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Union Budget 2013: PC goes to town on smart cities

NEW DELHI: Work on the first two smart industrial cities along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Dholera in Gujarat and Shendra Bidkin in Maharashtra will start soon. Finance minister P Chidambaram said plans for seven new cities have been finalized while work on two more industrial corridors Bangalore-Chennai and Bangalore-Mumbai have started.

Acknowledging the support of the Japanese government in the DMIC project, the finance minister said, "To dispel any doubt about funding, the government would provide, if required, additional funds during 2013-14 from its share in the overall outlay for the project." Chidambaram said the DMIC project has made rapid progress. The 1,500-km DMIC will run across UP, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The government had earlier approved Rs 18,500 crore for development of infrastructure on this project.

Chidambaram said the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are preparing a comprehensive plan for the Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor on the lines of DMIC. The corridor will be developed in collaboration with the governments of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

During the visit of the Japanese premier to India in December 2011, the PMs had agreed to strengthen efforts to improve infrastructure such as ports, industrial parks and surrounding facilities in Ennore, Chennai, and adjoining areas.

The next such project planned by the government is the Bangalore-Mumbai Industrial Corridor on which preparatory work has started.

Industrial areas, including Vasanth Narasapura (Tumkur), Bharamasagara (Chitradurga), Shimoga, Savanur (Hubli), Haveri, Kushtagi-Gadag, Yelburga (Gadag), Belur (Dharwad), Hukeri (Belgaum) and Navanagara (Bagalkot), will be covered as part of this project.

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