CASE STUDY OF THE FOUNDRIES IN HAORA
city in the eastern region of India. Since it was an important port, it was also amajor commercial center of India. Most of the international trade of the easternregion of India passes through Kolkata. The eastern region (comprising the statesof West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and the northeastern states) is the most mineral-richregion of the country. Among other minerals, the region accounts for most of thecountry’s production of coal, which is the second-most predominant fuel used inIndia (after firewood), and iron ore. West Bengal became the site for many largeengineering industries during the British rule in India and consequently, theengineering industry here is very well developed.
India has large reserves of coal, which is a major energy source. The quality of the coaldeposits is mostly poor and the ash content is often higher than 40%. The reserves aremainly in the eastern state of Bihar, with some smaller deposits in neighboring MadhyaPradesh and the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
Haora town, on the other side of the river Hugli from the metropolitan area of Kolkata, became a major industrial center. The engineering labor here is knownto be extremely skilled and inexpensive. However, over the last three decades,Kolkata for various reasons has lost its predominant position as an economic centerin India. The first reason has been the very militant trade unions, who in the latesixties and early seventies scared the industries out of West Bengal. The secondreason was the endemic power shortages that plagued the region for many years.However, in the last few years, the labor situation and the power situation have both improved dramatically.
Except in a few states, the power generation is far from adequate and power shortagesare common in most parts of the country. Frequent blackouts are common. Many areasget power only a few hours in a day. Business establishments, who can afford it, havestand-by power generation systems of their own.
The result of this economic decline in the region has been that many industries, like the foundry industry, which supplied goods and services to the other largeindustrial units, suffered.
India’s coal reservesPower supply in India