Hierarchical Levels of Planning Regions


In multi level planning there is certain hierarchy of regions. WE can classify it in many ways depending on chosen criterion/criteria. One such classification on size criterion is here.

 Macro Regions

Macro region is naturally bigger. Macro region can be a state of even a group of states, if the states of a country are not big enough. A Macro-major region can be a zone in a country, which may comprise of a few States. For example, in India there are East, West, North, South and Central Zones and ‘Zonal Councils’ of which function is mutual Consultation, developing cooperation and mutual counseling.In a sense macro regions are second in hierarchy, next to the national level. It is also possible that a physical macro region may comprise parts of different states of a country or project planning purposes. (e.g., big river valley projects, an electric grid of different states, and, for the purpose of a particular activity (facility) planning) the macro region ill be parts of different states. State boundaries are not respected in the sense that the macro region may transcend or cut-across administrative boundaries of the states of a country. A macro region may not be uniform or homogeneous in all respects. It may ave homogeneity in one respect (physical complimentarity) and may have heterogeneity n other respect (administrative boundaries). A macro region should have a common resource base and specialization in that resource base, so that production activities can develop on the principle of comparative advantage based on territorial division of labor.(India has been divided into 11 to 20 macro regions-agro-climate or resource regions).The planning Commission of India would have just 5 zonal councils-Eastern, Northern,Central, Western and Southern comprising of certain states but beyond this there is no macro-regionalization in India.These so-called macro regions of India have to have inter state cooperation in the matter of utilization of river water and electricity grids etc.

 Meso Regions

Meso region can be identified with a ‘division’ of a state. Chattisgarh Region,Bundelkhand Region, Baghelkahand Region, Mahakoshal region is usually a sub-division of a state, comprising of several districts. There should be some identifiableaffinity in the area which may even facilitate planning. It can be cultural or administrative region and it will be even better if it is a homogeneous physical region

Micro Regions

In multi-level planning, district is the micro region. It becomes the lowest territorial unitof planning in the hierarchy of planning regions. The most important reason why districtis the most viable micro region for planning is the existence of database and compactadministration. This is the area, which is viable for plan formulation with administrationfor plan implementation and monitoring.A metropolitan area can be one micro region and the area of influence can be another micro region. A nodal point is also a micro region, though in many cases micro regionsare basically rural areas, which may have a number of minor nodes without anyorganizational hierarchy influencing the entire area. The basic characteristic of a microregion is its smallness. There can be some specific micro regions such as belts of extraction of mineral or a reclaimed area, or a not-so-big command area of an irrigational project.

Micro – Minor Region:

This is the region which is associated with, what is called, the grass-root planning. Amicro-minor region can be a block for which also data exists now and for which theremay be a plan. (So far as the quality of data is concerned, there is hardly any activity, or sector, or region or field for which data is not cooked by the vested interest groups: but,that is another story).The block level plan is integrated with the national plan, through the district and statelevel plans. A block level plan is not surgically cut portion of the district plan, which hasits own logic and linkage.At block level, most of the officers will be more concerned with the implementation of the plans than formulating the plans. At block level, the main exercise will be to take intoaccount of the physical and human resources and to find out the prime moving activitieswhich will enable the block people to make best use of the development potential of the block to meet the basic needs of the people.Minimum needs can be satisfied with the production of basic goods with the help of lowentropy local resources. Yet it cannot be said that ‘external help’ will not be necessary.Infrastructure support has to come from the developed regions. Infact, planning of thedevelopment of the transport, communication, banking, education, medical and manyservice facilities has got to be done at the national level.At the panchayat level, basic goods and services can be arranged through the efforts of the local people. Many activities can be so planned that they improve the socio-economicconditions of the people without being the part of the national plan. Several activities can be undertaken with the cooperation of the local people, with minimum of financial andreal resource support from outside e.g., development of dairying, animal husbandry, pisciculture, poultry, soil conservation measures, optimization of the cropping pattern,

.The most important test of micro-minor planning is that the people need not look towards the centre for it. Now days, a lot of importance is given to ‘water harvesting’.Water is proxy for the use of modern inputs in agriculture. Much of the run-off water goes waste and the infiltration rate is also low. If this water can be harvested, not onlythe run-off water can be stored, but sub-soil water reserves can also become rich. Micro-minor watershed development program probably will be the most important program for a country like India. The optimum land use planning can start from the micro-minor area only


About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
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