International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Regional Development Dichotomy – A Strategic Plan for a Balanced Development for Vagra-Dahej Sub Region, Bharuch, India
Jay Mittal, Sweta Byahut

Gujarat is a leading industrial state in the Indian union with a long coastline dotted with 40 of the country’s142 ports. The state has been promised $296.42 billion (USD) via 5,500 industrial memorandum, which has created economic growth of 7.7 percent in the last decade. Many of these investments are concentrated around the coast or large urban agglomerations. VagraDahej is a coastal sub region in Gujarat located near a high concentration corridor of industrial conglomeration. Thesubregion cityhas a population of 82,000 people living in its 68 villages that offer promising economic opportunities. However, is paradoxically experiencing natural resource degeneration and out-migration of the local people. VagraDahej contributes about $3 billion USD annually through excise duty and taxes to the state and national income through its largest ‘On-land’ petroleum reserves in India. It has the only liquid cargo port and chemical terminal in the country, large-scale investments in petrochemical, metallurgical, and other port-based industrial investments ranging from $.60to $900 million USD per unit. Agriculture, fishing, salt farming, and natural resource based activities are traditional sources of economy; where the most local population is engaged in the sub region. VagraDahej is under serious threats of salinity ingress, droughts, low agriculture productivity, declining traditional economy, and out migration attributed to weak land use planning, non-judicious use of water, compounded by unstable climatic conditions, topography, and poor soils with low permeability and inherent salinity. The sub region faces a serious development dichotomy with a ratio of annual average earnings of local people, to the total wealth generated from the available resources and investments in the sub region being abysmally low. These research findings are based on secondary data analysis, field surveys, and consultations with the stakeholders in field and sector experts. This paper assesses development potential and constraints in the sub region and attempts to prepare future development strategies to attain balanced regional development. This paper emphasizes natural resource regeneration (land, water and soil conservation) and thus attempts to create options for livelihood regeneration in the rapidly industrializing coastal region of Gujarat.

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