The State Government has urged the Centre to establish an Eastern Industrial Corridor through Odisha as this would not only make the freight corridor economically viable but also would provide forward and backward linkages for the industrial hinterlands.
While an Eastern Freight Corridor from Amritsar to Kolkata is coming up, that would be economically viable once it is connected to deepwater ports, according to the State Government. In a memorandum, the State Government has pointed out that the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor is needed to be extended to Visakhapatnam passing through Odisha. This would make the corridor economically viable and it would connect major industrial centres, for which this is being set up.
The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) is setting up the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor, which is expected to be complete soon.
The Government of India has formulated a concept of five industrial and economic corridors like Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), Bengaluru-Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC), Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor(CBIC), Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC) and Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC).
This is being done to realise the objective of Make-in-India programme through an arterial modality such as highway or railway along with feeder roads with the Railways providing various transport options for goods and workers.
In view of the flow of investment to Odisha in minerals, metals, mining, power and various manufacturing sectors, the State Government is focusing on infrastructure development and creation of dedicated industrial trade corridors inside the State.
However, in order to link these internal feeder roads and railway lines to the proposed industrial corridors, there is a need to extend the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor to Visakhapatnam so that a Visakhapatnam- Chennai corridor can be linked with Kolkata.This would facilitate a strategic link between the eastern, southern, western and northern industrial corridors, said the Odisha Government in its proposal for extension of the Eastern Industrial Corridor to Visakhapatnam.
Accordingly, the Union Government has been urged to provide backward and forward linkages for industrial hinterlands of Dhamra, Paradip and Gopalpur Ports with the northern and central hinterlands through a dedicated industrial corridor.In the meantime, the Indian Railways is planning to build nearly 4,000-km Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) connecting industrial areas in the eastern and western parts of the country to southern India through major ports in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, sources said.These DFCs are 1,115-km East Coast Corridor from Kharagpur (West Bengal) to Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh); the East-West Corridor which comprises 1,673 km connecting Bhusaval-Nagpur-Kharagpur-Dankuni (near Kolkata) route and 195-km Rajkharswan-Kalipahari-Andal (West Bengal) route. The third is the 975-km North South Sub-Corridor Vijayawada-Nagpur-Itarsi (Madhya Pradesh) route.
These corridors would provide connectivity to Paradip, Dhamra, Gopalpur Ports in Odisha and Visakhapatnam, Gangavaram, Kakinada, Krishnapatnam and Machhalipatanam ports in Andhra Pradesh, ensuring faster movement of goods and capacity enhancement in the oversaturated sections of the railway network.
In a major boost to development of Odisha, the proposed Kharagpur-Vijayawada DFC would pass through Odisha’s Kalinganagar industrial zone, connecting it with southern India. The Kalinganagar industrial zone would by then already be connected with western India through the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor.
The Kalinganagar industrial zone has ferrochrome and alloy industries, sponge iron plants, steel companies like Tata Steel, Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd, Mesco Ispat & Steel Ltd, Jindal Stainless Steel Ltd, Yazdani Steel & Power and other major industries. Similarly, Angul, which houses aluminium industries, thermal power plants, a heavy water plant, coalfields and iron and steel plants, would get an impetus with the new East-West Sub-Corridor, connecting it to western India as well as the coalfields of eastern India, said sources.