Industrial Planning


Industries are growing at a fast pace in India. Though industries boost the economy of the country but at the same time also contribute significantly to the degradation of the environment. Installation of pollution control equipment alone cannot help check the pollution problems from industries. Siting of an industry always involves a certain amount of risk. As the degree of pollution potential of the industry increases, the risk involved in siting it also increases. Industry occupies land and requires supporting land uses such as residential areas for housing, transportation network and facilities such as water supply, waste treatment and disposal facilities etc., which also occupy land use. Unplanned and uncontrolled industrial development leads to incompatible land use patterns thereby increasing the risks on the receiving environment. The protection of the environment can be achieved by proper planning and management of various spatial entities viz. water resources, land, settlements, forests etc. and the , developmental sectors in a most effective manner. Such a planning can be termed as 'environmental planning'.

Industrial Estates - Their Role in Development and Associated Environmental Problems

The important role of industries in the growth and development of India was realised in the early years of Independence. To encourage industrialisation in selected areas and to curb unplanned growth of industries, the industrial estates, i.e. clusters of Industries at a designated site with appropriate infrastructure facilities, have been set up in different parts of the country. The objectives of promoting industrial development in designated and developed industrial estates are:

  • To provide appropriate infrastructure (roads, water, power etc.) for a conglomeration of industrial units at one site in order to minimise development costs and to optimise use of such facilities
  • To encourage provision of common systems for effluent treatment thereby making them more affordable to smaller units for which installation of such industrial facilities would be technically or financially unfeasible
  • To facilitate siting of complementary industries (upstream or downstream) in the same premises
  • To use establishing of industrial estates in under-developed areas (e.g. backward areas) to foster development and to provide income thus contributing towards a more balanced development of the country; and
  • To control industrial development at sites from an overall development perspective.

The problems of concern from the indudtrial estates are:

  • lack of planning/Improper siting;
  • lack of proper pollution control abatement infrastructure; and
  • Absence of control of surrounding land uses.

The Concept

The industrial estate planning approach is based on the concept of environmental 'spatial planning, which over the last five years has developed as a major thrust in preventive environmental protection in India. This approach is based on the following fundamental principles of environmental planning:

  • Using a site according to its natural (environmental) suitability in such away that the use is not adversely affecting environmental resources and media or other uses at site and in the vicinity; and
  • Preserving of environmentally fragile or ecologically sensitive zones and other important features in the vicinity of a site.

The District-wise Zoning Atlas

The 'Zoning Atlas for Siting of Industries' zones and classifies areas in the District (state in the case of Tripura) based on environmental features, identifies location for siting of industries and also specifies industries suitable to the identified sites. The maps are prepared on 1 :250,000 scale and provide information through easy-to-read maps. It also helps in simplifying and accelerating the decision-making process and also makes it more transparent and reliable. It also provides a basis for incorporating environmental aspects into physical (land use) planning process. The Atlas is prepared by a systematic method of elimination of areas unsuitable for industrial activities and by overlay of themes, which are related to industrial siting. The approach involves identification of the characteristics of the District, mapping of the sensitive zones that are unsuitable for siting of industries owing to legal restrictions, physical constraints, social considerations, etc., assessing the pollution receiving potential of the District in terms of air/water (surface/ground) pollution and identification of possible alternate sites suiting to different types of pollution potentials of the industries.

It will be worthwhile to mention that in the case of Tripura the Zoning Atlas has been prepared for the entire state keeping in view of the manageable size of the state. Tripura became the first state in the country to have prepared the Zoning Atlas for the state as a whole.