Mandal set to rev up as major industrial hub


Residents of Mandal-Becharaji, where Maruti Suzuki's India Ltd's (MSIL) new plant is coming up, are in for windfall gains, as the region is gearing up to evolve as a major industrial and commercial zone in Gujarat. The state government, which plans to promote the Mandal as a manufacturing investment zone, has drawn up plans to develop it as a special investment region (SIR).

The Mandal-Becharaji SIR has been put on fast-track, as the state government has developed the draft plan for the zone. Finer details are being worked out, and the detailed plan is likely to be ready soon.



Coming up over an area of around 530 square kilometers, the Mandal-Bahucharaji SIR is located between the Sanand-Viramgam area on the western side, and Mehsana to its east. The area has already attracted a star investment of India's largest passenger car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India parking its car plant at Hansalpur, a part of the Mandal SIR.

Upbeat by the investment announced by the carmaker the state government has come up with a plan to house two auto parks in the area, apart from two logistics parks and three engineering parks, apart from a dedicated zone for Japanese industries in the SIR. The zone would also have a dedicated area for R&D facilities and universities. There would be a hi-tech park, primarily for precision engineering and electronics companies. Also, the SIR draft plan shows space allotted to two kinds of residential zones, a prime residential zone and a dense residential zone.

A state government official close to the development said, "We want a number of institutions and knowledge centers to come up in the region. With engineering and auto parks planned in the region, there would be huge demand for skilled labour, and therefore, the state government is planning skill development institutes to train the workforce."

He added that the state government is eying to attract investments from automotive ancillaries, heavy engineering companies (especially metal and alloy products), electronics system design and manufacturing (ESDM) companies, agro and food processing companies, ceramics and clay products units, apart from wind and solar power equipment manufacturing industries. "Other focus sectors include tourism and IT," the source said.

The auto parks are expected to house vendors of Maruti Suzuki, while logistics parks would help in transit of components and cars manufactured in the region. As for the prime residential zone, the state government has drawn up plans to develop around 600 hectares as a 'Japanese township'.

A regional development authority named the Mandal-Becharaji Development Authority has been formed to address ground level issues. It would also make its own regulations for building, construction and development.