N Jegatheesan, president, Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Madurai, on Saturday said the state government has yet to embark on the ambitious project announced in 2013.
Chief Minister MK Stalin’s recent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi assumes greater significance as it had renewed expectations to kickstart the corridor. After the project was formally announced eight years ago, a special purpose vehicle was formed and a special officer was also placed, but the project made no headway till now.
The southern region of Tamil Nadu with ten districts could experience an industrial revolution if the much awaited project moved forward, he told DT Next.
To pursue the dream project, Jegatheesan opined that the government should create a land bank of 3,000 acres especially between Aruppukottai and Ettayapuram, which could be a highly strategic location to make it an ideal hub for housing industries. With better road connectivity, the industry stakeholders could have an easy access to Thoothukudi seaport at forty kilometer distance, which also is relatively similar to Madurai airport. More importantly, with the existence of power grid corporation of India limited in Thoothukudi, the industrial corridor could have an uninterrupted access to electricity.
Further, the government needs to contemplate on constructing seawater desalination plant to suit industrial needs, the chamber president said.
As for K Nehruprakash, president, Thoothukudi District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association, keep fingers crossed for a first of its kind automobile industry to make its way into Thoothukudi. Moreover, he said projects including hub port development in Thoothukudi, which could attract larger vessels to boost EXIM trade further, Madurai-Thoothukudi industrial corridor and expansion of Thoothukudi airport gained prominence after Stalin’s meeting with the Prime Minister. Eyeing the automobile industry being so ambitious, a few days ago, THUDITSSIA had an online meeting with Thoothukudi MP MK Kanimozhi, highlighting the need.
More importantly, the hub port development would provide fast and direct transit of cargo to European countries and the US and reduce freight costs, T Johnson, president, Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Thoothukudi, said.