British high commissioner positive about Mumbai-Bangalore Economic Corridor

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james bevan

BANGALORE: British high commissioner to India, James Bevan on Friday said both India and UK would jointly finance a feasibility study on the proposed multi-crore Bangalore-Mumbai Economic corridor project.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with chief minister, Siddaramaiah at his home-office Krishna, Bevan said the proposed 1,000 km project would propel the economic activities not only within India but also help various companies from UK to establish their set-ups in these two cities.

“The corridor proposal was discussed with the CM and the government has assured to extend all support to the project as they see opportunities would be thrown open once this corridor is built,” Bevan said.

According to forecasts, 5.8% of India’s population growth would be in the corridor, contributing 11.8% of the country’s gross domestic product growth by 2020. By 2030, if realized, the project could generate close to half a million jobs, while indirect jobs could bring the total in the region to two million.

The idea was first pitched by UK Prime Minister David Cameron during his recent India visit earlier this year. In the Bangalore-Mumbai corridor, the industrial areas that would be covered include Vasanth Narasapura (Tumkur), Bharamasagara (Chitradurga), Shimoga, Savanur (Hubli), Haveri, Kushtagi-Gadag, Yelburga (Gadag), Belur (Dharwad), Hukeri (Belgaum), Navanagara (Bagalkot). Tumkur is where a national investment and manufacturing zone (NIMZ) has been planned. NIMZ would be integrated industrial township spread over 5,000 hectres.

Maintaining that UK’s relationship with Karnataka was always good, the High Commissioner said his country would strengthen ties with state in health, IT, education, engineering sectors. “These are the major thrust areas where UK is interested in developing partnerships. Cambridge University is already involved in conducting train the trainers programmes in India though the British Council, imparting English specialization for the teachers,” he said.

In a bid to strengthen the trade links between UK and Karnataka, Bevan said he has invited Siddaramaiah to visit UK. He also said UK government was ready to provide technical advise to revive Arkavathy river on the lines of reviving river Thames in London.

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