The ambitious, Rs 46,000 crore Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Corridor is expected to tackle migration from rural to urban areas within Maharashtra. Of the total migration in Maharashtra, almost 50 per cent of the people flow from rural to urban cities with Mumbai as epicentre. The project report states, “The developmental model adopted in 24 townships along the 710 km eight lane stretch across ten districts of Maharashtra will help in drastically reducing migration.”
The document details the major impetus on agro-based industries in 24 townships (nodes) planned according to geographical and local requirements, which would yield employment opportunities in rural Maharashtra.
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Through the agro-developed nodes (Krishi Samrudhhi Kendra) each township will have the potential to generate 20,000 to 25,000 jobs. The state government, which has allocated Rs 12,000 crore for the 24 nodes, has set the target of job creation for 4.8 to 6 lakh people in rural areas across Vidarbha, Marathwada, parts of North and Western Maharashtra and Konkan.
The investments would be in core sectors, agriculture industries and food processing, petrol pumps, hotels, malls IT hubs, skill development centres, educational institutes, warehouses, cold storages, small agriculture and automobile and ancillary units, self help groups, shops and services.
Apart from agriculture, various other projects earmarked across city outskirts and remote villages include Jamtha (IT hub, Knowledge City); Buti Bori (logistic hub, sports and recreational); Wardha (eco-tourism centre, agriculture hub); Pulgaon (warehouse, agro-hub, logistic hub); Dhamangaon (agro and food processing); Talegaon (agro and food processing); Karanja Lad (educational institutes/warehouse and cold storages); Selu Bazar (food processing, agro-hub and textile hub); Malegaon (health care centres/ solar power industry); Mehkar (IT hub, education and tourism hub); Dusarbid (agro equipment, automobile spare parts) and Sindkhed Raja (amusement park, food park and food processing).
Prof RB Bhagat, head of the department, Migration and Urban Studies at the International Institute for Population Sciences told The Indian Express, “Migration trends based on population census (2001, 2011) shows almost 50 per cent of the migrants are intra-state migrants and the remaining 50 per cent is from other states.” In Maharashtra, migration from backward regions of Marathwada and Vidarbha to cities is led by Mumbai. Migration from outside Maharashtra sees a much higher flow from states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
According to Bhagat, “By 2016-17, the total migration in Mumbai would be approximately eight lakhs”. Admitting that intra-state migration trend is also undergoing changes, he said, “The development in village neighbourhoods would help in tackling the migration to Mumbai or other such developed cities.” The state with 40,000 villages accounts for 25 big cities and towns. Cities most sought after by in-house migrants are Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nashik, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Thane.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has described the project as a game changer which would take Maharashtra 20 years ahead of other states. Fadnavis believes the state with 45 to 50 per cent urbanisation has to cope with growing burden on infrastructure and basic amenities.
In the 14 most drought stricken districts of Vidarbha (six) and Marathwada (eight) 8,000 agriculture driven villages are being developed to reap the dividends of this project. The project will pass through ten districts but its economic impact will be seen in 24 districts.