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Government plans to connect Jammu and Kashmir with Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor

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NEW DELHI : In order to boost connectivity and logistics support to Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian government is planning to connect it to the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC).

The corridor is expected to give an impetus to the local economy.

Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkata Industrial Corridor (ADKIC) is a proposed industrial route, which will connect the northern industrial and agricultural centres with the key ports of western India, including Jamnagar and Kandla, in Gujarat.

The Centre is planning to extend AKIC to Jammu as part of the National Industrial Corridor Programme aimed at the development of futuristic industrial cities in India, reported the Kashmir Monitor.

“The GOI (Government of India) plans to connect Jammu with AKIC as per the National Industrial Corridor Development Program and the UT government shall declare the existing alignment of Amritsar – Jammu highway as a freight corridor,” an official document accessed by the Kashmir Monitor revealed.

The corridor will help boost the industrial revolution connecting the industrial belt of Baddi, Bhatinda, and Ludhiana through spurs and the state of Jammu and Kashmir through the Delhi -Amritsar- Katra Expressway.

The document said that the corridor will create employment opportunities and economic growth in the union territory.

“The objective would be to create state of-the-art world-class infrastructure to promote local commerce, enhance investment, generate employment, and attain sustainable development,” it said.

The Government of India is developing Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC) along the alignment of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) traversing a route length of 1839 km in six states.

The objective of the AKIC is to optimize the present economic and employment potential of the region, stimulate investments, particularly in manufacturing, agro-processing, services and export-oriented units and promote overall economic development of the area through creation of high-standard infrastructure and an enabling business environment.

AKIC is proposed to be developed in a band of 150-200 Kms on either side of EDFC, in a phased manner.

AKIC will have an influence area across seven states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

Further, the Baddi Barotiwala Nalagarh (BBN) area in Himachal Pradesh is located at around 70 kms from the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC), thus, falling in the influence zone of AKIC and the same has also been included in the AKIC Corridor for development.

AKIC is intended to facilitate the development of a well-planned and resource efficient industrial base served by world-class sustainable connectivity infrastructure, bringing significant benefits in terms of innovation, manufacturing, job creation and resource security to states coming within its influence region.

The availability of world-class infrastructure along the Corridor shall also enable increased investments in manufacturing and industrial activities in these eight states.

The Centre has directed the UT administration to identify at least one Mega Industrial Zone as Investment Node on the dedicated corridor.

“The work on the identification of the Mega Industrial Zone will begin soon. This addition of Jammu to AKIC will certainly benefit and revolutionize the industrial sector of the union territory. In particular, this will promote logistics and e-commerce by reducing the distance between cities with enhanced infrastructure in place. The project’s goal is to create an industrial zone that spans seven Indian states and 20 cities within each of these states,” official sources said as reported by the Kashmir Monitor.

Amritsar-Jamnagar Greenfield corridor worth Rs 26,000 crore is all set to be completed by September 2023.

The extension of Jammu to AKIC is believed to attract more investors to the union territory.

The administration is simultaneously promoting Jammu and Kashmir as investor destinations by calling major business houses to invest in the union territory.

In the last two years, the Union Territory administration has received investment proposals worth Rs 66,000 crore.

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