Bangalore-Chennai industrial corridor gets nod

India and Japan agree to move ahead with the project

India and Japan on Monday agreed to move ahead with the Bangalore-Chennai Industrial Corridor project, with Tokyo pledging to help New Delhi chalk out plans for development of infrastructure in the region.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and his Japanese counterpart Koichiro Gemba discussed the BCIC project, which was conceived last year on the lines of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. They also discussed bilateral cooperation in the railway sector, including possibility of India obtaining high-speed rail technology from Japan and the ongoing Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, which runs through the DMIC.  

“We had a preliminary exchange of ideas on the Chennai-Bangalore Corridor which had been initiated by our prime ministers at their meeting last December. We have agreed that Japan will assist in chalking out a Comprehensive Master Plan for the project,” said Krishna. He was addressing a joint news conference with Gemba after the duo had the first minister-level economic dialogue between India and Japan in New Delhi.

Krishna and Gemba also led the sixth India-Japan strategic dialogue on Monday.
During the annual India-Japan summit on December 27-28, 2011, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Yoshihiko Noda had decided to replicate the DMIC model to develop “environmentally sustainable, long-lasting and technologically advanced infrastructure” between Chennai and Bangalore.

Tokyo has shown special interests in the Chennai Bangalore Industrial Corridor project, as an increasing number of Japanese companies, including small and medium enterprises, have made direct investments to establish their manufacturing base or other forms of business presence in the region.

The project is likely to include ports, industrial parks and other related infrastructure, which are to be developed by the two countries’ governments and private sectors in a mutually complementary manner.

Gemba is understood to have assured Krishna of Japan’s financial and technical support to India for preparation of the Comprehensive Integrated Master Plan for the region. “Both sides will work together to materialise the master plan on the infrastructure development in the areas between Chennai and Bangalore,” said the Japanese Foreign Minister.

Krishna and Gemba also reviewed the progress of the DMIC, a mega infrastructure project, which is being implemented at an estimated cost of $90 billion with financial and technical aids from Japan. The project covers an overall length of 1,483 km between the political capital and the business capital of India. Tokyo last year expressed its intention to invest $4.5 billion in the project over the next five years.

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