Thane district's share in Maha GDP on rise, may overtake Mumbai's in future

30th Oct 2017

THANE: Thane district is expected to replace Greater Mumbai as the prime economic hub of the state. The projection has been made by The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI), Delhi, in its report 'Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Strategies for Maharashtra'.

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Recommendations from the report were recently approved by the state cabinet for implementation as part of the government's action plan for climate change. TERI started work on the report in 2010 and submitted it to the government in 2013 but it was formally accepted only early this month.

The report states Mumbai's percentage contribution to the state GDP is expected to decline as it reaches saturation. TERI has projected Thane to grow at 8.1% annually till 2051, while Greater Mumbai is expected to grow at a slow pace of 4.1%.

"Although this is a stark change it is not a surprise since Thane is geographically adjacent to Mumbai, and with severe space constraints in Mumbai, Thane has started to develop rapidly and in the future could be expected to take over Mumbai as the prime economic hub of the state," the report states.

It paints a grim picture for Mumbai vis-a-vis other districts in the state. "While in 2001 the top three districts Thane, Mumbai (suburban) and Pune contributed to around 35% of the state's GDP, in 2051 Mumbai (suburban) was replaced by Nashik as one of the three largest districts, and along with Pune and Thane contribute 36% of the state's GDP," reads the report.

The Economic Survey of Maharashtra (2016-17) figures for gross district value added shows Mumbai is the largest contributor to the state GDP and has maintained a steady 35% lead over Thane since 2011-12. The projected decline in Mumbai's relative growth rate vis-a-vis Thane is still to materialise.

Economics professor Sangita Kamdar at the School of Business, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (Vile Parle), said Mumbai's prohibitive land prices were pushing industries to Thane and Pune. "Mumbai will eventually become a financial district. It is not that Mumbai will decline, but the other districts will catch up with Mumbai as manufacturing moves to these districts and generates employment," she said.

Climate Change Impact

The projected decline in Mumbai's GDP growth rate has not factored in any impact of sea level rise or climate change. The report states Mumbai is vulnerable to sea level rise. The net level sea rise trend for Mumbai is 1.2mm/year.

Quality of life, especially in the island city, may also be adversely impacted with warm nights and maximum discomfort from felt temperatures. According to TERI, Mumbai region will experience temperatures in 2030 higher by 1.3-1.4 degrees Celsius over normal temperatures during 1970-2000. The city's minimum temperature is also expected to increase by 2030, translating to warmer nights and associated discomfort.

Explaining the phenomenon of warmer nights, Dr P K Nandankar, Indian Meteorological Department (Pune) said in coastal areas there is an abundance of moisture in the atmosphere which causes discomfort. On account of clouding, excess heat radiated from the earth does not escape into the atmosphere but is trapped in clouds, further increasing the temperature.


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