Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers M.K. Alagiri on Saturday laid the foundation stone for an Advanced Tooling and Plastics Product Development Centre at Idayapatti near here.

The cost of the Rs.25.50-crore project will be equally shared by the Centre and State government, Mr. Alagiri said. The State had given 16.55 acres and would provide basic amenities for the centre. The building would come up in two years.

Mr. Alagiri said that he felt proud for having fulfilled one of his poll promises by bringing the centre to Madurai Parliamentary constituency. A second government polytechnic in the district and a tractor manufacturing unit would come up at Ambalakaranpatti near Melur.

Unique venture

Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Bijoy Chatterjee, said the proposed centre would be unique; it would focus entirely on development of plastic products and tooling technology to provide technological support to plastic and related industries.

Automotive and consumer industries that were growing in southern India required highly skilled manpower and technical support in areas of plastics engineering and technology. These industries require a large number of moulds and dyes, which were presently being imported.

Courses offered

The centre would initially offer a three-year full-time diploma course in Plastics Mould Technology and a one-year post-diploma course in Plastics Mould Design. The number of students to be trained here would be increased to 600 in three years. B. Tech programmes would also be introduced, he said.

Mr. Alagiri also inaugurated the centre that would temporarily function from Mattuthavani.

Minister for Revenue, I. Periyasamy; Minister for School Education, Thangam Thennarasu; Minister for Adi Dravidar Welfare, A. Tamilarasi; Director General of the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology, S.K. Nayak; Madurai District Collector (in-charge), Dinesh Ponraj Oliver; and Sholavandan MLA P. Moorthy were among those who spoke.

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