Regional Planning in Tripura State

Tripura is a hill State and the Districts are not homogenous in their socio-economic as well as physical characteristics. The altitude and topography vary to a significant extent, which not only influence the water resources, vegetation. soil conditions etc., but also the socio-economic conditions of the inhabitants. However, what brings the hill habitations of Tripura at par is their low level of development. They are mostly rural areas with workforce predominantly engaged in primary activities (64%)

The level of development of hill areas dominated by ethnic tribal groups of Tripura has been considerably lower than the western plains. Agartala and the other urban agglomerations are the hub of economic activities in western the parts of the State, where the population density understandably tends to increase. The river valleys of T ripura have fertile agricultural fields and are the main economic base of the larger segment of population. The difference in geographical spectrum is manifested in the overall level of economic activities, urbanization, population distribution, development of transport and other infrastructure facilities.

The overall density of population (304) of the State is a little below the national average (324) in 2001 but the density of population per hectare of cultivated land is very high (11 persons per ha), implying thereby heavy pressure on the scarce agricultural land. The agricultural holdings are mostly small & marginal and are generally scattered because of the limitations posed by the topography. Furthermore, the opportunities for work are limited and out-migration of people in the working age group, particularly of males is high. Many of the villages are inaccessible, lacking transportation and communication facilities. The settlements are generally very small in size and dispersed over difficult terrain, which leads to high cost of development of infrastructure.

The other characteristics of the State are:

  • Intra & inter regional imbalances are very high in terms of level of socio-economic development across regions;
  • 66.81% of rural populatinn is below poverty line. (Source: Rural Development Department); and
  • Per capita State Domestic Product ISDPI is very low (Refer Table 1 and availability of employment opportunity compares poor!y with the all-India levels;

Table 1
Per Capita Net State Domestic Product

1999-2000 (Rs.)
15,841 (+)

Source: Economic Review Tripura, /999-2000, pp-2

  • Infrastructurally, it is the second poorest State in the country after Arunachal Pradesh;
  • Manufacturing sector (6.41 %- of workforce engaged ) is lagging far behind;
  • Forest occupies more than 59.98% of total geographical area and the potential for forest-based economic growth is high;
  • Limited and fertile agricultural land parcels are put to uneconomic cropping pattern;
  • Hill slopes and soils are highly suitable for horticultural crops but they are not developed;
  • Sectors such as tourism, fisheries, small-scale industries etc, are under-utilized; and
  • Huge natural gas and oil-based potential of the State is yet to be exploited.

There is a need for State level planning for achieving sustainable development focusing on arriving at appropriate development strategies that meet environmental and social needs.