Connectivity is all that matters to industries in Hoskote
Krishnarajapuram's industrial story started right after Independence when Jawaharlal Nehru initiated the setting up of India's first public sector unit, Indian Telephones Industries (ITI), in the north-east corner of Bangalore in 1948.
Today, a multitude of private companies such as Swedish truck maker Scania AB, Mahindra Aerospace and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India are flocking to its adjoining parts thanks to government assisted land acquisition and a new expressway on the cards.
A.M. Muralidharan, managing director of Volvo India says he sees many businesses interested in the area because of the government's actions. The State government has acquired 500 acres of land in Narasapur, converted it into an industrial estate and invited companies.
Even the colonial government is said to have played a part in the area's industrial growth, by laying the broad gauge line connecting Bangalore to what was then Madras.
Hoskote, once an agricultural town, lies at the intersection of national highways 4 and 27 and is well connected to Bangalore and Chennai. According to Muralidharan, road connectivity to Chennai port for import-export purposes was what made Volvo choose this site for its truck making unit in 1996. Work is afoot to build a six-lane expressway from Hoskote to Chennai as part of a larger plan to build a Bangalore-Chennai industrial corridor on the lines of the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor.
Industries often beckon more industries. In the early years, public sector units such as the New Government Electrical Factory (NGEF) and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) came up in Krishnarajapuram. Over the last two decades, industrialisation has extended all the way to Hoskote in rural Bangalore, a stretch of 16 km. Auto parts maker Autoliv India and ceramic tiles maker Bell Ceramics have all set up their units during this time.
Meanwhile, there are sceptics too. “I would hate to see more industries in Bangalore,” says professor Vinod Vyasulu, adviser to the Centre for Budget and Policy Studies. “There is very little water and no power in Bangalore.”
But companies such as Volvo say they face no infrastructure hurdles as the government has ensured uninterrupted power and water supply.