N Jegatheesan, president of the Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Madurai, said on Saturday that the state government had yet to launch the ambitious project announced in 2013.
Of greater significance is the recent meeting of Chief Minister MK Stalin with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi as it had renewed expectations to revive the corridor. After the project was officially announced eight years ago, a special purpose vehicle was formed and a special officer was also placed, but the project has not advanced so far.
The southern region of Tamil Nadu with ten districts could experience an industrial revolution if the long-awaited project goes ahead, he told DT Next.
To pursue the dream project, Jegatheesan estimated that the government should create a 3,000-acre land reserve, especially between Aruppukottai and Ettayapuram, which could be a highly strategic location to make it an ideal hub for the housing industries. With better road connectivity, industry stakeholders could have easy access to Thoothukudi seaport at a distance of forty kilometers, which is also relatively similar to Madurai Airport. More importantly, with the existence of an India power grid company limited to Thoothukudi, the industrial corridor could have uninterrupted access to electricity.
In addition, the government should consider building a seawater desalination plant to meet industrial needs, the chamber president said.
As for K Nehruprakash, president of the Thoothukudi District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association, fingers crossed that the first auto industry of its kind makes its debut in Thoothukudi. In addition, he said that projects including the development of the central port at Thoothukudi, which could attract larger ships to further boost EXIM trade, the Madurai-Thoothukudi industrial corridor and the expansion of Thoothukudi airport have taken importance after Stalin’s meeting with the Prime Minister. Considering that the auto industry was so ambitious, a few days ago THUDITSSIA had an online meeting with Thoothukudi MP MK Kanimozhi, stressing the need.
More importantly, the development of the central port would allow rapid and direct transit of goods to European countries and the United States and reduce freight costs, said T Johnson, president of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Thoothukudi.