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Malegaon Not The One You Know

Malegaon a city with more than 70% Muslim population is slowly emerging as new Industrial Hub in Maharashtra. Read More

Friday, September 26, 2008 09:46:11 PM, Aleem Faizee, ummid.com

Malegaon Fort

[Malegaon Fort (Photo: ummid.com)]

Malegaon is perhaps the only town in India which has over 70% Muslims as its denizen. Probably due to its predominant Muslim population the town has always been regarded as a COMMUNALLY SENSITIVE place. A series of riots and a deadly serial bomb blast in September 2006, the town has seen several ups and downs.

However, the harmony with which Muslims live with their Hindu brethren in the town is an example in itself.

Moreover, due to overwhelming number of its natives being Industrialists and a major chunk of remaining population comprising of Skilled Labourers, the town is slowly emerging into a New Industrial Hub in the region.

Brief Overview Of The City

Malegaon is a city, probably the biggest Taluka in India, to convert it to district being the long pending demand). It is located in North-Western Maharashtra state in Western India, on Girna River, and is a part of the Nashik urban agglomeration, on the Bombay–Agra highway with a surrounding of around 14 Kms area. An important market for agricultural products, Malegaon was also an early center of the handloom industry.

The Malegaon City has rapidly industrialized and recorded remarkable growth since the first power loom got installed sometimes in 1933-34 - more than a year before electricity arrived in the city. They were mostly scrap machines discarded by the closed textile mills in Bombay. In the absence of electricity, weavers in Malegaon were running them on diesel engines. Soon, cotton and silk goods were supplied to markets in the cities like Bombay, Pune and Satara. The city has several colleges affiliated with the University of Poona. Its population as per 2001 Census is 4, 21,000.


The city existed since 1857 as a small town. It had witnessed several downs and few ups but always contributed its share for the country. It has a history of active involvement in the freedom struggle and has a privilege of having many martyrs and veteran freedom fighters to its credit.

Malegaon, the city, although dominated by Muslims, has always rejected the two-nation theory propounded by the then Muslim League before independence and strongly opposed the partition of the country. Be it the freedom struggle or a natural or man-made disaster, Malegaon has always played important roles in helping the victims and those affected. However, it is also a fact that Malegaon, despite having the glittering history, has always been neglected by the State as well as the Central Government.

Communal Harmony in Malegaon

[Masjid and Mandir side by side is testimony of the communal harmony in Malegaon. (ummid.com photo)]

With 73% Nationalist-Muslim population this city is always seen as a communally sensitive place with the history of riots that dates back to the pre-independence time. However, the events that followed immediately after the September 8, 2006 serial bomb blasts and the restrain and communal harmony displayed by the people of Malegaon did help the city in changing its image. Furthermore, in these two years after the tragic incident, Hindus and Muslims of the city have demonstrated on several occasions their determination to change the tag of being a communally sensitive place so as to make possible the industrial and overall revival of Malegaon.


Famous for its Textile Products combined with the host of other Small Scale Industries - including the fastest growing Plastic Industry, the city has survived many years of negligence by the State as well as the Central Government. And the credit for whatsoever progress is seen today in the city, beyond any doubt, goes only to its local population and their determination in keeping pace with other developing cities.

An overview of the existing Industries in Malegaon

Textile Industry

Malegaon approximately has 1, 25,000 plain and outdated powerlooms installed in 6000 units, a unit consisting of 1 to 24 powerlooms as an average. The 6000 units are mainly located in residential areas in such a way that it has become highly impossible to distinguish between the industrial and the residential areas. This is one of the many reasons that the city lags behind in health and basic amenities on one hand and on the other has made the situation impractical for Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) to plan different electricity load shedding schedules for residential and industrial areas.

Production Quality

• 30 to 35% cotton grey fabrics – Poplin and Cambric fabrics used for clothing and industrial purposes, are considered as the best in the industry. The costing of these fabrics ranges from Rs.6.00 to Rs.15.00 per meter.

• 60% man-made fiber grey fabrics – used for clothing and industrial purposes, are considered as cheap and guaranteed product in the market. The costing of these man-made fibers grey fabrics ranges from Rs.4.00 to Rs.14.00 per meter.

• Rest 5% is yarn dyed fabrics – used for direct clothing purposes. This yarn dyed fabrics used as sarees in rural areas once identified the city. The sarees of 8.23 meters range from Rs.85.00 to Rs.350.00. A small proportion of this segment is lungi of 2 meters; costs ranging from Rs.36.00 to Rs.110.00 per unit.

Daily production

On an average the total daily production of the city was 1 Crore meters. Today the production has come down to 85 lakhs meters daily because of the irregular power load shedding of 6 to 8 hours.


Procurement of Raw Materials

For the production of the 1 Crore meters of fabrics daily, the city consumes all types and varieties of yarn coming from different yarn mills located all across the country strictly through their intermediaries.

As far as the procurement of the raw materials is concerned Malegaon is not self –reliant. The industry being decentralized and power loom owners being illiterate with lesser capital, could not take the advantage of the banks and the financial institutions. This is the main reason why the weavers cannot directly purchase from the mills and an earlier attempt to open local depots failed as well. Hence they have to totally depend on intermediaries, the yarn merchants.

Sales of Finished Goods

The grey fabrics manufactured on these looms are a semi finished product and requires further processing. They are sold to various processing centers located mainly in Pali, Jodhpur, Jedhpur, Balmer and Balotra in Rajisthan, Mathura in UP, Kolkata in West Bengal, Surat and Ahmedabad in Gujarat and Mumbai through their agents in Malegaon.

Existing Infrastructure

Established after years of settlements by immigrants from Uttar Pradesh post 1857, Malegaon, which was earlier famous for agricultural products slowly, became a power loom hub due to the continuous efforts and hardship on the part of these poor immigrants who came and settled in Malegaon in disorder with half of their property being used as residence and rest half as factory for their looms. And the reason why this power loom cluster is decentralized is due to the lack of support from the government and no political will.

• Poor weavers had brought the outdated powerlooms, which were discarded by the textile mills, to Malegaon and somehow managed these scrap to work.

• Most of these powerlooms were installed in their own houses.
• The electric installations, which were installed at the time of commencement of power supply in Malegaon, were never upgraded. As of now the number of powerlooms has increased many folds resulting in disproportion of demand and supply of the electricity.

• The same is true for water supply as well. Surprisingly in full rains also, supply of water is scarce.

• The adjoining roads to these residence-cum-factory areas are never up to the mark resulting in transportation hazard.

Plastic and other Industries

Malegaon has approximately 180 reprocessed plastic pipe industries, 300 gitti machines (semi finished product for plastic industry), 300 plastic segregation godowns giving Malegaon a remarkable place in the Asia Continent. Plastic Industry gives an opportunity of employment, direct and indirect to about 1,20,000 people including comprising of 20,000 female employments. The plastic industry of the city contributes to the Indian economy in a vital role. The reprocessed plastic pipes manufacyred in Malegaon are available at 50% subsidized rates in comparison to PVC pipes used for irrigation. Malegaon plastic industries are contributing for a healthy and eco-friendly environment by consuming a major chunk of plastic wastes from metros and cities like Mumbai, Pune, Aurngabad, Nagpur and the areas from other states. Many recent surveys were held to show that if the Plastic Industry in Malegaon if supported, it can contribute a good part in state treasure.

Girna River

[Girna River Malegaon (Photo: ummid.com)]

Today Malegaon is an ensuring market of plastic semi-finished raw materials used in the plastic industries all over the country remarkably Malegaon has created a huge market for reprocessed agricultural pipes calling all its consumers from the State Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.


Necessity is the mother of invention. Like powerloom weavers in the city, People in Malegaon designed their own machineries and equipments to produce quality plastic products consuming the plastic wastes from other metros. These machines designed with the help of whatever resources they had, but soon these machines not only produced quality products on reasonable price but also the machines themselves became universally accepted. Today 250 MT of plastic scraps is being converted into usable plastic. This suggests that if supported by proper industrial infrastructure the plastic industries in Malegaon can compete globally at any given time.


Segregation of the plastic wastes, manufacturing of plastic lumps and plastic granules, manufacturing of agriculture pipes.

Daily Production

• Malegaon produces 1 lakh mtrs of plastic pipes daily used for irrigation.

• 210 MT of gitti is manufactured every day. Approximately 50% of the produce is consumed by other plastic industries for manufacturing of various other plastic articles.

Oil, Food and Automobile Industries

Apart from the dominant Textile Industry and the emerging Plastic Industry, the city also has 40 units of oil mills and one oil refinery. A Maximum of these units is running on cotton seeds which are easily available. Considering the escalating edible demands there is a further scope of new oil mills and if proper backing is given even this industry can grow in the city.

Moreover, the city has a sugar candy factory and one factory which is into manufacturing fruit juice and jam jelly. Of course under the favourable condition there is always a scope for further growth.

Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) has already declared the whole Malegaon Taluka as an Industrial Area under MIDC D+ Zone. MIDC is all set to start the development work at the proposed industrial site at Sayane in Malegaon Taluka. The development of the Industrial Area by MIDC is surely going to generate a huge employment opportunity in the whole region. Malegaon Industrial Development Conference (MIDC), an Umbrella Organization of leading NGOs and Industrialists of the town, is coordinating with Government Officials for the Industrial and overall development of Malegaon.

[Special Note: This article was first published in September, 2008. It is updated on February 16, 2023 for better reading but the data and other records of the article have been kept as it is. It is however should be noted while reading this that the number of looms has been more than doubled, the MIDC has indeed established a Textile Park in Sayane MIDC area of Malegaon where more than 500 Rapier, AirJet and WaterJet looms are currently running, and the City in itself has seen dramatic infrastructural and industrial development since then.]

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