In this article we will discuss about the problems of over-concentration of industries and measures to contain it.
Problems of Over-Concentration of Industries:
As a result of concentration of industries into some particular developed regions, the country is now facing the problem of over-concentration of industries.
Following are some of the main problems faced by the country in this region:
1. Problems of Congestion:
Due to over-concentration of industries into some particular region, the entire area became more and more congested. This over-concentration of industries leads to growth of slums in and around urban centres. Thus, the entire area became dirty and unhealthy.
With the concentration of population in those centres the demand for public utility services like transport, water supply, gas, electricity into those areas gradually multiply itself leading to a total crisis and chaos into those systems.
A sharp decline in the public health facilities occurs naturally. Moreover, with the growing congestion of population into those industrially developed areas, the rent on land, wages for labour, and prices of other services gradually increase leading to an increase in the cost of production of such industries.
2. Unbalanced Industrial Development:
With the concentration of Indian industries into some particular areas, other areas remain totally backward and neglected. Thus, in India, the industrially developed areas are now maintaining a higher level of income and living whereas the backward regions are even deprived of their subsistence level of income and employment.
Moreover, unbalanced industrial development is also responsible for growing inter-state disparity in the country, particularly in respect of its per capita income and level of living.
In India regionalism is growing at a faster rate in various corners of the country due to continuous neglect of backward regions in respect of industrial development.
4. Industrial Pollution:
In India, concentration of industries into some particular developed regions has been resulting in huge industrial pollution which again disturbs the eco-system of the country.
A recent study on industrial pollution shows that industrial pollution is highest in Maharashtra with 435 highly polluted industrial units followed by Gujarat (224 units), Uttar Pradesh (223 units), Andhra Pradesh (178 units), Tamil Nadu (96 units), West Bengal (73 units) etc.
5. Easy Target:
Over-concentration of industries into some particular region have its risk on security ground. Industrially congested areas normally became the easy target of enemy nation during war.
6. Under-Utilisation of Development Potential:
Unbalanced industrial development in the country is also responsible for under-utilisation of huge development potential of those backward areas. Thus, due to lack of initiative and enterprises, huge amount of development potential largely remains underutilised in those backward regions of the country.
Measures to Contain Over-Concentration of Industries:
Under such a situation of over-concentration of industries in some industrially developed regions of the country, immediate steps should be taken for dispersal of industries into backward areas of the country. Thus, immediate steps should be undertaken for the decentralisation of industries. In order to achieve a balanced industrial development the Government should introduce some important policy measures.
In the meantime, the Government has taken various steps for the decentralisation of industries and gradual dispersal of industries into some backward regions. In the rational Policy on Pollution Abatement, announced by the Government in February 1993, it is mentioned that the policy of allowing excise and custom rebate on goods for shifting the industries that pollute the environment from congested areas.
The policy suggested setting up of industrial estates and clusters of small units in rural areas would include pollution abatement measures as an essential component of infrastructure. While giving industrial license, the government is putting some conditions on the location of industry in order to achieve decentralisation of industries.
In the new industrial policy 1991, stress has been laid on dispersal of industries up to the backward areas by providing certain special concession in respect of taxes, credit etc. The Sixth and the Seventh Plan of the country also laid emphasis on dispersal of industries in order to develop the backward regions of the country.
In the meantime, de-localisation or dispersal of industries has become successful to some extent in respect of petroleum and petrochemical industries and also in cement, sugar, jute and paper industries.
Thus, in future selection of projects, consideration for balanced regional development should be given due weightage along with other economic, political and ecological considerations of the country.