CHENNAI: Chennai-Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) — a Rs 6,448 cr project proposed by the State Highways — will become a reality in a few years. The 640 km CKIC will link 14 industrial corridors across the 23 districts in State.
According to sources in the State Highways Department, the project has received an “in-principle nod” from the State. The Central Department of Economic Affairs has recommended the project to Asian Development Bank, which will fund a major portion of the project. “We can expect the roads to roll out within five years,” an official from State Highways Department said.
The project is part of the East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC) — which runs for 2500 km along the entire east coast from Kolkata to Kanyakumari. It is a multimodal, regional maritime corridor that can play a vital role in unifying the large domestic market while integrating the economy with the global value chains of southeast and east Asia. ECEC resonates with the Centre’s port-led industrialisation drive under Sagarmala initiative and Act East Policy.
ECEC’s development will be conducted in a three-phased manner. Phase 1 covers the Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC); phase 2 involves the Chennai-Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC), and phase 3 the Odisha and West Bengal Industrial Corridor.
Six industrial nodes comprising auto industry, textiles, machinery, petro-chemical, metals and minerals and food products were identified along the corridor. Many arterial roads, NH-7, NH-45, SH-49, SH-200 and SH-176 (East Coast Road) run through the corridor linking Chennai port, Kamarajar (Ennore) port and VOC port in Thoothukudi along with other smaller ports such as Katupalli and Karaikal. The corridor is also served by the Chennai-Kanyakumari railway line and three international airports — Chennai, Tiruchy and Madurai.
“The CKIC will overcome the lack of efficient transport networks linking the production clusters in northern and central India to ports on the east coast,” the official said. Currently, bulk of international trade is done through the ports on the country’s west coast.
The total project cost includes civil construction, design, supervision, contingency, land acquisition, migration and utility-shifting charges. About Rs 1,750 crore of the Rs 6,448 crore will be spent on land acuistion alone, according to a State highways official.
“Roughly 70 per cent of the remaining costs will be covered by Asian Development Bank,” the official said, adding that specific improvements will be proposed based on deflection, unevenness, pavement condition and traffic.