The location of industries is highly uneven in our country. The industries tend to concentrate in pockets due to some favourable locational factors. The pockets having high concentration of industries are known as industrial regions.
Major industrial regions in India have developed near the ports of Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. The Britishers developed these clusters. The sea ports are used for providing raw materials, power, and market for the industries. There are six major industrial regions in our country. These are:
1. Hugli Industrial Region:
This is an old and important industrial region in India. It is located along the banks of Hugli River. The discovery of coal and iron ore in the Chhotanagpur plateau, the beginning of the tea plantations in Assam, the processing of deltaic Bengal’s jute, the availability of cheap labour from Bihar and Orissa and the investment of capital accumulated through the trade of opium, indigo and cotton led to the development of industries in this region.
The main industries are jute, silk and cotton textiles, engineering, electrical, paper, match, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, transport equipment, petroleum refining, leather goods, iron and steel, food processing, etc. This region is experiencing the stagnation and decline in industrial growth.
2. Mumbai – Pune Industrial Region:
This is the most important industrial region in our country. The Mumbai-Pune belt owes its origin to the British Rule in India. The growth of this region is intimately connected with the history of the development of cotton textile industry in India.
The opening of the first railway track between Mumbai and Thane in 1853, the opening of Bhor Ghat and Thai Ghat to Pune and Nasik and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, led to the growth and development of industries in the Mumbai-Pune belt.
Besides cotton textiles, the other important industries in this region are electrical and electronic goods, engineering, petroleum refining, transport equipment, rubber products, paper, leather, garments, synthetic and plastic goods, drugs, food processing, shipbuilding, gems and jewellery, etc.
3. Ahmad Abad-Vadodara Industrial Region:
This is the third largest industrial region in India. It lies in close proximity to the cotton growing tracts of the Gujarat plains. The industrialization in this region began with the dispersal of cotton textile industry from Mumbai. Availability of cheap land, cheap skilled labour and other advantages helped the development of cotton textile industry.
Apart from cotton textiles, the industries which have also developed in this belt are vegetable oils, diamond cutting, petrochemicals, drugs, pharmaceuticals, engineering, rayon, match, potteries, glassware, dairy products, leather goods, plastics, fertilizers, etc.
The Ahmadabad-Vadodara region is experiencing the shortage of power and water. The discovery of mineral oil may further help the growth of industries in this region.
4. Madurai-Coimbatore-Bangalore Industrial Region:
This region lies in the cotton growing tract and is dominated by the cotton textile industry. This region is away from the main coal producing areas of the country, but cheap hydroelectric power is readily available.
This agriculturally prosperous region has large domestic market, cheap and skilled labour supply, moderate climate which support industrialization. This region has witnessed industrial diversification.
Now a days, the main industries in this region are silk, cotton and synthetic textiles, sugar, leather goods, chemicals, paper, heavy engineering, electrical machinery, electronic goods, rubber goods, matches, machine tools, transport equipment, etc. The public sector industries have been developed on a large scale in this region.
5. Chhotanagpur Plateau Industrial Region:
The birth and growth of this region is linked with the discovery of coal in Damodar Valley and iron ore in Jharkhand and Orissa. Power is available from DVC’s thermal plants and cheap labour from Bihar, Orissa and eastern UP. The Kolkata region provides market and port facilities. This region has the advantage for developing ferrous metal industries.
The iron and steel mills have developed at Jamshedpur, Durgapur, Bokaro, Kulti, Burnpur, etc. The other industries include heavy engineering, machine tools, locomotives, automobiles, cement, glass, fertilizer, heavy electrical, chemicals, paper, etc. The sicknesses of mills, shortage of power and political turmoil, have slowed down the growth rate.
6. Delhi and Adjoining Industrial Region:
This industrial region owes its development to the post- independence period. It has two industrial belts merging into a large industrial cluster around Delhi. This region has the advantage of the proximity of the national capital, availability of cheap raw materials, nearness to the market and regular supply of power.
The main industries in this region are engineering, electronic goods, consumer goods, automobiles, chemicals, glass, textiles, rubber, sugar, etc. NOIDA is emerging as a great industrial complex and the formation of the National Capital Region (NCR) has further boosted the industrial growth in this region.
7. Minor Industrial Regions:
These are in Assam valley, Darjiling Duars, North Bihar and adjoining Uttar Pradesh, Kanpur, Indore-Ujjain- Nagda, Nagpur-Wardha, Dharwad-Belgaum, Godavary-Krishna delta, Kolhapur-Sangli, Kollam, Chennai, Malabar-Thrissur, Solapur, etc.