Given the economic, social, educational and administrative base, it is evident that Vidarbha is a case of unmet potential, feels Deepak Kulkarni.
Vidarbha is the eastern region of the Indian state of Maharashtra, comprising Nagpur Division and Amravati Division. The largest city in Vidarbha is Nagpur. The Nagpur region is famous for growing oranges and cotton.Vidarbha can be considered the next emerging zone for the setting up textile industries. Further, given its central location, Vidarbha could also be an ideal place for logistics operations. The region is well connected to all the corners of the country through rail, road and air. In addition, Nagpur’s international airport, presence of the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) depot and the completion of the MIHAN project could potentially make it an international cargo hub. The main cash crops of the region are cotton, oranges and soya beans.
With a strong agriculture base, presence of minerals, forest resources and other geographical advantages, Vidarbha has attracted a number of diverse industries ranging from food processing, textiles, power, engineering, logistics, etc. Nagpur and Amravati districts are the main commercial centres in the region. Presently the two districts cumulatively have 23,211 MSMEs and 689 large scale units generating employment of 2.86 lakhs and 1.63 lakh respectively.
Nagpur is the largest city in central India and the second capital of Maharashtra. It has been cited as one of the future global cities. Nagpur is a fast growing metropolis and is the third most populous city in Maharashtra after Mumbai and Pune, and also one of the country’s most industrialised cities. Nagpur lies at the dead centre of the country with the zero mile marker indicating the geographical centre of India. The city was rated as the best “Indian city to live in”.
Tata Group started the country’s first textile mill at Nagpur formally known as Central India Spinning and Weaving Company Ltd. The company was popularly known as “Empress Mills”. The Empress Mills, one of the oldest mills in state run by Maharashtra State Textile Corporation (MSTC) and once owned by Tatas, was closed down. Also, Model Mills run by National Textile Corporation (NTC) and once owned Navalchand Daga family in Nagpur later closed down.
Butibori Industrial Area MIDC outside Nagpur is one of the largest industrial areas in country. Indorama Synthetics (India) Ltd, Morarjee Textiles Ltd, Uniworth India Ltd, Spentex Industries Ltd (CLC group) are some of the major manufacturing units already functioning effectively in this region. Nearby companies include Nagpur Visaka Industries Ltd, Raymond UCO Denim Ltd, Raymond Ltd Textile division, Suryamba Spinning Mills, Bhagirath Textiles Ltd, Bar Sheshrao Wankhede SS Soot Girni Ltd, Mohgaon, GTN Industries Ltd, Saoner, BLP Super Spinners, R.S.R. Mohota Spinning and Weaving Milld Ltd, GIMATEX Industries Pvt Ltd, Pee Vee Textiles.
MIHAN an international cargo hub project has already attracted many manufacturing units at Nagpur. The project aims to exploit the central location of Nagpur and convert the present airport into a major freight hub with integrated road and rail connectivity along with a Special Economic Zone
In Amaravati region, Raymond UCO Denim Ltd, Priyadarshini Co op Spinning Mills, Yavatmal, Dee Gee Coysyn (P) Ltd and Amaravati Rana Denim are already established. New units such as Raymond Ltd, Suryalaxmi Cotton Mills, V.H.M. Industries Ltd, Siyaram Silk Mills, Prabhudayal Polyester Ltd, Baeshwar Synthetik Textiles have occupied land in Nandgaonpeth MIDC area under textile park and are in the process of establishing textile units.
The State Government’s policy to promote the textile sector has started yielding results, with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis performing the bhoomipujan for the units of J K Investors Ltd and Raymond Group of Companies at Nandgaon Peth in Amravati recently.
The state government, which has tapped Rs 4,000 crore investments with employment generation of 12,500 in the cotton distressed districts of Vidarbha, carried out major amendments in the textile policy for increasing ease of doing business.
A 250-crore-project, Shyam Indofab Pvt Ltd in Nandgaonpeth MIDC has set up a vertically integrated textile unit with a control from fibre to fabric and has a state-of-the-art facility with the latest technologies and complete automation. There will be a state-of-the-art effluent plant, reverse osmosis plant for recycling of water, a PPP with the Government of Maharashtra to turn the ITI’s there into centers of excellence and training and employment of rural women at the plant. It would give direct and indirect employment to a 1000 people. This is the first textile unit of the textile industry in Nandgaonpeth MIDC.
However, certain parameters have to be made conducive for the establishment of a textile industry in Nandgaonpeth like water rates must be made comparable to a competitive State like Madhya Pradesh and the Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CEFT) should be made affordable.
An International cargo hub project, the Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur, (MIHAN), is being developed at Nagpur. MIHAN will be used for handling heavy cargo coming from South-East Asia and Middle-East Asia.
Major industrial sectors like natural and man-made fibre textile, agro and food processing, engineering sectors, cement, steel under the Cluster Development Programme of the Central Government, the Government of Maharashtra has identified 16 clusters in the Vidarbha region of which five clusters have already received final approval from the Government of India. Maximum clusters identified are related to agro and food processing industry followed by textiles.
As part of the Butibori Industrial Area, the Maharashtra government set up a textile park at Butibori, Nagpur, with MIDC as the nodal agency. Spread over an area of 100 hectares and 28 km from the Nagpur city, the textile park is meant to facilitate the development of small and medium scale textile companies by way of providing common infrastructure facilities and assured supply of water, power, land, etc.
Given the economic, social, educational and administrative base, it is evident that Vidarbha is a case of unmet potential. Domestic as well as foreign investors could eye making investments in various sectors. Its rich resource base makes it a prospective destination for manufacturing sectors such as textiles, power, agro and food processing and pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals.
The article is authored by Deepak Kulkarni, Head, Textile Technology, Government Polytechnic, Sadar, Nagpur, and Vice President of The Textile Association (India) Vidarbha Unit, Nagpur.