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Systematic Site Master Planning for Sustainability of Industrial Areas

The industrial sector is an important sector for the Indian economy. The industrial areas and the industrial investment regions in their new form have started assuming an important role in the country’s development. However, if not properly planned, industrial development has the potential to pose tremendous risks on natural resources, environment and people. Proper planning of the industrial areas can result in increased overall competitiveness and profitability of the residing businesses lower emissions and pollution raised resource and energy efficiency and offer an overall healthier working environment that helps in meeting the targeted investment and employment goals.

For achieving the desired industrial growth, it is pertinent that the development is planned in a sustainable way. The key issues of concern are social conflicts due to the sites chosen for industrial development, environmental conflicts and negative impacts due to pollution and resources consumption (energy, water, materials), impacts on biodiversity (loss of ecosystem services, loss of species, changes in biodiversity etc., and issues of climate change. Also, an industrial area that does not have a proper site master plan is likely to face serious problems due to lack of provisions for environmental and other related infrastructure. Such problems include traffic congestions and accidental risks due to lack of parking provisions for the hundreds of trucks entering the industrial areas, lack of land provisions for waste and wastewater management, lack of buffer zones with surrounding areas, and lack of social infrastructure for workers, including eco-efficient transportation.

A well planned and organised industrial area, defined by set of quality parameters such as economic quality, environmental quality and social quality, could be an answer to sustainability. Also, such an area could support sustainability of individual industries housed in them with high performance workplaces so as to enable industries strive for efficiencies and profitability, reduced environmental litigation risks and improved market image as well as public image.

As part of the SEIP Project, learning lessons were drawn from previous experiences of planning of new industrial parks, including the Association of Lady Entrepreneurs of India’s (ALEAP) Green Industrial Park (A-GRIP) in Nandigama and the Green Industrial Park (GIP) Jadcherla, and supported the retrofitting of old industrial areas in Telangana. The video was developed with support from Auroville Consulting that captures the basic elements for planning of new industrial parks while incorporating quality benchmarks and to come up with first results on identifying standards/benchmarks to be applied for developing a conceptual site master plan for upcoming industrial parks. 

Drees and Sommer, urban development and planning consulting agency from Germany, was engaged under SEIP to develop a framework for sustainable industrial planning and conduct trainings for practitioners and policy-makers on the same. They developed a reference presentation incorporating the processes required for sustainable site master planning, use of Sustainability Standards of SEIP, and international case examples to be used along with the ‘Guidelines for site master planning’.

Using the ‘Sustainability Standards’ developed by SEIP and the International Framework on Eco-industrial parks by UNIDO, Greeninfra Creations from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur supported ALEAP in preparing the conceptual master plan of an upcoming industrial park in Vishakhapatnam. The vision was to develop a new model green and sustainable industrial park which would provide a favourable environment for women employees and entrepreneurs. The industrial park would incorporate sustainability aspects, green building concepts, renewable energy technologies, state-of-art technologies, cost-effective infrastructure, gender inclusive features, and environmental resource management.

These reference documents could be used by planning practitioners, industrial estate developers, managers and policy makers for effectively managing industrial estates in India and move towards sustainable industrial production. 

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