The Maharashtra government has evolved an agro-industrial module for development of 20 districts along the Rs 30,000 crore Nagpur-Mumbai Supercommunication Expressway. Apart from constructing the 690-km stretch eight lane roads, the government has drawn up two major plans for development of metros and drought-hit districts.
The first would tackle development of four metros — Nagpur, Amravati, Aurangabad, Nashik — as it navigates through three regions of Vidarbha, Marathwada and North Maharashtra.
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However, the second, more comprehensive developmental model is on agriculture economy for development of backward and drought-hit districts of Akola, Buldhana, Yavatmal, Wardha, Washim, Beed, Latur, Hingoli, Jalna, Nanded, Parbhani, Osmanabad and Nagpur rural.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who conceptualised the detailed plan indicated that the real objective of the Nagpur-Mumbai Supercommunication Expressway is not about hi-speed travel. What is more significant is agro-industrial development in the 20 districts, which gives it added advantage due to connectivity to JNPT port. Moreover, centre and state have taken decision on two dry ports at Jalna and Wardha.
The directives have been issued to work on potential of making Nashik the pilgrimage-cum-tourist destination, along with an industrial hub.
Similarly, Amravati would be provided with more capital investment through public-private partnership to develop as a textile hub. Whereas, Aurangabad can evolve as an industrial and tourism destination. Already, eight big textile projects are under way in this city.
The process of farm to fashion, being pushed through textile parks, has individual industries tying up with cotton farmers to purchase their produce. From cotton processing to designing apparels through greater investments in agro-industries is the model being promoted through public private partnership in Vidarbha.
A senior secretary revealed to The Indian Express, “We have been directed to expedite the process of land acquisition and pre-tender formalities. We will complete the project in year 2019.” To override concerns of the land acquisition along some stretches, the government has decided to integrate agro-industrial development with water conservation projects. The concept of providing water conservation projects to facilitate assured agriculture, especially in drought prone districts, is high on the agenda of the government.
Fadnavis said, “I have repeatedly said this project will be a gamechanger. Through this we would open the doors and fulfill the aspirations of backward districts long deprived of agro-industrial growth.”
While emphasising on port development, he said, “From Nagpur to JNPT, it will take only eight hours travel.” The distance between Aurangabad and JNPT would be just four hours.
Stressing integrated development, he said, “We can no longer look at infrastructure projects without factoring in agriculture and industrial growth in the vicinity. The 690 km superfast road would be meaningless if we cannot bring prosperity in the districts through which it would wind its way.”
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Moreover, the old model of laying a handful of motels and inns to serve commuters is not adequate, he believes. As a result, a more holistic agro-development plan for changing the rural face along with metros has been worked out.
Districts that will benefit
- Nagpur, Wardha, Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, Yavatmal, Washim, Aurangabad, Beed, Latur, Hingoli, Jalna, Latur, Nanded, Parbhani, Osmanabad, Nashisk, Jalgaon, Mumbai, Thane.
- The road will touch cities such as Nagpur, Amravati, Nashik and Mumbai.