VISAKHAPATNAM: In a move that would have the proposed Vizag- Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC) on the fast track, the Andhra Pradesh government has earmarked Rs 1,668 crore for the project in the state’s budget that was presented by finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu in Amravati on Thursday.
As part of the project, a 800-km long dedicated fright corridor passing along the National Highway-16 and along the Bay of Bengal in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu was proposed. The VCIC, one of the key components of the East Coast Economic Corridor (ECIC) being developed between Kolkata and Tuticorin, envisages four major industrial nodes in the state—Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Gangavaram-Kankipadu and Yepedu-Srikalahasthi with an aim of attracting an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore.
The Andhra Pradesh government signed a pact with the Central government during the CII Partnership Summit last year and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had promised that the project would be on the fast track. After the signing of the MoU, the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) took the help of a Singapore-based consultancy, Jurong International, to prepare the roadmap for a suitable action plan. Earlier to this in October 2016, The Asian Development Bank (ADB) agreed to fund around 630 million USD in terms of loans and grants for the project, covering all nine coastal districts of the state.
According to APIIC officials, Visakhapatnam, with many industrial units in food processing, textiles, plastics, chemicals, pharma and petrochemicals and others, is a key node of this project that aims at creating comprehensive infrastructure and a business-friendly environment to transform the nodes into the hubs to cradle industries.
The APIIC officials have identified 4,500 acres in Visakhapatnam district of which 2,300 acres of private land have been acquired in two villages of Rambilli mandal near Achyutapuram and the present allocation will speed of the payment of compensation proceedings.
“So far, Rs 95 crore has been paid as compensation to nearly 600 people who have ceded land at the rate of estimated Rs 18 lakh per acre. Another Rs 105 crore need to be paid to the rest of the beneficiaries. The newly allocated funds, if released, will help us complete the land acquisition process,” a senior officer of the department of industry told TNIE.