Lack of feeder industries in the vicinity of the city plaguing its growth

Absence of mother or feeder industries in the vicinity of the city has been plaguing the growth or the Jawahar Autonagar established in 1966. Both the Autonagar and the Vijayawada Industrial Estate appear to have become stagnant.

District Industries Centre General Manager G. Rajendra Prasad pointed out that the success of any industrial estate depended largely on the mother or feeder industries. “Unless a large petrochemical plant, steel plant, major port or any other major industry come up near the industrial estate, it is difficult for the units to survive, as a lot depends on the order and supply link to these big industries,” he said.

Citing the case of Visakhapatnam, he said, it was blessed with many big industries even before the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant had come up. “It had a major port, dockyard, shipyard, Indian Navy, a fertiliser unit and a petrochemical plant and that facilitated the growth of SMEs in the industrial estate,” he pointed out.

Acquiescing with the GM of DIC, Vijayawada Auto Cluster Development Company Chairman V. Rajendra Prasad pointed out that apart from the automobile component and body building industry and a few old casting units, the Industrial Estate never had any other ancillary units coming up in a big way. “Out of the 2,000-odd SMEs, about 80 per cent are associated with automobile sector. Even that is facing a problem, as the second generation does not want to take up the trade, leading to shortage of skilled manpower,” he said.

Most of these units have not kept pace with the modernisation of the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), he pointed out.

Basic problem

The basic problem was lack of major industries in this belt and that was because of lack of political will, said CII Core Team Member and CEO of Better Casting JSRK Prasad. “No politician had taken up the cause of setting up of any major industry in this region. The development has been Hyderabad-centric all round. The pharmaceutical hub is in Hyderabad and IT is centred in Hyderabad. This model has hit potential districts such as Krishna and Guntur,” said Mr. Prasad.

“We do not favour Hyderabad as Union Territory in the event of bifurcation,” said Andhra Chamber of Commerce and Industries secretary Prasad R. Chukkapalli. “Samaikyandhra is our first objective, but if bifurcation is inevitable then the capital has to be shifted for a decentralised and equitable growth of other regions. We should not make the same mistake of one-city development model,” he opined.

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