Since the introduction of District Industries Centre in 1978 over two decades passed and several programmes have been attempted to achieve the goal of providing more employment, rendering economic development etc. Keeping in view the spirit of new Industrial Policy Registration Procedure has been thoroughly revised and simplified since April ’96. The rate of progress in numbers in Small Scale Industries Registration shows an increasing trend which also indicates the effect of motivation and inclination of entrepreneurs towards taking up industrial ventures. Identification and careful selection of potential entrepreneurs with the appropriate traits and attributes whose potentialities could be upgraded is also aa major part of training and motivation activities of DIC. Regular sitting with prospective entrepreneurs and Block Gram Panchayatwise group discussion to aware and motivate the local people to take up C & SSI Ventures as well as Artisans Oriented activities are continuing.
GEOGRAPHICAL & CULTURAL FEATURES
Howrah District plays a vital role in the economy of both the State and the country as a whole. There is a large industrial population in this District. Highly congested industrial belt and its problems are indeed complex. The District Howrah, lying on the west of the river Hooghly, is the smallest district in the State of West Bengal. It is one of the 19 districts in the State, comprises only 1.68% of its total area, and contains 5.45% of its population. The area of the District is 1467 Sq.K.M. There are 14 Community Development Blocks/Panchayat Samities, 157 Gram Panchayats and 763 Mauzas in the District consisting of two Sub-divisions i.e. Howrah Sadar and Uluberia having 5 blocks under Sadar Sub-division and 9 blocks under Uluberia Sub-divisions. Howrah city is much older than city of Calclutta and connected by the Howrah Bridge which is known as Rabindra Setu constructed in the year 1943. Very recently it has been connected by another modern bridge called Vidyasagar Setu which is a finest combination of architecture & technology. Belurmath which was set up by the renowned philanthropist and social reformer Swami Vivekananda is a place of attraction to the people in this globe. Botanical Garden speaks about ancient memories. The district gave birth of luminary like great poet Bharat Chandra (1712 - 1764) who was born in Per Radhanagar (Penro) a village in north western
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part of the district. Sri Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay who is a name in bengali literature was residing in Panitrash at the bank of Roopnarayan. Gadiara and Garchumuck are the attractive tourist spots which draw people for a change from different parts of the state.
Among the Engineering College of name & fame in this State the Bengal Engineering College, Shibpur now converted into a "Deemed University" draw prominence which is as old as more than 140 years. The college has successfully created many talents who have contributed in developing the country’s modern infrastructures. Shibpur Hindu Girls' School which was established in 1837 was graced by Sister Nivedita in the year 1902. Howrah Town Hall is carrying a special memory of the presence of two luminaries of the country the great poet Shri Rabindra Nath Tagore and the novelist Shri Sarat Chandra Chattapadhyay in the year 1923. There is another addition of the district, an attractive Community Hall & Auditorium "Sarat Sadan" named in the memory great novelist Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.
The District is well connected with other parts of the country by broad-gauged railway line of the Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway. Two important highways are connecting the three major metropolitan cities i.e. Calcutta, Mumbai & Delhi which is ensuring faster movement of important necessities of the people.
Hemmed in between the river Hooghly on the East and the Rupnarayan on the West, intersected by the Damodar, the district consists of a flat alluvial plain. The surface soil in the Western part of the district, served by the rivers Rupnarayan and Damodar is sandy loam whereas nearer to the Hooghly, hard clay loam predominates. Clay and Deep Loamy soil prevail in the North and lighter loams in the South.
All round industrial activities in the district with both heavy/medium and small scale/cottage industries, have enriched the industrial economy and environment of the district.
According to the Census 2001, the population of the district is 4274010. This means an increase of 62.21% over 1971. Out of total population, 49.60% resides in rural areas while 50.30% in the urban area. The numerous mills in Howrah city and along
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the river banks and other industrial concerns attracted a large number of labourers as well as professionals from Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and other States. Large number of agriculturists and labourers immigrate to seek employment on farms, in the brick fields or in the railway works. Besides, there are many farmer families from the bordering districts of Midnapore Hooghly and Bankura.
Almost all the parts of the district are well connected with motorable road, railway link and River ways. Added with this proximity to the City and Port Calcutta, Rail Link , resource of coal Iron & Steel within the short distance, Jute resources, availability of steel scrap, mostly Rly. Spares for use in foundry, re-rolling mills Steel forging shops are the causes for the concentration of large medium & small scale industries in Howrah. The Engineering units, generated four or five decades ago, once established international reputation generated in machine manufacture and other engineering skill is relegated to the background today and are unable to compete with small scale units established elsewhere in India. But ‘excellence’ contents with special reference to engineering skill still available are unique of its kind and if they could be supported by modern technology and equipments, the situation could be brought to its original position. Taking into consideration of the skill points as are available in the district most of the Blocks in the district can be identified as Growth Centres.
REPORT ON SSI UNITS OF DISTRICT HOWRAH
Industrial development of Howrah district in comparison to other places was primarily due to the following infrastructural and other economic facilities :-
(i) Advantageous communication network by Road, Rail, River-ways, Air-service(Dum Dum) and Port facilities.
(ii) Availability of power.
(iii) High technical skill through generation at a cheaper rate.
(iv) Availability of raw materials from nearest sources.
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(v) Large & medium houses in and around the district adjacent, developed and developing localities by the side of river Bhagirathi, Steel complex at Durgapur belt, Coliery complex in Raniganj-Asansol belt needs of adjoining Districts Towns and localities provided good market resulting from their commercial and industrial needs. In other parts of our country too demand of products of this region was also relatively high. Migration influx since partition as well as rapid urbanisation in and around Howrah had widely opened the scope of market to a considerable extent.
With all these facilities development of SSI units registered a faster pace for decades together on the following major industrial fields :-
(ii) Re-rolling Mills,
(iii) Basic Metal & Metal products,
(iv) Electrical & Electronic,
(v) Transport Equipments & Spares,
(vi) Rubber Moulded Goods,
(vii) Misc. Manufacturing Industry,
(viii) Repairing & Servicing,
(ix) Plastic & Polymer,
(x) Food Processing,
(xi) Fibre-based products.
Major industry groups mentioned above contributed about 20,184 Nos. registered SSI units up to 31-03-2005 providing direct employment to nearly 1,96,000 persons & supporting addl/subsidiary employment to about 1(one) lakh more.
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Analysis of registered data shows that about 90% units are in Tiny Sector. Percentile distribution in terms of investment in plant and machinery reads approximately as follows :-
Upto Rs.5 lakhs investment .. 65%
Between 5 lakhs to 25 lakhs .. 25%
Above 25 lakhs to 50 lakhs .. 10%
Export market for Engineering products & Sanitary foundry items are still appreciably good.
Industrial areas have become heavily congested restricting further expansion/promotion. Rapid urbanization after partition has completely changed the erstwhile industrial scenario. Density of population has considerably increased resulting industrial planning at existing sites as difficult-most task.
Since the industries still adhere to their conventional methods and out-look, quality of products are considerably declining with a colossal loss in market. Besides, indiscriminate approach on the part of investors & entrepreneurs towards establishment of SSI units has lead to a pollution threat. Recent environmental studies of industrial revealed that about 40% of pollution is related to indiscriminate promotion and Howrah is not an exception. Hence need of the present for ordering the industrial as well as environment situation thereof are :-
(1) Technological Upgradation,
(2) Development of updated managerial skill,
(3) Development of human resource,
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(4) Energy Audit of arrest pollution and loss of conventional energy,
(5) Risk & Safety Management,
(6) Information Technology with proper data base management,
(7) ISO Certification for survival in global market,
(8) Standardisation & quality control in product & Process
management through Total Quality Management (TQM).
In the above context, DIC, Howrah, in co-ordination with District Administration, Zilla Parishad, Commercial Banks, Small Industries Service Institute, West Bengal Consultancy Organisation Ltd., Indian Jute Industries Research Association, Bengal National Chamber of Commerce & Industry and other District Associations,
has taken effective steps for implementation of the following plans :-
(2) Energy Audit,
(3) ISO Certification,
(4) Standardisation of products & Quality Control by adopting TQM,
(5) Pollution control,
(6) Information Technology with latest E.Commerce facility for Global Market,
(7) Close Monitoring,
(8) Risk Safety Management.
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All these are being duly tried w.e.f. 1998-99 with the momentum already gained . DIC-Howrah has also incorporated in the Annual Action Plan EDP, Special EDP, Awarness/Motivation Programme, Meeting/Seminars for such purposes. Decentralised planning has been adhered to by DIC, Howrah to draw schemes under annual plans.
The exercise of formulating District Credit Plan sensed a new dimension last year while all the line departments at the district level coordinated the sponsored schemes under their purview by synchronising them with the District Credit Plan. District Industries Centre, Howrah, played the role of a partner by matching the Annual Plan of the C & SSI Sector, which was duly approved in the BLBC and finalised subsequently at the DCC.
Achievement and performance as per the approved Credit Plan for last years experienced a mixed development. Coordination increased through Block and Branch level interaction in many cases through percolation of information to grass root level/branch level and vice-versa. Reports on achievement consolidated at the district level shows a considerable increase in investment under the sponsored programme as well as direct and normal schemes. Introduction of the system of co-ordination through District Level Task Force in Departmental Programme would surely increase the pace of industrialisation.
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Howrah District has in its fold the following cluster in SSI Sector :-
(iii) Rubber Moulded Goods,
(iv) Bargachia Cluster originating from Lock Industry.
We have finalized the Approach Papers on Foundry/Bargachia Cluster. After interaction with the entrepreneurs & other associations, the same will be placed to appropriate authority.
Thrust Area Projects
Regarding Thrust Area Projects the effective steps have already been taken and are under constant evaluation. On Haldia Petro-Chemical Down Stream Projects, the momentum has considerably gathered with steady flow of entrepreneurs to set-up the viable project. On food processing industries and diversified jute products viable projects are coming up.
Uluberia –II Growth Centre has opened the scope for SSI units with better infrastructure facilities. DIC, Howrah has already sent proposals to appropriate authority for completely earmarking 7(seven) acres of land, 4(four) sheds and 40 Nos. of SDF Buildings for Haldia Down Stream Projects and other Thrust area Projects from existing
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availability. Regarding proposed 2nd Growth Centre in front of existing one reservation for Thrust Area Projects may be considered on top priority basis.
Industrial Estates/Commercial Complex
Industrial Estates at Baltikuri & Bauria Commercial Complex at 24, Belilious Road, under the overall supervision and control of the WBSIDC Ltd., provide land, shed and space for modern industrial ventures.
DIC-Howrah is in consensus with a general opinion Improvement of Road, quality power and other social infrastructure. District administration as well as line departments/agencies have undertaken a good number of projects and schemes for development of infrastructure in wholesomeness in order to create a strong base for industrial investments. Since the present heavy congestion as well as polluting threat from the SSI polluting industries is on the upward trend, organising a special and safer zone for them is under active consideration. Persuasive measures are being taken along with awareness/motivation programme on pollution control measures.
Pollution Control measures
DICs have been empowered by the Government for issuing clearance to SSI units in selected groups. Jobs in this direction are executed with priority through a designated cell. Since the industries located in Howrah are mostly labour intensive with low and moderate investment
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capability and type of Modernisation with anti-pollution measures, relocation or shifting of polluting industries etc. may be viewed in the context of present economic base and network of the industrial in the district. Some supportive schemes to extend fiscal benefits to SSI units in this sector area needed to be introduced by the authority. Appropriate technological upgradation is required to be explored through Industry Institute Partnership and carefully applied to.