In this article, You will read Planning as a tool for Regional Imbalance in India – for UPSC IAS.

Planning as a tool for Regional Imbalance

  • Regional planning refers to formulating different plans for different regions depending on the following factors:
    • Resource endowments and potential of resource exploitation of a region.
    • Stage and level of socio-economic development.
    • Nature of the geographical location or geographical setting of a region.
    • Aspirations of the local people.
  • Regional Planning tends to achieve the following objectives:
    • Regional Planning corrects existing regional disparities in existing socio-economic indicators, otherwise, such disparities can take shape in form of various sub-national tendencies like Naxalism, Regionalism, demand for new states, etc.
    • Regional Planning serves as an instrument of the planning process, therefore, facilitating optimum utilization of space.
    • At the national level, sectoral efficiency can be enhanced by adopting integration of targets at regional level.

Different approaches of Regional Planning

  • Regional Planning can be studied under two different approaches:
    • Spatial approach: In a spatial approach the area-specific planning is put into action for the achievement of particular goalkeeping in the account of the local socio-economic and geographical factors of the region. For e.g. planning to reduce poverty in hilly areas by the promotion of tourism.
    • Temporal approach: In the temporal approach, time is the major factor which is taken into the consideration in the planning process of a particular region. For e.g. planning for doubling the farmer’s income by 2022 in a particular region.
  • Central Place Theory, Growth poles, and Growth centres are examples of the implementation of various planning approaches for a region.
  • Regional Planning can also be studied under:
    • Regional planning approach: In this approach, the planning process is limited to a particular area keeping the various planning entities of the region into account like planning for development of Chotanagpur region through industrial development.
    • Area development approach: In this approach a particular area is selected and planning is done with respect to:
      • Problems specific to the area: It includes planning with respect to various area-specific problems such as floods, droughts, etc. Drought Prone Area Program, Hill Area Development Program, desert Development Program, and Command area development program are the example of such planning.
      • Planning based on specific groups of an area: It includes various programs specific to groups such as Tribal Area Development Program, Small farmers Development Agency. Etc

Regional Planning Approach

  • This approach is applied with help of the principle of hierarchy settlements, given by Christaller, and Growth poles and Growth centres concepts.
    • For example, in rural areas, a functional relationship exists among villages. In general one of the villages acts as the central village and provides services to village surrounding it, while at the same time it depends upon another higher-order settlement such as towns or cities for higher-order services. Thus, the hierarchy of settlement exists on the functional relationship.
  • In this approach, the regional planners tend to identify such hierarchal relationships and then they take the decision that which activity should be located at which level of the hierarchy, so that complementary functions can exist among them which in turn ensure integrated development of the entire region.
  • Following these principles, planners deliberately tend to locate Growth poles and Growth centres at a certain level of the hierarchy and simultaneously facilitate the development of transport and communication line so that it can generate the required impact on the hinterland.
    • For example, during the 2nd Five Year Plan (1956-61), three integrated steel plans were located in a backward region viz. Bhilai, Durgapur, and Raurkela in tune with the resource endowment of the region and the principle of the least cost with respect to the availability of raw materials (Weber Model).
  • Here the basic assumption was that these steel plants would serve as Growth poles and would generate a multiplier effect in the adjoining hinterland.
  • However, this does not happened on a large scale as most of the local population landed up with jobs of unskilled nature.
  • Further those who got displaced were thrown in the flux of cultural mutation wherein they were struggling to get assimilated with an alien culture and they got subjected to various social evils like human trafficking, drug abuse, etc.
  • The concept of regional planning very well supports the idea of spatial differentiation but complementary units as discussed by Hartshorne in his concept of areal differentiation, where he considered earth as a mosaic of landscape wherein every landscape is a part of the unique combination of its constituent elements, which differentiates it from the adjoining landscape.
  • The notion of regional planning talks about making utilization of this differentiation landscape according to their potential. At the same time, it also talks about taking care of the complementary relationship which exists between adjoining landscapes.

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Sir what is the difference between regional planning approach and area devt approach? ..i am not able to differentiate between the two.


Regional planning includes all part of planning in that area like when we develoo industry it includes road railway infrastructure,himan development planning etc
While area develop focus on specific component lf planning.