THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Central Government has decided to extend the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor to Coimbatore and then to Kochi, giving the sector in the state a big boost.
The Integrated Manufacturing Cluster (IMC), which will come up as part of the corridor, is expected to create 1,000 direct jobs and attract investment to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore from the private sector. The IMCs will be in Palakkad and Salem in Tamil Nadu, on either side of the Kochi-Salem National Highway. They will connect with Bengaluru through Hosur in TN. The IMCs are termed as the next phase of the Special Economic Zones being set up by the Centre in order to attract investment.
The Kochi-Coimbatore corridor will be part of the national industrial corridor, said the Chief Minister’s Office. The LDF government, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in particular, has been putting pressure on the Centre after Kerala was excluded earlier while announcing industrial corridors across the country. As per the National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT) norms, an area of 2,000 to 5,000 acres is needed to set up IMCs.
However, it was reduced to 1,800 acres for Kerala after the state government convinced the Centre about difficulties in making land available. The land has been identified in Palakkad, Kannampra, Uzhalapathy and Puthussery. Of these, some land is already with Kinfra and notices have been served to the landowners to take over the remaining.
A Special Purpose Vehicle, to be set up jointly by the state and Centre, will run the IMC.
While the Centre will invest Rs 870 crore to develop the area for industries, the price of the land will be the state government’s share.
The multi-product cluster will have electronics, food processing, IT, agri-based and traditional industries. The proximity of the proposed IMC to the Kochi Port could enable more industries to come up in the Palakkad-Kochi region.
Logistics parks, warehouses and cold storage could also come up in this region. Consultancy firm Ernst and Young had prepared the state’s proposal for the project.