Kerala unveils investment, manufacturing zone plan

TRIVANDRUM — The Congress-led United Democratic Front government has sought to revive the stagnant manufacturing sector in Kerala by mooting a National Investment and Manufacturing Zone, or NIMZ, along the National Highway from Cochin to Palghat.

By T.k. Devasia

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Published: Sun 23 Sep 2012, 9:56 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:29 PM

A detailed project report of the Rs538 billion mega industrial infrastructure project has been submitted to the federal government for approval.

The state government has sought notification of the NIMZ, approval for Master Plan study and Viability Gap Funding for the project.

The project to be showcased in the Emerging Kerala Global Connect event to be held at Cochin next month is proposed to be implemented in public private partnership, or PPP, mode.

It is estimated the project will generate half a million direct jobs and 2.5 million indirect employment over a period of 10 years.

Industry secretary Alkesh Sharma said the government was expecting an investment flow of Rs1 trillion into the NIMZ, which will include six industrial zones, two food and agro processing zones, three engineering and electronics zones, one chemical and petrochemical zone and facility for power generation.

A total of 20 industrial nodes will be created in 52,000 hectares of land under the project. Each node is to be developed as a self-contained industrial township, which will have infrastructure facilities like drainage, water supply, sewage and effluent treatment plants, rainwater harvesting, solid waste management and green buffers.

“We have 1,700 hectares of land available with various agencies of the state government. Another 3,500 hectares will have to be acquired in the four NIMZ districts — Ernakulam, Trichur, Malappuram and Paghat — to promote the project,” Shama said.

Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) has already identified around 3,500 hectares of land in the four districts. The NIMZ area will be distributed on both sides of the NH-544 (old NH-47) with a bandwidth of 25km on both sides and a length of 160km.

A Special Purpose Vehicle with participation from the state and federal governments will be formed to implement the NIMZ project. A dedicated freight corridor is also envisioned as part of the NIMZ, which will facilitate safe and speedy transportation of finished goods and raw materials for manufacturing units being set up in the region.

State Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty said promoting manufacturing sector is vital both for the state’s sustained growth and correcting its regional and sectoral imbalances. The manufacturing now contributes only 22 per cent of the state’s gross domestic product compared to 66 per cent from services sector.

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