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Mangalore, Jan. 26

THE District in-charge Minister of Dakshina Kannada, Mr Jabbar Khan Honnali, has allayed apprehensions about the proposed investments in the coastal special economic zone (SEZ) in Mangalore, and said that it will definitely come up in Mangalore.

Addressing presspersons after attending the Republic Day celebrations here on Wednesday, Mr Honnali said a group of oil companies, led by Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), would invest in the project.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Aravind Srivastav, who was present at the press conference, said that the process of forming the SEZ was under way. A special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be formed soon to implement the project. Apart from MRPL, other oil companies are also likely to invest in the project.

Mr Srivastav said the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka (NITK) at Surathkal near here has been asked to prepare a digitised map of the area to locate industries in the proposed SEZ.

Even the New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) wants to participate in the project.

Mr Honnali said that the Government will also give priority for developing information technology park in Mangalore, as there is a good potential for locating the IT companies here.

Already many IT companies have shown interest to locate their units here.

Stating that the railway connectivity with Bangalore is essential for the growth of the region, the Minister said he will work for the speedy completion of the Mangalore-Hassan railway line project.

Priority will be given for the conversion of Mangalore-Bangalore highway into a four-lane one, he added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 27, 2005)
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