West Bengal infrastructure on growth mode
The Bengal Global Business Summit in January highlighted the potential of the state of West Bengal as an investment destination. Corporate czars such as Subhas Chandra, Chairman of Essel Group announced investments to the tune of INR 15,000 crore in townships and urban infrastructure in Bengal.
Around 20 business houses from all over India have shown interest to develop 22 townships in West Bengal. The grand total of the transactions, by way of deals, document exchanges, expressions of interest and investment proposals were to the tune of INR 2,43,100 crore. With ambitious road and port projects in the pipeline, the state of West Bengal is well on its way of achieving the 10% economic growth wished by the state’s Finance Minister Amit Mitra.
The Central Government recently approved an INR 3,120 crore road project for West Bengal. This is for the four-laning with paved side shoulders of the Ghoshpukur-Falakata Salsalabari section of the National Highway (NH) 31D. This 155-km highway will improve the connectivity to the North East of the country as it will reduce the cost and time of travel. In addition to connectivity, the highway will play a major role in improving the socio economic conditions of the local populace.
The improvement of the road sector is crucial because West Bengal is crisscrossed by 92,023 km of road. The road density in this state is one of the highest. The improvement in this sector will go a long way in improving not just connectivity but also speed and the quality of travel.
Another important infrastructure development programme will be the construction of the port in the Sagar Islands estimated to cost INR 12,000 crore. A bridge and an underground railway tunnel have also been planned. The central government also plans to strengthen the port sector in West Bengal with the construction of floating storages and dry build cargo handling terminals.
Beside road connectivity, the state government is also thinking of extending the East West Metro in Kolkata from Salt Lake to NSC Bose Airport. The East West Metro connecting Salt Lake to Howrah is already under way.
The West Bengal Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (WBIIDC) a state government enterprise has developed Growth Centres. The WBIIDC provides facilities which include developed land, industrial sheds, water, power, lighting, drainage and sewerage. These growth centres have been set up in places such as Kalyani Phase 1, 2 and 3, Falta Phase I and 2, Uluberia, Bishnupur, Raninagar, Coochbehar, Malda Phase 1 and 2 , Dabgram, Haldia, Kharagpur and Bolpur . The government is also interested in industrial parks through the public private partnership (PPP) mode. Two industrial parks have been developed through the PPP mode; an integrated industrial park in Jalpaiguri and an auto park at Jhargram.
The Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd. (Amul) has been allotted 16.15 acres of land at Food Park Phase – III, Sankrail, Howrah for setting up a fully automated dairy unit for production of milk and other dairy products. The Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Limited has proposed to invest INR 190 crore for the project.
Emami Cement Limited has been allotted 65 acres of land in June this year at Panagarh Industrial Park, Burdwan for setting up of a 1.5 MTPA cement grinding unit along with a 10 MW captive power plant. Emami Cement Limited is part of the Emami Group which is the fourth largest Indian FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) company, the largest newsprint manufacturer and the largest healthcare provider in private sector in eastern India. The company has proposed an investment of INR 418 crore for the project. The proposed employment generation by the company will be 500 persons.
Nina Varghese for IndiaProperty.com
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