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Land acquisition policy is ahead of national policy...
TN Global Investors Meet - Curtain Raisers

To a query why someone should invest in Tamil Nadu, Rajeev Ranjan had a ready answer: “Tamil Nadu is a well-industrialised state. With more investments we can make it even more competitive. The state is a pioneer in building the strong social infrastructure and social safety net. This strengthens the eco- system in which the industry would thrive. There is lot of skilled manpower, adequate availability of power and strong road connectivity. Add to these a long coastline of over 1000 km with well-developed hinterland. Can one ask for more?” said Ranjan.

 

Continuous up-gradation of road infrastructure...

Ranjan had earlier handled the industry portfolio. He also worked with Dr V Krishnamurthy at the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council. Add to these, his rich qualifications: Management PG from IIM-A and M Sc in Policy and Planning from London School of Economics. You get an experienced, knowledgeable civil servant, well informed on the strengths of the state and its potential.

TN has one of the best road infrastructures that provide excellent connectivity to the different parts. Under the comprehensive road infrastructure development programme, the government has been spending close to Rs 1500 crore. This goes for widening and multi-laning of roads to facilitate unhindered movement of freight and passengers. A handsome allocation of Rs 8228 crore has been made in the budget for highway development, said Ranjan.

The state has accessed liberal funding from World Bank and other multilateral institutions for upgrading high traffic road corridors.

He pointed to the need to acquire land for expanding and improving the road network: “most of the issues relate to land acquisition. We have a Highways Act dedicated to the formation of roads, which has become a model for other states. We have also enhanced compensation for land acquired. Tamil Nadu has a guideline value system that provides a fair value for the land acquired. Thanks to this, there is not much resistance,” said Ranjan.

 

R&R even to affected encroachers...

Ranjan referred to the relief and rehabilitation package offered by the state as even better than provided for in the National Act: “the Act even provides for compensation to encroachers if their livelihood is affected,” he said.

Ranjan said that land is needed for industrial purposes, highway development, port infrastructure and other economic activities. Thus the sensitive issue needs to be handled with the attention it deserved.

 

Rich scope for port development...

With its long coastline, Tamil Nadu has enormous scope for port development. The Vision 2023 envisaged by the chief minister provides a good road map for infrastructure development. We have a readymade list of projects and an enabling atmosphere, he said.  

I pointed to Gujarat having 41 minor ports that handled much larger volume of traffic than major ports. Ranjan said that the state is closely looking at the development of ports on similar lines. He pointed to the interest of Japanese companies to look closely at leveraging this natural advantage with global markets for easier connectivity. Ranjan said that the state would endeavour to assist the major ports to expand as also set up facilities for the expansion through minor ports.

The highway connectivity with ports is a major advantage for Tamil Nadu. This will be further strengthened, he said.

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