Economic Survey 2022: Odisha Fails India’s First Luminosity Map Test

The Economic Survey 2021-22, which was tabled yesterday, has a new metric up its sleeves, among others: an endeavour to plot India’s first luminosity map. While other states shine bright, Odisha’s dark spots have caught the eye of many, highlighting the inequitable growth story within the state that has led to such disparity.

As per the Survey, “An important theme of this year’s Economic Survey is the use of new forms of data and information for tracking economic activity and development. Using another kind of data – geospatial data and cartographic techniques, the survey has tracked, compared to map the longer-term developments.”

The Economic Survey 2021-22, which plotted India’s first luminosity map, revealed Odisha’s many dark spots.
Credit: BloombergQuint

In order to track and measure longer-term developments, the survey said, “India’s night-time luminosity is compared between 2012 and 2021 in Figures 1A and 1B. Night-time luminosity provides an interesting representation of the expansion of electricity supply, the geographical distribution of population and economic activity, urban expansion as well as the growth of ribbon developments between urban hubs.”

A deeper glance at the luminous map of Odisha sheds light on the development story of the State. Dark patches outnumber brighter spots. Even as Odisha has 103 towns, there are a total of 23 class 1 and 2 towns in the State and the luminosity map leaves an impression that highlights how development is seemingly concentrated in a fistful of patches.

The luminous map shows how fast-paced economic activities and development remain limited around three districts – Khordha, Cuttack, Angul and to a little extent in and around Paradip in Jagatsinghpur, Dhamra in Bhadrak, Berhampur-Gopalpur-Chatrapur in Ganjam and Rourkela in Sundargarh.

The nighttime luminosity, too, reveals little horizontal growth of development and economic activities, rather it shows concentration and vertical growth in a handful of districts.

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