| Union minister for commerce and industry Kamal Nath with his Japanese counterpart Akira Amari in New Delhi on Saturday. Picture by Ramakant Kushwaha
New Delhi: April 14: The government proposes to develop the Delhi-Calcutta freight route into an industrial corridor on the lines of the one proposed between Delhi and Mumbai. Preliminary studies on the proposed corridor will start in early 2008.
The Delhi-Calcutta freight corridor, which will comprise a railway and highway link, will connect New Delhi to Bengal via Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh and is expected to cost about Rs 20,000 crore.
Additional facilities such as linked industrial estates and connectivity with airports and sea ports will have to be planned for the industrial corridor.
Meanwhile, work is in progress for the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. Commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath said, “The project will be launched in January 2008 after finalisation of the detailed report by the end of December this year. It will be completed in seven years and involves an investment of $45-50 billion.”
The project is planned on the lines of the Tokyo-Osaka industrial corridor. Japan was roped in as a partner for the project during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Tokyo in December last year.
Japanese minister of economy, trade and industry, Akira Amari, said, “Japan will provide the investment and expertise to improve industrial parks, ports, roads and other infrastructure in India.”
Ajay Dua, secretary, the department of industrial policy and promotion, said: “The industrial corridor will have a 4,000-mw power plant, three ports and six airports, apart from connectivity with sea ports.”
He added that the project would be funded through the public-private partnership (PPP) model and foreign investment. Apart from giving a grant, Japan will also invest in the project.
The 1,483-kilometre corridor will stretch across six states — Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra — which will be made stakeholders. The minister said a holistic approach would be taken whereby all the stakeholders would be involved to make the project successful.