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Rajahmundry,April 24

THE Dredging Corporation of India, based at Visakhapatnam, has been requested by the Andhra Pradesh Government to suggest a suitable site for setting up ship-breaking units and currently two sites are under consideration, one at Kakinada and the other at Odalarevu, according to Mr B. Satyanarayana, Minister for Major Industries.

At a press meet here on Sunday, the Minister said the Government had taken cognisance of the apprehensions expressed by environmentalists over the proposed ship-breaking units and referred the matter to the DCI to suggest a site.

The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board would study all aspects of the activity and a decision would be taken only after obtaining all clearances on that count.

He said the State Government had sent to the Union Government a proposal for setting up a special economic zone near Kakinada and a steel plant with an investment of Rs 8,000 crore was also under consideration.

He said an industrial estate on a 400-acre site would be set up at Velugubanda near here and the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board clearance was awaited. He said there were 48 dyeing units in the small-scale sector at Rajahmundry and they would be relocated due to pollution problems.

Mr Satyanarayana said negotiations with Volkswagen were at an advanced stage for setting up a car-manufacturing unit at Visakhapatnam and in all probability the agreement might be signed in the second week of May.

"We hope to clinch it in May", he said.

He said that during 1995-2000, the State attracted Rs 11,000 crore of investment, but it had slumped to Rs 4,300 crore during 2000-2005.

"In the next five years, we aim to attract Rs 15,000 crore of investment into the State. We will give all the requisite incentives and subsidies to the industry," he added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 25, 2005)
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