The country’s first coastal economic corridor stretching from Visakhapatnam to Chennai would cover Odisha. The decision for Odisha’s inclusion in the East Coast Economic Corridor was taken after talks between top state officials and a visiting team of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The ADB funded project is India’s first coastal corridor, covering 1,700 km of the country’s coastline and connecting the mineral rich hinterland with six major ports and three deep draught ports. The corridor’s coverage in Odisha is expected to boost the state’s industrial activities, particularly in auto, electronics, petrochemicals, petroleum, iron, steel, food processing, textiles, naval shipyards, and defence and space exploration. The project would have two dimensions- infrastructure development and investments for node centric development.
Technical teams of ADB would make assessment of the extent of land availability, clearance from coastal areas, flood line, forest area, other restricted areas, connectivity with highways, rail network, proximity to ports, air ports, availability of utilities like power, water proximity to existing industrial agglomerations, proximity to urban centers, availability of housing & service eco-system in urban centers, availability of skilled manpower supply, presence of skill development training and incubation facilities.
A preliminary ‘Conceptual Development Plan’ is expected to be in place by March next year.
ADB has agreed to provide $631 million funding for the economic corridor. Out of the total grant released by the ADB, $500 million would be invested in infrastructural development while the remaining would be used for industrial policy and business promotion. The Government of India would pump in a funding of $215 million to the project.