(Info) Industry in Bundelkhand




Industry in Bundelkhand

Before British rule, there were many traditional industries in Bundelkhand, especially at Jhansi, which depended on patronage by ruling houses and elites linked to their courts. After the British Crown assumed control in 1857, these industries met with inevitable death.  Subsequently, there was no significant industrial growth in the region.

Till the end of 2008, there were only two large manufacturing units in the entire region - a unit of the public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals, set up at Jhansi in the 1970s, and a cement plant of the Birla group, set up in Damoh in the 1980s.

There are also a few medium-size industrial units, as shown in the table below. Several small and tiny industrial units are scattered across the region, especially in Jhansi and Sagar districts. But as can be seen in the table in Main Industries in Bundelkhand in Terms of Persons Employed, no modern industry has emerged as a major source of employment across the region.

The beedi industry is the single largest source of non-agricultural employment in Bundelkhand, directly providing employment to over 200,000 persons, constituting a fourth of the main workforce engaged in non-agriculture occupations in MP Bundelkhand (see table in Breakup of Non-agricultural Main Workers). Another large employer is the Indian Railways, which directly or indirectly provides employment to over 10,000 people in Jhansi.

Other than construction, trade and transport, stone quarries are the largest source of 'industrial' employment in Panna, Lalitpur and Chitrakoot districts. In Jhansi district, the handloom industry is a significant source of employment. In many districts, 'tailoring' is the most significant manufacturing activity. (See table in Main Industries in Bundelkhand in Terms of Persons Employed).

Large and medium industrial units in Bundelkhand


Industries (product/process)


Bharat Heavy Electricals (rail engines, transformers)


Gwalior Synthetics (cotton yarn, art silk), Agro Solvent Products (solvent extraction), Kishori Pujari Granite (granite cutting)


K P Solvex (solvent extraction)


MP Carbide And Chemicals (calcium carbite), National Mineral Development Corporation (diamond mining)


Diamond Cements (cement, clinker) Abhishek Cement (Portland cement), Shobha Soya Oil (soyabean oil)


Central India Paper & Board Mills (straw board),  Madhya Bharat Agro Products (single super phosphate fertiliser), Arvind Foods (solvent extraction), Sanmati Forest Industries (katha), Sagar Soya Products (soyabean oil)

In 2001-02, Jhansi was one of the districts of UP that contributed 5-10% of the state's industrial output, while all other districts of UP Bundelkhand belonged to the category of districts that contributed less than 1% of the state's industrial output, according to data reported in the Planning Commission's Uttar Pradesh Development Report, 2007.

The study also reported that in terms of share of total investment in factory sector across different regions of UP, UP Bundelkhand, including Jhansi district, accounted for less than 2% of the investment; the central and eastern regions, which are also considered backward, had more than twice this share, while western UP had over 60% of the investment; if one excludes Jhansi, the share of the rest of UP Bundelkhand would be miniscule.

While sugar accounts for the highest share of factory output in UP, there is no sugar industry in Bundelkhand. The region also does not have the skilled labour force, infrastructure or locational advantage for any modern industry like electronics or the services industry. Many industries started across Bundelkhand have either failed, or did not even take off. No product-specific or sector-specific cluster, such as NOIDA for electronics, Meerut for sports goods and Agra for leather goods, is seen in the region.

However, one can visualise development of an industrial corridor between Jhansi and Kanpur, based on substantial industrialisation in and around both cities, and passing through the Jalaun region; such a corridor has been mooted by the Planning Commission. Many new projects are also proposed, especially in and around Bina, in Sagar district. That apart, in recent years, the MP government has attracted many proposals for industrial investment in the Bundelkhand districts.

Both the UP and MP governments have also great hopes of promoting cultivation of jatropha on a large scale in Bundelkhand, to produce bio-diesel.

The tourism sector is under-developed and only a few products from the region have an export market.

Perhaps the most profitable - and unregulated - industry in the region is stone quarrying (see Mining and Quarrying in Bundelkhand).

Export Products from Bundelkhand

There are no major export export-oriented industries in Bundelkhand. Some brasswork from Jhansi and Lalitpur is exported; a special kind of betel leaf from Mahoba has a foreign market, as also a variety of stone, called, Shafar, from Banda. Granite from Chhatarpur and sandstone from Panna is exported.

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Courtesy : bundelkhandinfo.org