Driving growth

Print edition : August 13, 2010

Pinnacle Infotech's unitin Durgapur. The ADDA has provided land to a number of IT and ITes companies to set up units.-SUSHANTA PATRONOBISH

The Asansol-Durgapur region is fast emerging as a major growth centre in West Bengal mainly because of the efforts of the ADDA.

SINCE its inception on April 1, 1980, the Asansol Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA) has catalysed industrial, infrastructural and social development in the Asansol-Durgapur region in West Bengal's Bardhaman district.

The ADDA's jurisdiction covers 1,615.9 square kilometres and a rural and urban population of about 30 lakhs. Under the guidance of the ADDA, the Asansol-Durgapur region, with its substantial reserves of coal and iron and abundant power, has emerged as an important industrial centre in West Bengal.

Called the the steel city of the east', Durgapur is today a prime mover in the State's industrial drive, undertaken by the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front government. Asansol has been identified among the 10 fastest growing Indian cities and is a major attraction to heavy industries because of its location and the ease of access to raw materials such as coal and iron ore.

The ADDA has set up industrial areas in Durgapur, Mangalpur, Jamuria and Asansol, where a large number of small- and medium-scale industries are operating. It has also developed an export promotion industrial park (EPIP) to provide high-standard facilities to export-oriented industries. One of the main focuses of the ADDA is to promote small and medium enterprises as this sector generates maximum employment.

The ADDA has attached great importance to the development of Information and Technology (IT). It has provided land to a number of IT and IT enabled Services (ITeS) companies to set up their units, including Pinnacle Infotech, Hinduja TMT Global Ltd., BNK E.Solution, and Global Infotech Pvt. Ltd. The ADDA has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Shapoorji Pallonji Pvt. Ltd to set up an IT park at Durgapur in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

The project site, on 25 acres, will have office spaces, training facilities, an incubation centre, service apartments, hostels for men and women, and commercial spaces. Shapoorji Pallonji is investing about Rs.500 crore in the project, and the IT park will be the first IT special economic zone (SEZ) in the region.

HEALTH & EDUCATION

In the health sector, the ADDA has taken a holistic approach to provide health-care facilities. Working in coordination with the Health Department, it has upgraded some of the rural hospitals in the region and is setting up a super specialty hospital and a medical college in Durgapur.

A trauma centre is being set up in Asansol by Medica Synergie Pvt. Ltd., and land has been allotted to Chittaranjan Advanced Medical Referral Institute to establish training institutes for nurses and paramedics. The ADDA's efforts continue to bring investments in this sector and several important health institutions such as Mission Hospital, Vivekananda Hospital, Anandalok and HLG Hospital, operate in the region.

STOLLBERG INDIA'S PLANT inside the export promotion industrial park, which was set up by the ADDA.-SUSHANTA PATRONOBISH

It is the ADDA's aim to ensure the Durgapur-Asansol region emerges as a major educational hub in the State. The region is home to various quality educational institutions and given its industrial nature, the ADDA is focusing on expanding vocational education.

Recently, a number of law, management, hotel management and engineering colleges have come up in the region, which will soon create a pool of skilled manpower. Some important institutions are Carmel Convent and St. Xavier's schools in Durgapur; St. Patrick's High School and St. Vincent High and Technical School in Asansol; the Durgapur Government College; B.B. College Asansol; and the National Institute of Technology, Durgapur.

Rapid urbanisation and growth of industries in the region is leading to a demand for residential accommodation. To address this, the ADDA has established major residential areas, including City Centre and Bidhan Nagar, in Durgapur. The City Centre area, spread over 450,000 square feet, has been conceived as a hub for education, health, residences, commerce and entertainment.

The ADDA has established another township, Urvashi, in a joint venture with Bengal Ambuja. It has also worked on housing projects with companies such as Bengal Shristi and Bengal Green Field. Bengal Shristi Infrastructure Development Ltd, a joint venture between the ADDA and Shristi Infrastructure Development Ltd., is coming up with the New Asansol project in Asansol.

The first phase of the project involves the development of a township, comprising 130 residential plots, 24 lower income group houses and 346 high income group houses, with all modern civic amenities. In the second phase, there will be an IT centre, a hotel, a commercial place, a club, and more residential housing. The first phase of the project is nearing completion and the second phase is about to begin.

The region has developed considerably in terms of entertainment and recreation as well. It has three major shopping malls City Centre, Suhatta, and the City Plaza and a multiplex, 89 Cinemas. A mall with a multiplex, called Junction, is coming up in Durgapur, while in Asansol, the ADDA has taken up a PPP project with Srijan group for a mall with a multiplex. The ADDA is also modernising Troika Park in Durgapur, which has a toy train, a boating lake, and ropeway facilities.

The region also has other places of interest, such as the Kalyansewari temple, 23 km from Asansol. The ADDA is setting up a pilgrim centre close to the temple. Maithon dam of the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) on the Damodar river is also an important tourist destination.

Other places of tourist interest are Jaidev Kendule, the birthplace of the Vaishnav poet Jaidev, where a village fair is held in January every year; the Kumar Mangalam Park in Durgapur; La Mere Park in Burnpur; and the Nachan Dam Theme Park, 10 km from the City Centre area of Durgapur.

There is no dearth of hotels in the region. There are two three-star hotels, Peerless Inn and Rose Valley, and a host of other quality hotels such as City Residency, Pritika and Pathik Motel. Durgapur also has a large number of guest houses of different companies such as Durgapur Steel Plant, ALSTOM, DPL and ADDA. The ADDA is encouraging investments in the hospitality sector in Asansol. A three-star hotel is under construction on National Highway 2 bypass.

WASTE MANAGEMENT

One of the thrust areas of the ADDA is to put in place a scientific solid waste management system, which will minimise manual handling of waste, ensure 100 per cent waste collection and prompt transportation and recycling. A Rs.43-crore project has been taken up under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) programme.

The GEPIL and Hanjer Durgapur Biotech have been selected for the implementation of the processing of waste. The processing plant will produce plastic pellets and bricks apart from compost.

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