With investment flow into areas other than the high-profile Mumbai-Pune corridor gaining speed and volume, the state government has now decided to shift focus on infrastructure development to smaller towns across Vidarbha, Marathwada and Konkan regions.
Arguing that such a step will bring equitable development in the state, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said, “Unless there is uniform development in every region, the overall well-being of the state will remain a distant dream.” In fact, the CM’s office is now trying to market Bhandara, Chandrapur, Nagpur, Raigad and Nanded as the new destinations for investments.
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Earlier, the government’s insistence to market new destinations other than Mumbai-Pune had often sent investors scouting for locations in other states. Last year, when a private investor sought 500 acres of land in Mumbai for a university, the government promptly refused, sending the investor to Orissa. However, the state is insisting on preparing the grounds to draw investors to new locations within the state.
With 78 mega projects fetching an investment of Rs72,000 crore, the government is expecting direct and indirect employment generation to benefit 1,29,184 people.
In fact, Finance Minister Jayant Patil, who has been harping on improving the communication network, argued that it was “high time we focussed on smaller towns like Jalna, Nanded, Jalgaon and Latur as new destinations for investment. We can achieve this only with proper connectivity through railways and roads.”
A senior secretary in the ministry of finance said, “It is not an easy task even now to market new destinations. Whether it is a private project relating to new educational institutions or industrial units, investors still ask for land adjoining Mumbai and Pune. But we have been working hard to convince them to explore new avenues and partly succeeded in doing so.
How else does one exlain Core Minerals being ready to invest Rs2,500 crore for the alumina plant in Ratnagiri or Supreme Petrochemicals’ Rs1,115 crore at Raigad, Ispat India’s Rs2,000 crore investment in Raigad.”
: Govt looks beyond Pune: Shubhangi Khapre: DNA.
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1. Gurinder Singh
4. Rajendra Pradhan
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