23 October 2020

The New Indian Express

State, Central governments sign deal on Kochi-Bengaluru corridor project

Project expected to propel Kerala's economic development, says Pinarayi; 22,000 direct and 80,000 indirect job opportunities to be created in the first 5 years of implementation

The state government has signed an agreement with the National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT) for the implementation of the Kochi-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (KBIC) project. The deal specifies the role played by the Central and state governments in developing the locations under the corridor and other proposed projects. A special-purpose team will be formed to prepare a detailed project plan, design, implementation, functioning, and maintenance. The board will have equal representation from both the governments.

This is a major milestone for the project which is expected to propel the economic development of the state, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during the agreement-signing function. "More job opportunities will be created by promoting investments in the production segment, agro-processing services, and export oriented units, he said

The Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA) is the nodal agency for the implementation of the project in the state. The first phase involves the preparation of the Kochi-Palakkad segment, which is expected to bring an investment of `10,000 crore in 1,800 areas of Palakkad. Also, 22,000 directs jobs and 80,000 indirect job opportunities would be created in the first five years. Medium and small scale enterprises will get a share of `3,000 crore and the state will get an annual tax revenue of `585 crorey, said a statement.

As part of the project, six Industrial Manufacturing Clusters (IMC) have been identified in the state. The first IMC is prioritised for the phase-I development at Palakkad. Other IMCs are proposed in Kochi, Thrissur, Kannur, Kozhikode, and Idukki. The industrial sectors identified for investment in Palakkad are food processing, grain mills, rubber, plastics, precision engineering, and electronics.

The IMCs will be set up along the corridor and are expected to boost manufacturing activities including IT, biotechnology, life sciences, etc., in the districts of Ernakulam, Thrissur, and Palakkad in the first phase, and the districts of Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, and Kasargod in the second phase.The KBIC is expected to spur the development of projects such as the Kannur airport, the Vizhinjam seaport, the Mangalore-Bengaluru Gail pipeline, the Thiruvananthapuram-Kannur Semi-High Speed Rail, the Kochi Metro, the Kochi-Theni National Highway, etc.

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