ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Economic and Environmental Consequences

Delhi–Mumbai Industrial Corridor

The Delhi–Mumbai Industrial Corridor represents a re-centralisation of urban planning in India with the primary objective to foster export-oriented growth. An analysis of census and manufacturing data shows that the DMIC is likely to increase regional inequality. Moreover, rather than fostering regional integration, this state-led corridor development remains a series of discontinuous and fragmented territories.

Urban policy is increasingly drafted at a global scale. There is a consensus among policymakers in international organisations that cities are key sites for strategic interventions that range from limiting greenhouse gas emissions, to reducing inequality and fostering economic growth (Parnell 2016). This consensus is evident in India, as the previous United Progressive Alliance government’s flagship programme to invest in urban infrastructure—the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission—has been surpassed in ambition by the current National Democratic Alliance government’s “Make in India” campaign and Smart Cities Mission. These programmes ostensibly seek to leverage investment and technology for the transformation of Indian cities into liveable and efficient engines of economic growth. The Delhi–Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) encapsulates these trends, as a range of institutions, unprecedented foreign investment, and ambitious infrastructure projects cohere into an actively managed regional ecosystem of urban transformation.

In this article, we draw on census and manufacturing data to examine the DMIC, and we advance three lines of argument. First, in contrast to the centralised nature of Nehruvian development that sought to reduce regional inequality by steering investment to so-called “backward” regions, the DMIC arcs through some of India’s most industrialised and urbanised states. Meanwhile, these “backward” states figure into this new regional division of labour as suppliers of natural resources, agricultural products and labour power. As a result, the DMIC exacerbates regional inequality within India.

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Updated On : 6th Nov, 2017

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