City to be part of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project

As part of country's largest infrastructural and transport project, city to be linked to Dighi port in Raigad

India always seems to be emulating oriental countries for its developmental ambitions. Though the Shanghai dream envisaged for Mumbai is now kaput, for the city, the idol is Japan. According to the plans envisioned by the state, the Centre and the Japanese government, the city will be part of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, the largest and most expensive infrastructural project ever conceived in India.

Pegged at more than $90 billion, the project includes high capacity transport facilities, freight corridors, advanced industrial cities, and will also cover Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and the Northern Capital Region (NCR).

The project was conceptualised in 2007 during the Japanese Prime Minsiter's visit to the country. Japan will provide technical and financial assistance to the project. While each of the western cities is to be linked to new upcoming ports, the city will soon be connected to the Dighi Port in Raigad district.

The larger plan is to develop high- capacity ports along the western coasts in Gujarat and Maharashtra and construct supplementing road and rail transport networks which will pass through the industrial cities. Sources have revealed that some of the land acquisition has already begun in Alibaug near Mumbai.

Vikas Deshmukh, district collector, said that land for a railway terminal near Pune is being identified and will be connected to Dighi Port. "The heavy freight terminal is being planned near the Talegaon industrial area, which is owned and operated by the Maharashtra Industrial Corporation. There was a meeting with Chief Secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad a few months ago, and some of the modalities were worked out," he said.

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