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Industrial and Urban Spaces

Sneh Mahajan

Edited by H. Okahashi
Manohar Publishers, Delhi, 2008, pp. 197, Rs. 525.00

Edited by C. Ramachandraiah, A.C.M. van Westen and Sheela Prasad
Manohar Publishers, Delhi, 2008, pp. 393, Rs. 995.00


A cursory look at the titles of the two books reviewed may create an impression that they deal with the same subject, that of ‘new industrial spaces’—which these days generally mean the IT industry. However, once the books are read, it becomes clearer that while the book High-Tech Urban Spaces—Asian and European Perspectives is indeed about planning for ICT (Information and Communication Technology) industries in urban areas, the book Emerging New Industrial Spaces and Regional Developments in India is about the performance of planned industrial estates with a focus chiefly on the automotive industry with a passing reference to the implications of the ICT industry in such estates. However, the two books read together, do have a common reference point on comparing the outcome of the two processes of industrialization—conventional manufacturing industries and those that are ICT based.   The book edited by H. Okahashi is an outcome of a Japanese research project. The authors of this volume, who are exclusively Japanese, have studied two cases—the planned Pithampur Industrial Estate adjacent to Indore in Madhya Pradesh and NOIDA in Uttar Pradesh adjacent to New Delhi and within the NCR (National Capital Region). The book uses secondary sources for its analysis as well as data from primary surveys commissioned by the authors; in this regard the book should prove quite useful for future researchers. The case studies have been analysed in a comprehensive manner where all aspects of the two settlements (Pithampur and NOIDA) have been studied in relation to the process and influence of industrialization. The studies range from industrial infrastructure provisions to housing, commercial growth, and demographic changes in the original population.   The comparison between the industrialization of Pithampur and NOIDA is seen from the point of view that Pithampur was set up in a relatively backward part of the country as a means to bring ‘development’ to the region. While the growth opportunities for NOIDA was due to its proximity to the existing established industrial areas of Delhi, Ghaziabad, Shahibabad and Faridabad. The salient points that the authors of the book raise are that Pithampur in spite of attracting major automotive factories did not grow beyond a point. Reasons cited for this lack of growth was due to insufficient infrastructural facilities, poor administration and lack of coordination by the state agencies, a conclusion also drawn in the second book reviewed. The setting up of manufacturing ...

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