Promise of jobs

Print edition : July 16, 2010

At the Apache Footwear India unit at Mambattu in the district.-K.V. POORNACHANDRA KUMAR

THE industrial development of Sri Potti Sriramulu Nellore district has picked up in recent years. Many small, medium and major industries have come up, helping youth find employment. Nellore's proximity to Chennai, the Tamil Nadu capital, has drawn many entrepreneurs to the district.

Besides good road and rail connectivity, the development of the Krishnapatnam port has been a boon to the district. In fact, the development of basic infrastructure and the huge investments that have gone into the setting up of four special economic zones (SEZs) have changed the industrial landscape of Nellore, Muthukur, Chillakur, Gudur, T.P. Gudur, Naidupet, Sullurpet, Tada and Dagadarthi mandals.

The Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) has acquired 8,237 acres (1 acre = 0.4 ha) for setting up the SEZs. The corporation has so far acquired 22,935 acres for industrial parks, of which 14,113 acres was allotted to various large- and medium-scale industries, which are expected to provide 36,000 jobs.

The APIIC has developed industrial parks in Nellore, Gudur, Venkatachalam, Kavali, Tada and Pannamgadu areas, said B. Udayabhaskar Rao, APIIC Zonal Manager. The projects include Apache Footwear India Private Limited, MAS Fabric Park India Private Limited, SBQ Steels Limited, Sri City Multi-Product SEZ, Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited, Tata Reyerson Limited, Regen Powertech Limited, and A.P. Genco Thermal Power Station. Some others are in the process of starting their operations. The district has nearly 50 large and medium industries and 1,300 factories that employ more than 30,000 people.

MAS Fabric Park India, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for textiles and apparels, proposes to develop its site in three phases with an investment of Rs.2,500 crore. It plans to have about 30 units from various countries, of which 12 will be processing units and the rest apparel factories.

MAS Holdings Private Limited has, through the SEZ management, acquired 746 acres so far at Chintavaram, Kothapalem and Eruru villages in Chillakur mandal. Its Country Director-India, John Chiramel, performed the ground-breaking ceremony for its first factory in June. The company expects to create employment for 30,000 people directly and 50,000 people indirectly in the next five years.

MAS Holdings conducted a certificate training course in sewing and personality development for six months for nearly 600 women of the neighbouring villages, and provided jobs for 400 women in our Chennai facility, said John Chiramel. The first factory in the Nellore SEZ will give placements to 800 local people initially, and the workforce will develop gradually in the shift system. We have got enquiries from various multinational companies, including from Italy and China, he added. Apache Footwear India Private Limited, a major supplier for Adidas, has a manufacturing unit at Mambattu village in Tada mandal. It produces one lakh pairs of shoes a month and employs nearly 6,000 workers, including 1,500 women. It proposes to start another project, for which the district administration has agreed to allot a site, and a stitching centre at Gudur. The management is imparting training to local people so that they can be employed in the stitching unit.

The Krishnapatnam Ultra Mega Power Project of Reliance Power Limited, the A.P. Genco Thermal Power Plant, Simhapuri Energy Private Limited and Meenakshi Energy Private Limited are some of the power projects coming up in Muthukur and Chillakur mandals; a few of them have started generating power.

Krishnapatnam International Leather Complex Private Limited, an SPV, is being set up at Krishnapatnam on 260 acres with an investment of Rs.29 crore. The APIIC is providing the infrastructure.

The Kisan Special Economic Zone, being developed by Indian Farmers Fertilizers Cooperative Limited, is the first agribusiness-related SEZ in the country. A dairy farm, a livestock farm, nurseries, a power plant, a railway terminal, central processing units, cold storage centres and a university of agriculture and applied sciences will come up on the 2,777 acres allotted for it at Dagadarthi.