Visakhapatnam: The City of Destiny is set to have a stone park, a-first-of-its kind venture in India. Stone parks can be found in countries like Taiwan, China and Germany. A stone park is an industrial cluster of stone-based factories.
With its port and airport facilities and huge reserves of stones and semi-precious stones such as Indian labradorite, Srikakulam blue granite, Kashmir white granite, blue paradise, white galaxy, flash blue, Deccan brown, cat’s eye, tiger black among others, make Visakhapatnam an ideal spot for setting up a stone park. The state government is keen on setting up the park to attract global investors.
The project would be undertaken in collaboration with the Coastal AP Stone Park India Limited (CASPIL). On the order of the state government AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) has identified 135 acres of land at Gali Bhimavaram in Chodavaram mandal.
Confirming this to TOI, Visakhapatnam district collector Pravin Kumar said “There is a proposal to set up a stone park in Visakhapatnam. The land allotment proposal will come in the next cabinet meeting of the state government.”
Visakhapatnam District Colour Granite Quarry Owners’ association president Angara Rajesh said that the stone park will be first-of-its-kind in India and that such parks are quite famous in countries like Taiwan, China and Germany.
Rajesh disclosed that they had emphasised the importance of stone parks to the chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and the latter had then asked them to draw up an Memorandum of Understanding at the CII summit 2017.
“In fact, it would have been operational by now, but the project was delayed. We hope that it would be operational by the next financial year, only if all formalities like government sanctions are quickly taken care of. It will create 5,000 indirect and 1,500 direct jobs,” Rajesh told TOI.
The association head further said that nearly 30% of the state’s stones are produced by the north coastal districts. “Due to the lack of proper stone processing units and infrastructure, we are forced to travel 1,500-1,700kms from north coastal Andhra Pradesh to Hosur in Tamil Nadu to get the stones processed. If the stone park is set up here, then such hurdles will go,” Rajesh added.
Nearly 35-40 factories will come up in the stone park. They will produce tiles, decorative stone items among others.
Source: V Kamalakara Rao | TNN | Feb 8, 2018, 02:36 IST