Commerce Minister Kamal Nath on Saturday said there would be no forcible land acquisition for the proposed Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor (DMIC). The private companies that set up operations there would acquire land directly from owners at market rates, he told a business gathering.
Land acquisition for industrial projects has become highly controversial following the Nandigram, Singur and Posco experiences. The empowered group of ministers issued a set of guidelines for SEZs earlier this month barring state governments from acquiring land for private parties.
Work on the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, to be developed with Japanese help, will commence in January 2008. It will take an initial investment of $2bn from both governments. The total cost will run up to $50bn dollars, which will come from private-public partnership and foreign investment.
Akira Amari, the Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry said the DMIC would significantly increase investment from Japan and exports from the region.
Ajay Dua, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, told the gathering that the corridor would extend 150 km on either side of the 1,483km Delhi-Mumbai rail link. He said the corridor, within five years of its commencement, could double employment potential, triple industrial output and quadruple exports from the region.
Aimed at improving connectivity and building industrial capacity, the project will see enhanced road and rail connectivity to ports, hinterland and markets, Dua said. Two Greenfield ports in Gujarat and one in Maharashtra will be set up, some half a dozen airports will be upgraded, and 10 logistics parks will come up.
In addition to industrial clusters and knowledge hubs, the government plans to build at least one comprehensive agro-processing zone in each of the six states under which the corridor falls. These are NCR of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
The final concept paper for the project will be ready by May this year, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit will see the two governments holding the first policy dialogue with regard to the corridor.
The project will be based on the Tokyo-Osaka industrial corridor in Japan, which has been operating successfully for 30 years. It will be implemented by Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation.