Mega cluster boost for Hazaribagh

Barhi has it all for economic corridor, notes visiting consultant

By VISHVENDU JAIPURIAR in Hazaribagh
  • Published 3.12.15
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Consultant Sugandha Agarwal with Barhi SDO Shabbir Ahmad in Hazaribagh on Wednesday. (Vishvendu Jaipuriar)

Hazaribagh, Dec. 2: Barhi block in Hazaribagh, 40km from the district headquarters, is finally on the cusp of prosperity as a part of the Government of India's Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkata Industrial Corridor (ADKIC), a proposed mega economic zone.

Barhi, on Grand Trunk (GT) Road, will get an integrated manufacturing cluster (IMC), which is a part of the proposed ADKIC criss-crossing seven states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and Bengal.

Barhi is Jharkhand's only area to get a cluster in the proposed economic corridor, which according to planners, will generate huge job opportunities and change the face of Hazaribagh as a whole.

Barhi subdivisional officer (SDO) Shabbir Ahmad said a consultant to Government of India Sugandha Agarwal reached Barhi yesterday for a recce of land and infrastructure to prepare a master plan for the cluster.

"I will give my master plan to the Centre in January after which things will move fast," Agarwal told The Telegraph today.

"So far, clusters have been finalised in three places, Barhi in Jharkhand, Raghunathpur in Bengal and Khurpia in Uttarakhand. Of them, Barhi has everything needed for an industrial cluster, right from the best location to skilled labour, abundant water and potential for power. In the days to come, a mega township will come up at Barhi geared around the cluster," she added.

SDO Ahmad agreed, saying being very well connected was Barhi's geographical advantage.

Situated on GT Road and near Ranchi-Patna highway, it is also near Bihar, with proximity to two airports. Gaya airport is 93km away and the Ranchi one is 146km away. Also, Koderma railway station is only 24km away.

Outlining other advantages, the SDO said: "Tilaiya Dam here ensures easy availability of water. An ultra mega power plant will also come up here."

Confirming that 2,500 acres were needed for the Barhi cluster, SDO Ahmad said villagers in the block need not worry.

"No forceful land acquisition is needed. Neither will anyone be displaced, nor will agricultural and household land be disturbed. Barren land, forestland and plots belonging to Damodar Valley Corporation and Ranchi Industrial Area Development Authority have been identified for use," he said.

Some years ago, Ranchi Industrial Area Development Authority (Riada) had acquired 500 acres in Barhi to set up an industrial unit, which never took off. In 2009, 101 acres transferred to set up a Cobra battalion.

The rest of the around 400 acres, which is with Riada, will be used for the cluster.

"In July, we transferred 80 acres to Maruti Suzuki India for its car production centre and stockyards and are in the process of handing over 30 acres to Hindustan Petroleum Corporation for an LPG bottling plant. We are looking for more land," SDO Ahmad said.

The proposed ADKIC will flank either side of a dedicated freight corridor, the showpiece project of Indian Railways, from Dankuni in Calcutta to Ludhaina in Punjab. Some 1,839km of the freight corridor will pass Jharkhand, involving Dhanbad, Giridih, Koderma and Hazaribagh.