Although population itself is a resource but plays significant role in the discovery, exploitation and management of different natural resources. The level of resource utilization determines the level of economic development and the carrying capacity of the land.
That is way all methods determining the levels of optimum, over and under population take into account the level of economic development or resource utilization. Hence population-resource population growth), resource potential and levels of socio-economic development has identified 19 population resource regions in the country. These have again been grouped in three broad categories of dynamic, prospective and problem regions.
A. Dynamic Population-Resource Regions
These are the areas supporting big industrial and urban clusters which have sufficient scientific and technological resource potential to attract immigration from dense rural areas. It consists of five regions covering the parts of West Bengal Delta, Deccan Trap (Maharashtra and Gujarat), Tamil Nadu, Punjab Plains and Ganga-Yamuna Doab, and South- Eastern Karnataka Plateau.
Here deltaic region of West Bengal has the maximum pulling effect over the rural population owing to heavy concentration of industries in the Hugli industrial region. The Damodar industrial region is adjacent to the Hugli region. Deccan region is of equal importance which has attracted maximum development of industries and urbanization in recent years.
Along with Mumbai, Ahmadabad industrial axis the development infrastructural facilities like transport, power, action and health has encouraged the grow tertiary and quaternary services in centers likes Nagpur and Solapur etc which have great effects over the population of the neighboring areas and towns.
Tamil Nadu region has a well-developed tem of high population density, low growth rational industrial-commercial activities. Chennai and satellite towns have great pulling effect over labour and man-power from the surrounding areas. Madurai, Coimbatore, Neyveli, Tuticori have significant contribution in absorbing the sure from rural population.
The Punjab plains the Ganga-Yamuna Doab have been the tradition areas of agricultural activities. But due to grot I industrialization, urban development and explain of the Delhi metropolitan region during the last decades these regions have attracted large numb I rural population.
This has led to phenomenal in the urban population of Delhi. The southern Karnataka Plateau consisting of Tumkur, Mandya, Bangalore, Mysore and Kolar districts is the fifth dynamic region of India. Here rapid industrial development around Bangalore has paved way for economic growth and high-tech industrialization and urbanization which have attracted large number of people from different parts of the country.
B. Prospective Population-Resource Regions
Here socio-economic constraints have obstructed the utilization of rich natural resources. There are scattered patches where some industrial centers have emerged in recent years. There are five regions included in this group. The North Eastern region consisting of 17 districts of Madhya Pradesh- Chhattisgarh, 6 from Jharkhand and 7 from Orissa is the richest mineral bearing area of the country.
It has vast reserves of coal, iron ore, limestone, dolomite and mica besides rich forest wealth. These resources have not been fully utilised to promote industrial development in the region. The Godavari basin covering parts of Telangana plateau and Andhra coast is also rich in mineral resources. These have not been properly utilised to accelerate the process of economic development.
Malwa Plateau region of western Madhya Pradesh is another such prospective region which is lagging behind in economic development. Despite rich deposits of copper ore, zinc, lead, lignite, gypsum, mica, limestone and salt etc the industrial development is in infantile stage. Most of this development is centered on such cities like Indore, Gwalior, Bhopal, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer and Marotah etc.
Western and southern Karnataka plateau including Goa has good prospects of hydel power development and mineral resources which may be utilized for the development of iron and steel, alloy, and cement industries. The Brahmaputra valley has sufficient potential for industrial development owing to the availability of petroleum, coal and rich forest resources. The region has attracted large number of labourers from the densely populated areas of eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal to work in petroleum refining industry, construction work and agricultural operations.
C. Problematic Population-Resource Regions
This category includes nine resource regions with different physic-cultural background. These areas are characterised by unfavourable population- resource balance and, hence, offer little opportunity for development. While some of these regions suffer from the problem of over-population and have almost reached saturation point, others possess meager natural resources to impede the process of development.
In some of these regions environmental restrictions, lack of infrastructural facilities, paucity of skilled labourers, and uneconomic utilization of resources are major obstructions in the path of development. The first category includes Middle Ganga Plain, Orissa coast, Kerala coast, Lakshadweep group of islands where high population density is the main cause for poverty and deprivation.
The Konkan coast and Rajasthan arid plains suffer from resource crunch so as to support large population clusters. The third category includes hilly areas like northwestern Himalaya, eastern plateau and Andaman- Nicobar group of islands where undulated dissected topography and thin soil cover provide fewer opportunities for good agricultural harvests. Rough topography and limited development of transport have restricted the utilization of hydel, for mineral resources of the region for economic orpiment. These areas face serious problem of population and resource development owing to unable conditions for human inhabitation.
Population-resource regions throw such regional disparities which are likely accentuated in future. While dynamic resoungions offer greater possibilities for attracting immigration the problem regions put g challenges to the planners and policy make devise new strategies to accelerate the pace of comment in these regions.