Turning off the clock: Looking at public sector industries and space in Indian cities
(Indian Institute for Human Settlements)
Paper short abstract:
In January 2016, the Government of India decided to shut down the watch division of the HMT factory in Bangalore. Through this case this paper will explore how public sector (de-)industrialization in India is changing, and what that means for cities in which these manufacturing units are located
Paper long abstract:
In January 2016, the Government of India decided to shut down the watch division of the Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) factory in Bangalore. The factory had been in operation since the 1960s, fondly known as 'the nation's timekeeper'. The decision to shut down the factory followed nearly a decade of losses, but also came with little clarity on why not much had been done since the losses started nearly 30 years ago. Following this decision, the nearly 88-acre plot of land in Bangalore on which the factory, and employee housing stood was put up for sale. With the city's rapid growth, this is now prime property for development. However, a year on, most of the land has been sold to another government entity, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to expand research facilities. This is different from most other publicly owned brownfield sites, such as mill lands, in the rest of the country, which have typically been sold off to private real estate interests to be redeveloped into high-rise housing and retail/commercial spaces, such as the Phoenix Mills redevelopment in Mumbai or the redevelopment of the Binny Mills land in Bangalore. Through the case of the HMT factory in Bangalore, this paper will explore how public sector (de-)industrialization in India is changing, and what that means for cities in which these manufacturing units are located - in terms of how spaces change and evolve, but also what the impact is on local economies and (un-)employment.
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