CHENNAI: The first phase of Chennai-Kanniyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) Project, which will have Madurai-Virudhunagar-Dindigul-Theni (MVDT) and Thoothukudi-Tirunelveli nodes, will require an investment of Rs 91,000 crore, according to a study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The ADB, which has submitted the report to the State government, has said the investment requirements estimated for the identified high-impact projects for Thoothkudi-Tirunelveli node and MVDT are $6.22 billion (Rs 40,414 crore) and $7.91 billion (Rs 51,404 crore), respectively. The two industrial nodes span an area of 10,650 hectares.
The proposed nodes will be notified as “industrial townships” under the Tamil Nadu Industrial Township Area Development Authority Act, 1997, and a dedicated authority will be established for each of the proposed nodes comprising the industrial township areas with the mandate of planning, developing, and maintaining the facilities within.
The CKIC covers 23 of the 32 districts, accounting for 64 per cent of the State’s area, 70 per cent of its total population, and 75 per cent of the State’s urban population. It will have six nodes, but only two of them will be taken up under the first phase.
The other four industrial nodes include Cuddalore-Nagapattinam (proposed petroleum, chemicals and petrochemicals investment region), Ariyalur and Perambalur, Tiruchy-Pudukkottai-Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram (proposed National Investment and Manufacturing Zone). All the six nodes were selected after taking into account the criteria that they do not overlap Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor, that they keep a minimum distance away from the Coastal Regulation Zone, forests, flood lines and other restricted areas, and also their land acquisition status.
The key trunk route identified for the CKIC is the East Coast Road traversing 800 km from Chennai to Kanniyakumari and touching all coastal districts. This trunk route will strengthen port-based development and provide links to the existing major ports such as Chennai, Ennore, and Thoothukudi, as well as the proposed port at Enayam, and complement the existing national and State highway network (NH7 and NH45) through lateral roads that link the hinterland and proposed industrial growth centres to these ports corridor.
Thoothukudi and Madurai have been identified as anchor cities for the development of Thoothukudi-Tirunelveli Industrial Node and MVDT nodes, respectively. The development of Thoothukudi-Tirunelveli node will generate a critical mass of population that enables metropolitan characteristics and optimises infrastructure costs.
The integration of Madurai with Dindigul, Virudhunagar, and Theni through regional transport networks will be critical in the medium to long term. Restoration of the Madurai-Bodi rail network and suburban rail services between Madurai and Sattur are the two key projects that will enhance mobility from urban to industrial areas, the study said.
Given that both the node regions face acute water shortage, an adequate water supply for industrial and domestic uses is key to the success of these phase I nodes. Two key options for solving water challenges in the region include resource conservation and recycling, and the development of centralised desalination plants. Currently, water supply and sewerage account for over 55 per cent of the total investment requirement under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) in the two regions.