Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkata industrial corridor okayed

In an attempt to blunt criticism of a policy paralysis, the UPA government on Friday gave the nod for the Amridsar-Delhi-Kolkata industrial corridor, which is expected to fuel growth and employment opportunities.

Stretching over 1,900 km covering Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, the project would cover major industrial hubs in northern region such as Delhi, Noida and Gaziabad and would stir growth, said a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while approving the project, also appointed an Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) headed by Secretary to the Department of Industrial Policy and promotion (DIPP), to prepare a feasibility report within a month, the statement added.

The panel will examine the feasibility to set up the Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkata Industrial Corridor along with the structural and financing arrangements that would be required to operationalise the project at the earliest, said the statement. Secretaries of Economic Economic Affairs, Road Transport, Shipping and Chairman Railway Board will also part of the committee.

Catalyst for growth

"This is one of the most densely populated regions in the world and houses about 40 per cent of India's population. This is a region which needs major push for industrialisation and job-creation and this corridor will act as a catalyst for growth," the statement said.

The corridor will cover the cities of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Ambala, Saharanpur, Delhi, Roorkee, Moradabad, Bareilly, Aligarh, Kanpur, Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, Hazaribagh, Dhanbad, Asansol, Durgapur and Kolkata.

The Amritsar- Delhi-Kolkata will be only the second corridor after the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), which is being developed with Japanese assistance at an estimated cost of $ 90 billion. The DMIC is being established on the route of Delhi-Mumbai Freight Corridor (DMFC).

The proposed Eastern Freight Corridor from Kolkata to Ludiana in Punjab will function as the back bone to Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkata Industrial Corridor.

Industrial hub

This means the government will set up an industrial hub along with the Eastern Freight Corridor.

A National Highway will also run on parallel to this industrial corridor, sources in the government said. 

The UPA-II, in the last year of its tenure, has been approving several development projects to thwart the criticism that it is dragging its feet on important policies. Besides clearing the way for foreign direct investment in retail sector, the government has also removed hurdles for power projects, mining and highways.

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