Prakasam district, formed by bringing together most backward parts of Kurnool, Nellore, and Guntur districts over four decades ago for speedy development, has missed out on the development front in the united Andhra Pradesh.
A series of big ticket projects announced by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on the Floor of the Assembly after bifurcation have raised hopes of rapid growth in the years to come transforming the district into a major manufacturing hub.
Doubting Thomases are, however, sceptical about these projects materialising without the Centre according the Special Category Status and extending industrial incentives enjoyed by States such as Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh.
The mega projects that are in the pipeline include the Rs. 38,000-crore National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ), the Rs. 5,000-crore Donakonda Industrial City, and the Rs. 8,000-crore Ramayapatnam sea port. “We have completed survey of land for the Donakonda project coming up in 30,000 acres as also the NIMZ proposed in 14,500 acres in Kandukur division,” district Collector Sujata Sharma told The Hindu .
“We will get a clear picture on the companies that will be setting up units in the district in a month or so,” she said.
Land owned by the government had been transferred to the APIIC, which would create infrastructure to attract big domestic and foreign players both at NIMZ and Donakonda, she said.
Meanwhile, Infrastructure Mission co-chairman and Transport Minister Sidda Raghava Rao said that the Airports Authority of India found Donakonda, where an airstrip was in use during the British time, suitable for setting up a no-frills airport.
“We are close to clinching a deal with a Chinese company for a mega industrial project in Donakonda,” he said, adding that “Donakonda, with vast stretches of government land, will also house the prestigious Peninsular Region Industrial Development Corridor (PRIDe Corridor) mooted by the Centre.”
A team headed Rail India Technical and Economic Services (Transport and Economics Division) has completed a techno-economic feasibility study for the seaport project at Ramayapatnam, for which revenue officials identified 3,800 acres for the first phase of the project.
“The government will take a call on grounding the project in consultation with the Centre, which has promised to provide liberal funds for major infrastructure projects,” the Minister added.
The IIIT named after former President A.P.J Abdul Kalam will start functioning from the new academic year.
Meanwhile, Prakasam District Development Forum president Ch. Ranga Rao opined that “given the lukewarm response from the Centre, these big ticket projects will take decades to come to fruition.”