The announcement made by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely that Pune would be the headquarters of the National Industrial Corridor Authority has been welcomed by the industry.
Industrialists feel the move was a much needed one as Pune had been the industrial capital of the state for long. They added that it would result in employment growth in and around Pune.
According to the budget speech, the Authority will be set up to coordinate the development of the industrial corridors, with smart cities linked by transport connectivity. Jaitley, while allocating the fund of Rs 100 crore, said the Authority would be the cornerstone to drive India’s growth in manufacturing and urbanisation sectors.
At present, the Delhi-Mumbai, Mumbai-Bengaluru and Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridors have been announced and sanctioned by the central and state governments. According to government officials, the Authority would be in the form of a corporation.
Connecting a distance of over 2,700 km, the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor was sanctioned in 2007. A stretch of 150 km by 200 km on either side of the freight corridor has been chosen. Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh will also be part of the corridor.
The website of the Industrial Corridor shows that in Maharashtra, the land acquisition proposals near Dighi port are under way. Both Mumbai-Bengaluru and Amritsar-Kolkata corridors are in different stages of planning.
Speaking about the move, chairman of Kinetic Group Arun Firodia said, “Pune is the industrial capital of the state and Maharashtra stands first in terms of industrialisation. It is very pertinent that Pune has been chosen as the centre,” he said.
Managing director of ElectroMech Material Handling System, Tushar Mehendale, also welcomed the move and said it was a step in the right direction.
Land rights activist Ulka Mahajan, who has been opposing the corridor, said the setting up of the Authority in Pune would be helpful for them.
“Now, we will not have to go to Delhi to protest,” she said, adding that the corridor was against the tenets of the constitution and was anti-farmer, anti-labour and anti-democracy.