Our Bureau

Mangalore, Oct. 26

THE Kanara Small Industries Association (KSIA) has urged the Karnataka Government to improve infrastructure at Baikampady Industrial Area in Mangalore.

In a meeting with Ms Lakshmi Venkatachalam, Principal Secretary, Department of Commerce and Industries, Government of Karnataka, here on Wednesday, KSIA members demanded that the Government take immediate steps to upgrade roads and provide streetlights in the industrial area.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr M. Krishna Bhat, KSIA President, said that industrial units in the Baikampady Industrial Area are paying property tax to the Mangalore City Corporation and maintenance charges to Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB).

"In spite of this, these two bodies are showing least interest in maintaining basic infrastructure such as roads, streetlights and storm water drains," he said.

Though a Rs 24-lakh estimation was prepared by the Mangalore City Corporation for upgrading a five-km stretch of road in the industrial area, only Rs 12 lakh was released, Mr Bhat said.

Following this, Ms Venkatachalam directed the Mangalore City Corporation Commissioner to spend according to the estimation.

Stating that Baikampady Industrial Area has all the capabilities of becoming a model industrial area, she urged the small industrial units to take benefit from the proposed special economic zone (SEZ) in Mangalore.

Referring to the industrial expansion in Dakshina Kannada district, she hoped that Mangalore could become the second industrial hub in Karnataka after Bangalore.

New SSI policy

To a query by a member on the small-scale industries (SSI) policy, Ms Venkatachalam said that a new SSI policy was on the cards. Stating that the Government has begun a dialogue in this matter, she asked the members to submit their suggestions. "Come out with suggestions with global perspectives," she added.

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