In what could prove a huge booster for industrial development and job-creation in seven states in northern and eastern India, the government on Friday paved the way for the creation of the Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkata industrial corridor, parallel to the eastern dedicated freight corridor of the railways.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh formed an inter-ministerial group with the secretaries of six ministries / departments - the department of industrial policy & promotion (DIPP), road transport and highways, economic affairs, the railway board, urban development, and shipping - which will do the preparatory work for this mammoth project, which is estimated to create at least three million jobs in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
The railways' eastern corridor is to be the backbone of the industrial corridor. "Since the freight corridor will enable rapid movement of goods, the idea is to create an industrial corridor parallel to it for economical industrial production and use the advantage of the corridor," Planning Commission member B K Chaturvedi told The Indian Express.
"The funding pattern and other details will be worked out," he added.
This is the second such corridor after the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), which is currently under development. The DMIC is planned around the Railways' western dedicated freight corridor.
The new industrial corridor will touch places like Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Ambala, Saharanpur, Delhi, Roorkee, Moradabad, Bareilly, Aligarh, Kanpur, Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, Hazaribagh, Dhanbad, Asansol, Durgapur and Kolkata. It covers a region which is home to around 40 per cent of India's population.
According to the government's plans, the project will result in the creation of four-five metro systems, expressways, a few bullet train corridors, and at least eight-ten industrial zones.