Suzuki,top aides visit Maruti site

In an attempt to incorporate the specific demands of country’s largest car manufacturer,Maruti Suzuki India (MSI),the state government has decided to modify the entire master plan for 500-square kilometre Mandal-Becharaji SIR (Special Investment Region) that will house Maruti’s new car manufacturing plant in Gujarat.

Written by Avinash Nair | Hansalpur,ahmedabad | Published: August 26, 2012 6:57:27 am

In an attempt to incorporate the specific demands of country’s largest car manufacturer,Maruti Suzuki India (MSI),the state government has decided to modify the entire master plan for 500-square kilometre Mandal-Becharaji SIR (Special Investment Region) that will house Maruti’s new car manufacturing plant in Gujarat.

The state government’s decision was conveyed to MSI on Saturday when Maruti Suzuki chairman and chief executive Osamu Suzuki conducted a physical inspection of the 640 acres of land at Hansalpur village of Ahmedabad district,where the company proposes to invest Rs 4,000 crore in the first phase.

“For setting up a plant of this size,a lot of infrastructure facilities are required. In the meeting held yesterday,MSI had indicated its requirements as to what it would like to have in next 3-4 years in terms of road and rail connectivity,availability of power gas,etc. In response,we presented our action plan and they were pretty satisfied with the response,” Industries Commissioner Kamal Dayani said.

“The preliminary master plan of the SIR (which is one of the three SIRs in Gujarat) is ready. Keeping in view MSI’s requirement,we will now modify it,” said Dayani,who was among the state government officials who visited Hansalpur on Saturday.

The Mandal-Becharaji SIR comprises 44 villages located in Mandal,Viramgam,Becharaji talukas of Ahmedabad and Mehsana districts.

“The existing meter gauge railway line between Kadi and Becharaji could be converted to broad gauge. With regards to power,we will set up a 440 and a 240 kv substations at Becharaji,” the industries commissioner said.

“The primary planning is done for the SIR. It is now at a consultation stage. By end of December 2013,it will be finalised after MSI’s requirements are factored in,” said Dayani.

Maruti Suzuki India chairman R C Bhargava and managing director and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi were also part of the MSI team that visited Hansalpur.

They has also met the chief minister the previous day and held meetings with state government officials in the evening.

On Saturday,local representatives of Mandal and Becharaji talukas welcomed MSI top brass with dhols,bouquets and turbans. They were also presented a framed picture of the local deity.

The plant,which will be Maruti’s first outside Haryana,is expected to be commissioned by 2015 and will have a annual production capacity of 2.5 lakh cars. It is located 300 km from Mundra port,where Maruti has a Roll-on Roll-off (RO-RO) terminal for exporting cars. The site is about 100 km from Ahmedabad.

According to government officials,Maruti Suzuki has purchased the land at a rate of Rs 640 per square meter and the cost of the entire land parcel works out to be around Rs 180 crore.

This piece of land in Mandal taluka of the district was acquired by the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (the nodal agency for promoting industrial development in the state) at prices ranging between Rs 300-500 per square meter at different points in time during the last one-and-a-half years.

The board of directors of the company had in October 2011 approved the acquisition of land for the project in Gujarat. The prices of land in and around Hansalpur and nearby town of Becharaji (Mehsana district) has till now risen ten-fold after the company’s announcement in October.

The chairman of Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) RC Bhargava said the detailed project report about Maruti’s Gujarat plant would be prepared in Japan. “That is the job of the engineers sitting in Japan,” he said,adding he could not give a timeframe for the same.

“The site’s location is very good. The road between Mehsana and the plant needs to be widened. There is a lot of work to be done on the infrastructure side. The local people have been very welcoming. This is very heartening for a company which comes to a new place,” he added.

The official also said the company will not conduct “ground-breaking” for the project in the next 3-4 months.

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