The industry body Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore, has claimed that the Tamil Nadu government and the central government together had neglected Coimbatore in terms of infrastructure development projects, in spite of the city being the second largest in the southern state.

The industry body recently released a compilation of 10 major proposals, which were earlier proposed by the state and the Centre, for the development of basic infrastructure and amenities in Coimbatore. The compiled document called ‘Vision Kovai Mission 10’ has been prepared by as many as 110 trade and industrial bodies in the district along with voluntary organisations. One such proposal includes better air, rail and road connectivity in the region to boost trade and industry.

Some of the major projects include revival of the Sulur-Mettupalayam Outer Ring Road and Western Bypass Road connecting Palghat Road and Mettupalayam Road.

Sulur-Mettupalayam Outer Ring Road: NHAI planned a bypass spanning a length of 53.95 km along NH-81 & 181 in Coimbatore. The Rs.6.01-billion project faced protests from farmers. So, in 2013, NHAI planned to withdraw from the project and early this year handed over the section back to the state government for maintenance and upkeep.

Western Bypass Road: The state government in its budget 2010 had announced the construction of western ring road spanning a length of 26 km at a cost of Rs.2.84 billion. In 2011, the state announced the implementation of the project from Kuniamuthur to Thudiyalur, which would be 45m wide with paved shoulders on both sides, and costing Rs.1.3 billion. In the consecutive year, the state Highways Department and Local Planning Authority announced that the road would terminate at Narasimha Naicken Palayam instead of Thudiyalur to minimise acquisition of land.

Another major issue is the delay in the Peelamedu airport expansion proposal, which has been hanging since 2007. AAI has proposed 1,500 acres of land instead of the earlier 613 acres. The modernisation of the terminal building was done at a huge cost but expansion of the runway project is not been implemented for want of additional land.

In the railway sector, the industry body has demanded the completion of the long-pending railway gauge conversion from Podanur to Dindigul along with Coimbatore-Mettupalayam stretch. In the power segment the trade body called for immediate measures in providing funds to the state government for setting up transmission links to the national grid so as to overcome the power crisis in the district.

The trade body has also demanded setting up of a national manufacturing and investment zone in the city to attract major players to the region and thereby provide a boost to small and medium industries in the district.

The vision document has also proposed setting up of Coimbatore Urban Development Authority on the lines of Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority to facilitate faster completion of formalities required for setting up new industries and attracting more investment to the district.

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