Ahmedabad(1916)/How railway affects the location of mills

Before railway was introduced, Ahmedabad had been famous for its textile products. After establishment of the railway, competition from the Bombay textile mills, which uses modern manufacture technology, was brought to Ahmedabad and threatened the indigenous industry. The merchant in Ahmedabad were determined to repossess the market and started to be interested in cotton mills, which use modern manufacture method. New strategies were invented, resulted in a flux of new textile mills in the city. They are gradually built around the railway for convenient transportation. Ambalal Sakarlal Desai,Chairman of the reception committee of the eighteenth session of the Indian National Congress held at Ahmedabad in 1902, declared that: “Gentlemen, as you entered the city, you must have noticed the tall chimneys on both sides of the railway tracts. These are our textile mills…” It’s interested to see how the locals manipulated the railway to improve the mill industry, and how the railway become an opportunity for the industry to regain its share in the market.

Cotton mills in 1916 © 1921, Census of India, Government of India
Cotton mills in 1916 © 1921, Census of India, Government of India

Reference:

Mehta, Makrand. (1982) The Ahmedabad Cotton Textile Industry: Genesis and Growth. Ahmedabad: New Order Book Co.

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