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“PM asked officials to speed up Ennore infrastructure work’’

N. Anand
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A standard steam turbine made by Toshiba being transported by a multi-axle vehicle. The Japanese firm wants roads strong enough to bear the 500-tonne turbine between its facility at Napalayam near Manali 25 km from Chennai, and Ennore Port for onward export.— Photo: Special Arrangement.
A standard steam turbine made by Toshiba being transported by a multi-axle vehicle. The Japanese firm wants roads strong enough to bear the 500-tonne turbine between its facility at Napalayam near Manali 25 km from Chennai, and Ennore Port for onward export.— Photo: Special Arrangement.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has directed authorities to quickly dispense with the infrastructure bottlenecks faced by Japanese investors in and around Manali industrial area, a State government official said on Thursday.

As part of a joint statement in Tokyo with his Japanese counterpart, on Wednesday, Dr. Singh had asked the authorities to accelerate work on the infrastructural facilities in Ennore and adjoining areas and monitor the progress utilising the Tamil Nadu Investment Promotion Programme (TNIPP).

The State government will start the TNIPP project during the current year, with aid from the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), which was interested in funding all major roads including the Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor..

The programme aims at easing the infrastructural inadequacies faced by investors and will facilitate an investment flow of around Rs.770 crore into small and medium infrastructure projects over three years, the official added.

Another State government official said TNIPP was meant for improving the investment climate and inviting foreign investors, including Japanese firms, to set up base in Tamil Nadu.

“The recent statement of Dr. Singh’s has been appreciated by all the Japanese investors in Tamil Nadu. In the last meeting with the Prime Minister’s Adviser, T.K.A. Nair, we discussed only two issues – construction of new Road Over Bridge (RoB) at Athipattu Railway Station and improving connectivity by rods and bridges to Ennore port,” said Shinya Fujii, Director General, Japan External Trade Organisation.

Meanwhile, the scheduled meeting between the State government and the Railways, regarding the construction of new Road over Bridge (RoB) at Athipattu railway station failed to take place on Wednesday.

Officials said the State government would construct the road portion of the RoB and would ask the Railways to do its portion as it required suspension of rail movement. “Line blocking can be done only during nighttimes, as this segment records heavy traffic throughout the day. The Railways have been asked to prepare a technical feasibility study. We have assured Mr. Nair that the project will be completed by September 2014,” the official added.

Japanese firms, including Toshiba JSW Turbines and Generator, have been demanding construction of a new RoB, as the existing one is weak and cannot withstand the weight of the company’s nearly 500-tonne steam turbines and generators. Hence the decision to construct a new bridge near the existing one at Ennore.

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