Thane is a city in Maharashtra, India, at the head of the Thane Creek. Thane is part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
Thane District is a district in northern Maharashtra state in Western India. At the 2011 Census it was the most populated district in the nation, with 11,060,148 inhabitants; however, in 2014 the district was split into two with the creation of a new Palghar district, leaving the reduced Thane district with a 2011 Census population of 8,070,032. The headquarters of the district is the city of Thane. Other major cities in the district are Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivli, Mira-Bhayander, Bhiwandi, Ulhasnagar, Ambarnath, Badlapur and Shahapur. This is the third-most industrialised district in Maharashtra.
The district is situated between 18°42' and 20°20' north latitudes and 72°45' and 73°48' east longitudes. The revised area of the district is 4,214 km². The district is bounded by Pune and Ahmadnagar districts to the east, and by Palghar district to the north. The Arabian Sea forms the western boundary, while it is bounded by Mumbai City District and Mumbai Suburban District to the southwest and Raigad District to the south.
The district is the northernmost part of the Konkan lowlands of Maharashtra. It comprises the wide amphitheatre like Ulhas basin on the south and hilly Vaitama valley on the north together with plateaus and the slopes of Sahyadri. From the steep slopes of the Sahyadri in the east, the land falls through a succession of plateaus in the north and centre of the district to the Ulhas valley in the south. These lowlands are separated from the coast by a fairly well-defined narrow ridge of hills that runs north-south to the east of the Thane creek, parallel to the sea, keeping a distance of about 6 to 10 km from the shores. Isolated hills and spurs dot the district area.
Thane comprises six municipal corporations (Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi-Nizampur, Mira-Bhayandar, together with Navi Mumbai and two municipal councils (Ambernath and Kulgaon Badlapur).
There are 18 Vidhan Sabha constituencies in Thane district, grouped into 3 Lok Sabha constituencies:
• Bhiwandi Rural (ST), Shahapur (ST), Bhiwandi West, Bhiwandi East, Kalyan West and Murbad constituencies are part of Bhiwandi Lok Sabha constituency.
• Ambarnath (SC), Ulhasnagar, Kalyan East, Dombivali, Kalyan Rural and Mumbra-Kalwa constituencies are part of Kalyan Lok Sabha constituency.
• Mira Bhayandar, Ovala-Majiwada, Kopri-Pachpakhadi, Thane, Belapur and Airoli constituencies are part of Thane Lok Sabha constituency.
According to the 2001 Census, the total working population in the district was 11,961,704 persons, which is 47.37% of the total population of the district. Out of total working force, 51.75% were engaged in agriculture and allied activities, 6.19% in manufacturing, service and cottage industries and remaining 30.69% in other activities. Out of total working force, the female working force was 22.89% in the district.
The important kharif crops of the district are rice, vari and nachani (finger millet). The pulses like Urad, moong and kulith are also grown in this season. Rice is the main crop of the district. Rice is grown in all the talukas of the district but mainly in Palghar, Bhiwandi, Murbad, Shahapur, Vada, Vikramgad and Dahanu. Vari and nachani are grown in the hilly areas of the eastern part of the district, namely Jawhar, Murbad, Vikramgad, Shahapur and Mokhada talukas. Wal, chavali and gram are the main rabi crops grown in this district. Dahanu taluka is famous for fruits. Chikoos (sapotas) are grown on a large scale at Gholwad. Chikoo orchards are also found in Palghar and Talasari talukas. Chikoos grown in these areas are sent all over India. Other fruits grown in the district are guavas, mangoes, papayas, grapefruits and coconuts. Vasai and Palghar talukas are famous for different varieties of bananas such as rajeli, tambeli, mutheli and velchi. Seasonal fruits grown in the district such as bor, wild berries and litchis have great demands in the markets of Mumbai. Vegetables are also grown in the district. Among the vegetables, eggplants are grown on a large scale. There are rose gardens at Dahanu.
Thane is the third most industrialised district in the State. There are 1548 large and medium scale and 18,480 small scale industries in the district. The main products of these industries are Drugs, Textiles, Adhesives, Plastics, Rubber, Steel, Pharmaceuticals, Engineering, Fertilizers, Electronics, Chemicals and Iron & Steel. The Thane-Belapur-Kalyan industrial belt is the centre of highly sophisticated modern industries. In Ambarnath, Bhiwandi, Badlapur, Tarapur, Palghar, Vasai and Murbad there are nearly 4000 industries which contribute towards the industrialisation of the district. Manufacture of machinery, machine tools and parts except electrical machinery together with the iron and steel industry and metal products are the most important and the biggest group of industries in the district and includes manufacture of Prime movers, Boilers, Refrigerators, Machine Tools, Computing and Accounting machinery, Industrial machinery for food and textile industries, machinery for chemicals, paper and cement industries. Manufacture of basic industrial chemicals including fertilizers, vegetable and animal oils and fats, paints, varnishes and lacquers and other miscellaneous chemical products is another important industry in the district. These industries are mainly concentrated in the Trans-Thane Creek and Belapur Road industrial area. The medium and large industries manufacturing chemicals and chemical products are Pfizer, Lubrizol India Ltd., Polyolefins Industries Ltd., NOCIL, Herdillia Chemicals Ltd., BASF (India) Ltd., Star Chemicals, INDOFIL INDUSTRIES LIMITED,and Phoenix Chemical Works. The chemical industries are also found in other parts of the district like Wagle Industrial Estate, Pokhran Road, Ambarnath and Dombivli. The cotton and non-cotton power looms are mainly located at Bhiwandi, Thane and Kalyan. Traditionally, Bhiwandi is famous for its handlooms. But the deteriorating markets for the handlooms compelled the weavers to replace their handlooms by power looms. Fisheries constitute an important industry in Thane district. It is carried out in sea as well as in creeks and estuaries on the western coast. Marine fishery predominates over inland fishery in the district and provides employment to about 75% of the persons engaged in the fishing industry. Fishing in sea is carried out along the coast stretching over about 110 km. The important fishing centres in the district are Dahanu, Pokharan-Uchheli, Nawapur, Murabe, Satpute, Datiware, Arnala, Vasai and Uran. Food processing industries like grain mill products, Bakery products, Cocoa, Chocolate and Sugar Confectionery, Salt, ice, slaughtering, preparation and preservation of meat, dairy products, canning and preservation of fruits and vegetables, canning, preserving and processing of fish are developed in the district. Raptakos, Brett and Co., Pfizer Ltd., Cadbury Fry (India) Ltd. which produces modified milk food and high protein food are some of the large and medium companies in the district. Wood products like plywood and veneer, wooden boxes, barrels, bamboo, cane baskets, bobbins, industrial fixtures, cork & cork products are also manufactured in the district. The Tarapur Atomic Power Station which has ushered an era of utilisation of nuclear energy for electricity generation is also situated in the district. The finance is being provided by various public sector and private sector Banks and Financial Institutions in the district. Bank of Maharashtra is one of the leading Public Sector Banks of the district, having 60 branches (2000 CE).
The Thane Municipal Corporation started its own public transport service known as the Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) from February 9, 1989. The TMT has a fleet of 289 buses which ply on 45 routes from 2 bus-depots and 8 bus-stands ferrying approximately 2.8 lakhs commuters daily. In 2006, Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMT) commenced its own public transport service, known as the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Transport. The Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation also runs its own Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Transport (KDMT) service. Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses connect Thane city to different parts of the district and also to other districts. BEST provides services to Suburban Mumbai, Thane city and Mira Bhanyandar.
The total railway track length in the district is 345.73 km. spread in western and central part of the district. The Western Railway network passes through Vasai, Palghar and Dahanu talukas of the district and Central railway network passes through Thane, Kalyan, Ulhasnagar and Shahapur talukas of the district. Western Railway local trains leaving from Churchgate railway station go up to Dahanu Road railway station in the district. Central Railway local trains leaving from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus go up to Kalyan,Ambarnath, Badlapur, Karjat and Kasara. In 1994, a new connection made from Diva Junction to Vasai. This connection joined Central Railway and Western Railway networks and its length is 41.96 km. Konkan Railway network also passes through a part of the district. Local trains have now started plying from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai to Panvel on this network. Dahanu, Satpati, Mahim. Kalyan, Vasai, and Uttan are the ports on the Arabian Sea coast. Ferry services are available between these ports. Metered Auto Rickshaws ply in Thane, Mira-Bhyander and several other towns. Metered Taxi services are also available in Thane, Mira-Bhayandar and some other towns.