CHENNAI: The proposed Chennai-Kanniyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) project will generate more than 4.7 million additional jobs driven by annual manufacturing output of $222 billion, according to a Comprehensive Development Plan prepared by Asian Development Bank.The phase I CKIC project, which will have Madurai-Virudhunagar-Dindigul-Theni and Thoothukudi-Tirunelveli nodes, would require an investment of nearly Rs 91,000 crore. It is likely to be taken by this year and completed by 2020.The entire project has investment requirement of $43.19 billion (Rs 281,000 crore).
The corridor influence area, will cover 23 of 32 districts of Tamil Nadu, accounting for 64 per cent of State’s area and 70 per cent of total population. The focus of the corridor will be on manufacturing. As per the study, between 2010-11 and 2014-15, registered manufacturing’s contribution dropped from nearly 20 per cent to less than nine per cent during the same period.
Except mining and quarrying, and electricity, gas, and water supply, all other sectors witnessed a decline in growth. Unregistered manufacturing also witnessed a slowdown with the growth below the national average.
The challenge for development of CKIC nodes is whether to continue with large cities as the hubs for growth or to fast track the growth of smaller urban areas. New cities are difficult to develop and can take more than a decade to achieve critical mass.
Equally, managing accelerated growth of existing congested cities is not an easy task either. The targeted industrial development requires relatively lower cost land, but also relatively higher class urban amenities. Achieving this balance will require a combination of both planned growth of existing large cities for sustaining the current momentum, along with prioritized development of alternate urban centres in response to accelerated growth, the study says.
Accordingly, the urban strategy for CKIC will be combination of anchor cities and growth centres. Anchor cities are the crucial initial-state requirement to attract targeted industries. Thoothkudi, Tirunelveli, Madurai, Tiruchi, Cuddalore, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Manaparai Perambalur and Karaikudi have been earmarked as anchor cities.Interestingly, the report states that Tamil Nadu ranks first among Indian states in terms of number of factories and industrial workers.