Special Correspondent

More knowledge centres for ryots of Pollachi, Udumalaipettai suggested

“The rail-road connectivity to hubs around Chennai should be enhanced”

CHENNAI: The Confederation of Indian Industry Southern Region has suggested that a unique brand identity be created for Coimbatore district to attract investment and promote industry.

The District Development Plan for Tamil Nadu, released recently by the CII, wants the ‘Destination Coimbatore’ brand be woven around education, engineering, entrepreneurship, tourism and exports of textile and engineering goods.

The plan also calls for promoting the agriculture base by setting up more knowledge centres to enable farmers in the Pollachi and Udumalaipettai regions to access information about prices and farm practices. At present the information kiosks opened by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University cater for farmers at 34 places in Coimbatore.

The plan pitches for flyovers to decongest arterial roads, enhanced air connectivity to Europe to facilitate business tourism, an air cargo facility near Pelamedu to preserve agricultural produce for exports and a ring rail system in the city to boost transport.

As the second master plan expects the Chennai Metropolitan Area to have a population of 12.5 million by 2025, the CII’s plans favours all-round planning in urbanisation, support and connectivity. Local bodies have to be helped in planning and project management.

For infrastructure development, the Chennai region should span from Marakkanam, Arakkonam and Pulicat and should have well-planned and well-connected facilities with identified development areas on a hub-and-spoke model. The first steps in this direction will be the formation of a regional planning authority. The rail-road connectivity to hubs around Chennai such as Sriperumbudur and Oragadam and Chennai and Chengalpattu has to be enhanced through increased train and bus services, the plan says. Chennai has to be made liveable by redeveloping slums into affordable housing settlements.

Music festival

Noting that more than 1,200 music performances are held in different sabhas of the city during the music season every year, the CII has suggested that a centre of excellence be set up for promoting Carnatic music and Bharatnatyam, and a hall for performing arts.