convertible on trade account
 Removal of quantitative restrictions on imports
 Financial sector reforms and decontrol of interest rates
 The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act enacted in 2003

Institutions Associated with Industrial Development in Tamilnadu

Director of Industries & Commerce
Chepauk, Chennai - 600 005

Electronics Corporation of Tamilnadu Limited (ELCOT)

692, MHU Complex, Anna Salai, Nandanam, Chennai - 600 035

Industrial & Technical Consultancy Organisation of Tamilnadu Ltd. (ITCOT)

50-A, Greams Road,Chennai - 600 006
Tamilnadu Small Industries Development Corporation Ltd. (SIDCO)
SIDCO Office Complex, Paulwels Road, Kathipara Junction, Chennai - 600 016
State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamilnadu Limited (SIPCOT)
19-A, Rukmani Lakshmipathy Salai, Chennai - 600 008
Small Industries Service Institute (SISI)
65/1, GST Road, Chennai - 600 032
Tamilnadu Adi Dravida Housing Development Corporation Ltd. (TAHDCO)
TNHB Shopping Complex, Thirumangalam, Chennai - 600 101
Tamilnadu Corporation for Development of Women Ltd.
No.100, Anna Salai, Guindy, Chennai - 600 032
Tamilnadu Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. (TIDCO)
19-A, Rukmani Lakshmipathy Salai, Chennai - 600 008
Tamilnadu Industrial Guidance and Export Promotion Bureau (Guidance)
19-A, Rukmani Lakshmipathy Salai, Egmore, Chennai – 600 008.
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Regional Analysis / Regional Growth Theories

Economic theories talk about growth in terms of
1. increase of income (total income) and / or
2. increase of per capita income
Therefore regional growth implies an increase in the total income and/or per capita
income of a region. Since the growth of income is always the result of the growth of
the use of factors (e.g. land, labour, capital, raw material) of production, regional
growth should imply a better use of the factors of production such as land, labour, capital
etc. of the region.

In addition to these factors, a region can also grow due to an increase in the level of
demand for its commodities from the other regions within the country or outside
the country.

Thus in regional analysis, growth of a region can result either from endogenous (within)
factors or from exogenous (outside) factors or both. Some times growth may result
from a right location of industries/services. Consequently there are theories of regional
growth which attempt to explain the growth of a region in terms of
1. Endogenously induced process. e.g. Sector theory, stage theory
2. Exogenously induced process e.g. Export base model
3. Spatially induced process e.g. Growth pole, Central place


Sector Theory

The sector theory has its origin in the empirical observations made by Colin Clark,
Simon Kuznets and others. It is based on the contribution of different sectors of
economy at different levels of development. The sector theory places attention on
structural changes taking place within an economy in contrast to the export base
theory, which emphasizes the role of external relationships. According to sector
theory, the process of economic development is accompanied by a shift in the
employment pattern first from primary to secondary sector and later on to the tertiary
sector. The explanation is based upon the different income elasticity for the products of
Demand for a product is proportionate to its price. A small change in the price
may lead to a greater change in demand. In such cases the demand is called
elastic. On the other hand, even a big change in price may not cause any change
in demand. Such demand is called inelastic e.g. salt.
When income increases, demand for secondary & tertiary products and services

these sectors and the relative differences in the average earnings per worker in different
sectors. The theory is empirically verifiable in terms of cross section and historical
trends in different countries or major regions within them.

The sector theory with its emphasis on structural changes, differences in elasticity of
demand and productivity differences among sectors throws light on some important
elements in the growth of an economy. It provides a useful frame of reference for
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aggregating data for comparative studies. However, the theory is criticized. The main
weakness of the sector theory is its neglect / ignorance of the role of external factors in
regional development. Reliance on aggregation of data at a very broad level also has its


Another approach to understand regional development is provided by the stage

theory, which visualizes economic development as a process of transformation
3. Traditional Society
Pre-Newtonian science & technology
Political power – landed aristocracy
4. Pre conditions for take off
New learning or Renaissance
New Monarchy
New Religion or Reformation
Building up to social over head capital
Technological revolution in agriculture
Reactive nationalism (against foreign domination)
3. Take off stage
Rise in the rate of productive investment
Development of one or two manufacturing sector
Emergence of institutional frame work
4. Drive to maturity
Change in the working force-skilled urbanization
Change in the qualities of entrepreneurs
5. Age of High Mass consumption
Movement to suburbs
Use of automobiles
Use of household goods & gadgets

through successive stages. Proponents of this theory believe in a regular or normal

sequence of stages of growth. Most famous of the stage theory is that of Rostow,
who has distinguished five stages of growth on the basis of development experience
of a number of countries i.e., the traditional society, the pre-conditions of take-off, the
take-off, the derive to maturity and the age of high mass consumption.

Hoover and Fisher have applied the stage theory in the regional setting. They have
visualized the transformation of a region from an agricultural to an industrial
economy through the following successive stages of development: subsistence
agriculture; local specialization based on trade; cash-crop farming; mining and
manufacturing; diversified manufacturing; and specialization in tertiary industries for
export. They observe that a non-industrialized region may reach a limit to its
growth and start decaying, suggesting that if a region is to continue to increase its
per capita income it must eventually industrialize.
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Export: to carry or send out of a country, as goods in commerce; a commodity

which is or may be sent from one country to another in traffic.
Invisible export: money spend by the tourists from abroad
Visible export: goods sold by the traders abroad.

Export Base Model (EBM) emphasis the exogenous factors in regional growth. It
points out that regions are not closed areas but are open to the flows of trade.
Export Base Model (EBM) indicates that growth of a region depends upon the
growth of the regional export base; Regional export depends on the expansion in
demand external to the region. As a consequence of export sales, income in the
region increases leading to an expansion of residentiary activities, development of
external economics and further regional growth.

The export base theory, initially developed in the context of the growth of urban
areas was used to explain the process of regional economic development by D.C
North. He looks at the region as a territory developing around a common export base.
He thinks that the growth of a region “is closely tied to the success of its exports and it
may take place either as result of the improved position of existing exports relative
to competing areas or as a result of the development of new exports.” Understanding
the comparative advantage in producing goods and services in demand to the existing
markets outside the region, which in turn attracts productive factors in a region facilitates
the growth of a region.

The distinction between basic and non-basic activities is crucial to the theory of
export base. The basic activities are those the product of which is intended for the
export market, while the non-basic or residentiary activities are those which cater to the
local market. The non-basic activities are regarded as depending upon the basic
activities and the ratio of income or employment generated in the two types of
activities is taken as a multiplier. The expansion of the export base in response to
increasing outside demand is seen as the principal factor determining the growth of
income in a region through the multiplier effect on the residentiary activities.

Calculating Multiplier
m = Increase in total income in basic activities 10000 + non basic activities
Increase in total income of basic activities 10000
In a region, if the income in basic activities is increased by 10,000 units and this results
in increase in income in non-basic activities by 20,000 units we have 10,000 +
20,000=30,000/10,000 = 3 Income multiplier = 3

The chief merit of the export base theory lies in the fact that it links the growth of a
region with changes in demand in the other regions of the nation and the world.
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1. When a region specializes in the production of a few goods due to inter-regional
trade and division of labour, it exports those commodities, which it produces cheaper,
in exchange for what others can produce at a lower cost. It leads to increase in
regional income, raises the level of out put in the export sector and raises growth.
2. Higher the level of income and output breaks the vicious cycle of poverty.
3. When the export base is increasing, many entrepreneurs will enter into it;
competition arises; it leads to lower the cost of production either by technological
improvement or better use of the factors of production.
4. As a consequence of the expansion of income received from outside, increased
investment in residentiary activity will take place.
5. Exports provide the basis for the importation of capital from outside.

However, in spite of its wide appeal the export base theory has been severely criticized
on a number of accounts.

Firstly, as Tiebout points out “there is no reason to assume that exports are the sole or
even the most important autonomous variable determining regional income. Such other
items as business investment, government expenditure and the volume of residential
construction may be just as autonomous with respect to regional income as are exports.

Secondly, the theory errs in ignoring the role of internal growth sequences and in treating
the residentiary activities as purely passive. The development of the residentiary
activities is itself an important determinant of a growth of a region.

Thirdly, the volume of exports from a region is also the result of the income elasticity of
demand. Although the export base theory may be able to explain the process of growth of
small regions depending upon exports, the growth of large regions like Eastern U.P.
cannot be explained without reference to endogenous factors operating in the region.

In addition to the above three criticisms, another important criticism against EBM is, at
times export base won’t lead to the growth of the regional economy.
 Additional income acquired through export may be frittered away on imported luxury
 The businessmen who acquire such income may not invest in the same region.
 Some times export trade may lead to backwash effect in the underdeveloped regions.
E.g. Bihar & Orissa they have a wide export base but not experienced growth
 When the exports are made to developed regions, it will lead to negative
demonstration effect; and will affect the capital formation in the region.

Conclusion: Inter-regional trade opens new opportunities of specialization and

development for the regions engaged in it. Export base model bring into use hither to
unexploited natural resources and may free the regions from the limitations of their own
domestic markets.
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Input-Output Analysis

Leontief (1951) developed input-output model. It helps to understand and determine the
interdependce of various sectors of the economy. It assumes that economy consists of a
number of interacting industries i.e. the output of one industry may used as an input for
other industry

Input Output
- Some thing which is brought for the enterprise - Some thing which is sold by it.
- Input-that which is procured - Output-that which is produced
- Represents the expenditure of the firm - Receipt part of the firm
- Sum of the money values of inputs is - Sum of the money values of the
the total cost output is the total revenue

Friedmann’s Synthesis of Theories of Regional Development

In spite of the vast literature that has come out in the last twenty-five years, our
knowledge of the spatial incidence of economic growth remains limited. We are as yet
nowhere near a complete theory of regional development. However, the existing
literature has led to certain important generalizations, which have met with wide
acceptance. Friedmann has presented a synthesis of the generalizations concerning
regional economic development in terms of the following eight propositions:
1. Regional economy is open to the outside world and subject to external influence.
2. Regional economic growth is externally induced.
3. Successful translation of export sector growth into growth of the residentiary sector
depends of the socio-political structure of the region and the local distribution of
income and patterns of expenditure.
4. Local leadership is decisive for successful adaptation to external change. Yet the
quality of leadership depends on the region’s past development experience.
5. Regional economic growth may be regarded, in part, as a problem in the location of
6. Economic growth tends to occur in the matrix of urban regions. It is through this
matrix that the evolving space economy is organized.
7. Flows of labour tend to exert an equilibrating force on the welfare effects of
economic growth. But contradictory results may be obtained.
8. Where economic growth is sustained over long periods, its incidence works towards
a progressive integration of the space economy.
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Theories of industrial location attempts to explain
1) Why the industries are located in a particular place?
2) Why the locations are shifted?
3) What can be the best location for a particular industry?
Answers to these questions provide guidelines for spatial development.
Theories of industrial location can be classified into three categories.
1. Those which emphasis cost factors
2. Those which emphasis demand
3. Those which are concerned with locational interdependence

Least Cost Approach (Van Thunen & Alfred Weber)

Van Thunen, (1826) a German Scholar, made the first attempt to develop a theory of
location emphasizing cost factors. In his book ‘The Isolated State’, Thunen
considered the problem of location of various forms of agricultural production in
relation to markets. He concluded that location depends upon the value of the
commodity in the market and cost of its transportation.

He explained how the space is organized through a workable model of the land use
pattern. To explain his hypothesis
 He imagined an isolated state.
 A large town existed in the centre of the agricultural field, which had no counter
magnets in its vicinity. The town drew its production from the plain, to which it
supplied the manufactured products.
 The transport network in the region, roads & navigational canals was poor i.e.
extremely poor transportation linkages.
 At a considerable distance, the plain ended in an uncultivated wilderness.
The question that Van Thunen asked was: “How will the agriculture of the plain be
arranged in such circumstances?”

Thunen’s answer was, “cultivation would be arranged in a series of concentric circles

round the town, according to the cost of transportation of the commodity and the ratio in
which its value stood to its bulk and weight. A series of concentric rings would tend to
grow up around the city and a specific pattern of land-use would dominate within each

G reenVegetables /
P ulses/cereals
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1) In the ring closest to the city, those items that could bear transportation least of
all, or on which transportation charges would be out of proportion to the
market price, would be produced.
E.g. items perishable in nature, items less in weight, dairy farming, horticulture
crops, vegetables etc.
2) More distant belts would specialize in products, which were more in weight and
volume, but fetched higher prices in the market.

Alfred Weber

The first comprehensive effort at developing a theory of location was made by

Alfred Weber (1909). Weber also emphasized the cost factors (least cost approach)
to the theory of industrial location.
A/c to Weber, location depends upon
a) Raw materials
b) Cost of transporting raw materials
c) Cost of labour
d) Agglomeration & deglomeration tendencies
b,c,d are considered as a primary regional factors which influence the location of
industries. Weber emphasis that the best location is the place where the production
costs would be lowest.

Demand Approach:

August Losch was the proponent of this approach. He criticized the least cost
approach for omitting the demand can serve an important role in determining the
location of industry. He further argued that the best location would be that which
would command, the largest market area, since this would bring in the highest sales
revenue. Point of largest sales should be the correct location; place of greatest profit is
the right place.


Least cost approach Profit maximization

Ignoring market Ignoring the raw material

Even though both the theories are one sided, August Losch approach helps us to
understand the formation of hexagons, which in turn helps us to understand the Central
Place Theory.

Suppose there is a farmer who produces bear over and above his requirements. If OP is
the price at the brewery, which is at P, those living there will buy PQ bottles of bear.
Further away, the price is higher by the amount of the freight, and the demand
consequently shrinks. When the price costs are PF, the total price rises to OF and the
demand shrinks to Zero. Thus PF will be the extreme sales radius for bear. By rotating
the triangle PQF on PQ as an axis we obtain the demand cone, whose volume gives the
total sales of the brewery at point P and thus denote the market area of the brewery.
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It is possible that other farms may also produce surplus beer, which they would like to
sell in the market. As long as profits are made, new breweries will continue to be
established, each brewery having a circular market area.

As the number of breweries increases, the circular areas touch

each other, but even now, the whole space is not covered and
some area will remain unserved.

The only possibility by which the total area can be served is

through overlapping circles.

Ultimately hexagons are formed. The hexagonal form is the most efficient one since
among all the possibilities of utilizing the corners, the hexagon retains most of the
advantages of the circle.
Hexagonal arrangement ensures efficient division of space between a numbers of central
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Essential Features

Many writers are mentioned for developing the Central Place Theory (CPT).
Jefferson (1931), Christaller (1933), August Losch (1939 & 1954), Berry and
Garrison (1958) Christaller again in 1966, Dacey (1966), and Berry (again 1967) are
important names to be remembered. The most important names are of Christaller and

While Christaller constructed his system from the “Top to

the Bottom”, Losch built his system starting from “Bottom
to the top”. While Christaller takes the commodities with the
largest market area first, then Losch first selected
commodities with a smallest market area and then went on
taking commodities with successfully large market areas.

Christaller’s Central Place Theory in a Hierarchy of


These writers mentioned above attempted to derive in exact terms a spatial

differentiation of economic activity on a homogeneous plain on the basic of economic
factors. These German writers developed hexagonal market areas based on the transport
cost and different sizes of the urban settlements. Like Thunen and Weber of Germany,
they were more concerned with the spatial aspects.

In the CPT of Christaller, centrality means importance. It is manifested by the

quantity and quality of different services and functions provided by the settlement.
It is defined as the functional importance of settlement of the central place. Functions
determine the centrality of the centre and not the location.

Since all goods and services cannot be produced in any one region, the regions import
and export to other regions. Movement of factors, transportation of goods and migration
of people take place between regions and a network of movement develops. There are
some nodal points of advantage in this network, though nodes differ in sizes and
importance thus a hierarchy of nodes and there are their zones of influence (also known
as hinterland surfaces).

CPT is not based upon the actual pattern of settlements, but it a geographers dream about
the ideal hierarchy as they would like to see and present it on a map.

The Central place theory assumes certain situations related to settlements –

hamlets, villages, homesteads and cities. These assumptions are:

(1) The Landscape is even with an even distribution of natural resources and an even
spread of population – invariably assumed to be farmers. “People do the marketing in a
circular area”.
(2) The radius of the circle of the marketing i.e. ‘the extent of the market’ is the function of
transport cost. The circles so overlap that the common areas of overlap provide
hexagonal shapes, and all consumers and area are served by various centers.
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(3) Population is evenly distributed in all the directions and the movement of people in all
the directions is unimpeded and involves equal unit transport cost.
(4) All people are rational: they want to minimize cost (transport cost and the time cost of
traveling in particular) and maximize gains.
(5) All the consumers have the same purchasing power
(6) Lower order functions are available at lower order places and higher order functions at
higher order places, though higher order settlements have many lower order functions
(7) The relationship between settlement nodes is orderly and not disorderly. There is a
hierarchy of functions related to the hierarchy of settlements. In a small village there
will be a rural post box and a delivery postman while in a big city most developed
modern electronic facilities are available.
In every field there are facilities ranging from the lowest to the highest order. (Primary
school to institutes to specialize learning and research; village dispensary to specialized
institutes of surgery / medical treatment; one counter bank to big banks using computers
and exchanging of currency in the world).
(8) Each lower or higher order service requires threshold population. A cinema hall will
require a minimum film–viewing public to (say) 500 members per show. A threshold
population and efficiency of transport system (Low transport cost) will sustain a

Important Features of Central Place Theory

(A). Settlements: Hierarchy: Centres: Centre of the Centres.

The space in the earth is dotted with settlements, which have a hierarchy. There are
farmstead, hamlet, small villages, bigger villages, small–intermediate–big towns, cities
and metropolis (sum of them Miseropolis). They form the rural and urban areas.

Thus the settlement differs in sizes and distribution of population / functions and in each
region there is a center of center place. These center places are themselves in a
hierarchical order. Around a nucleus (town) there is crystallization of mass (mass
includes population, function and activities).

(B). Functions, Central Functions and Ordering

Facilities and functions are the goods and services available at a place. Primary sector
provides agricultural goods, raw materials and food articles. There are manufactured
goods (secondary sector) made available and services which make up the ‘tertiary sector:
schools hospitals, bank branches, whole sale establishments, retail shops, barber’s shop,
post office are all services. There are lower and higher order services, e.g., primary
school to international famous institutes of higher learning and research. Instance can be
in multiplied in respect of all type of services.

Normally lower order centers will provide lower order functions and facilities. Higher
order centers will provide higher order facilities. It can be said with fair amount of
certainty that higher order functions will provide many, if not all, lower order functions
and facilities also. Sometimes we can find higher order facility in a lower order center (a
mission hospital with good medical facilities in a remote small town). Central places
provide central functions. These are those goods and services, which are produced at a
few locations in order to be used by many settlements, scattered over the place. Hence
the central functions are un–ubiquitous in nature and the degree of importance of a
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function is supposed to vary inversely with the frequency of its occurrence. If one
particular commodity is sold everywhere, there is no central place for the same.

The more developed country / region, the higher the percentage of contribution of the
secondary and tertiary sectors to the national income. The same is true of the developed
central places. Center places develop because of the central functions are provided by
the central places. The central services overcome the disadvantages of the ‘friction of

Threshold population: Market Range: Interaction

Various types of the services can be ranked into higher and lower orders, depending on
the demand threshold i.e., the minimum viable level of population and income required
to support services.

Then there is the range of service area. There are outer limits of the market area for each
service. This outer limit depend upon the (a) cost of transport and (b) distribution of
These two factors (threshold & range) determine the number and size of the center places
supplying each service and hence center places hierarchy develops.

One of the most important characteristics of a central function is that it generates spatial
interactions, through the movement of men, materials and ideas between the center place
and the complimentary region surrounding it. The rare the function, the higher the range
of the interaction.

Each center has its complimentary area and from the center emanates the centrifugal or
distributive functions and from the complimentary areas to the center gravitate
centripetal activities or activities of collection.

Thus there is two way inter–dependence and interaction between the center and
complimentary area. A continuous progress of centripetal and centrifugal interaction
takes place between the spatially dispersed settlements and the nearest nodal centers
containing bundles of different services and facilities. Advantage levels of the nodal
points differ. Hierarchies of the centers and the services differ. All this difference
determines the interactions and interdependence.
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Walter Christaller (1933) has discovered that there is some ordering principle
governing the distribution of towns and cities, that is, settlements concerned with the
provision of goods and services.

His theory is designated as the ‘theory of location of urban trades and institutions’ to
be placed beside Van Thunen’s theory of the ’location of the agricultural production’
and Alfred Weber’s ‘theory of location of industries’

In the original formulation of the theory by Walter Christaller, he explained central

place is the source of goods and services to the surroundings – beyond its own area.
Implicit in the theory is the complementary relation of the two areas and the conditions
governing the spatial distribution of central places and their hierarchical arrangement.

The theory was formulated to provide answers to the questions why cities, towns, and
villages are distributed as they are, and why there are the degrees of size. The theory
foreshadowed by several previous German writers, especially Robert Gradmann, and
by few others, but Christaller was the first to fortify the theory with extensive and
detailed analysis.

Christaller claims that the theory is organically based on the “ The crystallization of
mass around a nucleus is, in inorganic as well as organic nature, an elementary
form of the order of things, which belong together – a centralistic order. This order
is not only a human mode of thinking, existing in the human world of imagination and
developed because people demand order; it in fact exists out of the inherent pattern of

According to Walter Christaller ‘ a central place is defined as a settlement providing

services for the population of its hinter land (known as complementary region),
supplying it with central goods and services (educational, leisure and cultural
facilities) as well as those of retail and wholesale trade.

Central places vary in importance. Depending upon the central functions performed by
them and the population served, they can be classified as higher order centers and lower
order centers. Higher order centers stock a wide array of goods and services and serve a
large population, lower order centers stock a smaller range goods and services and serve
a smaller population.

Besides population, a settlement’s importance as a central place depends upon numerous

(1) The supply of goods to the population at surrounding areas,
(2) Provision of resort amenities,
(3) Nodes on transportation networks,
(4) The provision of banking and commercial facilities,
(5) The provision of educational and cultural facilities, and
(6) Governmental and other administrative functions.
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The growth of a central place is also dependant on numerous factors such as (1) the
amount of support that is required for a particular function called threshold population,
(2) Spatial competition, and (3) the chance of a particular central place for the location of
new functions.

Central place theory is usually explained by using three concepts associated with it.

1. Centrality
2. Threshold
3. Range of central good.

1. Centrality.

The centrality of a settlement (urban centre) is defined as the ratio between the services
provided and the local needs of its inhabitants. The increasing or decreasing centrality
of a place depends on the extent to which it functions for the surrounding region.
Christaller give a simple mathematical explanation. If the town has an aggregate
importance of B, of which Bz represents the town’s population, then B – Bz = the
surplus of importance for the surrounding region, and it is this, the magnitude of
the surplus, that shows the degree to which the town is a central place.

How is it possible to measure the centrally of a place and its importance as such?

Christaller stated that centrality “ is equal to the relative importance of the place in
regard to a region belonging to it”. He suggested that the best method of determining
the importance of a place as a centre is, not by the size of the population, but by the
number of telephone connections. Professor Edward Ullman suggested some, such as
“the average number of customers required to support certain specialized functions
in various regions,” and, “the excess of these functions over the normal requirement of
the urban population.’ Another suggestion is the number of automobiles entering a town
excluding those from the suburbs.

Other indicators
- business turnovers of the shops
- number of central functions such as whole sale and retail stores
- professional services located in a settlement

Threshold is the minimum sales volume needed to support a business or service; below
this level it will not be profitable to supply a good or a service

Range of a central good/service delineates the market area of a central good/service. It

is the maximum distance that consumers are willing to travel (Keeping in view the price
of the good) to purchase the good. It we assume that travel is equally easy in all
directions, the range of a central good will be a perfect circle round the central place.

As far as the spatial development plans / programs are concerned, central place theory is
more understandable and more viable, if it is formulated in a series of simple concepts,
such as the range of a good / service and of threshold. By using these concepts, the
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planners can visualize a hierarchical structure of central places to provide goods and

The assumptions adopted by Christaller to explain his theory are:

 the landscape is an even plain with an even distribution of natural resources and an
even spread of population, producers and consumers, and
 The movement in every direction is unimpeded and involves equal unit cost.

Now let us assume a farmer selling his produce at point A as in the diagram. Other
farmers are willing to travel distance ‘a’ to purchase from this farmer. Since we have
assumed that travel is equally easy in all directions, the market area for the farmer at A is
given by the circle with radius ‘a’. In time more producers may develop their own
separate market areas as shown in the diagram. With the development of transportation
and communications the market areas will expand and there will be an attempt to cover
the maximum possible space. With circular market areas we can have a situation as in
the diagram. While in the diagram there are several unserved areas (the shaded region in
the figure), in the diagram there is considerable overlapping. Neither of these instances
gives a stable result. While in the former case the unserved areas will have to be split
equally between neighboring areas, in the latter consumers in the shaded region will tend
to choose the nearest centre. Ultimately hexagonal market areas will emerge as given in
the diagram. It is only this hexagonal arrangement that ensures an efficient division of
space between a number of central places.

Hierarchy of Central Places

Christaller’s basic model is organized on the basis of what he calls the marketing
principle. The hierarchy and nesting pattern in this case results in the maximum number
of central places-a necessary condition if the supply of goods from the central places is to
be as near as possible to the consumers (according to the requirement of movement
minimization). Such a system, is known as a K=3 network and is shown by filled
circles; the next the lower order places (e.g., villages are shown by open circles; and the
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high order places (e.g., towns) are shown by double circle. Trade area boundaries of
these three order settlements are indicated in the figure by solid lines, dashed lines, and
double lines, respectively.

The k-value is the total number of settlements of a certain order served by a central place
of the next higher order. As would be clear from Fig.5, each hamlet is shared between
three villages as shown by the arrows. Since a village has six hamlets at the corners of
the hexagon surrounding it, each village serves [(1/3)*6] = 2 hamlets. Adding to this the
hamlet part of the functional structure of the village itself (which is obviously served by
the village itself), each village serves the equivalent of 3 hamlets, i.e. K= 3.

In a similar way it can be shown that a town serves three villages (and there fore nine
hamlets) the central place of the next higher order (say, city) will serve three towns, i.e.
nine (3*3) villages or 27 hamlets (9*3). Thus, the number of centers and successfully
lower order levels in the hierarchy follows a geometric progression (i.e., 1, 3,9,27, etc.).

In addition to the principle of marketing, Christaller proposes other principle too – the
principle of transportation or principle of traffic and principle of administration.
The principle of transportation assumes importance in those cases where cost of
transportation is significant. According to this principle, the distribution of central places
is at an optimum when as many important places as possible lie on one traffic route
between larger towns, the route being established in the cheapest possible manner. Thus
sub-centres lie along the routes between the main centers and we have an arrangement as
given in fig .6. A hamlet is shared by two villages as represented by the arrows and since
a village is surrounded by 6 hamlets (each hamlet being situated midway between two
corners of a hexagon and lying on the straight line connecting to villages), each village
serves (½ * 6) = 3 hamlets. Adding to this, the hamlet part of the functional structure of
the village itself, each village serves the equivalent of (3 +1) = 4 hamlets therefore K = 4.
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The ‘ K’ value is the total no of settlements of a certain orders served by a central place of the
next higher order. It is the total no of settlements served by the center place.
There are three types of ‘ K’ values assigned by Christaller
1. The Marketing Principle ‘K’ value which is equal to 3.
2. The Transporting Principle ‘K’ value is equal to 4.
3. The Administrative Principle ‘K’ value which is equal to 7.

Marketing Principles and ‘K’ value.

Christaller conceived that there are six hamlets at the corner of the hexagons surrounding the
village. Since the hexagon is divided into three parts (see hexagon diagrams), each villages
serves 1/3rd of the six hamlets i.e., two hamlets.
Adding to them will be the village itself and the ‘K’ value becomes 3.
A town serves 3 villages and hence 6 hamlets. The central place of the next higher order (city)
will serve three towns or 9 villages or 27 hamlets.
In the scheme of Christaller , each center place is surrounded by six lower order places which
are situated at the vertices of the hexagon. When the original center place is surrounded by
six other center places of the same order, the first order trade area of each of the lower order
places is competed for by three of the first order places. There fore, each first order place can
be depend upon the full first order trade area from itself and one- third of the first order trade
area from each of the six lower order places.
This market principle is called the ‘K =3’ pattern, because it has the trade of one (itself) and 6
times the one – third (6* 1/3 = 2) of the trade of the other areas. Thus, the frequency of
occurrence of different levels of market area follows the geometric progression of 1: 3: 9: 27:
81: 243 & so on, at successively lower levels of the hierarchy.

Transportation Principle and ‘K value’

This is also known as the ‘Principle of traffic’. If several habitations lie on a route, then the
route will be more efficient and cheap. Sub- centers should lie on the route to center. (See
diagram of the transportation principle). Two villages share a hamlet.
Since a village is surrounded by a six hamlets (each hamlet being situated between two
corners of a hexagon and lying on the straight line connecting two villages), Each village
serves (1/2 x 6) 3 hamlets. Adding the village itself, we get ‘K’ value as 4.
The sub- centers in the Christallers scheme of things have “dual loyalty”. The traffic leads to a
hierarchy which minimizes the distance between the sub-centers and the main center.
The administrative principle and ‘K’ value.
This principle emphasis that each center should have complete control of the 6 surrounding areas and
no divided allegiance exists. No power sharing between lower and higher order centers is
permitted. The center governs itself also and hence the ‘K’ value is 6+1 = 7.
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The administrative principle is based upon the idea that each centre should have
complete control of the six surrounding areas with no divided allegiance. Thus, in this
case, sharing of the lower order centers between the higher order centers is not permitted.
Therefore, it is K = 7.

Central place theory remains even today unsurpassed as a coherent model of spatial
organization of the service activities of man. Central place theory indicates that the
region can be served by goods of various types, if the central places producing different
ranges of goods / services are evenly distributed. The distances separating the
settlements will be greater in case of higher centers and proportionally less in the case of
lower order centers.

All the central places constitute a hierarchy from the smallest villages to the largest
towns of national importance.

1. Applicable only to service sector which is only a part of the total economy.
2. The hierarchy system would be distorted by the location of primary or manufacturing
3. The assumption that the consumer will act rationally and patronize the nearest center
is not correct.
4. Most criticized for its static and descriptive nature, as it deals with its relationship
between centers and their hinterlands only at one point of time, but fails to take into
account the evolutionary process of spatial structure i.e. how the structure has
evolved and might change in future.

However with certain modifications central place theory can be used as a starting point
for the spatial development of tertiary activities and social services in any situation. Not
with standing its limitations one has to admit that it is a marked improvement over Van
Thunen’s theory even today, it provides the most rational approach to the arrangement of
human activities, apart from manufacturing.

Modifications in the Central Place Theory.

August Losch, refined the central place theory by incorporating non-service activities in
its functions, August Losch model postulated that there is one superior centre where all
goods are produced. The size of the centers increases with distance form the central place
and those small centers tend to be located about half way in between larger ones. Losch
considered that the size of the hexagon not only in relation to a geographical centre, but
also, in relation to the goods produced. Thus a particular centre may have several
hexagonal markets for its different products as transport cost is a function of distance, a
particular industry X with lower cost transportation will have a bigger hexagonal market
area than Y, given the same economics of scale.
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A French regional economist Francis Perroux (1955) introduced the concept of

‘Growth Pole’. According to this concept public investment programs will have
maximum effects on a regional growth if concentrated in a small number of favorable
locations in regional development policy.

Assumptions: The concept of growth poles and growth centers is based on certain
assumption about the real world.

1. Human activities must cluster together to generate internal and external economics of
2. If clustering is allowed, it may entail heavy social costs in terms of congestion,
diseconomies of scale and spatial imbalances in social and economic development.
3. The autonomous process, which generate clustering of human activities and there by
create spatial imbalances in economic development, can be directed through policy
interventions to generate growth foci in areas where they do not exist.

Perroux Hypothesis:

One of the basic objectives of Perroux’s hypothesis is to advance a dynamic theory

economic growth, taking the concept of innovative firms as the starting point. To him
large economic units are innovative. It exerts its influence on the economy through
inter-industrial linkages. Without explaining how the leading industry with strong inter-
industry linkages finds a location at which to form a nucleus around which other
industries cluster, he concluded that such clusters will become growth poles if several
leading and propulsive industries come together to form a complex large enough to exert
a determining influence over its industrial environment.

Perroux based his theory on Schumpeter’s analysis of economic development.

According to him “Economic Development occurs as a result of discontinuous spurts
in a dynamic world”. The innovative entrepreneur whose activities generally take place
in large-scale firms causes such discontinuous spurts. These large scale firms are able to
dominate their environment in the sense of exercising reversible and partially reversible
influences on other economic units by reason of their dimension, negotiations.

The close relationship between scale of operations, dominance and impulses to innovate
became the most important features of Perroux’s theory and lead to the concepts of
dynamic propulsive firm and leading propulsive industry.

The characteristics of a dynamic propulsive firm are

 it is relatively large
 has a high ability to innovate
 belongs to a relatively fast growing sector and
 the quantity and intensity of its interrelations with other sectors of the economy
are important enough for the induced effects to be transmitted to them.
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The characteristics of a leading propulsive industry are also similar. Such an industry
 highly advanced level of technology and managerial expertise
 high income elasticity of demand for its products
 marked local multiplier effects and
 strong inter-industry linkages with other sectors

Such linkages are of two types.

1. Backward linkage:
An industry encourages investments in the earlier stages of production by
expanding its demand for inputs (which are the outputs of industries in the earlier
stages of production (e.g. Sugar Industry)
2. Forward linkage:
An industry encourages subsequent stages of production either by transmitting
innovations or effects of innovations forward.

How forward linkages area transmitted?

As a result of innovations, costs of production in the industry declined. This could
lead to a fall in the price of its output. If this happens, the demand for this
industry’s will increase. In addition to this possibility, there are many other ways in
which innovations or effects of innovations can be transmitted forward.

Thus Perroux based his theory on two cornerstones

1. Schumpeterian theory of development
(i.e. Growth does not appear everywhere and all at once; it appears in points or
development poles with variable intensities; it spread along diverse channels and with
varying terminal effects to the whole of the economy)

2. Theory of inter-industry linkages and industrial interdependence.

Based on this Perroux developed his idea of economic space as a field of forces
consisting of centers (or poles or foci) from which centrifugal forces emanate and to
which centripetal forces are attracted.

It was Boudeville who gave geographic content to Perroux’s economic space. He

defined a ‘growth pole’ as a set of expanding industries located in an urban area and
it includes further development of economic activity throughout its zone of
influence. The place where these ‘expanding’ or ‘propulsive’ or ‘dominant
industries’ are located in the region becomes the poles of the region and
agglomeration tendencies are promoted. Such tendencies arise because of external
economies and result in polarization of economic activities around that pole. The
external economies that become available in the area constituting the growth pole of
a region are basically of the following three types.

1. Economies internal to the firm:

These are the lower average costs of production resulting from an increased rate of
output. These are the economies, which any single firm by its organization and effort
can enjoy.
e.g. organizational efficiency and effectiveness
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2. Economies external to the firm but internal to the industry.

These are associated with localization of industry on account of close locational
proximity of linked firms, as industry expands at a particular location, cost per unit of
output to a firm declines e.g., textile units at Coimbatore, match factories at Sivakasi
4. Economic external to the industry but internal to the urban area.
These can be termed urbanization economies. They include development of urban
labour market, access to a larger market, and provision of a wide range of services.

Schumpeterian theory of development acts as a fulcrum to establish
Theory of backward and forward linkages activities, industries & services in
External economies an urban area, from there emanates
centrifugal forces and to which
centripetal forces are attracted.

Applicability of Growth Pole theory in Regional Planning

Growth Pole concept has become popular because of its orientation towards
‘dynamic industry’ (i.e. dynamic propulsive firm & leading propulsive industry)
‘polarization and agglomeration’ (inter-industry linkages of external economies)
and the promise of ensuring “spread effects”

Thus the growth pole theory postulates that if we carefully plan the public investment
programs to be concentrated or located in a small number of favorable locations then it
will have maximum spread effects on a regional growth.

Because of this, the underdeveloped countries today regard it as the most promising
hope for regenerating the economy of backward areas.
To develop backward regions, one has to implant potential propulsive industries there
and concentrate investments in the selected poles rather than spread them thinly over the
whole region.
Even though it promotes structural imbalance over the whole region, it is justified that
concentration of expansionary momentum at the poles will result in higher per capita
income level in the region as a whole.

Concentration of investments and public expenditure in a few selected points will enable
more effective use of resources and there would be better chance of generating enough
external economies.

Inadequacies of the Growth Pole hypothesis

Critics of growth pole hypothesis point out four main weaknesses.
1.Growth Pole theory is inapplicable to varied regional problems. In resource rich,
well populated but socially and economically backward regions, the growth policy has
not been a success.
e.g. Visakapatnam Port – Shipyard as a core
Rourkela & Bhilai – modern steel plant as core

The impact of these projects on the regional economy has, however, not been spectacular
and the so called leading industry in each case failed to generate development impulses
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in the hinter land. Except for the physical development that happened in the area, people
lead the same traditional lives as they always have. The leading industries are closely
linked with distant manufacturing centers. In their immediate regional environment,
there is hardly any spread effect.

Industrial centers like Durgapur, Jamsedpur

etc stand as monuments of national
achievement but regional failure. The
‘backwash’ process has started operating and
the regions linkages with Calcutta Industrial
region are closer than those with other towns
in the area.

2. Urban and Industrial Bias:

Important weakness inherent in the growth
pole hypothesis is its over dependence on
propulsive industries in selected urban areas.
It disregards other aspects of development.
To expect that any large-scale industry will
be able to create the socio–economic
imperatives for its own growth is unrealistic.

3. Functional Rigidity:
Growth pole hypothesis is functionally rigid by emphasizing productive activities and
economic opportunities created through dynamic propulsive industries. In third world
countries this is not enough. Addition to this (i,e, productive activities), growth pole
must function as (1) Central places (2) Innovative and growth promoting centers, (3)
Social interaction points. It is therefore to get rid of functional rigidities, attached with
the growth pole concept.

4. Lack of Spill over Mechanism:

Growth Pole Hypothesis and Central Place Theory:
The Growth pole theory explains the impact of propulsive industries and leading firms
on regional economic development. But it is not in itself a theory of location, which
explains where the functional poles are or where the most likely locations of the new
poles may be. To explain this, it has to relay on the central place theory. On the other
hand, the central place theory does not explain the growth phenomena; It is a static
theory which only explains the existence of certain patterns of centers. It does not say
how these patterns come into being and how they may undergo changes in the future. To
explain these dynamic phenomena, it needs the help of the growth pole theory.

R.P. Misra’s modified Growth Foci Approach:

R.P. Misra notes the following three important weaknesses in the conventional growth
pole theory when it is applied to conditions prevailing in underdeveloped countries.

1) The hypothesis has its roots in western economic thought where its role has been
defined in terms of accelerating development through industrialization. Undue emphasis
on industrialization programs introduces “functional rigidity” in the growth pole theory.
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2) In undeveloped countries like India, the growth foci should not be concerned with
industrial development alone. They have to perform two other basic functions: (a) they
must function as service centers and meet the day-to-day needs of the area they serve
(i.e. they must function as central places in the form postulated by Christaller); and (b)
they must act as innovative and growth promoting centers. They must have processing
and manufacturing activities of both basic and non-basic types and should be able to
provide employment to the drop–outs of the agricultural system. Thus the role of growth
foci is not limited to manufacturing of goods, it includes the creation of conditions under
which industrial development can occur and;

3. In under developed countries, the growth foci have to function as social interaction
points also. They have to act as the centers of diffusion of information. Provision of
extension services, educational services and meeting places is necessary to accomplish
this task”.

Recognizing the importance of the growth pole theory in the process of regional planning
and taking account of the above considerations, Misra extends the concept of growth
pole to the concept of growth foci. This new concept of growth foci seeks to integrate
the main elements of the central place theory, the growth pole theory and the spatial
diffusion theory. The earlier version of the theory advocated the following four–tier
hierarchy of growth foci.
1. Service centers at the local level.
2. Growth points at the sub – regional level
3. Growth centers at the regional level
4. Growth poles at the national level.

The later formulation envisages a five–tier hierarchy with the central village at the local
level, the service centers at the micro regional level, the growth points at the sub–
regional level, the growth centers at the regional level and the growth poles at the
national level.

Hierarchy Population & Nature Facilities expected

of Growth coverage
1. Central Population Revenue village or Offering marketing,
Village 6000 covering 6 village panchayat. recreational and social
villages. services; will have primary
school, sub post office,
health sub centre, primary
2. Service Population Head quarters of the Will have grocery store
Centre 30,000 covering extension officers, general merchant shops,
5 central minor govt. minor repair facilities,
villages + 5,000 functionaries; focal tailor, larger shops,
population in points for social restaurants, primary and
the service intercourse middle school, sub-post
centre itself; office, co-operative bank,
Town rice mill, flour mill,
Panchayat cinema theatre
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3. Growth Coverage 1.5 Sub-regional innovative Will contain all the

Points lakh and propulsive urban facilities located in the
population i.e. centers; contribute to service centers. Over and
serving 5 the social, economic above it will have agro
service centers and emotional industries, dairy
plus 10,000 to integration of the processing units, junior
25,000 respective sub region; college, primary level
population of linked with sister specialized medical
the growth growth points by state facilities etc.
point itself highways and with the
municipal town service centers by
or taluk head district/local road net
quarters. works.
4. Growth Coverage – 10 There will be 500 Predominance of
Poles to 12 lakhs of growth centers in the secondary activities; will
population; country as a whole. have collecting, storage
plus 50, 000 to District headquarters; and processing facilities
5,00,000 acts as counter magnets for agricultural products;
population of to large urban centers will produce agricultural
the growth like Bombay, Madras, inputs such as fertilizers,
centre it self. Calcutta, Delhi etc. pesticides, and machines;
will have radio/television
station, banking facilities,
degree college, university,
technical institutions;
operation of external
economies; will function as
industrial hubs of the area
they serve.
5. Population of a Designed to serve as the Will send out financial
Growth growth pole ‘heart’ of one macro technological, research
Poles ranges from 5 region of the country; and industrial impulses to
lakhs to 25 state headquarters all centers and points
lakhs – It will within the area of their
serve a command; will perform
population of highly specialized
20 – 30 million secondary and tertiary

Such an extension of the growth pole theory opens up immense possibilities for the
application of this theory in promoting the process of regional and national economic
growth. By ensuring a linked pattern of hierarchy of human settlements, it also
successfully avoids the damages of over urbanization and of depressed areas co-existing
with developed areas. The problem of providing an adequate institutional infrastructure
in the rural areas is also properly looked after. Adoption of this strategy leads to what
Misra calls “decentralized concentration”.
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A growth center (bottom rung in the hierarchy) is a locational concept and it does not
involve the selection of related industries – as in the ‘growth ‘pole’. The growth centre
development entails the concentration of investment in the chosen location where
economies of urbanization are promoted to attract more industries. On the other hand the
growth pole policy necessitates the development of a selected industrial focus composed
of propulsive firms from leading industries; the intention being to foster economies of

When the industries are localized, ‘a growth pole policy’ will inevitably result in a
growth centre and the generation of the resultant economies of urbanization. However,
this is not necessarily true in the reverse: a growth center policy may not lead to the
development of a growth pole of linked industries. Yet, it is precisely what is needed
through planning.

Growth pole explanation is about regional structure while the growth center policy is
about intra-regional imbalance. The basic idea is that growth pole and / or growth center
should promote such economic development that is acceptable from socio-political and
ethno-psychological standpoints. Growth poles and growth centers should improve the
physical quality of life of the people in the entire space and should reduce inequalities.

There can be growth centers with assortment of industries – a nucleus from which
growth could spread into the rest of the region. In addition, development in a limited
number of growth centers should also bring rural transformation.

As a result of the disillusionment with the growth pole model, the growth centre
approach was conceived as an alternative strategy. A growth centre can be district HQ in
a Multi-Level Planning. In is not necessary that the industries of the growth centre
should be capital intensive involving lumpy investment. A growth center can have
industries based on agricultural raw materials and / or for supplying manufactured goods
needed for the agricultural economy. If an urban centre can provide market outlets for
the produce of the hinterland and if it supplies vital inputs of development to the rural
sector, the centre can be an ideal growth centre. Growth centers can be much more
decentralized than the growth poles. It is true that decentralization leads to gradual
centralization at many points and centralization at different points leads to gradual
decentralization, but it has now become imperative that benefits of growth should be
available on decentralized basis to the interior areas.

Urban centers already exist can be converted into growth centers if better linkages are
developed with the hinterland. Complementary economic activities can be made to
converge at a centre. Growth centers can be developed through planning for the
locational convergence of activities in their compatible combination. However, any
geographical agglomeration of activities is not automatically developmental. There has
to be appropriate mix of activities with strong linkages with the economy of the
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If some large villages and towns can serve the hinterlands with services and become
nodal points of transportation network and have various types of local-resources-based
industries, they can become growth centres. A growth centre should provide basic
infrastructure, functions and facilities for the commercial agriculture. Growth centres
should create such conditions that distress migration from rural areas is arrested.

The growth centre strategy was followed by erstwhile socialist countries and also by
many developing countries. Even countries like France, Italy and India had their own
version of growth centres. Under the Community Development Programme, the block
headquarter was intended to be growth centre for rural development. Under the new
industrial policy of India, the district industrial centre was to facilitate emergence of the
industrial growth centres in each district. We can definitely say that cities like Calcutta,
Bombay, Kanpur or Madras were conforming to the growth poles hypothesis but they
failed to develop the hinterland. Infact, not only shantytowns emerged in and around
these centres but also they became examples of unbearable dualism vis-à-vis their

A growth centre provides higher order services needed by the people and will have a
dominant position in the patterns of interaction. A growth centre is normally an urban
centre capable of promoting growth in rural hinterland which can provide finance,
marketing, transport, communications, extension, medical, educational, training and
other facilities to the people of the hinterland.

Growth centres can have industries of the public, private, joint and cooperative sectors
and there can be their ancillaries also. There are principal industries and supplementary
and complementary industries. Ancillary industries of the public or private sectors
industries supply essential components or other materials. Automobile industries buy
tiers and tubes, or nuts and bolts (according to their specifications) from ancillary
industries. In India politically influential parties who could get permission for the same
started many ancillaries of the public sector units. They enjoyed monopoly to supply
certain things to the public sector units, often at the inflated prices. In was also observed
that while the main units were nearly in the red, the ancillaries earned fabulous profits.
Now, it is gathered that the ancillaries of many public sector units have to compete with
others for supplying materials/parts to the main units at competitive prices.

A growth centre must have good-sized industries and/or many small-scale industrial units
thriving to become growth centre. In India the structure of industries did not conform to
the needs of the rural people. The vertical hierarchy of (a) growth foci/central village,
(b) service centers, (c) growth points, (d) growth centers and (e) growth poles did not
develop diversified industries needed for the development of the primary sector, the rural
areas and the people of the hinterland. Instead of supplementing the traditional
occupational skills and crafts, the industries of the growth centers often supplanted them.

In most cases around the growth centres, the prime agricultural land got converted into
the residential/industrial land. The villagers were relegated to the interior areas. Many
agriculturists became mere landless laborers. Thus many so-called growth centers
became ‘suction pumps’ of the poor people of rural hinterland-but not providing decent
employment or income. A growth centre has to act a guidepost of development for the
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Conceptually, the growth point and the central places are not the same. Central places
are numerous and arranged in a hierarchy, whereas there will be very few growth points.
Some economists treat growth points and growth poles as one and the same thing, but
most writers in India treat growth point as lower order growth centre.

In the words of Richardson:” Growth point theory implicitly draws upon the export base
concept but gives it a spatial dimension, since the key industries are located at the growth
point whereas supplying industries, labour, raw materials and dependent services may be
dispersed over the zone of influence”.

A growth point has its ‘zone of influence, while a central place has a ‘complementary
region’. A growth point sustains the regions, while the central place is sustained by its
region. The polarization flows will be more intense and more varied in character around
a growth point than around a central place where the flows consist mainly of commuting
for shopping, leisure and other services.”

Factors, which promote localization of industries, become necessary for developing a

growth point/centre. New growth points become necessary to relieve the congestion of
the old growth points/poles. The government has a big role to play in developing the
growth points.


VLS Prakasa Rao and RP Misra advanced the concept of ‘growth foci’. This concept
was derived from the growth pole theory of Perroux and Boudeville.

According to RP Misra. “The growth pole theory has proved to be inapplicable to

developing countries marked with dual economies. The growth poles transplanted in
such economies have remained poles without a deeply rooted broad base. The
propulsive industries located in the poles have failed to diffuse development in the
hinterland. To suit the socio-economic conditions of the developing countries, the
growth pole theory has been modified and the concept of system of growth foci has been
evolved. In a very limited way the concept has been accepted in several developing
countries as a tool to develop backward areas and regions while at the same time
integrate the traditional and modern sectors of the economy into a single whole”.

RP Misra suggests six-tier growth foci.

At the highest level, there is to be a growth pole and at the lowest level a group of
villages and hamlets. It seems that in his scheme the first five tier setup transmit growth
impulses. These six tiers are:

a) Growth Poles.
b) Growth Centers.
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c) Growth Points.
d) Service Centers.
e) Central Villages.
f) Villages and hamlets.

It should be acknowledged that M/s Rao and Misra have removed the confused
interpretation of the word ‘poles’, ‘centers’, and ‘points’.

Not only that their six-tier setup is theoretically sound but practical also, This six-tier
state of affairs can be found in real life and/or can be planned as well. It is a sound
workable scheme for regional analysts as well as for the national and regional planners.

The growth foci structure can provide/provides necessary complementarities between (a)
nodes, (b) linkages and (c) hinterland, which are three basic elements which enter into
the organization of space.

Nodes are the central places connected by transport, communication and other
linkages. Since nodes differ in sizes and influence, the sizes and nature of the
hinterlands also differ. Larger nodes have better linkages and have specialized functions.
(For example, though medical colleges may exist at several places, there may be only a
few experts who can repair broken jaw and face bones). Larger nodes have bigger area
of influence, also known as first order hinterlands. One does not travel from a very
distant area to a very big nodal point unless one is in need for a very special commodity
or service. The smaller nodes have smaller hinterlands and people from villages may
travel to a nearby town to buy just ordinary things of life. In multi-level planning there
are attempts to re-organize the spatial economy by restructuring the nodes, linkages and
the hinterlands, so that the processes of centralized concentration gives way to
decentralized concentration of human activities. The restructured organization can be
referred to as spatial framework for multi-level planning.

The hybrid concept (which seeks to incorporate something of Perroux’s growth pole
theory, Chistaller’s theory of hierarchy of central places, and Friedman’s concept of
city as an articulator and mobilizer of the periphery’s resources in a process of
transition) can serve the needs of socio-economic multi-level planning in less developed

According to Prakasa Rao and RP Misra, growth poles lead to agglomeration and
dualism. They ignore the rural needs and promote the urban ethos. The growth nodes or
poles do not trigger off impulses of development to rural areas nor receive type of
support that they should get from the rural areas. The trickle-down thesis has not proved
to be correct and growth poles remain rootless and without mooring with economy of the
hinterland. It has been seen that in a country like India, their backwash effects exceed
their spread effects and thus the linkages remain weak.

If in the pre-independence India, the growth poles followed the principle of

‘comparative advantage’, in the post-independence period “funds followed flag”–
constituencies of important politicians were favored more in terms of investment. Public
sector projects were located not for the best interests of all and ‘administration’ was
considered sufficient in place of ‘management’. Rural regions remained neglected.
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Infact, all the seven-sister states of the east remained neglected. The dysfunctional
organization of the secondary sector became exploitative of the rural areas, poor people
and the primary sector.

There is to be a sectoral integration. Secondary sector should first produce those outputs,
which are inputs for the development of agriculture and the tertiary sector, and the basic
goods of mass consumption. If that happens then agriculture will supply more goods of
consumption. The rural people will have enough purchasing power to increase their
liability towards the other two sectors and all the three sectors can develop in
juxtaposition. Several centres, which supply inputs of development corresponding to the
socio-cultural ethos of the people also become necessary. These centers are generally
there; they are to be developed to be functional for providing development inputs to the
hinterland’s sectors and people.

Growth foci can provide a network of basic and non-basic industries. Growth foci are
not a centre only but the entire set conditions of development. It has to provide facilities
and functions of development as also the ‘extension culture and social atmosphere’. The
five-tier upper hierarchy can provide facilities of diffusion of technology, information
and infact the culture of materialism.

The arrangement can be/should be as under:

1. Cluster of villages Central village.

2. Micro-minor region Service centre.
3. Micro region: sub-regional Growth point.
4. Meso region Growth centre.
5. Macro region Growth pole.

The total number of growth foci can depend upon several factors e.g., the size of the
country, the dispersal of population in villages, the resource situation and administrative
factors. Growth foci arrangement can have the innovative role of the growth pole and
service provisions role of the central places. Rao and Misra conceived that central
villages, service towns, market towns, growth points, growth centers and growth
poles are all part of the system of growth foci. The scheme of hierarchical levels can
be put as under, according to Rao and Misra.

1. Central village: This would be one, which can serve 6 villages and about 6000
population with marketing, service, recreational and socio-cultural interaction
2. Service centre: It can be a small town with a population of 5000 or so. It should be
able to serve 5 central villages i.e. population of about 30000. Such a centre (in the
nature of the administration in India) will have an extension officer, para medical
staff, teachers and village level workers. It will have various types of shops for multi
various primary needs.
3. Growth point: This will again serve 5 service centers, thus a population of 1.5 lakhs
or so. This growth point can itself have a population of about 10000 to 25000. They
will have good connectivity with the district head quarters. A sub-divisional office or
a Tehsil headquarter can fit in with this. The centre will assume agro-industrial
character and will have close links with the sister growth points also. Considerable
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strength can be found in the activities relating to the production, supply of inputs,
marketing, processing, service functions etc.
4. Growth Centers: They can be district headquarters or other big towns. They can
have population ranging from 50000 to 5, 00,000. Each growth centre can look after
the growth needs of 12 lakh or more population. Growth centers should have
somewhat strong industrial base also. This is possible only if the industrialization
follows a decentralized pattern.

Ideal growth centers are those which can act as counter-magnets to the large urban
centers. Already people in these cities are in jitters because of the shortage of housing
units, high degree of pollution and a lot of time involved in commuting distances-to
speak nothing about the high cost of living and leading a life where personal relations are
at a discount. This centre should have facilities of comprehensive banking, higher
education (college level), good medical infrastructure, wholesales supplies, storage,
collection etc.; and comprehensive extension services for the agricultural, rural and agro-
industrial development.

5. Growth Poles: Capital cities and some very important district headquarters can act
as growth poles. In Madhya Pradesh, for example, Bhopal, Indore Bhilai, Gwalior,
Jabalpur etc. can become growth poles (Tamil Nadu Madurai, Coimbatore, Erode,
Tuticorin, Salem). A growth pole in a small state can cover the entire state.

One cannot but agree with Rao and Misra that such hierarchy exists and needs to be
strengthened and where it does not, it should be brought into existence.

With government support and with natural course (market mechanism) vertical and
horizontal linkages can get strengthened. The role of the government becomes important
in that it can integrate functions over the space in shorter time period.

Slowly, functions of higher order will get located in the settlements of lower order ad
that is how some rural centers become urban centers. However, every growth point
cannot become a growth pole. Rao and Misra even calculated that Indian needs 30
growth poles and 4000 growth points, with each district becoming the growth centre.
These centers are not be established but developed and strengthened. There is nothing
which prevents some higher order functions/facilities being available in settlements of
lower order (for example, the best bone hospital in Madhya Pradesh is located in an
interior village in Betul district-at Padar). Ultimately there has to be vertical and
horizontal integration of the development of sectors, regions and groups of persons.
Vested interest groups will always come in the way of greater equalization and all the
labour and luck is necessary to promote growth and efficiency and remove inequalities.

In the growth foci structure, both the centrifugal and centripetal economic linkages can
get promoted to increase the welfare in the country. Motivation for growth can also
become infectious. If the growth foci structure is developed, then the growth pole
hypothesis and central place theories get social content and economic practicability.
Decentralized growth will improve the physical quality of life of the people.
Connectivity will not be in the narrow sense of transport and communications efficiency
but also in terms of social interaction. Not material inputs of development but the
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psychic inputs of development will also get diffused. In due course of time both real and
financial resources will be generated for complementary development.

In this system the growth pole should act as a primate city also of a macro-region. In the
growth pole area we can say that the primary activities are not taken up. Even secondary
functions are of less importance in comparison to the tertiary sector functions.
Quaternary activities such as banking, administrative, marketing, cultural facilities

Growth centers in such a scheme are essentially industrial centers producing goods for
the national and regional markets. According to the scheme of things suggested by RP
Misra, they may be based on regional or extra-regional resources. The tertiary activities
will match the requirements of regional population. In the hinterland of a growth pole
where there can be several growth centers, the number would depend upon the resources
available and regional development needs. Infact, the growth centers should relieve the
growth poles from the concentration of secondary activities. The growth centers should
diffuse industrial production to the areas lagging in development. A growth centre can
have agro-based industries in a dynamic agricultural/plantation area.

A growth point is conceived to be a satellite of a growth centre. There would be several

growth points in the meso-region served by a growth centre. A growth point should
specialize in processing and tertiary functions.

A service centre has to provide lower order service facilities to the villagers while the
central village should have most elementary basic lower order facilities.
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Noble Prizewinner in economics, Prof. Gunnar Myrdal has written a lot on the
problems of less developed countries. His monumental book “Asian Drama” in three
volumes and thousands of pages analyses the development
process of Asian countries. Prof. Myrdal is well known for
some of his theses, the main of which are
 the Theory of Backwash Effects of International Trade,
 the Cumulative Causation Theory of Economic
Development and the
 Institutional Reform Theory of Development.
In the first two theories the causes of vicious circle of
backwardness have been analyzed, while in the third we
find some explicit suggestions for the development of less
developed countries.


Myrdal believes that international and inter-regional economic relations in practice

involve unequal exchanges in the sense that the weak are always exploited by the strong.
Belief in the competitive market benefiting all is misplaced.

Less developed countries face three types of problems (as analyzed in the ‘backwash
effects theory’).
First, the developed countries exploit them in international economic relations.
Second the rich regions are also in the semi-colonial position with regard to the
backward regions. Third, the rich people milk the poor persons of these countries.

International trade resulted in the immiserisation process in less developed countries.

When foreigners invested in less developed countries they usually invested in plantation,
mining and a few selected industries. These investments created lop-sided development
in the countries because the nature of development was dualistic. These investments did
not trigger off growth impulses in the hinterland.

The precious resources of the nations were drained off. The people by and large
remained as backward as ever in the vicinity of big projects. The skilled personnel who
worked there developed feudal and colonial approach to the development problems.
These were the backwash effects of the development. Capital, skills and people moved
out of backward regions to the developed regions, leaving the latter poor and dry.

The spread effects of development were just a few and disjointed or discontinuous.
These spread effects were those which gave expansionary momentum from the centers of
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economic expansion to other regions, and were centrifugal in nature. The main cause of
economic backwardness and regional disparities has been the strong backwash effects
and the weak spread effects.

Everything clustered in certain regions from art, literature, education and culture to
medical facilities, science, commerce, banking, insurance, power development etc. Big
cities developed in port areas. Banking system so developed that the credit-deposit ratios
went against the poor regions and while deposits were collected from poor regions, credit
facilities for investment was given to developed regions.

Another distressing effect of the past development pattern was that the big industries and
urban centers, not only not helped the small industries or cottage industries and rural
sectors but positively made them further backward. Handicraft industries died a
miserable and lingering death without government support due to unhealthy competition
from the developed sector. Even agriculture could not develop in these regions.

There were some spread effects from the nodal regions to the hinterland. The hinterland
did supply raw materials etc, to the centers of development and in turn received
consumer goods. However, these spread effects never helped in the self-expansion
process in the rural areas.

The two types of effects were never in equilibrium. The position was that SPE(spread
effects) BWE (backwash effects) in developed regions while in the less developed
countries or regions the BWE > SPE. Spread effects continued to become stronger in
developed countries while backwash effects continued to become even more widespread
in backward countries and regions. This was the type of “dynamism” in the past, and to
a large extends even now between the developed and backward regions.

In the developed regions and countries “development becomes automatic process and
nothing succeeds like success”. In the backward regions and countries “poverty becomes
its own cause and nothing fails like failure”.

Another aspect of these effects is that while the income elasticity of demand for
agricultural products is not high, it is pretty high for industrial products. The terms of
trade, therefore, change in favour of the sector, which is already developed. When the
terms of trade go against the backward sectors, they have to supply more in real terms to
get the same amount of real supplies from the other sector/region/countries. This
dampens the supply responses further. They cannot increase the prices and they cannot
get the advantage of reducing the prices also, because of the low-income elasticity of

Money earned in these sector/regions/countries is not reinvested in these very sectors but
is repatriated to the developed sector, regions and countries. Increased exports from the
backward sectors in the past led to inflationary pressure, increasing poverty, balance of
payment difficulties, conspicuous consumption and absence of favorable multiplier

There were barriers galore to the spread effects, which included the unhelpful attitude of
the rich countries and regions, sectors and people and also of the governments.
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The theory of cumulative causation has been built upon the above two effects viz, the
backwash effects and the spread effects. The cumulative causation theory emphasized
that poverty is further perpetuated by poverty (where backwash effects overwhelm the
spread effects), and affluence is further promoted by affluence, (where spread effects
overwhelm the backwash effects).

In backward regions problems create more problems; in developed regions auto-solution

solve all problems. There is a failure story and there is a success story.

The rebounded effects and circular causation effects are the net result of the backwash
effects and the spread effects.

There is inter-locking relation by which in the cumulative process, poverty becomes its
own cause whereas development promotes further development.

Myrdal wrote: “If the spread effects are sustained or accelerated further and backwash
effects are resisted or rebounded back to their origin, the pace of economic development
of backward regions or class will be improved in terms of time distances. These two
effects originate at the centre of economic expansion i.e. growth centers for lower order
support functions and at the growth poles for higher functions. Since the two effects are
counter-balanced on tangent areas of the two influence circles, it would be imperative to
pressurize a positive force of changes leading to upward movement. The role of “big
push” becomes obvious to break through the stagnating situation. Economic incentive to
producers, in terms of differential rates of capital subsidy, market subsidy, support price,
fiscal support should be granted. These would generate rebound effects on the backwash

Myrdral writes that if the rebound effects are well directed, the spread effects can
develop a region. Since the spread effects gradually decline at constant rate with
increase in spatial distance from the growth centre, it would be in the fitness of things to
locate sub-growth centre, in such future growth potential areas. It would be of much
avail to raise intensity of spread effects at point of equilibrium (rather than at existing
growth centre), and thereby to extend existing zone of influence to that of other growth

The ‘vicious circle’ type theory of cumulative causation emphasizes that excessive
backwash effects keep a less developed country poor. Inequalities do not get reduced on
their own but get accentuated. Disequilibrium causes further disequilibrium.

He writes: “The idea I want to expound is that, in the normal case, there is no tendency
towards automatic self-stabilization in the social system. The system is not by itself
moving towards any sort of balance between forces, but is constantly moving away from
such a situation. In the normal case a change does not call forth-countervailing changes,
but instead, supporting changes, which move the system in the same direction as the first
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change but much further. Because of such circular causation a social process tends to
become cumulative and often to gather speed at an accelerating rate.”

Thus (as we have seen if the BWE >SPE there will be cumulative causation towards
poverty and vice versa), if it is intended that spread effects should overwhelm backwash
effects, then state intervention (SI) effect should exceed adverse cumulative causation

Myrdal contention is that “the play of the forces in market normally tends to increase,
rather than decrease, the inequality between regions”. Once a particular region starts
growing faster than the average, the “efficiency wage” in that region tends to fall. (It
means that as the efficiency and productivity increase, the per unit wages–burden on the
cost of production of commodities falls). This region gains comparative advantage over
other regions and it becomes cumulative. This has reinforcing effects in terms of
industrial development giving rise to widening regional inequality.

Myrdal’s theory is counter-periphery model. The favorable effects flow from the centre
to the periphery. Periphery supplies raw materials and raw human power to the centre.
The centre supplies the technical know-how and finished output for consumption and
inputs also. Core activities are at the centre. Subsidiary activities are in the periphery
area. After some time the activities in the periphery may give rise to new core regions.
This new core region will become the new centre after some time. Then it will from this
place that new peripheral regions will develop.

When periphery becomes the net loser the effects are backwash effects. When the centre
becomes the net gainer, the effects are spread effects for the core activity region.

When the spread effects dominate, the core region develops further. In such a case there
will be economic integration between the centre and the periphery, which will give rise
to a more homogeneous spatial system.

When backwash effects dominate, there will be lack of complementarity and divergences
will develop. Periphery will remain weak; only centre will develop and dualism in
growth is promoted.

Under such circumstances, the core will continue to experience a circular upward
reinforcing trend of favorable effects and the periphery will have a reverse experience.

Cumulative causation theory proves (i) that market mechanism will not bring equality
between regions but will increase inequalities, and (ii) nothing short of government
intervention will check the backwash effects from getting cumulative.

The process of cumulative causation starts accidentally due to “momentum of an early

start” and it be just by chance. Once the growth starts, the external and internal
economies bring continuous growth at the expense of other localities and regions where
relative stagnation or regression becomes the opposite pattern. In backward regions
there is outflow of resources, human power, and capital.
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Development of infrastructure and directly productive investment brings spread effects,

and they induce technical advance and all types of industries grow. “In reality, the
expanding, stagnating and regressing localities are arranged in a fairly continuous series
on different levels, with all possible gradations between the extremes.


If the remedial measures are to be conceived, than naturally they will consist of
removing the causes. If free international trade has more backwash effects, protection is
called for. If market mechanism further accentuates backwardness, the government
sponsored and regulated economy becomes desirable. If regional inequalities are
promoted through circular causation, then the doctrine of balanced regional growth is to
be advocated.

If the centre and the core are in the semi-colonial relationship with the periphery, then
such development programs which provide for greater complementarity, integration and
linkages are called for, all efforts are to be geared towards ending the socio-economic
dualism in development in less developed countries. Myrdal goes so far as to suggest
that the developed countries should now transfer funds and technical knowledge to less
developed countries on mass scale so that the latter get the spread effects as
compensation for the past backwash effects.

Myrdal has made many other recommendations also. He recommends promotion of

capital goods and import substitution industries and also of those industries which permit
simultaneous development outside the sphere of modern large-scale industry. He wants
employment creation to be the main plank for poverty removal.

Myrdal is bitter-infact very bitter – about the corruption in less developed economies.
Lack of order, discipline, accuracy and punctuality can be witnessed as national character
or atleast as chronic national habit. Widespread superstitions, corruption, lack of
collective leadership, inaction, lethargy and traditionalism-abound.

Myrdal is against the model building approach for less developed countries. Models are
rigorous but unrealistic. Exercises in model building are fascinating but inappropriate.
They ignore social accounting. Myrdal prefers theory to a model. He rejects the one-
sector model or even two-sector model for the multi-structural society.

Myrdal rightly contends that “it is in the agricultural sector that the battle for long-term
economic development in South Asia will be won or lost. He is against too much
radicalism in agriculture. He wants moderate land reforms because radical land reforms
take the initiative away and reduces the rise of the holdings to less than optimum limit.

A new socio-economic order is to be superimposed, which should be alternative to

Marxism. Myrdal’s sympathies apparently lie with planning. He does not approve
subsidizing the ‘big business’ by low rates of interest, cheap rates of foreign exchange,
protection from foreign competition, and low prices for services and goods from the
public sector.
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Myrdal laments the collusion among politicians, officials and business people in
appropriating the gains of planning to themselves. Myrdal wants far reaching
institutional reforms that should bring the benefits the planning to the masses that will
annihilate the vested interest groups.

Myrdal is internationally respected for his views. A western economist, yet he exposed
the backwash effects of international trade on the poor countries and regions. Though
not a communist, yet he proved that the so-called competitive markets instead of solving
the problems of backward regions, sector and people accentuate them.

Myrdal theses have made important contributions to the theories of convergence and
divergence, and agglomeration and locational economics and the theory of “vicious
circles”. He is for balanced growth and wanted it to be initiated, directed and sustained
by the government. He becomes an important supporter of the theory of sponsored

The analysis part of the Myrdal’s writings is found to be much more satisfactory than the
recommendatory part. He could not develop a complete theory of development, in which
he could have written in details about the growth process from the start to the pinnacle.
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River: A large stream of water flowing over the land. A river is any natural stream of
fresh water, which flows, in a well-defined channel.
River Basin: A whole region drained by a river with its tributaries

Water Shed: A line separating two river basins---drainage or a catchment area

Water Shed: Land that stores rain water or snow water in its soil and eventually
gives up this water to form a river or a stream is called water shed.

Watershed may be of any size

 A small hill that yield a stream
 Raised portion of land that extends many miles and supplies a river
 Large drainage basin extends to thousands of miles.
Vegetative cover in the WS area—soaks rain water,
arrest rapid runoff of surface water—soak down
and trickle down to the water table.

The term Watershed refers to an area which has a

ridge line on three sides and whose surplus run off is drained out from a drainage point.
Big watersheds separate drainage basins. Watersheds can be as small as 50 hectares in
hilly areas and as large as 5000 to10000 hectares or even more elsewhere. Sometimes the
catchment area of a small seasonal stream could also be considered as a watershed or sub
watershed. The size of the watershed to be choosen for land development / soil
conservation depends upon the objectives of the land development planning to be
attempted in a particular water shed.
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All rivers start at the highest point in an area. As the river flows downstream, it gains more water from
other streams, rivers, springs, added rainfall, and other water sources.
What is a river? A river is fresh water flowing across the surface of the land, usually to the sea. It
flows in a channel. The bottom of the channel is called the bed and the sides of the channel are called
the banks.
Where do rivers begin and end? Rivers begin in mountains or hills, where rain water or melting snow
collects and forms tiny streams called gullies. Gullies either grow larger when they collect more water
and become streams themselves or meet streams and add to the water already in the stream.
How are rivers formed? When one stream meets another and they merge together, the smaller stream
is known as a tributary. It takes many tributary streams to form a river.
What do Rivers provide? Most settlements were built along major rivers. Rivers provide us with food,
energy, recreation, transportation routes, and of course water for irrigation and for drinking.
Why are rivers important?
Water Rivers carry water and nutrients to areas all around the earth. They play a very important part in
the water cycle, acting as drainage channels for surface water. Rivers drain nearly 75% of the earth's
land surface.
Habitats Rivers provide a habitat and food for many of the earth's organisms; their powerful forces
create majestic scenery
Transport Rivers provide travel routes for exploration, commerce and recreation.
Farming River valleys and plains provide fertile soils. Farmers in dry regions irrigate their cropland
using water carried by irrigation ditches from nearby rivers.
Energy Rivers are an important energy source. During the early industrial era, mills, shops, and
factories were built near fast-flowing rivers where water could be used to power machines. Today steep
rivers are still used to power hydroelectric plants and their water turbines.
Rivers Glossary
Tributary ;a stream flowing into or joining a larger stream
Distributary ;any of the numerous stream branches into which a river divides where it reaches its
Upstream ;moves toward headwater (up the regional slope of erosion)
Downstream ;moves toward mouth of river (delta)
Delta ;a large, roughly triangular body of sediment deposited at the mouth of a River
Meander ;a broad, looping bend in a river

River valley in India

Damodar River (541 Km-336 Miles) flows through Bihar and West Bengal. It is
notorious and known for its erratic character—for the last 150 years—floods occurred
more than 17 times—inundating villages up to 6-7 feet –caused heavy damage –malarial
fever—disturbed by this WB Government appointed Damodar Flood Enquiry Committee
—the committee submitted its report in 1945—they secured the services of Voorden,
senior engineer of TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority).
Voordun suggested to set up a separate authority to manage the river basin—based on
this Damodar Valley Corporation Act was passed in 1948.
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Functions of the Corporation—

Objectives of River Valley Planning
1. Promotion and operation of schemes
for irrigation water supply and
2. Generation , transmission and
distribution of electrical energy
3. Flood control.
4. Promotion and control of navigation
in the river and its tributaries and
5. Promotion of afforestation and
control of soil erosion.
6. Promotion of public health,
agricultural, industrial, economic and
general well being of the river valley
and its area of operation.

**For more details see Mahesh Chand & Puri—Chapter.10. Experiments in inter state planning

Hierarchy of water shed /River valley

Stream water shed form a convenient areal unit for planning. A large river basin like
Cauvery can be broken in to hierarchic system of smaller basins.Each smaller basin
exactly fits within the next large unit.

Order of the watersheds can be designated. Stracher’s system designates the

fingertip tributaries as order 1.The channels formed by the junction of two first
order channels are
Designated as order 2.and the channels formed by the junction of two second order
channels are designated as order 3.and so on.
Water shed is an area, which drains into a river. Hierarchies of watersheds are then
hierarchy of river.
The largest water shed is formed by third level tributary, within which the second and
first level watersheds fall.

What is a watershed?
A watershed is all the land and water area
which contributes runoff to a common point.
The watershed above any point on a defined
drainage channel is therefore all the land and
water areas which drain through that point.
A watershed refers to the geographical area
from where the water comes, with all its
existing social, economic and physiological
What is watershed management?
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Watershed management is the participatory process of guiding and organizing land use and
use of other resources in a watershed for sustainable provision of desired goods and
services to the people without adversely affecting soil and water resources.
Embedded in these concepts is the recognition of the interrelationships among land use, soil
and water, the linkages between uplands and downstream areas and the interests of the
different stakeholders and water users.
Watershed management includes
 Capacity development and training (human
resource development, community
development, institutional development)
 Natural resources management (soil and land management, water and forest
management, rural energy management)
 Improving farming systems (crop management,
pasture/fodder development, livestock management)
 Sustainable rural livelihoods (farm and non-farm value
addition activities)
 Conflict management (e.g among social groups, between
upstream and
downstream users)
Watershed management integrates
Various forms in which water is available (e.g. rainfall, rivers,
lakes, groundwater) with forms of water storage and water
Competing water use sectors (agriculture, households,
industry, ecosystems and tourism)
Relevant policy fields (agricultural policy, forest policy, rural development, human
development, social policy)
Watersheds with water catchments and river basins

Watersheds as units of planning have several advantages:

Edaphic changes in soil and vegetation reflect location within the watershed, as the
physical features of a basin directly affect the hydrologic characteristics of the streams
draining it. Water sheds, therefore form the
appropriate units for intervention in flood control,
navigation, hydroelectric power generation, soil
conservation, water, management, crop planning
etc. WS is an ideal aerial unit for planned
development of natural resources.
 Watersheds offer a complete eco systemic
balance between topography, rain fall,
vegetation and animal life.
 Watersheds contribute a spatial eco-system in
which the smallest watershed is originally
linked to largest watershed.
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If the watershed resources are used without keeping this eco-systemic interaction in
view, the system is rendered unbalanced and several negative forces do not allow the
rebuilding of resources like soil ,vegetation etc.

Identification of watersheds for micro-level planning

Watersheds can be different sizes depending upon the order of the stream. Eg. Cauvery
basin –within it there is Kabini basin.
The question is which size of the watershed should be used in integrated rural area
The optimum size of a micro watershed largely depends on the specific emphasis of the
development program.
If the program aims at integrated area development as in the case with DPAP, the
emphasis is clearly around optimum utilization and conservation of land and water
resources. Based on the nature of soil and vegetative cover, surface runoff of the rain
water may be quickened or slowed down.
As watersheds increase in size, they become more complex with regard to slope,
topography, soil and vegetative cover.
Watershed management is primarily concerned with planning the land use to landscape-
land use planning is closely linked with the family activity.
The basic unit for micro-level planning should be a farming locality within a radius of
five kilometers.
The optimum size of a micro watershed for integrated rural development should there-
fore be no more than 10000 hectares. A size between 5000 to 10000 hectares would
possibly the optimum size.
The actual size of the micro-watershed should, however be determined in accordance
with the topographic characteristics of soil texture and composition, vegetative cover and
the existing land use.
Funds available for micro watersheds planning are limited – hence it can be better
utilized in a small area to restore the ecological balance.
As the ultimate purpose of watershed management is to improve the quality of human
life, the size of the population should also taken into account while determining the
optimum size of the watershed
In areas of high population density, the higher area limit and in the area of sparse
population, the higher area limit should the deciding criteria

Steps in watershed Planning

After identification the next step is to prepare a
land use plan. Land use plan is to be prepared as
1. Contour mapping of 5 mts interval
2. Existing land use map preparation. This map
should show the land under forest, pastures,
field crops, and other crops like plantation,
fruits etc.
3. A map showing the soil types.
4. A map showing the streams within the watershed, all tanks, all canals, and their
5. A map showing all areas irrigated by various methods eg. wells, canals, tanks etc
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6. Map showing all human settlements – rural/urban with important economic and
social facilities such as health Centre, schools, vet.hospitals, drinking water,
communication (post & telegraph) facilities and other public institutions like co-
operatives, banks, police station etc.
7. A map showing the road net work with bus facilities
all this means that watershed planning is not only a device to conserve the land and
water resources and to make the best use of them, but also to carry out an integrated
physical and socio- economic development planning exercise within an ecological
frame work
Objectives of watershed planning
Objectives can be any one or more of the following.
1. Conservation of moisture in rain fed area for optimal utilization.
2. To check soil erosion.
3. To control problem of drainage, salinity and alkalinity.
4. To control flood
5. To check siltation prevention in reservoirs.
6. Collections of surplus run off in farm ponds and its recycling for crop use.
7. To recharge grounds water or increase water table in wells.
8. Collections of surplus run off for meeting the drinking water requirement of cattle,
and human population in desert areas.
9. To improve the main and on- farm irrigation systems for increased productivity and
increased area under irrigation.
Size of the watershed depends upon the objectives:
 Planning for soil and water conservation; by raising contour bunds to conserve
rainwater—optimum size 500-700 hectares.
 Collection of surface run off for drinking water—farm ponds or tanks
 Flood control—large size river basins.
 Peoples participation

Mechanism for peoples participation;

Human and cattle population directly and indirectly affected by what happens in the
watershed. They depend for their basic necessities on watershed. Drought lead to acute
water scarcity—water and fodder has to be transported—flood cause damage –cattle and
crop loses can damage the economy.
Contour bunding cut across farmer’s field—so they object—field bunding is welcomed.
Watershed management societies
Livestock management societies
Water conservation—Vegetative, mechanical.
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Command area development program; Objectives

1. Utilization of ground water resources.
2. Land shaping of watershed areas for integrated crop planning
3. Development of field channel and field drainage system within the farmers block to
prevent water logging and to utilize water resources more efficiently.
4. Determining and enforcing appropriate cropping pattern for the various blocks
according to the availability of water.
5. Preparing an input (fertilizer, credit) plan
6. Conceiving and implementation of land leveling, soil conservation and aforestation
action plans

Problems in command area projects:

 On farm development requires legislation on re-alignment of farm boundaries, land
leveling and land shaping.
 Implementation of appropriate cropping pattern requires legislative support.
 Uniform legislation regarding irrigation control and regulation of groundwater is
required to be enacted.
 Salinity problem and its control
 Seepage from canals
 Problems of water distribution at the tail end of the canal
 Consolidation and re-alignment of field boundaries.
 Inadequacy, misutilization and non-utilization of funds; cost escalation, lack of
investigation, delay in decision making. Land acquisition problems
 Non-realization of anticipated crop pattern –inadequate field channels, land
preparation, neglect of maintenance, mal-distribution of water supply, lack of
departmental co-ordination.
 Lack of personal planning ,recruitment and deployment
 Lack of appropriate training policy and extension system
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What is Watershed?
A watershed can be defined as the drainage basin or catchment area of a particular stream
or river. Simply put, it refers to the area from where the water flows to a particular drainage
system, like a river or stream, comes from.
Why Watershed Development?
People and their environment are interdependent. Any change in the surrounding
environment directly affects the people living therein. A degraded environment results in a
degraded quality of life of the people. Thus efforts to reduce poverty and improve the
standard of living of the people must aim at improving the environment they live in.
The environment does not recognize people determined administrative boundaries. A
watershed provides a natural environmental unit for planning a developmental initiative.
What is Watershed Development?
Watershed development refers to the conservation, regeneration and the judicious use of
all the resources - natural (land, water, plants, animals) and human - within a particular
watershed. Watershed management tries to bring about the best possible balance in the
environment between natural resources on the one side, and human and other living
beings on the other.
Components of Watershed Development
• Human Resource Development (Community Development)
• Soil and Land Management
• Water Management
• Crop Management
• Afforestation
• Pasture/Fodder Development
• Livestock Management
• Rural Energy Management
• Farm and non-farm value addition activities
All these components are interdependent and interactive.
Why People's Participation?
The environment is a living space on which the human community living within that area
depends on for its livelihood. When the economic condition of a community deteriorates it
leads to over-exploitation and degradation of natural resources which, in turn, further
exacerbates poverty. It is thus necessary for people to see the relationship between their
poverty and the degraded environment they live in.
Thus, just as human beings and their activities are the cause of environmental destruction,
it is only they who can restore to health the ruined environment. Hence there can be no
sustainable natural resources management unless it involves the participation of all the
inhabitants of the concerned environment / area in an active manner.

Town and Country Planning

The major features that stood in the optimum development of urban centers
1. High percentage of undeveloped or vacant land within the corporate limit.
2. Unbalanced, competing and deleterious use of land.
3. Lack of common facilities like transportation system, housing, water supply,
sanitation and adequate open spaces etc.
4. Lack of strong and wide economic space.
5. Uncontrolled peripheral development.
6. High cost of land and development further aggravated by the speculative element.

Other deficiencies noted are;

1. Agglomeration in large size towns of both industry and other work opportunities thus
attracting larger population movements towards them.
2. Lack of incentives and resources for small towns to develop; most of them being
overgrown villages at present with a sizeable percentage of working force engaged in
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3. Because of the low economic level of the migrant labour, generally unskilled,
creation of slums in urban areas.
4. Because of the low literacy and economic level, the social characteristics of migrant
population tend to be incompatible with urban ways of life.

Town planning has both social and economic aims;

1. Socially successful planning tends to make people’s life happier, because it results in
physical environment which is conducive to health; facilitates social intercourse and
gives visual attractiveness
2. It increases wealth, by efficiently arranging communication routes to carry out
human activities in a more efficient and less wasteful manner through proper spatial

If town planning is not there

 Industries may spring up with less regard to social convenience and before roads are
 Houses may be constructed and occupied even before water supply and drainage
facilities are provided
 Schools may be located in total disregard of the population which uses that school
 Roads may be widened with out long lasting effect.

Town planning includes village planning, town planning, city planning, metropolitan
planning, regional planning and national physical planning. This wider aspect is ignored
and town planning became synonymous with plan for streets, houses and civic amenities.
In its actual practice town planning may seem to take away the land of somebody,
deprive somebody of building a house, or place restrictions on the number of storey to
built etc.

Town Planning meaning and components;

Town and country planning might be described as the art and science of ordering the use
of land and the character and siting of buildings and communication routes, so as to
secure the maximum practicable degree of economy, convenience and beauty.

Characteristics of successful Town Planning;

 Promotion of accessibility
 Employment of resources as economically as possible
 The separation of incompatible land uses from each other and association of
compatible or mutually helpful uses.
 Carrying out of all developments in a visually pleasant and practical manner

The principal of good neighborliness—the right to do what they like with their property
subject to the limitation that their action should not be harmful, either to themselves or
to the neighborhood—This neighborliness recognizes the need for planning legislation.

In the beginning civic designs through planning provided colour and texture of the
fabric of environment. With the gradual diffusion of ownership of land, such planning
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has given place to building codes and legislative measures to assemble diffused
ownership as a unified whole amenable for development/redevelopment

At macro level—a tool for appropriate assembly of land as optimal

planning units
Civic design
At micro level—detailed design of the buildings as well as their
spatial relationship

Good neighborliness and civic design form the warp and resource allocation the weft of
the fabric of planning. Planning legislation will then the loom on which the fabric is
woven and the administration the salesman.

Urban Planning
 Control within the city
 Urban planning refers to those activities by which a metropolis systematically
undertakes to control its spatial functional pattern

Background factors and problems;

Some important factors that complicate the tasks of planning for a metropolis are
discussed under 5 headings
 Individual control of small parcels of urban land.
 Arbitrary political boundaries.
 Irregularity of environmental sites.
 Heritage of past construction.
 Anticipation of future change

1. Individual control of small parcels of urban land;

Within the city both govt. and private citizens own parts of land area. Private Citizens
own 55% & govt. owns about 45% of the urban land (i.e. public—streets, parks, play
grounds & govt. buildings). Private ownership (i.e. Residences, stores, factories,
commercial, recreation)

Why municipal legislation is necessary to control the undesirable consequences of

private ownership of small parcels of urban land
1. A owner may build a store or factory in an residential area there by decreasing the
value of near by houses.
2. In a deteriorated urban neighborhood, remodeling of old houses or to build a new one
depends upon the neighbors willingness ie. Ready to do the same
3. A owner who owns single strategic plot may either block a development effort or
may delay it by demanding a price considerably higher than the ordinary market
(So municipal regulation is necessary to control this)

2. Arbitrary political boundaries;

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An adequate urban plan covers not only the built up area of the city but also such parts of
the unoccupied hinterland as need to be controlled in order to secure both orderly future
growth of the metropolis and reasonable protection of its residences. Lack of control
over the peripheral land may result in
 During a real estate boom, private owners in various sub divisions may break up
tracts of farm land into town sized building plots. Such sub dividing activity
distorts local land values and interferes with ordinary urban growth.
 Houses built in unzoned area, may later surrounded by cheaply constructed homes
or hedged in by objectionable factories and other buildings.
Traditional political boundaries make difficult, the control of haphazard urban growth
in the unincorporated fringe area of the metropolis.

3. Irregularity of the environmental site;

Every urban site has its own unique features
 Underlying soil and terrain conditions has different advantages and disadvantages
for various kinds of buildings.
 Topography affects the routes of transportation. Transportation in turn influences
the location of factories, stores and residences.
 Breaks transportation eg. Land to water vice versa.
 Some parts of the city provide better amenities than other eg. Beach—exceptional

4. Heritage of past construction;

Town planning activity may be limited or modified by the heritage of past
Unfortunately, the heritage of the past does not always satisfy contemporary needs.
Eg. Narrow streets were enough for horse and buggy days. Cannot handle the huge
volume of today’s motor traffic. Factories once properly located finds themselves
surrounded by residences.
Cost factor inhibits remodeling of the built up area e.g. widening of the narrow streets
So the urban planners leave this condition as it is and effect changes slowly.

5. Anticipation of future change:

Major aspects of the master plan:
The master plan deals with the natural city as a whole. It offers a broad picture of the
projected spatial pattern..
Three aspects of the master plan are:-
1. City beautification as emphasized by the architects.
2. Transportation and safety as stressed by the engineers
3. Land use pattern as emphasized by economists, geographers and human ecologists.

General land use pattern;

Planning for effective land use within the city involves decisions about;
 The various types of utilization that requires distinctive sub areas.
 The percentage of total occupied space that should be apportioned to each types
and grade of utilization.
 The proper location for each type of functional area.
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Stores Retail
Storage and switching facility

Factorie Heavy
Private land use



Public Land Use Civic centers

Percentage of land use; (Bartholeama study)

Occupied urban space was split among various functions as follows;
Residences 39 % 27-59 % (Single family: 36%, Two family: 2%,
Multiple:1% )
Stores & other commercial 2 % 01-04 %
Industry 6 % 03-11 %
Rail roads 5 % 03- 08 %
Streets 34 % 21-59 %
Parks & play grounds 6 % 01-19 %
Other public and semi-
Public facilities 8% 01-15%
**The percentage may vary according to the function performed by the city

Percentage of land utilized by various functions exhibited considerable regularity and

that suggests that urban planners may employ them as rough guidelines in
apportioning percentages urban land to various categories of utilization

Spatial locations for various functions

An ideal master plan places every sub area of a city in a location so related to every
other, thereby
 The total cost of moving men and material from place to place is minimized.
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 Safety and beauty are maximized.

 Constructive social contracts are streamlined.
Even though a planner must begin with the existing pattern, he has numerous divisions
to make regarding future changes.
1. What additional industrial sites will be required and where should they be located?
2. What changes should be made in the number and size of commercial areas?
3. What existing residential areas should be altered in type or grade?
4. How much additional vacant space will be needed for residences and where?
5. What provisions should be made in various areas for playgrounds, parks, public
and semi public places?

Industrial location
Where –near the central business district?
Along lines of transportation?
At periphery or near by hinterland?
Care has to be taken to
1. Prevent loss of property values by wrongly intermixing industries and residences.
2. Clustering of independent industries
3. To provide heavy transportation services to industries
4. To prepare for the expansion and migration of industries within the city it self

Commercial location
What? –Major shopping and luxury goods.
Shopping goods and convenience goods.
Parking facility
Commercial areas for each residential area.

Residential location;
The other functions performed by these locations should be taken care of.
ie.Education, Worship and Recreation.
Streets and transportation facilities;
The major function of urban transportation is that of connecting one area with another
area, so that men and materials can move with greater safety and at less cost
. Bus line
Facilities which link city with Truck line
hinterland and foreign areas Private vehicles
Air lines
Wire, Cables, Radio & TV
Local streets
Water pipes
Facilities which link various parts Sewers
of the city Telephone & power lines
Rail lines

Multi purpose main highways
High speed expressways
By-pass routes
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Streets Neighborhood streets

Scenic parkways
Three aspects of effective street use;
 Traffic counts and calculation of street requirement
 Elimination of bottle necks and dangerous intersections.
 Special high speed express ways and by-pass routes.

City Beautification;
Federal Buildings
Architecture State Buildings

Slum Elimination
Modification of built up area Preplanned peripheral areas

Urban planning education;

**As the urban societies grew more complex, the responsibilities of urban planners
whose task is to guide the changing urban area, becomes ominous.

**The urban planner’s task is not confined to only “preparing and carrying out a plan
for the use and development of land. It also includes giving present and future
generation a chance of satisfying living.

**The initial period of planning was cast within the concept of “city beautiful”
syndrome largely arising out of the concerns of the professional architects. Urban
planning then was synonymous with the physical development of the urban centers.

**Urban planning profession gained legitimacy through various statutory provisions

concerning the preparation of master plans and the institutionalization planning as a
govt. activity. The famous triad of beauty, health and convenience defined the
planner’s task.
**There is a growing school of thought in the west that views the structure of the city
including its land use and activity patterns, as the result of capital in pursuit of profit.
Planning in this framework is considered “as a historically specific and socially
necessary response to the self disorganizing tendencies of privatized capitalist, social
and the property relations as they appear in the urban space.

**Three major orientations in urban planning –

1. Traditional role of physical development;
2. Analyst role of understanding the complex socio-economic urban system;
3. Advocate role of working with and for the people, particularly the poor.

Legislative frame work for urban planning:

Whether state legislations are competent to make a town planning law? (Maneklal &
Makwana ). The answer is “Yes”.
Array of legislations relating to town planning & development.
Municipal Acts.
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Improve Trusts Act.

Development Authority Act.-------------------------acts created
Slum Clearance and Authority Act.-----------------for some
Housing Board Acts.----------------------------------special
Peripheral / Ribbon Development Control Act.---purpose
Water Supply & Sewerage Boards Acts.
Pollution Acts.
Urban Land Ceiling Acts.
Urban Arts Commission Acts.

Town Planning in Tamilnadu;

Tamilnadu Town and Country Planning Act.1971, provisions to prepare hierarchy of
development plans at three different levels.
 Regional plans.
 Urban (Master) Plans.
 Local (Detailed Development ) Plans
Tamilnadu is divided in to eight panning regions-ie. Regional planning areas.
District Collector –Chairmen
Regional Deputy Director of Town and Country Planning.—Member Secretary.
They graft plans after wide public discussion.

Zoning is the division of community in to different zones or districts according to
present and potential use of properties for the purpose of controlling and directing the
use and development of these properties. It is concerned primarily with the use of land
and buildings, the height and bulk of the buildings, proportion of a lot which buildings
may cover, and the diversity of the population of the given area. Zoning is an
instrument of of plan implementation, deals primarily with use and development of
privately owned land and buildings rather than with public land buildings and

Challenges in Urban Planning for local bodies in India

The urban population of India has rapidly increased in recent years. In 1961 about 79
million persons lived in urban areas of the country, by 2001, their number had gone up to
over 285 million, an increase of over 350 percent in the last four decades, which will
increase to over 400 million by the year 2011 and 533 million by the year 2021. In 1991
there were 23 metropolitan cities, which have increased to 35 in 2001. As a result, most
urban settlements are characterized by shortfalls in housing and water supply, inadequate
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sewerage, traffic congestion, pollution, poverty and social unrest making urban
governance a difficult task.

Urban Local Bodies [ULBs] which are statutorily responsible for provision and
maintenance of basic infrastructure and services in cities and towns are under fiscal
stress. To even operate and maintain existing services, let alone augment them, would be
difficult. There has been little or no increase in their revenue base; user charges continue
to be low or non-existent. Faced with such a situation the ULBs barring a few exceptions
are becoming increasingly dependent on the higher levels of government for their
operation and maintenance requirements. What is worse, many ULBs have accumulated
‘large’ debts and face serious problems in servicing them. Besides the restriction to a
small resource base poor planning process, lack of periodical revision of municipal tax
rates / user charges, and poor information system and records management are some of
the basic weaknesses in the present municipal administration.

The CAA74 mandates compulsory reconstitution of municipal bodies within a stipulated

time frame, thus ensuring continuity of local representatives. The twelfth schedule of the
CAA74 has listed 18 functions and responsibilities to local bodies. These are:
1. Urban planning, including town planning;
2. Regulation of land use and construction of buildings;
3. Planning for economic and social development;
4. Roads and bridges;
5. Water supply for domestic, industrial, and commercial purposes;
6. Public health, sanitation, conservancy, and solid waste management;
7. Fire services;
8. Urban forestry, protection of the environment, and promotion of ecological
9. Safeguarding the interests of weaker sections of society, including the
handicapped and mentally retarded;
10. Slum improvement and up-gradation;
11. Urban poverty alleviation;
12. Provision of urban amenities and facilities such as parks, gardens, and
13. Promotion of cultural, educational and aesthetic aspects;
14. Burials and burial grounds; cremation grounds and electric crematoria;
15. Cattle pounds, prevention of cruelty to animals;
16. Vital statistics, including registration of births and deaths;
17. Public amenities including street lighting, parking lots, bus-stop, and public
18. Regulation of slaughterhouses and tanneries.

Importantly the CAA74 expressly recognizes a role for the ULBs within the
constitutional framework and provides for devolution of financial powers from the state
government for strengthening of municipal finances. The CAA74 also provides for
constitution of Ward Committees in municipalities with a population of more than 3 lakh,
Metropolitan Planning Committees and District Planning Committees for consolidation
and preparation of plans of spatial, economic and social development. From a "top
down” approach, the emphasis has thus shifted to the" bottom up" approach.
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view of the challenges facing by ULBs the planners have to prepare themselves for a
new role and much wider responsibilities. As a bridge between the civil society and the
politico-economic structure, the planners have to perform the role of the catalysts of
change. With the ongoing globalization, economic liberalization and devolution of power
to local bodies, gone are the days of armchair professionals. In the context of
decentralization of power from Central / State Governments to local levels, there is a
clear need to strengthen the Urban Local Bodies and endowing them with the finances,
commensurate with their assigned responsibility. The experience indicates that the first
and foremost priority should be to strengthen the local bodies and improve their
performances that have the primary responsibility to provide urban services. This would
involve the following key initiatives:-
• The introduction of short and medium-term, Integrated Action planning, to
complement comprehensive long-term objectives.
• Simplification of plans and procedures.
• Assets inventory for optimum utilization and the increase of the revenue base.
• A new urban land policy, to match with the national Housing and Habitat
Policy. Whereby the local authorities act as the facilitators and harness the
resources of private sector / Community.
• Upgrading technology and environment focus for infrastructure services and
• Exploring new options and public-private partnership for development and
financing of infrastructure, land development, housing, conservation, and
environmental improvement.
• Networking with international and national urban programs, e.g. Citynet
Healthy Cities, UMP etc.
• Mandatory performance management system and MIS.
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• Networking with NGO’s CBO’s and private sector for planning, management
and maintenance.

Issues in Urban Planning

It is now being recognized that cities are the engines of growth at both regional and
national level. To facilitate and sustain this growth, cities have to provide both a high
quality of life and an efficient infrastructure for economic activities.

Environment management and protection strategy addresses the critical environmental

problems, which mainly concerns preservation of lakes and water bodies, its catchments
area and its water quality and land use management in catchment areas. The other
environmental issues relate to the disposal and treatment of urban waste and it’s
recycling and the socio-economic problems caused by the displacement of population, in
context to future city spread. Environment management of lakes and water bodies are
vulnerable to urban pressure in its close vicinity. It is essential to enforce land use control
measures in the catchment areas to prevent further environmental degradation and
thereby achieve desired level of sustainability. The sustained efforts are needed for plan
implementation to improve the quality of city life. Hence an effective plan
implementation strategy needs to be evolved to achieve the following objectives
1. Protect natural environment.
2. Conservation of areas of cultural heritage.
3. Optimize land use and land utilization
4. Provide services and infrastructure
5. Participatory approach for supply of land and infrastructure development.

Urban planning is basically resource generation, resource development and resource

management exercise. The efficiency of urban settlements largely depends upon how
well they are planned, how economically they are developed and how efficiently they are
managed. Planning inputs largely govern the efficiency level of human settlements.
There is a widely held view that the Master planning methods adopted over the last few
decades have not produced a satisfactory physical environment. The urban development
planning process in the past has been unduly long and has been largely confined to the
detailing of land use aspects. The plans have paid inadequate attention to the provision of
trunk infrastructure, environmental conservation and financing issues. They have been
unrealistic and have not been accompanied by investment programs and capital budgets.
Integrated urban development planning approach, taking into account regional, state and
national strategies, and spatial, functional and other linkages between human settlements,
has not been given much recognition. Also the planning and plan implementation
processes have not paid adequate attention to the integration of land use and transport
planning. The fact that transport is a key determinant of land use and “leads”
development is sometimes ignored.

The Five Year plans laid stress on the need to undertaken town planning and evolve a
National Town Planning Act so as to provide for zoning and land use, control of ribbon
development, location of industries, clearance of slums, civic and diagnostic surveys and
preparation of Master plans. Although a significant step in urban development was
undertaken in the Plan in the form of Central assistance to the states for the preparation
of master plans for selected areas, comprehensive action was not taken by the states for
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the adoption and implementation of the plans. The urban development planning should,
essentially, be supportive of the economic development in the country. At present, hardly
20 percent of the urban centers have some sort of a Master Plan, which is many cases is
just a policy document. It is estimated that there are about 1200 master plans prepared by
various Agencies responsible for plan preparation but their implementation is not
encouraging. The implementation of master plan facilitates the orderly and planned
development of cities in a sustainable manner, which would ultimately help in good

The Master plan Approach – Concepts, Objectives and Functions

The master plan, which was perceived to be a process rather than a conclusive statement,
provides guidelines for the physical development of the city and guides people in
locating their investments in the city. In short, Master Plan is a design for the physical,
social, economic and political frame work for the city, which greatly improves the
quality of Urban Governance also.

The functions of the Master Plan / Development plan are as follows:

i. To guide development of a city is an orderly manner so as to improve the
quality of life of the people
ii. Organize and coordinate the complex relationships between urban land uses
iii. Chart a course for growth and change, be responsive to change and maintain
its validity over time and space, and be subject to continual review
iv. Direct the physical development of the city in relation to its social and
economic characteristics based on comprehensive surveys and studies on the
present status and the future growth prospects; and
v. Provide a resource mobilization plan for the proposed development works.

Critique of the Master Plan Approach

There is a widely held view that the Master Planning methods adopted over the last few
decades have not produced a satisfactory physical environment. The urban development
planning process in the past has been unduly long and has been largely confined to the
dealing of land use aspects.

The major criticisms of the Master Plan approach adopted in the country are as follows:
i. Plan Preparation Techniques: The Master plan details out the urbanized and
urbanisable areas under its jurisdiction and suggests land use up to the neighborhood
level. The tendency to over-plan the urban environment, with minute detailing, has
resulted in lack of flexibility and has hindered individual self-expression.
ii. Plan perspective: The plan projects and ’end state’ scenario for 20-25 years and is
not detailed enough for short and medium-terms actions.
iii. Static Plan: The plan is mostly static and not amendable to quick mid-course
iv. Delays: Inordinate delays in Master Plan preparation and approval and, in addition,
difficulty in obtaining possession of land sought to be acquired for the purpose is one
of the main handicaps in the speedy and successful implementation of the Master
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v. Growth of the City: The efficacy of the master Plan is adversely effected by the
divergence between the precept and practices concerning the preparation of the
Master Plan and its implementation.
vi. Ineffective Public Participation: The mechanism for public participation is
ineffective in the process of development planning, in both its preparation and
implementation. It is more top-down than a bottom-up approach.
vii. Weak information Base: Master Plan preparation is undertaken with a very weak
information base especially on socio-economic parameters, housing and
viii. Impractical Physical standards: The plans prescribe impractical densities and
layout high standards in an effort to improve the quality of life in a city. These are
generally higher than what the city population, particularly the poor, can afford.
ix. Lack of Financing Plan: Estimates of financial outlay do not match the
development works envisaged in the Master Plan. The strategies for raising resources
required for plan implementation are never an integral part of the plan.
x. Spatial Planning vis-à-vis Development Planning: Urban planning in India has
been totally over-shadowed by its spatial content instead of realization of social and
economic objectives. Town planning exercises have tended to concentrate on
physical order and environmental quality of city, and have been isolated from the
mainstream of development planning, decision-making and implementation
xi. Land Policy and Management: The absence of machinery for systematic and
continuous collection of data on the movement of land and tenement prices
undermines the implementation of the master Plan.
xii. Private Sector Participation: Through a significant portion of the development is
due to the initiative of the private sector, this factor is not recognized in the Plan.
xiii. People’s Needs: The Master Plan does not incorporate the exact needs and priorities
of the people. Instead of reflecting the aspirations of the community at large, the plan
more or less reflects the values of the administrators and planners.
xiv. Regulatory mechanism: The regulatory mechanisms in the Master Plan are to
enable better management of the city. However, development control mechanisms are
observed more in breach than in compliance.
xv. Plan Implementation: The root-cause of the urban maladies has been the divorcing
of the plan preparation from plan implementation.
xvi. Ineffective plan Monitoring: An Institutional and information system does not,
generally, exist for plan monitoring. Since the budgetary system does not explicitly
take into account the requirement of plan implementation, problem of resources are
not periodically highlighted.
Constitution (74th) Amendment Act.

The Constitution (74th) Amendment Act, 1992 provides for a democratic and
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participatory planning process so as to incorporate the needs of the people, particularly

the poor and socially disadvantaged, in the planning process. The act stipulates the
setting up to District planning Committees (DPCs) and Metropolitan Planning
Committees (MPCs) for integration of spatial and economic development and rural and
urban planning. This is in recognition of the need for integrated regional planning with
due attention to regional and local infrastructure, environmental conservation and
investment planning and their spatial and other impacts. The DPCs / MPCs need to be
constituted under the State Zilla Panchayat / Regional and Town Planning Acts. A three
tier planning structure is envisaged in the states – Panchayats / Municipalities level,
district and metropolitan level and state level. Under this framework, Panchayats/
Municipalities would prepare plans for their areas, which would be consolidated at the
district level in the form of draft district development plans. The metropolitan
development plan would be prepared by the MPCs. All district and metropolitan
development plans would then
lead to the formulation of a plan at the state level.

A. District Planning Committee

The constitution of DPCs recognizes the need for integrated regional planning based on
the investment patterns, its spatial impact and development. The DPCs should be vested
with enough powers to undertake the following functions, besides preparation of draft
development plan for the district.
i. Preparation of draft development plans including spatial plan for the district,
keeping in view matters of common interest between Panchayats and
ii. Advice and assistance to local bodies in preparation of development plans and
its effective implementation.
iii. Coordination and monitoring of the implementation of District Development
iv. Allocation of resources to local bodies for planning and implementation of
local level projects contained in the District Development plans.

B. Metropolitan Area planning committee.

The constitution of MPCs in every metropolitan area under Article 243 ZE of the 74th
Amendment accords constitutional recognition to metro-regional planning when seen in
the context of agglomeration economies, a metro region is the most preferred area for
investment in economic activities and infrastructure but these areas are normally
deficient in spatial planning inputs. The functions to be assigned to MPC are as follows:

i. Preparation of draft development plan for the metropolitan areas.

ii. Spatial coordination of plans prepared by the municipalities and panchayats
in the metro area and recommending modifications in local area plan, if any
taking an overall view.
iii. Advice and assistance to local bodies in preparation of development plans.
iv. Monitoring effective implementation of approved development plan of the
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v. Undertaking formulation and implementation of projects involving provision

of infrastructure such as major roads, trunk services, electricity,
telecommunications, etc.

The 12th Schedule of the Constitution (74th Amendment) Act lists the 18 functions of
the municipalities which among others include: (I) urban planning including town
planning; (ii) regulation of land use and construction of buildings; and (iii) planning for
economic and social development. In this regard, the state governments could be more
specific and definite in assigning functions to the local bodies, In the absence of clarity
in assignment of functions, the State Finance Commission would not be able to assess
the fiscal needs of and allocate adequate resources to the municipalities. For a rational
integration of spatial and economic development, functions related to spatial and
socioeconomic planning and development should be assigned to Urban Local Bodies
(ULBs). To facilitate the municipalities to discharge these functions, a provision could be
made in the State Municipal Acts for devolution of necessary power and authority along
with financial resources and manpower. For an effective urban planning system, there is
the need to have a package of inter-related plans at three levels namely long-term
perspective structure plan (20-25 years) short term integrated infrastructure Development
plan (5 year) and Annual Action plan as part of Infrastructure Development plan. The
short-term integrated Infrastructure plan and Annual plan could be in the form of
“rolling” plans to enable the ULBs to continuously review and monitor the plan, and to
update it every year / five years. The aim should be to make urban planning system as a
continuous process. Each level of plan must include measures for infrastructure
development and environmental conservation:
i. Perspective Structure Plan: The long-term Perspective Structure Plan could be
prepared by the MPCs broadly indicating goals, policies and strategies for spatio-
economics development of the urban settlement. The perspective plan may include:
o Physical characteristics and natural resources:
o Direction and magnitude of growth and development – area and population
o Arterial / grid road network and mass transit corridors with modular development
o Infrastructure network – water, sewage, drainage, roads, bus and truck terminals,
rail network, etc.
o Broad compatible and mixed land use packages and zones :
o Community open space system and organization of public spaces :
o Environmental conservation and preservation of areas of architectural, heritage
and and ecological importance ;
o Major issues and development constraints;
o Financial estimates and fund flow patterns; and
o Policy and plans for EWS housing.
ii. Infrastructure Development Plan: Integrated infrastructure Development Plan
should be prepared by ULBs in the context of the approved Perspective Plan. The
scope of the Plan should cover an assessment of existing situation, prospects and
priorities and development including employment generation programs, economic
base, transportation and land use, housing and land development, environmental
improvement and conservation programs. The development plan may include.
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o Identification of gaps and shortcomings in the delivery of municipal services ;

o Identification of service and remunerative projects and their prioritization along
with capital budgeting and investment programmes; and
o Housing and land development programmes, including identification of areas for
residential and non-residential development and development of trunk
iii. Action Plan: Within the framework of Development Plan, Annual Action plans for
the urban areas should be prepared by the ULBs specifying the projects and schemes
with costing and cash flow for both on-going and new projects. The Annual action
plan should provide and in-built system for implementation of the Development
Plan. In this plan various urban development schemes should be integrated spatially
and financially. Annual plan may consist of :
o targets to be achieved – physical and fiscal;
o fund flow ; and
o project design and specification, including tender document for
iv. Projects and Schemes : As part of the Development plans and Action plans,
projects and schemes within towns / cities could be taken up for any area / activity
related to housing, commercial centers, industrial areas, social and cultural
infrastructure, transport, environment, urban renewal etc. by governmental bodies /
local agencies / private sector and through integer-governmental public private-
partnership. Such projects could be both long-term and short-term and in
conformity with the development requirements of the respective town / city.

Challenges for local bodies:

The existing municipal laws are totally inadequate to enable to ULBs to discharge the
new responsibilities delegated to them under the Constitutional (74th Amendment) Act.
Although the state governments have amended their municipal Acts, as a follow - up of
the 74th Amendment, the amended acts do not specifically assign functions to the local
bodies especially urban including town planning. The following measures may be
undertaken to enable the ULBs to serve as agencies for plan preparation, enforcement
and implementation:
i. Clear division of functional responsibilities and linkage among different levels of
government to ensure upward and downward accountability and to enable the SFCs
in their constitutional task of devolution of funds to ULBs.
ii. Division of municipal functions into essential functions, agency functions, and
joint functions with state and central governments.
iii. Avoiding the traditional distinction between ‘obligatory’ and ‘discretionary’
functions since such classification results in uncertainties and non-transparent
system of municipal accountability.
iv. Essential functions of municipalities to include urban planning, including town
planning regulation of land use and construction of buildings and planning for
economics and social development and amendments to the Municipal Acts.

As an effective alternative, the authority to prepare urban development plans may be

placed with municipalities under the town and country planning laws. The planning
functions could be undertaken by the municipalities under the state Town and Country
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planning Act in states where such power has not been provided in the Municipal Acts. A
standing planning Committee may be constituted to assist the ULBs in this task and the
members of the committee could include representatives of elected members,
administrators and professional experts. The chairman of the local authority could head
the standing planning committee and the municipal Town Planner could be the member

It is necessary to build effective legislative support for the preparation of 3-tier

Development plans discussed earlier. The Town & Country planning Acts would have to
be modified to incorporate formulation of these plans along-with their definition, scope
and contents, provision could be made in the Act to empower the state Town and Country
Planning Department to prepare and get approved the perspective plan and / or
Development plan, following the prescribed procedure at the cost of the concerned in
case of failure by the ULBs to initiate actions to prepare the Plans within the stipulated
time period.

The efficiency in approval of plans could be increased by providing a clause in the Act
allowing for automatic approval in situations where the approval or rejection with
reasons, is not communicated within the stipulated time by the appropriate authority. The
local authority should carry out the modifications suggested by the Town Planning
Department and re-submit the modified plan. But at the same time, undisputed sections /
part of the draft Development plan could be processed, got approved and implemented..
Provision could be made for approval of Annual Plans by the local authority and that of
the projects and schemes formulated in accordance with the approved development plan
and Development Promotion Rules, by the Municipal Town Planners with appropriate
accountability. The notice of preparation of development plan may be linked with section
4 of the land acquisition Act. 1984 in the municipal / Town planning Acts so that any
land required for compulsory acquisition is notified as per the Act. Consequently
compensation for land would be as on the date of the publication of the draft
Development Plan and this would minimize the speculative elements. Similarly, the
publication of the notice of the final development plan may be linked with section 6
declaration under the Act. Appropriate legal support to the land assembly efforts of the
private sector should be provided to facilitate private sector participation in the
implementation process.

Development plans, in the past, were prepared in the context of centralized planning.
This context is changing in the era of liberalization where cities have to identify their
competitive advantage for growth and development. Decentralization of development
planning to the local level, under the constitutional (74th Amendment) Act, bring with it
the responsibility of resource and financial management.

For a more dynamic urban planning exercise, the following modifications in the planning
approach are recommended:
i. Flexibility: Plans must have flexibility to provide for ever-growing and ever-
expanding city boundaries and provide quality of life to all inhabitants. The plan
should be flexible to respond not only to the present needs but, also, the changing
conditions in foreseeable, future.
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ii. Role of Actors: People’s participation in preparation of policies, perspective

plan, development plan and annual plans should be ensured through elected
representatives in the municipal council / corporation and ward committees.
iii. Information system: A well maintained information system can make possible
the fine-tuning of the plan proposals at the various stages of implementation of
the plan according to the changing urban scenario.
iv. Urbanisable Areas: The development potential may be assessed for the areas
located in the periphery of the developed areas. A profile of the development
potential and the possibility of optimizing the existing infrastructure should
determine the prioritization of development of these areas.
v. Growth Centers: Given the paucity of resources, it would be more feasible and
desirable to promote strategic development initiatives in the selected secondary
cities, growth center and their hinterlands. In the growth centers, the location of
infrastructural and environmental services could form the ‘core’ of the
Development Plan.
vi. Policy Guidelines: Policy guidelines notified under law, can help in identifying
priority areas, subsequent modifications in the plans and administration, in
vii. Mixed Land Use: With a view to provide for development, the zoning
regulations need to be simplified. The land use package should not be allowed to
be changed by any authority, except as a part of the review of the Development
Plan at the city / town level.
viii. Financial Planning: Land development and infrastructure investment need to be
coordinated through integration of physical, financial and investment planning.
There is the need to link spatial development plan with resource mobilization
plan focusing on credit enhancement mechanisms.
ix. Services and Environment: City plans which provide for up-gradation of the
services for greater equity in the availability of water, sewerage and sanitation
throughout the city, would have a higher probability of success.
x. Needs of the informal sector: The plan must provide for and cater to the needs
of the informal sector so as to make them as an integral part of the city
development process.
xi. Land Policy and Management: As opposed to the process of compulsory land
acquisition, and the related issue of low compensation rates, the ULBs should
adopt collaborative approaches within the existing legal framework.
xii. Legal Framework: Plan implementation would call for a legal framework so as
to make it enforceable and mandatory. The legal framework has to be supported
by an effective and efficient machinery which would see that no distortion of
master plan proposals take place at the ground level.
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xiii. Standards: Plot sizes, layout and social overheads need to be designed to reduce
costs aligned to the affordability of different income groups and also the sale
price for lower income groups can be reduced by differential pricing.
xiv. Building Bye-laws: Building bye laws and zoning regulations for the city / town
should match the local needs. However, the existing bye-laws need to be
simplified and transparent, and there should not be an aliment of discretion.
Adequate provision for parking facilities should be made.
xv. Database at Metropolitan, district and state levels: The planning exercise need
continuous data collection, analysis interpretation and updating of data. A
computer-generated data base and information system in GIS environment should
be developed at various levels which would provide support to planners in
development planning.
xvi. Simplification of measure and Procedures: The preparation of Development
plans should be completed within a period of 12 months and should be approved
within 3 months after the plan approval and the total period for preparation and
approval should not exceed 18 months. The approval authority of Development
plans should be the ULB, in consultation with the Director of Town planning
departments. The perspective plan could also be approved by the state
Government through Directorate of Town Planning.
xvii. Strengthening Planning Mechanism and Institution: The Town and Country
planning acts need to be modified to enable the formulation of inter-elated plans
by specifying the definition, scope and contents of various plans.
The administrative, technical, managerial and financial capacities of the ULBs need to
be strengthened.

The ULBs and the town planning departments should work under the same state
department for better coordination.

The cost recovery procedures and revenue collection methods of ULBs need to be

1 History
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2 Actors in the Planning Process

3 Planning and aesthetics
4 Planning and safety
5 Planning and transport
6 Planning and suburbanization
7 Planning and the environment

Urban, city, or town planning is the discipline of land use planning which deals with
the physical, social, and economic development of metropolitan regions, municipalities
and neighbourhoods. Other professions deal in more detail with a smaller scale of
development, namely architecture, landscape architecture and urban design. Regional
planning deals with a still larger environment, at a less detailed level.

Historically, urban development was more often a haphazard, incremental event than a
deliberate planned process. In the nineteenth century, urban planning became influenced
by the newly formalised disciplines of architecture and civil engineering, which began to
codify both rational and stylistic approaches to solving city problems through physical
design. However, a number of broad critiques of the rational planning model gained
momentum after the 1960s (such as those of Jane Jacobs http://en.wikipedia.org/
wiki/Jane_Jacobs), helping to expand the domain of urban planning to include economic
development http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_developmentplanning, community
social planning and environmental planning.

By 2600 BC some Harappan settlements of the Indus Valley civilization had grown into
cities containing thousands of people and whose sudden appearance appears to have been
the result of planned, deliberate effort. Some settlements appear to have been deliberately
rearranged to conform to a conscious, well-developed plan. The streets of major cities
such as Mohenjo-daro and Harappa were also laid out in a perfect grid pattern,
comparable to that of present day New York. The houses were protected from noise,
odours, and thieves. The urban plan found in these cities included the world's first urban
sanitation systems.

The Greek Hippodamus (c. 408 BC) is often considered the father of city planning in the
West, for his design of Miletus, though examples of planned cities permeate antiquity.

The ancient Romans used a consolidated scheme for city planning, developed for
military defence and civil convenience. Effectively, many European towns still preserve
the essence of these schemes, as in Turin. The basic plan is a central plaza with city
services, surrounded by a compact grid of streets and wrapped in a wall for defence. To
reduce travel times, two diagonal streets cross the square grid corner-to-corner, passing
through the central square. A river usually flows through the city, to provide water and
transport, and carry away sewage, even in sieges.
Muslims are thought to have originated the idea of formal zoning (see haram and hima
and the more general notion of khalifa, or "stewardship" from which they arise),
although modern usage in the West largely dates from the ideas of the Congrès
Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne.
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During the last two centuries in the

Western world (Western Europe,
North America, Japan and
Australasia) planning and
architecture can be said to have
gone through various stages of
general consensus. Firstly there was
the industrialised city of the 19th
Century, where control of building
was largely held by businesses and
the wealthy elite. Around the turn of
the 20th Century there began to be a A computer generated picture of a small area of
the ancient city of Mohenjodaro
movement for providing people, and INCLUDEPICTURE "mhtml:file:///G:\\Region\\Region%202006\\Urban%2
factory workers in particular, with
healthier environments. The concept
of garden cities arose and some
model towns were built, such as
Welwyn Garden City in England.
However, these were principally
small scale in size, typically dealing
with only a few thousand residents,
and it wasn't until the 1920s when
modernism began to surface. A
modernist city was to be a sort of
efficient, workable utopia. There
were plans for large scale rebuilding
of cities, such as Paris in France, though nothing major happened until the devastation
caused by the Second World War. After this, some modernist buildings and communities
were built. However they were cheaply constructed and became notorious for their social

Modernism can be said to have ended in the 1970s when the construction of the cheap,
uniform tower blocks ended in many countries, such as Britain and France. Since then
many have been demolished and in their way more conventional housing has been built.
Rather than making everything uniform and perfect, planning now concentrates on
individualism and diversity in society and the economy. This is the post-modernist era.

Actors in the Planning Process

The traditional planning process focussed on top-down processes where the town planner
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Town_planner)created the plans. He or she is usually
skilled in either surveying, engineering or architecture, bringing to the town planning
process ideals based around these disciplines. They typically worked for governments.

Changes to the planning process over past decades have witnessed the metamorphosis of
the role of the urban planner in the planning process. Calls championing for more
democratic planning processes have played a huge role in allowing the public to make
important decisions as part of the planning process.
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Developers too have played huge roles in influencing the way development occurs,
particularly through project-based planning. Many recent developments were results of
large and small-scale developers who purchased land, designed the district and
constructed the development from scratch. The Melbourne Docklands, for example, was
largely an intiative pushed by private developers who sought to redevelop the waterfront
into a high-end residential and commercial district.

Planning and aesthetics

In developed countries there has been a backlash against excessive man-made clutter in
the environment, such as signposts, signs, and hoardings. Other issues that generate
strong debate amongst urban designers are tensions between peripheral growth, increased
housing density and planned new settlements. There are also unending debates about the
benefits of mixing tenures and land uses, versus the benefits of distinguishing geographic
zones where different uses predominate.

Successful urban planning considers character, of "home" and "sense of place", local
identity, respect for natural, artistic and historic heritage, an understanding of the "urban
grain" or "townscape," pedestrians and other modes of traffic, utilities and natural
hazards, such as flood zones.

Some argue that the medieval piazza and arcade are the most widely appreciated
elements of successful urban design, as demonstrated by the Italian cities of Siena and

While it is rare that cities are planned from scratch planners are important in managing
the growth of cities, applying tools like zoning to manage the uses of land, and growth
management to manage the pace of development. When examined historically, many of
the cities now thought to be most beautiful are the result of dense, long lasting systems of
prohibitions and guidance about building sizes, uses and features. These allowed
substantial freedoms, yet enforce styles, safety, and often materials in practical ways.
Many conventional planning techniques are being repackaged as smart growth.

There are some cities that have been planned from conception, and while the results
often don't turn out quite as planned, evidence of the initial plan often remains. See List
of planned cities(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_planned_cities). Some of the most
successful planned cities consist of cells that include park-space, commerce and housing,
and then repeat the cell. Usually cells are separated by streets. Often each cell has unique
monuments and gardening in the park, and unique gates or boundary-markers for the
edges of the cell. The commercial areas naturally become diverse. These differences help
instill a sense of place, while the similarities of the cells make each place in the city

Planning and safety

Historically within the Middle East, Europe and the rest of the Old World settlements
were located on higher ground (for defence) and close to fresh water sources. Cities have
often grown onto coastal and flood plains at risk of floods and storm surges. Urban
planners must consider these threats. If the dangers can be localised then the affected
regions can be made into parkland or Greenbelt, often with the added benefit of open
space provision.
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Extreme weather, flood, or other emergencies can often be greatly mitigated with secure
evacuation routes and emergency operations centres. These are relatively inexpensive
and unintrusive, and many consider them a reasonable precaution for any urban space.
Many cities will also have planned, built safety features, such as levees, retaining walls,
and shelters.

In recent years, practitioners have also been expected to maximize the accessibility of an
area to people with different abilities, practicing the notion of "inclusive design," to
anticipate criminal behaviour and consequently to "design-out crime" and to consider
"traffic calming" or "pedestrianisation" as ways of making urban life more bearable.

City planning tries to control criminality with structures designed from theories like
socio-architecture or environmental determinism. These theories say that an urban
environment can influence individuals' obedience to social rules. The theories often say
that psychological pressure develops in more densely developed, unadorned areas. This
stress causes some crimes and some use of illegal drugs. The antidote is usually more
individual space and better, more beautiful design in place of functionalism.

Oscar Newman’s defensible space theory cites the modernist housing projects of the
1960s as an example environmental determinism, where large blocks of flats are
surrounded by shared and disassociated public areas which is harder to identify with for
the residents. As those on lower incomes cannot hire others to maintain public space such
as security guards or grounds keepers, and because no individual feels personally
responsible, there was a general deterioration of public space leading to a sense of
alienation and social disorder

Jane Jacobs is another notable environmental determinist and is associated with the "eyes
on the street" concept. By improving ‘natural surveillance’ of shared land and facilities
of nearby residents by literally increasing the number of people who can see it, and
increasing the familiarity of residents, as a collective, residents can more easily detect
undesirable or criminal behaviour.

The "broken-windows" theory believes that small indicators of neglect, such as broken
windows and unkempt lawns, promote a feeling that an area is in a state of decay.
Anticipating decay, people likewise fail to maintain their own properties. the theory
suggests that abandonment causes crime, rather than crime causing abandonment.

Some planning methods might help an elite group to control ordinary citizens. This was
certainly the case of Rome (Italy), where Fascism in the 1930s created ex novo many
new suburbs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suburb) in order to concentrate criminals and
poorer classes away from the elegant town.

Other social theories point out that in Britain and most countries since the 18th century,
the transformation of societies from rural agriculture to industry caused a difficult
adaptation to urban living. These theories emphasize that many planning policies ignore
personal tensions, forcing individuals to live in a condition of perpetual extraneity to
their cities. Many people therefore lack the comfort of feeling "at home" when at home.
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Often these theorists seek a reconsideration of commonly used "standards" that

rationalize the outcomes of a free (relatively unregulated) market.
Planning and transport
There is a direct, well-researched connection between the density of an urban
environment, and the need to travel within it. Good quality transport is often followed by
development. Development beyond a certain density can quickly overcrowd transport.

Good planning attempts to place higher densities of jobs or residents near high-volume
transportation. For example, some cities permit commerce and multi-story apartment
buildings only within one block of train stations and four-lane boulevards, and accept
single-family dwellings and parks further away.

Densities are usually measured as the floor area of buildings divided by the land area.
Floor area ratios below 1.5 are low density. Plot ratios above five are very high density.
Most exurbs are below two, while most city centres are well above five. Walk-up
apartments with basement garages can easily achieve a density of three. Skyscrapers
easily achieve densities of thirty or more. Higher densities tempt developers with higher
profits. City authorities may try to encourage lower densities to reduce infrastructure
costs, though some observers note that low densities may not accommodate enough
population to provide adequate demand or funding for that infrastructure. In the UK,
recent years have seen a concerted effort to increase the density of residential
development in order to better achieve sustainable development. Increasing development
density has the advantage of making mass transport systems, district heating and other
community facilities (schools, health centres, etc) more viable. However critics of this
approach dub the densification of development as 'town cramming' and claim that it
lowers quality of life and restricts market led choice.

Problems can often occur at residential densities between about two and five. These
densities can cause traffic jams for automobiles, yet are too low to be commercially
served by trains or light rail systems. The conventional solution is to use buses, but these
and light rail systems may fail where automobiles and excess road network capacity are
both available, achieving less than 1% ridership.

The Lewis-Mogridge Position claims that increasing road space is not an effective way
of relieving traffic jams as latent or induced demand invariably emerges to restore a
socially-tolerable level of congestion.

Some theoreticians speculate that personal rapid transit (PRT) might coax people from
their automobiles, and yet effectively serve intermediate densities, but this has not been

A practical social path to serving intermediate densities might be to enhance car-pool

lanes with automated control and electric power to reach the traffic densities and low
emissions of PRT. Some areas, such as Korea are developing proposals in which cars are
manually driven on conventional streets to computer-controlled limited-access
expressways. Some dual-use proposals for personal rapid transit would utilize certified,
light-weight vehicles using electricity for the large power use of high-speed travel (e.g.
Ford's PRISM proposal).
S.Rengasamy. Madurai Institute of Social Sciences 147
Regional Planning & Development

Planning and suburbanization

In some countries declining satisfaction with the urban environment is held to blame for
continuing migration to smaller towns and rural areas (so-called urban exodus).
Successful urban planning supported Regional planning can bring benefits to a much
larger hinterland or city region and help to reduce both congestion along transport routes
and the wastage of energy implied by excessive commuting.

Planning and the environment

Arcology seeks to unify the fields of ecology and architecture, especially landscape
architecture, to achieve a harmonious environment for all living things. On a small scale,
the eco-village theory has become popular, as it emphasizes a traditional 100-140 person
scale for communities.

In most advanced urban or village planning models, local context is critical. In many,
gardening assumes a central role not only in agriculture but in the daily life of citizens. A
series of related movements including green anarchism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Green_anarchism), eco-anarchism, eco-feminism and Slow Food have put this in a
political context as part of a focus on smaller systems of resource extraction, and waste
disposal, ideally as part of living machines which do such recycling automatically, just as
nature does. The modern theory of natural capital emphasizes this as the primary
difference between natural and infrastructural capital, and seeks an economic basis for
rationalizing a move back towards smaller village units. A common form of planning that
leads to suburban sprawl is single use zoning.

An urban planner is likely to use a number of Quantitative tools to forecast impacts of

development on a variety of environmental concerns including roadway air dispersion
models to predict air quality impacts of urban highways and roadway noise models to
predict noise pollution effects of urban highways.

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