Regardless of which ever party or coalition comes to power, industrialisation of south Tamil Nadu should be given priority by the next State Government.
Successive governments have, so far, neglected the development of the region, say various trade bodies in the region. The elected representatives from southern districts, regardless of their political affiliation, have a duty to their electorate to bring development to the region, Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries Association (TANSTIA) vice-president KR. Gnanasambandan told The Hindu.
“MLAs from south should raise their voice against development getting solely concentrated in and around Chennai. Many areas in south were registering negative population growth owing to large scale migration from these areas to Tirupur, Erode and Chennai.”
The region has good connectivity in the form of four-lane roads, a good port, airport and railway lines. All it needed was one big ticket investment that could accelerate development across the region, he said.
Tirunelveli District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association president, D.S.M. Jayarajan, said that the new industries should be kept out of Chennai for at least the next 10 years and directed to south.
Besides the expansion of Tuticorin airport, he also called for providing uninterrupted power supply and boosting the infrastructure at industrial estates.
Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association (MADITSSIA) president, N. Somasundaram, said that State Government should ensure that the IT parks in south such as those at Madurai and Tiruneveli were expeditiously occupied as this would boost economic activity in the region. The local bodies should be geared for bringing in industries, he said, adding that they should establish land banks solely for accommodating industries.
MADITSSIA vice-president P. Sitaraman said that the Madurai-Tuticorin-Aruppukottai corridor should be declared as ‘Industrial corridor' and its infrastructure developed accordingly.
He also called for reorganising Small Industries Development Corporation Ltd. (SIDCO) and brining in industrial estates under Industrial Township Act.
Dedicated cargo line
Tuticorin District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association president, N. Jayarayan, said that a broad-gauge line exclusively for cargo and freight traffic should be laid from the Tuticorin Port to Chennai and other parts of the country.
“Power is a critical element of production and at present the supply has become unreliable. Assured power supply alone will be a major boost for industrial growth,” he said.